We have just spent a very special weekend in Observatory Hotel, a new boutique hotel which is in the middle of the Old revitalised Arts Centre. It was magic. Nothing about this hotel screams “generic”. There are art and history books to read, comfortable sitting areas, and at the top I found a quiet room to zoom one early morning – the Conservatory.
It is midwinter and outside our window we can see the branches of an old tree against the sky, and Matariki was celebrated for the first time as a national holiday.
The city is alive with lights and story as Tirama Mai lit up Cathedral Square and Te Pae, there was music and story telling – a fantastic atmosphere for young and old. The Arts Centre also has events happening, the place is alive.
Each day began with a lovely continental breakfast, then it was out to do the town – 10 minute walk to Te Pae and the Square, the botanic gardens and the museum are across the road and Hagley park there for a morning run – or in our case a cycle. The Art Gallery is one block away. Our rooms had nespresso machine and tea – so back home for a read and rest before venturing out again.
Benson cafe is in the Arts Centre for fantastic day time food, at night a wine bar and a cinema, though one night we ventured a block to Fiddlesticks.
Itati – To share
Our most special dining experience was Inati (it means to share).Here you will experience the theatre of cooking in this open kitchen as Chef Simon formerly of Gordon Ramsay’s The Warrington.
INATI is to achieve a state of joy by combining exceptional food with great friends, offering small unique small plates that will give you the opportunity to excite your palate with as many taste delights as you desire.
Comfortable seats at the bar enable some diners the full experience of watching the cooking before tasting it. You can let them decide what small plates to serve, and have matched wine. They catered for every dietary requirement carefully and without any compromise.