A late night stroll through the Bay City of Napier in the company of John, the gentleman farmer, and Jason, the not-so gentlemanly Watford fan (Only kidding mate!), eventually yielded a couple of convivial pints. Our walk around the seemingly deserted Art Deco capital of the world in search of pub, and an open one at that, became more difficult than it initially appeared.

As we trudged along the empty streets I half expected Terry Hall and his chums to come careering noisily round the corner in a batted Vauxhall Cresta to break the eerie quiet. Bands won’t play no more.

Restaurants stood in darkness, even the fast food boys had sneaked off early. What the city lacks in pubs and people it makes up for in character; clearly the town planners here were made of sterner stuff and clearer conviction than their Stevenage counterparts.

After half an hour’s fruitless endeavour, we reached a quiet pub halfway down Dickens Street. A couple tangoed happily in the corner of this otherwise empty establishment with a resonant air of the bouzouki dancers in Monty Python’s Cheese Shop sketch as we swapped travel stories and moaned about the hopeless state of modern football over our beers. With one eye on my appetite and the other on the time I noted, having seen the lack of available options earlier, we should probably do something about food.

The only other signs of life were an Irish Bar on Hastings Street. Ah, praise be, the haven of travellers everywhere, especially those with an identity crisis.
Our luckless arrival met with the kitchen’s closing, but, in a rare show of Kiwi customer service, the delightful barmaid offered to do us a pizza.
Settling in over a welcome reacquaintance with the cult Caaaaaaallldd One of Western Australia, Little Creatures Pale Ale, we gladly and hungrily acquiesced. Two minutes later, voila!

Haute cuisine New Zealand style….


Thankfully, I’m not in Napier on Friday for my weekly pie treat.

Thank you to Farmer John for the photo.