My friend Emma and I had a fantastic trip to the Open Studios day in Wanganui on Saturday (St Patrick’s Day!). We decided to both blog the experience and then post them at the same time, as an experiment to see how similar or different our takes on the day were. You can read Emma’s great post about the day HERE. Also, she has links on her page – which I was too lazy to do! lol
The day consisted of all of our favourite things: travel, op-shopping, great art and creative spaces, cafe stops, mooching, discovering great things by accident and even CUPCAKES.
We carefully planned the studios we were interested in (you can go to nearly 50 or so, but we chose just five we wanted to see) and inbetween we op-shopped, ate and wandered.
We parked our car near an old-school bakery called the Gaslight Bakery (great name, right?) and mocked the St Patrick’s Day custard buns in the window, but by the time we had op-shopped and walked back to the car, we were hungry and so went halves in their pie, doughnut and fizzy drink deal. I had the pie, Emma had the doughnut, we split the drink sitting on the street. That was our sophisticated first food stop.
I opshopped a fantastic old Union Jack flag and as I often do, saw some beautiful fabric on an old mattress:
We had a fantastic time visiting artist’s studios. Seeing people’s creative spaces is so inspiring! I didn’t want to invade their spaces by taking photographs inside the studios, but here’s some shots from our travels to studios and buildings near the studios we saw. Four of the studios we saw were in great buildings – one an old dairy, one an old maid’s quarters, one an old church and one an old municipal hall. Wanganui has so many great buildings and it looks like artists can afford to use them there! I bought a little art work by Rachael Garland, which I’ll show you another time.
We also hit Savemart Wanganui, which is in my opinion the best Savemart in New Zealand. I only bought a couple of cardigans, nothing too exciting – but here’s a couple of pretty things I saw in there:
Our travels were fortified by great strong coffees at the Yellow House cafe and -best discovery of the day- we found a beautiful little cupcake shop that a woman was operating out of her house. It seemed to be in the middle of nowhere – but it was fantastic! All the cupcakes were $2.50, she had heaps of flavours and they were absolutely DIVINE. I bought a ginger and a lemon. Emma tried the red velvet and the chocolate and bought a couple to take home for her husband, Tom. Cupcake HEAVEN! They made the so-so $6.50 Wellington cupcakes look even more like a rip-off.
After all that excitement (plus finding an untapped op-shop in an unexpected location at the last minute….I took off across the road so fast when I spotted it, that Emma yelled ‘Don’t get run over, Helen!!’) – we were pretty knackered and so finished our Epic Wanganui Day Out with a lovely walk along the river on the new boardwalk there – and then a lovely cup of mint tea at Mud Duck’s Cafe which has rocking chairs -yes ROCKING CHAIRS on the porch, where you can sit and rock and watch the river. Bliss. The perfect end to a full and busy day.
We hit a couple more junk shops on the drive home and by the time we got back to mine we were happy, knackered and needed a good rest. Luckily Fraser was on the case with dinner – pizza, cider, sofa, bliss. What an epic day!