Neon (just) right

Just in case you hadn't quite worked out what we do around here we've lit it up in neon.
In Auckland recently we came across this beautiful piece of neon at Cam's great store flotsam+jetsam on Ponsonby Rd.

With a little help from all sorts we got it down here, plugged it in and lit up our corner of the Civic Square.

A dinner served last night

We have been hosting a small group for dinner once a month.
It is a working group who's needs are nourishment and relaxation.

It's proving to be a really nice opportunity to create some little menus (three courses) and to have a play with combinations.

Last night we served the following,

Cured salmon, lightly pickled beetroots, a herbed puy lentil salad, Zany Zeus creme fraiche, a little olive oil and a sprinkling of fennel pollen.
 Next came cannelloni filled with ricotta and winter greens - rocket, spinach and some chard from our garden on the rooftop.
A little cream, some gorgonzola and some grated pecorino and into the oven to be served with some lightly toasted walnuts.
Dessert was all comfy and nursery school-like.
Warmed gingerbread, seville orange marmalade ice cream and some warm chocolate sauce.

good honest books

One of the many satisfying elements of running a business like Nikau is discovering the talents and creative outlets that exist within your staff.
Georgia is one of those staff members who over the past few months has been producing these beautiful hand crafted and bound notebooks.
I have become a frequent user of my smaller notebook and have delighted friends and family with presents of the larger books.
They are for sale at the cafe.

a courtyard garden.

 We have for sometime thought it would be a good idea to 'green' the courtyard.
 With this in mind we talked to Veronica Alkema from Vero Design about our ideas to introduce a courtyard garden.
 We were keen on a modular approach allowing for some movement of the planters and also allowing us to replace harvested or tired plants with new, lush seasonal plantings. To this end she came up with the concept of three large plastic planters in each unit that can be removed and replaced with another tub .

 Steve King Builders and his crafty boys built these sweet planter boxes on wheels . Macrocarpa was chosen for its aging quality and removable slated seats were added so they could double as extra seating
 We now have close to two dozen plastic planters filled with all sorts of seedlings sitting in a sunny sheltered spot away from the courtyard. Red Opal basil, Rainbow light beets, Little gem lettuces and Rocket are just some of the plants biding their time before they are introduced to the courtyard.
 We can't be too far from harvesting our first crop from the garden, some good looking white cos lettuce.
Look out for them and future produce on the menu.

Looking through Kalya's lens

Kalya has been a member of the Nikau family for quite some time now.
 She has a keen eye and here are some of her images taken in the last month.