La Couronne, Lorne Street

Friday night's excursion into town with the kids led to this delicious discovery, La Couronne Cake Boutique. Beautifully presented cakes and baking each presented like little sculptural works of art had us all enraptured! As we looked around we realised this place has a different 'take' on the traditional with classic European items (Black Forest Gateaux, Tiramisu etc) but with a Taiwanese twist (sweet taro gateaux, green tea cake anybody?) - I know, I know, an unlikely combination - but I'm converted.

Here Rosa is trying out some fresh custard waffles (a kind of mini waffle full of runny custard) while the chef behind prepares red bean waffles. He seemed very happy to be included in the sketch and threw in some more free waffles for the kids to demolish. We will be back!


It's all happening at the Campbell Free Kindergarten

Campbell Free Kindergarten by Mr Dewhurst

Campbell Free Kindergarten, a photo by Mr Dewhurst on Flickr.
One of the benefits of the new motorway tunnel under Victoria Park is the the restoration of the the old Campbell Free Kindergarten, Auckland's first kindergarten. A bit like the old Birdcage Tavern I blogged about previously here which now sits in it's original spot just across the road.

Having sat derelict under the motorway viaduct for decades it will now house the control room for the new tunnel as well as offering community facilities for the public. Restoration from scary looking old hunk to a gleaming piece of architectural heritage is well underway - amongst the chaos caused by the tunnel construction.


Drawn to Lisbon but can't make it?

If you're like me and feeling disconsolate because your budget doesn't stretch to Lisbon for the USk Symposium, don't worry, you can follow it online! Follow the symposium online here, follow the blog to 'Meet the Instructors' who include some of Portugals finest sketch and reportage artists (amongst many others), and follow the daily blog posts during the symposium. The blog will feature daily updates by fellow Urban Sketchers contributor Joao Pinheiro of Brazil.

For some strange reason, the Portugese seem to be particularly good with a pencil, so check out some of my personal favourites, Jaoa Catarhino here and Eduardo Salavisa, here.

The symposium will be taking place in central Lisbon, where history exudes from the very pores of the place - from the winding cobbled alleyways of the Roman and Moorish Alfama, the Rio Tejo (or river Tagus), faded azulejo walled palaces, castles and cathedrals. So be prepared to be treated to some superb sketches!

Marmite banned in Denmark?

Marmite banned in Denmark! by Mr Dewhurst
Marmite banned in Denmark!, a photo by Mr Dewhurst on Flickr.

What is the world coming to - Marmite banned in Denmark due to the addition of fortified additives?  How could they seriously think a product that tastes like burn't out brake pads could exist without fortified additives?

Stop Press, more breaking Marmite madness. Marmite Masterpiece is Toast of the Web


Are you wowed by the Cloud?

Progress is coming along with the 'skin' now attached to the skeleton of the so called 'Party Central'. The development is on Queens Wharf with the intention of being a gathering place for rugby fans during the World Cup later this year. I'm leaving my verdict for when it's finished and it lights up.
Progress on 'The Cloud' by Mr Dewhurst
Progress on 'The Cloud', a photo by Mr Dewhurst on Flickr.
It's a little hard to get too excited at this stage, this concept image might help...


Ponsonby Backpackers

My daughter, Zoe and I went for an hours sketching on the weekend. It's a scene I've wanted to do for some time as it includes the Ponsonby Backpackers 'turret' which always reminds me of San Francisco, and that of another villa a few doors down. The Sky Tower is also visible in the distance.

I got so tied up trying to get the perspectives right that I ended up creating a really boring drawing! I much prefer Zoe's where she's added her take on perspective and had a bit of fun with it. It's more interesting AND she had time left to zoom up and down with her new Heelys! (They're 'wheely' good I'm told).


Happy Face.

It might just be me but when the sun came out the old Ponsonby firestation seemed to be smile.


Fort Street from Vero Centre

Looking at each other

This part of town incorporates an eclectic mix of architectural styles as shown by these 4 buildings that sit looking at each other from opposite sides of Upper Queen Street. The modernist 'Design 55' design store which specialises in one off and limited edition design pieces from the likes of Fornasetti and the Campana Brothers sits next to what must be a student flat. Note the large cat door aperture in one of the windows from which 'empties' are tossed out to a waiting recycling bin placed strategically below!

Across the road a nice old Arts & Crafts bungalow operates as Uptown Kids Childcare and sits next to an almost completed modernist box.