Review of 2015’s Laneway Festival

So it’s been just under a week since Laneway, and I figured it was probably time I shared my experience after reading quite a few others. Spoiler alert: I had an amazing day.

Overall, Laneway 2015 was organised amazingly well. It was sold out and yet the crowds didn’t bother me at all. I waited no longer than 5 minutes for the bathroom and enjoyed about 11 different acts. I’ll run you through my day:Laneway 2015 Silo Park

We made our way to Laneway pretty early, getting there for Princess Chelsea at 12.00pm and let us walk around and explore a bit before the crowds arrived. We then found a spot on the grass, in the shade of the silos, to see Princess Chelsea put on a beautifully sweet and charming show. I think one reviewer put it perfectly when they compared her to Lena Dunham hosting a kitten kissing competition. It was pretty adorable, and she played my favourite song of hers, Cigarette Duet. It was a pretty perfect start to a gorgeous day.

Laneway 2015 Princess Chelsea

Princess Chelsea in the midday sunshine

 

We then ambled over to see the last 20 minutes of Tiny Ruins, a New Zealand artist who was captivating in her soft voice and quiet hold over the crowd. We also enjoyed a delicious vietnamese cold coffee to battle the sunshine. Conan Mockasin took the stage next, and put on a show that was weird but nonetheless entertaining in its 70s psychedelic rock vibes that had everyone dancing.

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Connan doing his thing. Whatever that is.

Auckland Laneway 2015

Angel Olsen was someone I was looking forward to seeing all week, and she didn’t disappoint, playing a bunch of my favourite songs in a very effortless way. I was pretty much captivated for the entire 40 minute set and didn’t want it to end. New girl crush by the way. The moment her set ended, Courtney Barnett started on the stage next door so we grabbed a quick cold drink and then watched her take over the stage, obviously having just as much fun as all of us who were watching her.

Angel Olsen at Laneway 2015

Angel Olsen a little bit crooked. I blame all of my dancing.

Royal Blood’s rock performance was one of my favourite moments of the day, with a huge number of people all yelling out the lyrics and dancing along to their high energy tracks. I am not a dancer but I don’t think anyone stood still throughout their songs. There was a lot of head banging and I didn’t even care.

Laneway 2015 Royal Blood

British Duo, Royal Blood

After a couple of hours of dancing around in the heat our energy reserves were pretty depleted so we grabbed a delicious meal at Bird on a Wire who were selling giant bowls of their delicious salads, topped with fresh chicken or crispy tofu. It was exactly what we needed to prepare ourselves for the next few hours.Auckland Harbour Laneway 2015

Jon Hopkins played a beautiful techno/synth set in the sunshine in front of the silos, with people dancing along to his seamlessly hypnotic electronica tracks. We then made our way to see some of Angus and Julia stone, where for the first time all day I found the crowds a little overwhelming.

Crowds at Laneway 2015

Crowding in beside the Silos to catch a glimpse of Banks

The crowds packed in for Banks, who despite some technical issues, had everyone enthralled with her quiet, shy demeanour but her beautiful voice and big beats. It took a bit of work making our way up close so with Little Dragon up next we decided to hold our ground amongst the pulsing crowd who were crammed into the small space. Probably the most memorable moment of the whole 11 hour day was watching the sun set over Auckland harbour during the Little Dragon set. It was spell binding. Dancing along with hundreds of other fans to some of their best songs made me forget about the heat and my sore legs and the crowds and just enjoy the moment.

Little Dragon at Laneway 2015

Little Dragon putting on one hell of a show as the sun goes down

After an hour of full on dancing, I needed a bit of a rest before St Vincent took the stage dressed up like some kind of gorgeous alien model. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to watch much of her but once she had started I was hooked on her quirky synth sounds and awkward dance moves. St Vincent was one of the best performers of the day, with her crowd in the palm of her hand hanging on to each and every sound that came out of her mouth.

St Vincent Laneway 2015

Before heading home, slightly sunburnt and totally exhausted, I wanted to see some of Flying Lotus who was finishing off the evening with his amazing 3D show. I only knew two of his songs so once I had heard them both, my weary legs demanded I take them home. As a small sidenote, Silo Park looked just as beautiful in the dark, lit up spectacularly, as it did in the gorgeous summer sunlight. What a beautifully charming venue to spend the day in. Sunset over Auckland Laneway 2015

I know some people complained about Laneway; the crowds, the long lines for the drinks/bathrooms etc. etc. I had a totally different experience and so I think this is up to the individual. We decided not to bother with alcohol because I paid a fair bit for my ticket and wanted to get my music’s worth out of it. After drinking at Big Day Out last year, I found that I had more fun this year, danced just as much and didn’t need anything extra as I was pretty giddy just on the experience of the whole day. The heat was at times pretty unbearable but there was free water all over the place and spots of shade to cool down. The clashes were minimal (for me) and the only act I missed was Belle and Sebastian. We went in wanting to make the most of our day, and got way more than we bargained for.

Auckland Laneway 2015

If you made it to the end of all that congrats, your reward is my 5 lessons learnt at Laneway 2015:

  1. If you are wanting to see lots of new amazing acts, get there early. More space, more relaxed atmosphere and heaps of wonderful music.
  2. Listen to a few of the acts before hand to help plan out who you would like to see and make the most of your time
  3. If you want to get drunk, go to a bar. The more you drink, the more time spent in lines, less spent experiencing great music.
  4. Reapply sunblock. Turns out that 1 application at 11am does not prevent you looking like a lobster at work on Monday.
  5. Take advantage of the free water and stay hydrated.

What was your experience at Laneway 2015?

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Strawberry Fields Forever

Summer Strawberry Picking in AucklandWith Summer in full swing and the weekend hours more precious then ever, I have been trying to tick off various things from my Summer Bucket List. One of these was to gorge on strawberries at a pick your own farm, and with my two little brothers over for the day we had the perfect opportunity for it.

Summer Strawberry Picking in Auckland

With a few recommendations from friends, we decided on Garelja Bros Strawberry Gardens and spent a wonderful half hour or so filling up buckets and containers (and our mouths) with the most beautiful and delicious strawberries I could imagine. The boys had a great time and I was busy thinking of all the wonderful things I could do with the bounty we had picked. The hot sun was shining (we were slathered in sunblock), despite its popularity we never had to share our area with any other pickers and the strawberries were plentiful. Within 20-30 minutes we had more strawberries then we knew what to do with.

Summer Strawberry Picking in AucklandSummer Strawberry Picking in AucklandSummer Strawberry Picking in Auckland

The best part about Garelja Bros was when we came to pay, and found (to our surprise) that the mountain of juicy strawberries was only $15. We had expected to part with much more cash (rather happily) in exchange for our few kilograms of fruit. Unlike some other Strawberry farms, Garelja Bros doesn’t do their own strawberry ice cream, but their friendly staff recommended a spot called Juicy on the way back to the main road (turn left, left, left and its on your left :)) that specialised in fresh strawberry ice cream, as well as Coffee, smoothies and gelato. Somehow we found room in our bellies and sat on some beanbags in the shade with a monster of an ice cream to devour. I’d like to say that it was so big I couldn’t finish it..but I’d be lying.

Summer Strawberry Picking in Auckland

Both of these spots were cheap and friendly and provided the 4 of us with a highly enjoyable afternoon in the sunshine. Even better, I now have 4 kilos of strawberries in my fridge and freezer.

Summer Strawberry Picking in AucklandSummer Strawberry Picking in Auckland

If you haven’t been yet, Garelja Bros may only be open for a little while longer (check their Facebook page for details) but I highly recommend them if you get a chance between 10am and 3pm. They charge a very reasonable $5 a kilo and if you can, bring a flat tray to lay the strawberries on in the car so they don’t get smooshed.

Let me know if you have any favourite strawberry spots in Auckland and what else is on your Summer Bucket List!

Summer Strawberry Picking in Auckland

You can see Mr 7 eating on the job here. Cheeky.

Summer Strawberry Picking in Auckland

Another case of Wanderlust

Wanderlust: strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world

Another Case of Wanderlust

I go through phases of wanting to settle down, buy a house, have kids and so on and so forth and then suddenly an urge to spend all my dollars on new experiences in new countries takes over and I realise that I’m not quite ready to put my money into anything else.

Until Edd and I did our trip in 2014 where we visited 11 countries in 2 months, I had been overseas twice. I was pretty under experienced when it came to overseas travels and countries other than New Zealand and Australia. Since our trip, you could say that I have caught the wanderlust bug pretty bad.

My feet are itching to get back on a plane and see more of the world, my wallet right now is saying no. A girl can dream though.

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The beautiful Grand Canal in Venice, Italy

Genie from Bunny Eats Design proposed a bit of a weekend project amongst the #brunchclub bloggers to do a Wanderlust tag, and after getting immense enjoyment out of all the great blogs that came out of it I couldn’t help but do it myself.

Another Case of Wanderlust

Me sweltering in the hot Roman Sun, soaking up the cities incredible history

Where was your first plane to?

I flew domestically between Palmerston North and Auckland pretty frequently as an unaccompanied minor which meant that I got to hand everyone their lollies and then have way more than the allocated 1 or 2. It was a pretty big deal back then and I thought myself quite the jet setter. My first international flight was to Sydney to visit my Dad and it stands out in my mind because there was an issue with my passport and me and Grandma were pretty stressed out thinking we wouldn’t be able to fly.

Another Case of Wanderlust

Edinburgh in the beauty of the setting sun

Where have you traveled to that you would love to visit again?

So many places that I would love to spend more time in but Scotland is high on the list. We spent a few, wonderful days in Glasgow and Edinburgh but I would love to go back to explore the Scottish Highlands. I also can’t wait to return to Paris and Amsterdam, two of the most wonderful cities in all of Europe.

Another Case of Wanderlust

We stayed in the perfect area of Amsterdam and fell in love with the cities character as well as its canals

Another Case of Wanderlust

I dreamt for so long of visiting the Eiffel Tower, and now I dream of getting back there.

You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no object, where are you going?

Japan. This is the next country on my list and I hope it will be our next international trip. The beautiful scenery, the incredibly polite and lovely people and the obsession with cats. I feel like me and Japan would get along pretty well. I would also love to go back to the UK, hire a car and spend a month or two road tripping around Wales, England and Scotland.

Preferred method of travel; planes, trains or car?

After training across a large proportion of Europe I have fallen in love with this form of transport. The way that you can sit back and enjoy the scenery as well as the chance to meet new people and chat about different experiences.

Another Case of Wanderlust

Favourite method of travel? Definitely gondola.

Favourite travel website?

We used Tripadvisor to death when planning our trip to Europe and also when trying to decide on what activities to partake in. Blog-wise, I love the World of Wanderlust and browse this frequently when I need to get my travel fix.

Another Case of Wanderlust

The famous Charles Bridge in Prague

Where would you travel to just eat the food?

I would travel back to Italy in a heartbeat, and that is largely due to the incredible food that we had each and every day. Also, it was the ideal place for a couple of travelling Vegetarians and we never had an issue finding something delicious to eat. Oh and need I mention gelato? We lived off the stuff. Somewhere not yet travelled that would be amazing food wise would be Thailand and Japan. I love both of their cuisines and can see myself eating my way through both countries quite happily. Sidenote: Brighton had the best vegetarian restaurants and I needed more days to try them all.

Another Case of Wanderlust

Brighton, a bit of a change from New Zealand beaches, but charming nonetheless.

 

Another Case of Wanderlust

Living off pasta and cheese in Italy.

Is there a place you would never go again?

Luckily, and also unluckily I guess, pretty much everywhere we have visited I would love to go and see again. The one place that wouldn’t reappear on a travel itinerary, even if I was in the area, is Cannes on the French Riviera. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful spot and a charming town, in a weird kind of way. But I think there are much better places to experience the lavish lifestyle on the French Riviera such as Nice. Cannes was just lacking in character, was expensive but dated and didn’t have the right atmosphere for me. Lesson learnt, take advice from family.

Another Case of Wanderlust

We found that Cannes was most beautiful after the sun had departed and the people had returned to their expensive hotels and casinos.

Can you recite your passport number from memory if asked?

Considering I can barely remember how old I am, it should come as no surprise that my passport number is a pretty big mystery to me. But I do always have a photo of my passport details saved somewhere secure just in case of an emergency.

Another Case of Wanderlust

One of the most unique sights we saw, the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

Do you prefer the Window, Aisle, or Middle seat?

If it’s a full plane, aisle always. I get a bit claustrophobic and fidgety and like the ability to get up and wander around without climbing over people. If it’s just me and Edd in a row then I love the window because the views can be spectacular. I’ll never forget watching the sunrise, somewhere over Eastern Europe/Asia on our way to Hong Kong. It was pretty spectacular.

Don’t ever put me in the middle. I would rather sit on the floor or in the toilet.

Another Case of Wanderlust

Burano, a coloured little world of canals on an island near Venice

How do you pass the time on the air plane?

I doze through movies and re watch favourite series that don’t require too much focus. I also get really excited by the plane meals, although the vegetarian options can sometimes leave a lot to be desired.

Another Case of Wanderlust

Watching a puppet show on Montmatre as we watched the sun go down over Paris. Just one more memory I won’t ever forget

Another Case of Wanderlust

Because every traveller needs someone to share the experience with. Can’t wait to create more adventures with this dude.

Take a lengthy look at the rest of the wonderful posts on Wanderlust by the #brunchclub ladies!

 

3 months pass by

I’m really awkward when it comes to trying to update people on my life since returning to New Zealand. So much has happened, but time has flown by so quickly, so instead of rambling on I have compiled a brief list to sum up the last three months. I have also used instagram to provide a brief photographic overview of my life (spoiler alert – there’s a lot of coffee and pancakes).

So what have I been up to:

  • Eating enough cheese to feel sick (not something new, just reassuring you all that my love of cheese is still going strong
  • Having amazing #brunchclubs with Laura and Maddy, my two blogging inspirations and generally amazing friends
  • Settling in to a new wonderful flat with space and character and all those great things that make a house a home
  • Learning to love having flatmates again which mainly involves much wine drinking and the occasional sock on the door knob
  • Getting into Girls in a big way (the TV show, no dramatic orientation changes at this stage)
  • Pining over another overseas trip. Japan, I have you and all of your cat cafes in my sights.
  • Working too hard, doing too much overtime and then grumbling about it
  • Failing to join the gym but with all the right intentions
  • Enjoying the first little glimpses of summer with some iced tea and beers in our back yard
  • Feeling guilty over how hard I have found it to get back into blogging
  • Going for a couple of amazing trips to Wellington, one work related and one to launch Wellington’s very own #brunchclub
  • Baking things, but not as much as I would like to
  • Being awestruck and head over heels at my new little niece who is the most adorable piece of baby flesh I ever did set my eyes on.
  • Becoming ridiculously proud of my baby sister who makes motherhood look so darn easy, and has never looked more beautiful than when she is snapchatting her and the baby after very few hours of sleep. I don’t know how you do it but I know one day I will hate you just a little bit for setting the bar so high
  • Trying to make the neighbour’s cat love me the most and failing but still getting plenty of cat cuddles
  • Learning to appreciate the little things more, slowly.
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The “dream about you everyday”mint hot chocolate from Al’s Deli

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Using cafe’s as a way to get free (not really free) cat cuddles. 

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Experimenting with different Vegetarian meals

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Decorating the entire office to look like Alice and Wonderland and kind of knocking our own socks off

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Eating so much amazing food in Wellington. This is Chow *drool*

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Long Blacks look pretty and are better for me. So I’m trying to replace my love of lattes.

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Moving house and finding my favourite sun spot to read in

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Organising my first baby shower and not even screwing anything up!

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So I thought I wasn’t a fan of pancakes. Okra may have changed my whole perspective (which explains why I have eaten pancakes almost every weekend).

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Tried Best Ugly Bagels for the first time and thankfully they lived up to the hype in a delicious way! Peanut Butter and Jam for life.

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No words could describe how incredible it is to have a little niece.

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Entertaining which is mostly just an excuse to eat more cheese

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Had a great #brunchclub at Tuihana, more on this to come!

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Found an app that lets me replace faces with animal heads (called Animal Face, go figure) and have been going through all my travel photos to make them more appealing. So great.

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Enjoying the Kiwi Spring that has just started making itself known

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Befriending all the cats in the Neighbourhood, even the ones that look like little alien sheep.

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Reading this book and getting a little obsessed

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And lastly, embracing Halloween at work.

Looking forward to:

  • Lorde concert which is on tonight and which I should be getting ready for instead of blogging
  • Going to see Bill Bailey this week which will be amazing
  • The exciting future of #brunchclub
  • Watching my niece and my sister grow together
  • Spending more time with family now that the sun decides to come out more often
  • Continuing to make the new place feel like home
  • Joining a gym so that I can get fit and healthy
  • Doing some part time study, all though I might put that off until next year
  • Planning a budget that lets us save for a trip to the South Island and then later on for Japan
  • CHRISTMAS.

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Photo Diary: The Coromandel

Hi Guys!

So I may have taken a rather long break from blogging. It was well worth it for a week long holiday away from the big smoke and staying at our favourite bach in the Coromandel at Hot Water Beach (near Hahei). I thought the most appropriate thing to do upon my return would be to share some snaps from our week away, showing off a few of our favourite places to go. Edd and I go with my family to Hot Water Beach every year and I can never get enough.

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Our first couple of days were pretty dramatically terrible in terms of weather but this made for a good excuse to go visit Coromandel township on the other side of the peninsula and eat plenty of good food.

 

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We stopped in to the Driving Creek Railway which is full of amazing art and also hosts a wonderful train ride into the native bush. Well worth a stop, especially with kids.

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There was also a lot of wonderful bird life in the native bush.

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These little guys are so fluffy.

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A very small taste of the incredible sculpture at the railway. The pottery in particular is stunning.

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There is no such thing as too much beach

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Just ask Mr 6

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Evening walks along Hot Water Beach and candy floss skies

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These two had an awesome time once the sun came out.

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Lucky for us it stayed out for the rest of the trip. Most of our time was spent on the beach, usually with a book nearby.

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Occasionally we ventured away from the beach to visit some of our favourite spots. This place is amazing and does a huge range of delicious liqueurs.

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And Eggcentric cafe is another place we always ensure we stop at. The food here is amazing and again, the art in the gardens is wonderful to be around.

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There is always the little ferry ride across to Whitianga if you are in need of some serious shopping or a bit of night life (by that I mean the sports bar…)

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This guy was sitting right outside the bach, just waiting for his photo to be taken.

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On the way home we stopped at a wonderful hidden river spot, just by the state highway.

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My 12 year old brother is much braver than I am.

All in all it was so wonderful to get away from work and general life in the city and take some time to be with family. I’m already excited for next year.

Lizzy x