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Napier is an Art Deco town. It was flattened by an earthquake in 1931, and this seems to have defined the place both in architecture and in spirit.

I adored it.

We checked in to the Art Deco Masonic Hotel, right on the water. We'd booked a suite, deciding we needed to spoil ourselves at the end of the trip (and knowing we had the horrible airport hotel the next night).

I actually had tears in my eyes as we were lead into the suite. These pictures don't do the sun-dappled, beautifully designed apartment justice:

Napier 5

That's the welcoming entrance.

Napier 1

This is the lounge room.


Our first mission was to find fish and chips, for comparison's sake. We found them at Sharky's. Sharky wasn't there when we walked in, so we had a great chat to his mate, who told us lots about the town, and about when he lived in Perth, and all sorts. When Sharky came back, we heard more about the town and the pubs and the best places to drink and the places that had shut down. Meanwhile, Sharky (I don't actually know if that is his name, but so he remains) dipped, fried, re-dipped and re-fried our fish and potato cakes. Oh, my, they were delicious. Crunchy and perfect. It reminded me of the fish and chips we used to get as kids, from a place we called Kerrimuir. At the end of that meal, you'd have a plate full of delicious 'crunchy munchables', all the leftover bits of batter. On Facebook we've been discussing 'lost foods'. The nostalgia you feel for a food you'll never eat again. I have it for those Kerrimuir fish and chips, so thanks, Sharky, for giving me another taste.

This is our own private foyer. Husband in the background there, heading out for the fish and chips.

napier 3

Actually that must be when we were leaving, because he has the suitcases. Pretty sure we didn't take our suitcases to buy fish and chips.

We ate dinner that night at an Italian restaurant, Trattoria alla Toscana, run by an old-school restauranteur. Delicious, fresh-made pasta, incredible desserts. My son couldn't finish his meal and the owner came out to see why!

In the morning, bleary eyed and without my glasses on, I thought I saw a creepy man dancing on the rooftop.

Napier 2

How creepy is that! It's there to scare off the birds, but it gave me a jolt, the way it danced and pranced and seemed to mock me.

We went out shopping, leaving our son at the library to read Graphic Novels. Look what was on the shelf!


Love that skull!

I'd love to run a writing workshop here. I wonder if people would be interested? There are lots of op shops in town for a Kaaron-led expedition.
  • You had a better time there than we did. Sadly, the weather was foul and rain coming down in fire hose quantities when we arrived in dark. So exploring wasn't really an option. We were also a day behind in our schedule because we had decided to say an extra day with the family in Hamilton. So we had a quick look around and then headed for Wellington via Palmerston North (birthplace of Fred Dagg, and with a really great public library).
    • Hope you get back there in better weather, because I know you'd love it.
      We saw signs to Palmerston North, but didn't venture there.
      This library was pretty good, although they seemed to actually HIRE books out (the popular ones, anyway) for five dollars a fortnight.
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