14 October 2013

Kiwi Oktoberfest

I spent my Thursday evening standing in the New Zealand High Commission Penthouse suite in London, surrounded by blokes in Lederhosen (flashing some rather hairy knees), ladies in Drindl, sipping NZ wine and drinking in the panoramic London Skyline.
When you travel, you expect to find yourself in some rather interesting scenarios. This, this never quite entered my head. It was awesome.  
(Photos kindly used with permission. Taken by Stuart Marsden of Sun Prints)
First of all, we Kiwis have THE best panoramic view of London. First time penthouse guests, my Kiwi Ladies and I couldn't believe our eyes at the sight that met our work-weary gazes.
(Apologies for my much poorer photo - my decent camera was lost in an American airport & then my phone died before I could get even a vaguely decent shot. Oh, technology.)
These were our Oktoberfest guides, showing us Kiwis how to celebrate Oktoberfest properly with costume, schnitzel and strudel. We then showed them how delicious Kiwi beer is, how great Kiwi Pies and crisps chips are, and how fun we are. Fair trade, no?
What did I tell you about those knees?
I'd never really heard of the NZ Society before. Basically it's a network run by volunteers, Kiwis in the UK who meet to mingle, raise money for charities, enjoy the view of the embassy do's and munch on Kiwi treats. Tania Beardsley, the UK president was telling us how the society was established in 1927 as a dining club for New Zealanders in London, and still runs 85 years later as a non-profit charity group.
It was great fun - a real mix of people attended, chatted and imbibed. I can't tell you how weird it felt to hear so many Kiwi accents in the same room. As I entered the High Commission foyer, someone answered their phone "Oh, Kia Ora" which was awesome, but so very unusual to my ears.
Check out the New Zealand Society website for further details, up and coming events and their cute loyal Kiwi card. It's now valid at The Modern Pantry, Kopapa and soon to be at Ozone - all my brunch faves (click the links for my restaurant reviews). Yummo!


  1. Wow...that first picture up there - way to go Stuart Marsden!! That shot is amazing!

    Very cool experience you had there!

  2. Wowie zowie! Will you take me there as you guest next time I'm in London? Are Yanks allowed across the threshold? How come you all look to grim in the group shot?

    1. I can certainly ask! It depends on anything being on I guess. And us allowing a Yank up there - it is a sacred space you know...
      We're just listening intently - this is before we started the party!

  3. wow how neat! Sometimes it's nice to be around some familiar accents, and sometimes it really throws you. I hope there's an american club I can join too!

    1. It was so random!
      I wonder if the embassy will be able to tell you? There are loads of Americans here anyway :)

    2. Yeah I figured, I live in a pretty obscure location to be any Americans, yet I have still encountered a few!

  4. Such a good idea, and looks like such a fun night!

    Check out those knees!

    Hmm maybe...

    1. It really was so much fun.
      Oh those knees...


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