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!