My Slice of Paradise

Taranaki, New Zealand, famous for its surf beaches, (shh don’t tell Mr Hayle & Grace I’m sharing that), stunning coast line, hiking trails and being able to gaze, from wherever you are, at the majestic towering beauty that is Mt Taranaki. In addition to it’s magical beauty there are also some great places to dust off the sand and experience good food, coffee and shopping. Here are a few of my favourites.

Oakura beach, where any trace of city life is washed away with the tide and the uniform of choice becomes a bikini, denim shorts and jandals. In recent times there have been a couple of new additions in town that have appealed to my love for food and coffee and what better way to enjoy either than with this stunning beachside view.

Oakura Beach Final

So after an early morning surf we stopped by Hide Tide to give the coffee a go. This coffee shop by the sea is housed in a renovated vintage caravan and is the brilliant idea of Francois Husillos.

Originating from near Biarritz in France, I have a feeling the coffee is going to be good; and when I learn the baked goods are made fresh each morning by Francois I immediately add a croissant to my order! I am so pleased I did, the coffee and croissants are among some of the best I have had.

Needless to say it became a morning ritual, after our surf of course.

High Tide Final

The other great combination that works so well in Oakura is Mexican food served seaside courtesy of Holy Guacamole. Pull up a bean chair, crack a refreshing drink and order one of their amazing tacos, quesadillas or, my favourite, fish burittos and settle in to watch the sun go down. Oh and….they are community conscious too serving ‘Burritos for Brains’ in local schools! Great idea.

Holy Guacamole Final

Nothing like a beautiful sunset – Oakura beach.

Oakure Sunset

If you find yourself wanting a hit of the city while on holiday take the 15 minute drive in to New Plymouth and head straight to Ozone Coffee Roasters – The Bean Store for your morning coffee. Ozone Coffee Roasters are the ‘old boys’ of coffee in NZ and at The Bean Store serve some of the best brews you can get. It is always a must stop whenever we head in to the city. Don’t forget to stock up on those fresh roasts before you go.

OzoneFinal

Using this new found energy shopping is surely in order, so I insist you drop in to Katwalk Fashion House for some stylish finds. Katwalk is where this happened…..oops!! So right for so many reasons.

Elliat Dress Katwalk Final

The store is very inviting and Laura, the owner, is exceptionally helpful and welcoming. Check it out.

Katwalk Fashion House Collage

You would have worked up a bit of an appetite by now so make your way immediately to Social Kitchen to settle in for vino and some delicious tapas. If the sun is shining take a seat in the courtyard, it’s a treat!

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Social Kitchen Menu

If I’m yet to tempt you to take a trip to Taranaki then maybe this backdrop will.

A beautiful part of New Zealand for so many reasons and my wee slice of paradise.

Photo Credit: My own along with pic’s from High Tide, Holy Guacamole, Ozone Coffee Roasters, Katwalk Fashion House, Social Kitchen, 16 Havelock.com and FindYourPlace.com

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For the Love of Yoga!!

Who has tried hot yoga?

I decided to step outside of my usual power vinyasa practice and give hot yoga a go. I went along in my hot yoga attire – shorts, bra, loose tank – it’s going to be hot right so best I get some air.

I walk in to the studio and wonder why the heck everyone is in long tights? I couldn’t think of anything worse when I was going to sweat!

We get started and I’m noticing how the heat of the room really assists in relaxing your muscles. I’m thinking ‘this is good’, then it started….drip, drip. Next thing I know I am falling out of ‘tree’ pose because my arms and legs are covered in sweat. Now I get the long tights!

As we make our way to ‘child’s’ pose I’m wondering if this is normal….other people seem to be handling it. I move to ‘downward facing dog’ and decide to embrace it, who cares that I look like I just got dowsed with a hose, it made me feel like I had worked hard.

For those of you who have tried hot yoga, you will likely completely get what I was experiencing! If you haven’t tried it don’t let this put you off, it is amazing exercise. It is challenging, energising, cleansing and you leave feeling relaxed.

Hot Yoga Essentials

My tips would be to take your own mat and water, invest in a yoga towel and make sure to drink plenty of water after class. As for whether to wear short or long tights, I’m going to give longer ones a go next time to see which I prefer. I will come back and let you know.

In the meantime give it a go! There is no time like the present. I am hooked!

Namaste