21 April 2014

Insider’s guide

14/12/2011 10:59:00 a.m.


BARBARA Burke grew up in Ireland and made Wellington her home seven years ago. A Master’s student in Victoria University’s Creative Writing programme, Barbara has just been announced the winner of the annual David Carson-Parker Embassy prize in Scriptwriting for her work Orla. She studied in Dublin and her story explores the societal pressures of that city in the mid 1990s. While Barbara’s still on cloud nine from her win, we asked her to share some local knowledge…

Best for breakfast… Just like most of Wellington’s population, I try to fight my way in for a table at Sweet Mother’s Kitchen most weekends. Their breakfast burritos are renowned, and rightly so.
Best for dinner… Scopa is a favourite. I love the food, the prices, and their Chianti. It’s always full, which makes for a pleasant, buzzing atmosphere.
Favourite place for coffee… I started going to Memphis Belle about a year ago because they had the cheapest coffee. It turns out they are the friendliest bunch of people as well. The coffee is delicious, and the music they play isn’t half-bad either.
Insider’s tip… If you’re into film, join the Wellington Film Society. You get to go to a screening at the Paramount every week from March–November. They choose a diverse range, from old classics to more recent arthouse films. If you go to each screening, it works out at about $3 a film.
Best place to drink with the locals… Mighty Mighty. Great Guinness, great chat. And there’s often some sort of shenanigans taking place. I also like to go to the Southern Cross.
Favourite walk… When I first moved to Wellington, I loved to walk around the bays to Evans Bay and beyond. I still do.
Favourite thing to do… I like spending a few hours at the Central Library on Victoria Street. There’s nothing like walking out of there with your arms full of books.
Something curious about Wellington… The city’s namesake grew up in 18th century Dublin (Arthur Wellesley).  
Best sunny activity… If it’s a sunny Sunday, I go to the Chaffers Street veggie markets. It’s full of colour.
Inspiring writing spot… My desk at home, right by the window. When I started writing full-time for the Masters, I moved to a place with a view of the sea and an open sky. I love how you can do that in Wellington and it doesn’t cost the earth.
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    Joel Pringle, campaign manager for Australians for Affordable Housing, and Charles Waldegrave, from the Family Centre, will address a meeting as part of a public discussion on housing at Thistle Hall on April 8.
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