July 26, 2011

The Cambridge Hotel

The Cambridge Hotel is a glorified pub with rooms above it much like you expect to see on English television. The accommodation could only be described as adequate even in their deluxe rooms. The noise from the gathering in the next room and the partygoers on the street indicates that the soundproofing is almost non-existent. The staff are more friendly than professional though a warm mumsy type would fit better with the surroundings, with a father type manning the bar. The cheap breakfasts are edible and must be very popular with the backpackers.

Overall it is cheap and I would not go back but it must be great for travellers or men kicked out by their wives.

July 10, 2011

Jenkins Gym and Les Mills Lower Hutt

Wherever you exercise you will find people with annoying gym habits but finding the gym that suits you will do a lot to alleviate the annoyance.

Though it will be a while before the trains are up and running in all their glory I found them helpful getting to and from Jenkins Gym. Station village doesn't seem convenient for people living in Petone or Lower Hutt but the complex backs on to Western Hutt station on the Melling line which, if your office is in town, makes the gym a stop on your way to or from work. Les Mills is in the middle of Lower Hutt which may or may not be on your way home from work, there are also branches in town (The Terrace and Tarankai Street).

Jenkins Gym plays music that makes you feel young again (Eye of the Tiger, Bad, Can't Get Enough, Do You Wanna Get Funky) while Les Mills plays modern music rather loudly. Both offer cardio equipment and weights. Jenkins runs a limited range of Les Mills classes as well as Pilates and Ab classes, the venue isn't flashy but the teachers are good and there are always spaces. Les Mills runs the full range of Les Mills classes in a large studio with coloured lights, classes tend to be very busy.

Points of difference between the two: Les Mills has a womens gym and sauna, sophisticated cardio equipment with headphone jacks and TV channels, straighteners and TV screens on the mirrors in the changing rooms. Jenkins gym is cheaper and for two hours each weekday morning for $2 you could use their childcare which would equal the price of a Les Mills membership.

If you are looking for no frills fitness then Jenkins Gym is the place to go, if you want and can afford something flashier then Les Mills is for you.

You can find Jenkins Gym and Les Mills both on the web
Price (weekly): $10 (JG), $20+ (LM)

July 7, 2011

Caffe Italiano Molesworth Street

Following recent deals on Treatme and Grabone we thought it was time to try out Caffe Italiano. At a recent lunchtime on Molesworth Street the Caffe was full and warm compared to the rain outside.

The prices are more than I would normally pay for lunch: $15 for pasta, but this is more of a restaurant than a cafe despite the name. Two of the four vegetarian dishes were unavailable and I didn't bother to ask about gluten free (I'm sure they would accommodate but I never bother when it's mostly pasta). The food and staff were authentic Italian; you can tell the tomatoes are from Naples as they are sweeter than you would expect, you can tell the staff are Italian by listening to them speak.

I recommend Caffe Italiano if you can afford it and enjoy authentic Italian.
The secret to authentic Italian at home: Parmesan.

Price: $10-20
You can find them on the Web