First Look: Homestead

by Metro Magazine / 09 March, 2016


Words by Alice Harbourne, photos by Ken Downie

 

The TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre at Pah Homestead is home to a rotating selection of over 8000 works of contemporary art owned by James Wallace. It's located is at the end of a grand, tree-lined road, nestled in the middle of the slopping Monte Cecilia Park. It's peaceful, as you'd expect, but nowhere near as stuffy as the words "stately home" and "private art collection" might suggest. That's in part due to the fantastic and unusual art exhibited, and the trust's commitment to nurturing emerging talent. It's also due to the newly revamped gallery cafe, Homestead, the work of best buds Connor Nestor and Charles Williams, owners of Ceremony, and their new business partner, food writer and cookbook author Sam Mannering.

The ex-Dawson's Catering-managed cafe has been stripped back to its handsome, heritage shell and decorated with a simple bright scarlet and white colour scheme, inspired by the Stedelijk restaurant in Amsterdam. The interior was designed by Nick Sayes of Daniel Marshall Architects in collaboration with Nestor and Williams. Deciding which artwork to hang involved a fair bit of back and forth with the trust's curators, Ben Abdale-Weir and Reece King; which could sometimes feel like "too many cooks in the kitchen", according to Abdale-Weir.

No brew appears to be spoiled, however, the contributions of like-minded makers such as Mavis & Osborn (who designed special plaid picnic blankets for guests to enjoy on the property's lawns) and the team behind I Love Ugly (who designed shirts worn by the staff) merely adding to Homestead's aesthetic cohesion.

Food-wise, Mannering has used some of Auckland's best suppliers to create a menu that will be familiar to readers of his regular food columns and cookbooks. I'd describe his style as Italian in philosophy, Kiwi in execution: the kind of comforting, classic dishes you might be served at a fancy friend's dinner party. The homemade crumpets have taken a while to perfect ("not even the Edmonds recipe could deliver the result I wanted!") and are fashioned for breakfast with sweet and savoury toppings. "Toast" gets relabeled "bruschetta" at lunchtime; the boys rave about the salt cod and parsley topping.

Scottadito is a signature Mannering dish, his veal version in Food Worth Making is indeed worth making. Here though, we've lamb "burned fingers" on a bed of cannellini bean mash, cauliflower and artichoke pesto. There's home-baking in the cabinet inspired by family recipes, and a dedicated kids menu (chocolate and peanut butter crumpet is reason for anyone to want to regress).

Williams has made the wine list easy by offering just one New Zealand wine by the glass in each variety; sometimes it's nice to have the tyranny of choice taken away. Flight Coffee and juices, fresh smoothies, and soft drinks from the Karma Cola gang make Hillsborough a desirable school run stop-off (there's ample parking).

For now, the cafe will operate standard cafe hours, though there are plans to extend this to weekend evening dining in the future, as well as talk of exciting one-off events and summer Shakespeare on the restaurant's lawns. It's so wonderful to have even more reasons to visit this special place in Hillsborough.

Homestead
72 Hillsborough Rd

Hillsborough
Follow Homestead on Instagram for updates: @homestead.company

Latest

How NZ women won the right to vote first: The original disruptors & spiteful MPs
96463 2018-09-19 00:00:00Z History

How NZ women won the right to vote first: The orig…

by Vomle Springford

Is it right that while the loafer, the gambler, the drunkard, and even the wife-beater has a vote, earnest, educated and refined women are denied it?

Read more
Fémmina: The story of NZ's unsung suffrage provocateur Mary Ann Müller
96479 2018-09-19 00:00:00Z History

Fémmina: The story of NZ's unsung suffrage provoca…

by Cathie Bell

Mary Ann Müller was fighting for women’s rights before Kate Sheppard even arrived here, but her pioneering contribution to the cause is little known.

Read more
Ian McKellen charms his way through a documentary about his life
96472 2018-09-19 00:00:00Z Movies

Ian McKellen charms his way through a documentary …

by James Robins

Joe Stephenson’s tender documentary Playing the Part looks at McKellen's life as an actor, activist and perpetual wizard.

Read more
The Chosen Bun: A smart new burger joint opens in Stonefields
96507 2018-09-19 00:00:00Z Auckland Eats

The Chosen Bun: A smart new burger joint opens in …

by Alex Blackwood

Burgers, milkshakes and fries are not rare things to find in Auckland, so The Chosen Bun's owners were smart to be very picky about their ingredients.

Read more
The brutality experienced by the suffragettes
11636 2018-09-19 00:00:00Z Listener NZ 2015

The brutality experienced by the suffragettes

by Sally Blundell

As we mark 125 years since NZ women got the right to vote, we must remember it didn't come easily.

Read more
The case for closing prisons
96403 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Social issues

The case for closing prisons

by Paul Little

If we want a prison system that does a better job than the current one, alternatives aren’t hard to find.

Read more
Jennifer Curtin: The feminist political scientist mixing rugby with politics
96422 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Profiles

Jennifer Curtin: The feminist political scientist …

by Clare de Lore

Australian-New Zealander Jennifer Curtin says the lopsided nature of the Bledisloe Cup pales in comparison to the slump in transtasman relations.

Read more
Don McGlashan is out of the attic and taking flight
96439 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Music

Don McGlashan is out of the attic and taking fligh…

by James Belfield

Don McGlashan is taking some old unloved songs on his New Zealand tour.

Read more