The Engine Room

A few weeks ago we had something to celebrate and decided to go out for a really nice dinner at an Auckland restaurant that we had not had a chance to try yet. The boy spent some time looking at the Metro Top 50 list and happened to pick out The Engine Room in Northcote. Luckily we were able to make a reservation, because the restaurant was incredibly busy on the Friday night we happened to visit.

The Engine Room, Auckland, Northcote, Restuarant, Metro top 50, FreckleNZ
This restaurant has a cool industrial feel but somehow also manages to feel like a comfortable space. We don’t often splash out and go to places like The Engine Room, so we enjoyed staying in the space for a few hours lingering over the food and wine that we ordered.

The Engine Room, Auckland, Northcote, Restuarant, Metro top 50, FreckleNZ

Expect beautiful bistro style food here, with a focus on fresh seasonal ingredients. We started off by ordering a bottle of wine (it was a special occasion after all) and were impressed with the way the waiter talked us through the menu. For us highlights of the meal were definitely the goat’s cheese souffle (this is a must try), asparagus with some pretty delectable hollandaise and the steak frites.

The Engine Room, Auckland, Northcote, Restuarant, Metro top 50, FreckleNZ

After experiencing The Engine Room it was easy to see why it was rated so highly by The Metro magazine. It has five out of five spoons so you know that is something to write home about. The three of us all thought that the food was up there with some of the best meals we have ever had. So we suggest that you make a visit. Maybe you will even be inspired to pick up a copy of The Engine Room cookbook and attempt replicate their goodness at your place. We are kind of tempted to do that ourselves. That goat’s cheese souffle was well worth the effort.

The Engine Room
115 Queen Street
Northcote Point


Cheap Auckland – The February Edition

Auckland, Cheap Auckland, To do, FreckleNZ

It is crazy how quick February has rolled around. It is a great month to be in Auckland, to enjoy the last days of summer, the pride festival and a couple of long weekends. Here are our pick of cheap events to fill your calendar this month.

As part of the Auckland pride festival, there are two special events on at the Pah Homestead. The Sound of the Ocean by Tanu Gago and Fa’aafa by Pati Solomona Tyrell both sound excellent. (Free)

Speaking of pride, the Decolonise Pride Poetry Slam is on our list this year and is being held on the 17th of Feb. ($12 waged/gold coin donation unwaged)

We saw Ha The Unclear play during the Auckland Zine Festival a few months ago and thought they were pretty good. They are trying to raise funds for an upcoming tour and are playing a little show on the 8th of Feb. (Tickets $15 + booking fee)

The Auckland Zoo has what looks to be a very cool exhibition event on from the 3rd till the 26th of Feb, called Lonesome Beast Native. This exhibition features work from Shelton Woolright, Otis Frizzell, Flox (Hayley King), Askew One and Dean Sacred. And for the duration of the event you can head to the zoo on Thursday night from 5 till 8pm for only $12. That is a pretty sweet deal if you ask us. ($12)

There are so many movies and music in the park events around Auckland at this time of year and summer just wouldn’t be complete without enjoying at least one of these events. Bailey Wiley on the 27th would be one of our picks (Free).

So that is this months list, go on and make the most of the last month of summer!


Anchor Bay

If you are like us, then you are probably wanting to make the most of what is left of summer. Your holiday might be over, but while it is still warm making the most of the weekends and spending time outside is what it is all about. Luckily one of the best things about living in Auckland, is that you don’t have to travel very far to experience some really amazing beaches and hikes.

Anchor Bay, Holiday, Road trip, Travel, FreckleNZ

Towards the end of last year, we headed off for a day trip to Anchor Bay. This gorgeous little spot sits in the Tawharanui Regional Park and is about an hour and a half drive from Auckland.

Anchor Bay, Holiday, Road trip, Travel, FreckleNZ

We talked about doing a hike around the peninsula but when we reached the beach we set up in the sun and didn’t do a lot of moving for the rest of the day. We did make it down to the beautiful water for a bit of swimming. The rest of the time was spent sitting in the sun, eating some good food and drinking cider. It is a hard life right?

FreckleNZ, Road trip

Just before we left for the day, we meandered up one of cliff tops that sits in the middle of the beach. From up there we could enjoy the amazing view along the coast line and took way too many photos. We really are lucky in New Zealand.

Anchor Bay, Holiday, Road trip, Travel, FreckleNZ

So we suggest you make the trip up to Anchor Bay. Take your walking shoes, some sunblock, your togs and a picnic and you will be set for a pretty awesome day. You could even camp in the campsites that are in the Tawharanui Regional park and make a night of it.

As for us, we definitely want to head back for that walk around the peninsula. And maybe another swim.



Chuffed is an Auckland cafe that is way cute. We stopped in at this little High Street spot on a Sunday morning just before a trip to the Auckland Art Gallery to check out the Necessary Distraction exhibition. A coffee fix was necessary first and Chloe needed food after not having breakfast. Jess had wanted to try Chuffed for a while so we ended up there.

Chuffed, High St, Auckland, Cafe, Frecklenz

Probably the best thing about Chuffed is a very cool little outdoor courtyard which is a great spot to relax on a super hot day. As you might know it has been sweltering in Auckland over the last few days. The art that decorates the courtyard walls made us smile and let’s face facts it all makes for the perfect for that Instagram photo you just know you are going to take. Perfect for a friend date or for a solitary coffee for sure.

Chuffed, High St, Auckland, Cafe, Frecklenz

We both ordered flat whites, regular milk for Chloe and almond milk for Jess. They were hot and strong, which is just how we like our coffee.

Chuffed, High St, Auckland, Cafe, Frecklenz, Granola
Chloe also ordered the oat and nut granola with rhubarb, yoghurt and orange blossom syrup. It was beautifully presented, as you can see from the photos, and was a delicious balance of flavors.

Chuffed, High St, Auckland, Cafe, Frecklenz

The other thing about Chuffed is that the service is really awesome. We got the sense from our conversation with the barista and another front of house staff member that the staff were really passionate about what they do. Which is cool right? This is definitely a spot we rate. The boy made the dryest of jokes later “Were you chuffed to be there?” Well actually yes. Guess we were pretty chuffed to be there. We will be back and we reckon that you should pop in too.
43 High Street

Hello 2016.

Freckle NZ, Goals, 2016

The blog world has been awash with posts on goals for 2016 lately. After a nice long blogging break though, we decided a post on goals was a good way for us to come back to freckle. There is nothing like a new year. So without further adieu here are some of our goals for 2016, personal and blog related.


Make and follow through on plans – in my personal life I don’t plan,  (if anything I do my best to avoid planning) but this year I have a few big things that I want to conquer. They include a bit of travel (Spain & possibly Portugal) and also ticking a childhood dream to Canada. Plus a few creative projects including my very first exhibition post university! With all that in mind I need a lot of willpower to stick to my budgets if I am going to afford these trips. So this means plenty of plunger coffee for me.

Be Present – another big focus is to be present for not only my friends but, my family & partner too. I think we can all agree it’s easy to be busy for the sake of being busy, while not making that time and effort for the people we really care about. Work and stress got a little bit of the best of me at the end of last year and I aim to have a better balance. I also aim to spend more time in the outdoors as well, as I have realised this has a massive influence on my well-being.

There also has to be at least one cliche if I haven’t already mentioned one… I can confirm I will be joining the gym!


Launch a business – more will be revealed on this one very soon. We are just getting some branding locked down and are excited about sharing some more on social media.

Save my $ – this is an ongoing goal for me. When I first started earning a full time income my friend in India announced that she was getting married in 6 months and asked a few of us if we wanted to come. Instead of spending the extra money I had all of a sudden coming into my bank account, I started saving really hard. The initial sacrifice was so so worth it and since then I have been on several trips. This year Melbourne is on the cards, a to be decided location in New Zealand is likely to happen and there is going to be a lot of saving for a really big trip next year. Along with travel, I have also learnt the value of having money in the bank and feeling secure financially. If this is something that you are working towards I highly recommend reading The Financial Diet, which is probably my favourite blog ever.

Spend quality time with people in my life – this is important one for me as I’m normally busy with so many different things happening. Uni especially takes up a lot of my time. So quality not quantity time with my loved ones is important and I am thinking ahead about how I can make plans with people.


Put out a monthly newsletter – this is something that we haven’t done before and we are excited about producing something extra each month for your email inbox. If you would like to subscribe there is a sign up box at the bottom of this post.

Post less but with a focus on quality – we can see the content that people come to freckle for and want to produce more of that. Expect a focus of making the most of life’s experiences, lots of Auckland content and a bit of travel.

Make more use of social media – last year we set up an instagram and then a few months later we set up a twitter. The posting has been somewhat sporadic but this year we intend to step up our game. Follow us to see if that happens.

So here we are, 2016. Let’s make it a great year.




The other weekend we headed over to Meadow for lunch to celebrate a friends birthday. We had heard a couple of good things about this cafe so were keen to check it out.

Meadow, Restaurant, Cafe, Meadowbank, Auckland, FreckleNZ
We were seated out in the beautiful spacious courtyard, which was lovely for the sunny day. Meadow has a very nice space and because of the smart design you forget that you are on a busy made road.

Meadow, Restaurant, Cafe, Meadowbank, Auckland, FreckleNZ
We started with coffee which was well-made. Having not had breakfast at this point both of us went with the buttermilk waffle with salted caramel, berries, vanilla and spiced sugar. This was a delicious sweet option. The boy ordered Huevos Sucios which incorporated fried eggs, potato, cheddar, chipotle, avocado, chorizo and coriander. Jess got to try this dish and thought it was incredibly yummy.

Meadow, Restaurant, Cafe, Meadowbank, Auckland, FreckleNZ
Parking is difficult with it being off a main road so we would suggest parking on one of the side streets.

We will definitely be heading back to Meadow at some point soon, maybe to try their night time menu.

20 St Johns Rd,



Our Christmas Traditions

We thought today that we would talk about some of our little Christmas traditions. This time of the year as whole makes us reflect on the year that’s been and within that what we truly value in our lives. At our little house we have all kinds of different traditions and Christmas is no different.

Christmas, Freckle NZ, Blog, Traditions

Ever since we have lived together we put up a Christmas tree each year. The last few years we have um’ed and ah’ed about getting a real tree but this year the boy & Chloe went on a mission and got a real one. We have named it Percy and it is so nice coming home to the smell of that beautiful pine throughout the house.

Christmas, Freckle NZ, Blog, Traditions

Another tradition that Jess instigated a few years ago was buying one cute ornament each year for the Christmas tree. This year it was a pretty white and gold bauble from Kikki k.

Each year we try and get to the Franklin Road lights in Ponsonby. Of course the whole of Auckland likes to do this too. We headed down there the other weekend and observed that reindeer were very much on trend this year. Chloe also really enjoyed the Red Peak themed display.

Franklin Road, Christmas, Freckle NZ

Another tradition we have is before heading off to see our respective families every year we have our own little house Christmas. It includes us all buying a gift for each other, (including the animals), Santa stockings and good food. This year we are planning on starting off our tradition in style with a champagne breakfast, followed by more food, then more food.

What are your little traditions around Christmas? Are there any traditions that you want to start up this year? We would love to hear about them.



Cheap Auckland: The December Edition

Street art at Chuffed

Wow it is December! Which means Christmas parties, weekends packed full of events and hopefully some summer holidays coming up. However it can be an expensive time of year, so if you are looking for some fun events in Auckland which don’t require parting with too much of your hard earned cash, we have you covered with our December edition of Cheap Auckland.

First Thursdays on K Road this month is premiering K Road Stories, ten films telling stories from the legendary street. Definitely a cool one to check out if you are free on the 3rd of December. (Free)

Every woman and her cat will tell you to check out the Franklin Road Christmas lights and we are going to jump on that one too. These lights are an Auckland institution so go join the crowds for a stroll and get in the Christmas spirit. (Free)

You know by now that we both love art so it will come as no surprise that we have made plans to check out Auckland Art Galleries new exhibit Necessary Distraction. The exhibit is on till the end of March. (Free)

Aotea Square has some cool events happening as part of their Summer in the Square events. One in particular is a dance performance called The Art of Colour, originally performed for the World of Wearable Arts, which is on at lunch time from the 7-11 of December. (Free)

Outdoor yoga for a good cause? We will see you at New Zealand’s Biggest Outdoor Yoga Class on the 20th of December. ($5 with all proceeds going to New Zealand Suicide Prevention).

Hope everyone has a safe and happy December!



Thames – A Photo Diary

Thames is the gateway to the beautiful Coromandel. Often people drive through on their way to beautiful beaches and holiday homes. But we think that it’s a pretty cool place for a getaway in its own right. Chloe grew up there, so she knows all of the secret spots.

We spent a night there last weekend; just to rejuvenate and get out of the city. We enjoyed the Saturday markets, some great cafes, excellent cheese and a fair amount of red wine. So we thought that we would share a little photo diary of our weekend to inspire you to spend some time in Thames too.

Markets, Thames, Freckle NZ, Blog, Vintage
Markets, Freckle NZ, Blog
Thames, Freckle NZ, Blog
Whimsical Cafe, Thames, New Zealand, Freckle NZ, Blog
Whimsical Cat Cafe, Thames, Freckle NZ, Blog
Matatoki Cheese Farm, Thames, Freckle NZ, Blog
Matatoki Cheese Farm, Thames, New Zealand, Freckle NZ, Blog
Sola Cafe, Thames, New Zealand, Freckle NZ, Blog

We will definitely do a trip guide for Thames in the future! Have you been to Thames before?


Not That Kind of Girl: Review


There was a while there where my instagram feed was full of beautiful flat lays featuring Lena Dunham’s book Not That Kind of Girl. I wondered what the hype was about but not too much. You see I have this annoying characteristic where sometimes I resist things that everyone else is doing and then decide I like them five million years after everyone else.

So now that the hype has died down a little let’s talk about Not That Kind of Girl. I found a copy marked down to a ridiculous $7 at the Warehouse (sorry Lena) and devoured it. It is a great book. I mean it isn’t going to change the world but it does have some pretty cool feminist undertones.

And I really like Lena Dunham’s voice. Damn she is funny. In a really cringe-worthy embarrassing super relatable kind of way. Also since reading the book I have started watching the TV show Girls (I know only like a million years late). I actually find most of the character’s really annoying but there is something addictive about watching such exaggerated forms of the personalities of our generation.

So yeah I would recommend Not That Kind of Girl. I might just put a photo of the book up on instagram……….


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