Every Saturday at the back Parnell, La Cigale holds a small French Market. I wish I'd known about this earlier, it's a great bunch of stalls filled with fresh veggies, still warm breads and pastries, stuffed olives and dips and tabbouleh salads, smoked meats, freshly squeezed juice stalls, big stoves of paella and stalls making while-you-wait crepes and waffles.
In short, a ridiculous amount of fantastic food. The Boy and I took Quinn down on the weekend (and the weekend before that . . .) and we had breakfast - two sweet chilli prawn skewers and a whitebait fritter, cooked up right in front of us! Mm, SO GOOD! We also stocked up on this brilliant cherry tomato foccacia, roasted capsicum dip, fruit for the week, chocolate croissants AND white chocolate tarts. The Boy and I also split a chocolate Ã©clair, which was DIVINE! The chocolate on the top was still warm, and it was stuffed with the most delicious chocolate whipped cream I'd ever eaten. Ridiculously sweet, pretty much an orgasm in your mouth.
Walking up and down the little aisles, I was reminded of the fruit and veggie shop my parents used to own in Parnell. It was an open air shop, basically some clever shelves stuffed with every kind of fruit and veggies you can imagine installed on a patio a little off the street, with the coolers and workshops downstairs.
I spent a fair chunk of my childhood scrambling around the back streets of Parnell. Today Parnell is mostly fancy restaurants, and expensive botique stores, but back then I was small (and cute) enough to wrangle baked goods from the fancy upmarket bakeries, lollies from the confectioner down the road, and and milk fluffy's from cafe owners.
It was a nice reminder of simpler times, I think. But I'm glad that Auckland still has these kind of open-air markets. And that we spent the rest of the weekend eating the goodies we brought back? Totally. Brilliant. :)