Not only is Maranui Cafe in a fantasy location, but it's also the most welcoming cafe I have visited in Wellington. Staff are lovely, and the whole place is bubbling with noise from families, groups of friends, and people slurping on Maranui's stellar milkshakes. It's the kind of place where everyone is welcome, including those who have come straight from the beach, still sandy and dripping salt water. Everyone seems in a good mood - and why shouldn't they be, when it's 10am on a Saturday and they're at one of the best brunch cafes in the city?
When I say that Maranui Cafe has the most scrumptous brunches around, I do mean it. Everything we ate (and we ate a huge amount) was totally delicious. I almost never like American-style pancakes, but these were soft and fluffy, with creamy mascapone and banana, and warm stewed cranberries, which were sour and explosive.
Another of the many meals we ate was the Breaker Bay Beans, a spicy and colourful bowl of black beans, chorizo, free-range poached eggs, sour cream and tomato salsa - topped with curls of tortilla. Another excellent brunchy creation, and perfect to warm you up.
And, for someone who thinks that their own avocado toast is pretty amazing, I was a little bit sad to be shown how it should be done. With incredibly juicy grilled tomatoes, the perfect amount of salt and a tuft of basil that was having a tough time in the Wellington coastal 'breeze', this has become my avocado toast to recreate, one day.
And the cakes! If you're thinking they can't taste as pretty as they look, you would be wrong - and happy to be wrong, because it's an incredibly good lemon curd and blueberry friand you're conceding to.
I'll take a break from the food-oggling and saliva-inducing to tell you a little bit more about Maranui Cafe itself (a list of virtues, really). The lovely owners, Bronwyn and Katie, make sure that everyone can eat at their cafe, so there are always plenty of vegan and gluten-free options available. They are also passionate about supporting local producers, so the only beers and wines available are New Zealand-made.
Maranui Cafe is also available for hosting events, from that colourful beachy wedding to a fun work Christmas party. Whatever the reason for your visit, remember to admire those taxidermy fish, and get a bit nostelgic looking at the bright orange rocking camel (yes, they have a camel instead of a horse, to spice things up).
As one of those perfect places where good food meets the glorious outdoors, I recommend that if you visit, take your time to really enjoy that blue view.
Maranui Cafe is open everyday from 7am until 5pm, and there are three things I can guarantee - the food will be great, the view will be gorgeous, and you will feel one hundred percent welcome.
Photography by Kate Seddon