Friday, October 19, 2007

Breakfast at The Brigham, with Jim

I have been intending to post this all week, but I lost my camera for a while. I wasn't worried as I knew it would turn up. And it did. Between the door and the seat in my car. Lucky it didn't fall out!

Last weekend my brother (nickname Jim) came up to Auckland to visit. He was flown in on Friday night and I drove him to Hamilton to meet up with another friend on Sunday. Saturday morning we went out for breakfast.

Now, as much as I love my brother (and I do, very much) this post isn't about his stay. This is mostly because he's not the sort of bloke to have a blog written about him. He's talented, but modest. He's a friendly guy, but this weekend a bit quiet - mostly because staying with me means he has time to relax and not do anything. I get the impression this is rare for Jim. So although Jim is my main character in this post, today I am writing about The Brigham.

The Brigham is a little eatery which used to be known as Serendipity and is nestled away behind some hedges and trees from a busy-ish, rural-ish road. Brigham Creek Road is the 'main drag' driven by most of my work mates as they make their way from Married Quarters in Hobsonville, to the operational Air Force base at Whenuapai. All the same, if you didn't slow down to have a gander at the sign - you wouldn't know The Brigham was there.

It is a quiet little place, possibly once a house, and the gardens are lovely. They hold weddings there. When it was Serendipity, it was one of the best places to go to for an all-day breakfast. The pancakes Jim ordered were a special for the day, now that the place is under different ownership. We sat out on the balcony in the sun and talked and ate at a leisurely pace.

Jim's pancakes with bacon, banana and maple syrup

Now, however, it caters more to midday-meals. I decided to compromise with my meal, and asked for the potato salad to be replaced with hash browns. Mmmmmm.

3 Chicken Kebabs with peanut sauce and potato salad.

I decided to respect Jim's privacy and did not even go so far as to ask to take his photo. Instead I copied the wonderful photographic talent of Merisi, and took a sneaky snapshot of his reflection in the window.

After the meal and some pleasant chatter, we made our way off the balcony and went for a wander through the gardens. But not all the way - it was a wild and untamed wilderness out there and we didn't want to get lost.

Entry to the wilderness

Keeping each other in sight...

Dangerous Swampland

Although there were sections where the garden and grounds catered to different tastes, there never seemed to be a solid border delineating one part of the grounds from another. Through the arch was a path to trees and grass, a dove cote, and plenty of dappled sunlight to wander or picnic within. Or directly outside the 'house' was a little cobbled courtyard with neat little rows of resine chairs and a lectern, waiting for a best man to come along sometime and give his speech. Down the side were rather dainty little citrus bushes. And between the two was the above water feature, which ended at the main grounds. Patrons could opt to eat here and alone, rather than with the others back on the balcony or inside.

We stood at the end of the water feature, and looked out into the lawns and trees, and Jim spotted a dotard*, a lone Pukeko amongst the ducks.

View from the above picnic table

We turned then, and made our way along the arduous jungle track towards the tiny shack, and I couldn't possibly resist taking a photo of that too.

And lastly, just before we went inside to pay our bill and leave forever, I caught side of a meticulously manicured piece of garden, which was within view of more outdoor eating spots.

Beyond - into the real unknown. Notice the top of the tree-fern in the mid ground, it is in a gully!!!

* FOOTNOTE: Word Imps may recognise the term dotard from the Imperfect lineup in September. It was my first entry, which happened to be my first winning entry too! For my definition you'll have to go here.


lorenzothellama said...

What a lovely looking place to go. The food looks good, even to a vegetarian!
I couldn't make head nor tail or your brother's picture in the glass. How many siblings do you have?

Isn't a dotard something from wordimperfect?

I have also just left you a message on Martin's blog. On Lisa's 40th posting, just in case a miracle happens and he changes his posting!

Ju's little sister said...

My brother's reflection appears in the middle-right pane of glass in the door. If you are focussing on the image through the door, you will notice a black square, which is a TV. Jim's face appears overlaid on the TV. He is in profile, looking to the right of the picture.

simon said...

WOW! Great photos and I am sure Merisi would agree!

the scenery looks fab

Maalie said...

I never found anywhere like that when I lived in New Zealand. Maybe I was too busy looking for birds.

Ju's little sister said...

Thanks Simon ;-)

Maalie, The Brigham is out the end of the North Western Motorway in Auckland. :-)

lorenzothellama said...

Well I can see his arms and his wrist watch but there's not much of his face showing.

Ju's little sister said...

Oh well. I did what I could on the day. My camera and my photo skills aren't that amazing.

lorenzothellama said...

They are pretty amazing if you took that photo of the eel!

Martin Stickland said...

Aaah that's nice!

Looks like you had a great day and what better than to spend it with your brother. Are you very close?

The food looks scrummy!


PS Thanks for keeping my blog alive!

Thesaurus Rex said...

Jeez Loueez, you must have been knackered after that day.
I can see the face in the window.
Sometimes I wonder what planet llamas come from.