Touring Wellington with Good As Gold
Owners Ruben Bryant and Ashlee Gentry share their top 10 spots to visit in the capital
One of the coolest couples in Wellington and owners of Good As Gold (GAG), Ruben Bryant and Ashlee Gentry share their favourite spots to grab a cup of coffee, shop for vintage clothes and play in the park with their dog and two boys Rocky and Wolf. Bryant opened Good As Gold in 2004 after returning to New Zealand from working in retail overseas, with Gentry mainly focusing on the distribution side. GAG is now one of the most extensive multibrand stores in the country, with a second store in Auckland opening on Ponsonby Rd last year.
Ruben and Ashlee’s top 10 Wellington spots:
1. Nikau Cafe
This is a double deal because you can eat the best kedgeree ever, soak up the sun in the outside area and then check out an exhibition at the City Gallery, which is in the same building. The setting is crisp, clean and fresh, they source organic and local produce and you cannot go wrong with anything on their menu.
— 101 Wakefield St (at the edge of Civic Square next to the City Gallery). Open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat 8am-4pm, Sun closed.
2. Ohariu Valley
It still surprises us how many people from Wellington have no idea that this area exists. It is a beautiful, rolling hills country farm setting that backs on to the wild shores of Makara beach and is only a 20-minute drive from the city. Ash goes for a lesson or horse trek weekly, if she can. You can also feed the eels in the stream behind the equestrian centre. They are massive and like to be fed ham.
3. Customs Brew Bar
Run by our mates at Coffee Supreme, this place makes the best coffee in Wellington and we love the fit-out. Located in the storefronts of this beautifully designed freemasons’ building are also Bowen Galleries, Precinct 35 homewares and Milk Crate Cafe, so go there.
— 39 Ghuznee St, Te Aro, Wellington. Open Mon to Fri: 7.30am-4pm, Sat & Sun 8.30am-4pm.
4. Khandallah Park, Mount Kaukau
This is our local and favourite park. Ruben’s family home backs on to this native reserve and he has been building forts and exploring there since he was 3. It is really special that we can now share it with our two boys and dog Buster. You can hunt for kura (freshwater crayfish) in the stream, go on endless bush walks and swim in the outdoor summer pool. From the park you can hike up Mt Kaukau (445m above sea level and Wellington’s highest point) and, on a clear day, you can see the whole city to the Cook Strait and South Island beyond. After your hike go to Dunshea’s Deli for a warm-up.
5. Tea Pea
This homewares and gift store is run by our good friends in our local suburban village. They design, source and sell beautiful products from around the world in a colourful and friendly setting. We feel lucky to have such a cool shop within walking distance from our house.
— Khandallah Village, 22 Ganges Rd, Khandallah, Wellington. Open Mon-Thurs 9am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sun closed.
6. Southern Coast
Drive around the Southern Coast and you could see penguins, surfers, seals, nudists, fishing boats, the South Island, cyclists, divers, rock pools, aeroplanes, dogs and giant waves. When your eyes get their fill, stop into Queen Sally’s Diamond Deli (same owners as Maranui and Deluxe cafes) for some of the best salads and wholesome food.
— 200 Queens Drive, Lyall Bay, Wellington. Open Wed-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-4pm, closed Mon-Tues.
7. Commonsense Organics
This is where we buy all our food and feel like it is so much more than a grocery store. It is so nice to take our kids to a supermarket where the staff know their names and will put them to work stacking apples. If you are after a quick bite they have lots of healthy snacks, hot soup in the winter and yummy kombucha.
— 260 Wakefield St. Open Mon-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat-Sun 9am-6pm.
8. Five Boroughs
This is run by two local guys who are fun, chill and can make a mean burger. It is like hanging out at that diner from Happy Days but you can get drunk. What more could you want?
— Corner of Roxburgh and Majoribanks, Mt. Victoria, Wellington. Open daily early until late.
9. Brown & Co
Martin, who runs this shop, has great style. You could go there daily for six months and still find amazing new things. It offers a mad selection of mid-century furniture, design books, vintage homewares, art and everything in between.
— 253 Wakefield St, Wellington. Open Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm.
A secondhand designer and vintage clothing shop that is run by Ruben’s sister, Kate, who has incredible style and a great eye. It’s one of the few stores where we can both shop and leave feeling like we found something special.
— 144 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington. Open Mon-Thurs 10am-6pm, Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12-4pm.