Tuesday, 9 December 2008


Me and horsey prawn snuck away for a quick lunch today and we settled on the Wellesley Club cnr of McGinnity and Ballance St. It was once a very superior Gentleman's Club in its day but like many Gentlemen's Clubs it went broke so now its sort of a boutique hotel, the favourite haunt of spooks, a few wide boy lawyers, an unofficial mess for defence types, a popular secondee sleepover and haven for some very well paid Corrections contractors. Anyway when I first arrived in Wellington it was a good place to go for a drink - and a gossip. A Wellington Institution.However the food was always average. You could be a club member and get a discount on services so that made it a bit more palatable.
I had to park up there one nite and the rooms are great examples of olde worlde charm. The bar and dining rooms are a delight. The bar walls are studded with sword fish, real buffalo and boars heads and rumour has it some of the art works gracing the walls are national treasures.

So today was a blast from the past but quite frankly lunch mirrored an episode from Faulty Towers. The waitperson was a she - and she was unfailingly polite but bloody useless. The Wellesley touts itself as a business lunch spot so service should be business like. First up the glasses were filthy - not just spotty - filthy. We noticed the offending grime while waitwoman was pouring a very generous half glass tasting - so we asked for new glasses - We waited 5 mins. out came two new glasses and the same bottle less the half glass ( it was also sold by the glass so i reckoned we should have had a new bottle). We suggested then that the waitwoman should bring a menu. We didn't see her for 20 mins. When she finally arrived we ordered the steak and chips med rare and it came out pretty quickly and it was good- a bog standard meal of frittes, salad and a big new york cut sirloin done med rare. But sadly it was floating in a thin gravy that tasted suspiciously of Maggi gravy stock. Ok at $20 bucks but at $29 - not good enough.
Anyway for what its worth it has a lovely atmosphere, its over priced and the waitwoman needs to go back to waitwoman skool.
Shame really, with a bit of work it could be one of the great lunch venues of Wellington.

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