Are you going to Strawberry Fare?

Wellington restaurant Strawberry Fare owner Katy Pearce believes many loyal patrons will miss its popular lemon ...
Strawberry Fare owner Katy Pearce believes many loyal patrons will miss its popular lemon chocolate cheesecake.

Diedre Mussen – Stuff

Desperate dessert diners have emerged in droves to book seats at the soon-to-close Wellington restaurant Strawberry Fare.

The Kent Tce restaurant will shut its doors on May 29, disappointing many loyal sweet-toothed patrons who fear missing their favourite sugar hit.

Owner Katy Pearce was inundated with people booking tables after announcing its impending closure on social media at midday on Tuesday, forcing her to stop taking any further reservations by Tuesday evening.

“It’s been overwhelming. I feel so terrible to say to people we just can’t take any more bookings.”

One of her maitre d’s, Caitlin Barrie, suggested posting news of the closure on the restaurant’s Facebook page, a day after staff were told about it on Monday.

Pearce said she knew it would create huge interest, but agreed with Barrie’s encouraging words: “Let’s go out with a bang”.

Within about eight hours, all their last bookings were full with hundreds of people emailing and phoning in.

“I said to Caitlin afterwards, ‘You got your bang’.”

The art deco restaurant opened in 1992 in a remodelled former funeral parlour and swiftly became a popular institution for its sweet treats.

Pearce said it was a hard decision to close-up shop, but the building needed repairs and she wanted a break to spend more time with her three daughters, aged from 6 to 12 years.

“I’ve worked every day for the last 24 years. That’s what owning your own business is like. It will be so nice for me to have a break.”

Many people had posted messages on social media mourning the inner-city restaurant’s closure, reminiscing about special occasions over favourite desserts, which moved her to tears.

“It’s been really lovely. I haven’t realised how much impact it’s had.”

News of the closure forced the Christchurch-based restaurant of the same name to clarify it was still business as usual.

“Strawberry Fare in Christchurch is not closing. Strawberry Fare in Wellington is closing. Not us,” its Facebook page said.

READ MORE:

* Wellington dessert destination set to close
* Ladies of Wellington: Strawberry Fare

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Looking Back – Dec 2014 & Jan 2015

There have been two events since the last Newsletter. Firstly, we had the December Dinner at Strawberry Fare. What a lovely and convivial evening we had.

The meal was fine, if not brilliant, and the service was excellent. Naturally the desserts were great, which was to be expected of course. Some good feedback re the bubbles provided for the event. Our Treasurer, spent a little time trying to convince one of the staff that she looked like Antonia Prebble, no idea whether it worked or not.
Then on 25 January we had the annual BBQ at Derek Thompson’s. Brilliant day, weather wise, and yet another enjoyable Club event. We would like to see more members attending, it is a fun event.

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December Dinner – Strawberry Fare

strawberry-fareDate: Wednesday 10 December 2014

Time: 7:00 start for seating at 7:30pm

Venue: 25 Kent Terrace, Mt Victoria 6011 – Directions

Cost: Members & guests $50

December Dinner at Strawberry Fare and your committee are turning it on with some bubbles to get those attending into the appropriate festive mood.

We will also be providing some of Clearview Estate’s Sea Red as a dessert wine, seeing as we are going to be at Strawberry Fare.

Numbers are looking OK and we are hoping to be able to arrange two long tables with 20-21 on each table.

We are looking forward to an enjoyable and convivial evening.

Starter

Breads and spreads

Mains

Lamb Shank
With a rich puttanesca sauce, potato mash and honey glazed carrots (gf)

Porterhouse Steak
Served medium rare with potato rosti, Portobello mushroom, blue cheese, horseradish cream and port jus (gf)

Chicken Breast
Pan seared then roasted served with sweet corn puree, potato gnocchi and toasted grana padano

Manuka Smoked Salmon Fillet
Served with a salad of gourmet potato, fennel, green apple and mayonnaise accompanied by a fire roasted capsicum sauce (gf)

Potato Gnocchi
In a Portobello mushroom cream sauce with grana padano

Desserts

Your choice from Strawberry Fare’s amazing selection of desserts

Dinner review

Wow what a night.

On arrival we were provided with a refreshing glass of Cloudy Bay sparkling wine. This gave us time to chat and get reacquainted with fellow members before sitting down to breads and spreads. The salmon spread was obviously the most popular; blink and you miss out. Not to worry, pesto became my favourite.

The time between courses allowed members to share each others fine wines and do what we usually don’t have time for in our normal tastings – relax and talk.

One of a large number of fantastic desserts

The mains were great – flavoursome, well presented, and filling. We needed the time between courses to make room for dessert.

Impressive was an understatement of dessert. Whether your taste was for berry, chocolate, sorbets, fruit, nuts, citrus, ice cream or cheese, there was something for everyone; mouth-watering and beautifully presented.

Strawberry Fare has changed very little since I was last there more than 10 years ago. It’s a place where you can sit and have a real conversation without needing to talk over others to be heard with very friendly and extremely attentive staff. It won’t take me another 10 years before I’ll be back.

Well done guys and gals.

Cheers Steve

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Looking Forward – December Dinner – Strawberry Fare

strawberry-fareThe Door price for this event will be $50 per head.

This is the last time you are likely to have a great night out at this price. That’s because the club is subsidising each meal and the pre-dinner bubbles.

Bubbles will be provided upon arrival and maybe a sticky later.

Start time is 7 for seating at 7:30pm, 10 December.

So show your support by filling out the payment advice form and either pay online or bring the form with you when you come to the November tasting. Looking forward to a good attendance.

Your committee very much appreciate Strawberry Fare coming to the rescue after other arrangements fell through.

Starter

Breads and spreads

Mains

Lamb Shank
With a rich puttanesca sauce, potato mash and honey glazed carrots (gf)

Porterhouse Steak
Served medium rare with potato rosti, Portobello mushroom, blue cheese, horseradish cream and port jus (gf)

Chicken Breast
Pan seared then roasted served with sweet corn puree, potato gnocchi and toasted grana padano

Manuka Smoked Salmon Fillet
Served with a salad of gourmet potato, fennel, green apple and mayonnaise accompanied by a fire roasted capsicum sauce (gf)

Potato Gnocchi
In a Portobello mushroom cream sauce with grana padano

Desserts

Your choice from Strawberry Fare’s amazing selection of desserts

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From the Editor – Nov 2014

Comment re “In the News”

Interesting that only a week after Jono Hamlet spoke at our October meeting the item included on this site ‘In the News – Oct 2014‘ appeared in the Dominion Post. Clearly organic production is getting increasing attention. See Organic Vineyards & Wineries.

December Dinner

strawberry-fareLooking forward our December dinner at Strawberry Fare, and a great price has been negotiated.

Download the payment advice form for the November and December events. Either pay online or bring the form with you when you come to the November tasting.

We are anticipating the usual strong support for these events.

Cheers

Robin Semmens, Editor

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