So, the burger come-down was a lot bigger and slightly more depressing than I thought it would be. And to be honest, I’ve been grateful for a bit of reprieve. I also was busy writing a recap for the Sunday Star Times, and I wanted to let the official winners be announced before I put in my two cents worth.
And so, with excuses about why it’s taken me over a month to write now aired, herewith my final burger blog recap post. The punters want a winner, and who am I to argue with that? It was my goal in life up until the age of 17 to win Best Actress at the Oscars and make that speech. A blog post full of thank you’s is just going to have to suffice.
The 2nd annual Burger Wellington title was taken out by Cafe Polo’s Polly Burger. And when I said way back at date #6 that we may just have a winner, we did in fact, have a winner. The Polly at Polo was also my pick for best burger. Vegetarian, yes. And totally incredibly delicious? Also yes.
2 runners up
Other notable mentions: the Southern Cross (the chargrilled eggplant and courgette, so good), the Eating House (classically delicious beef with those tasty pickled courgettes), and Plum (a bargain as well as a great combo of flavours). Coco at the Roxy gets best pork, and a notable mention to Martin Bosley’s for being the only seafood burger I tried, and it being awesome.
Because of course, there was that time Stephen Fry stood me up on my birthday there were only 16 dates really. I made the most of it though, and do you know what? They were all really fun. I felt mean having to actually rate them, and my rating system was inconsistently applied. And in some cases I made them rate the date, simply because I didn’t want to. But according to my boss in life there are winners and losers, and thus a winner must be declared.
Hands down, the best date was date #9 - the Girls. Which is funny, and I hope not seen as a cop-out, because it was just my friends and me hanging out, talking smack, laughing, mocking and talking about dates, as well as drinking champagne. It was one of the funnest lunch-turned-huge night out I’ve ever had. And I even nipped home for an hour to write about the amazing night before!
An honourable mention must go to the only date who bought me flowers (my favourite thing in the world just about) the younger man Luke at date #11. What a little charmer, and a future heart-breaker no doubt.
Other highlights included Morgan Spurlock with his confident American charm, James Nesbitt with his hilarious self-deprecating Irish charm and the negroni-fest with my gay friend Steve. And although I gave Lucas a hard time for having to work during our date #7, even that featured elements of enjoyment.
And why was every one fun? I’ve pondered this a lot. The conversations, I think, are what most make dating so fun. I had a blog to write, so made a point to ask questions, but on the whole the conversations flowed and each one was just a fun time out with someone. That nervous-excited energy that comes along with a date also undoubtedly helps. And I suppose once that goes you’re a bit doomed.
A huge thank you must go to every single one of the 17 dates. I’m not sure each of them knew quite what they were getting themselves into, so for that I’ll be eternally grateful. The single dates were all highly entertaining, and the ones with partners were equally fun to get one-on-one for a yarn.
I’ve learned a few valuable lessons. Daily blogging is tough, and if it coincides with a birthday bender weekend then it undoubtedly will fail. In dating and in life, managing ones time is a skill perhaps more of us should value and put time into learning. I’m talking mainly about myself here. Of 17 there were probably 4 profuse apology laden text messages sent along the lines of ‘on my way sorry!’ but I’m working on it!
On dating, I think we can safely assume that honesty is the best policy, that laughter is crucial and it’s extremely important to relax and have fun. No one is expecting you to find the man or woman of your dreams over dinner - just enjoy it for what it is and go from there. Easier said than done, perhaps, but an important lesson nonetheless.
Angela Moriarty of Wellington Tourism did the PR for Visa Wellington on a Plate, and a stellar job at that. She also turned into a chaperone, an official photographer, a 17 dates promotion extraodinaire and quite my pimp. Thank you Angela! The event on the whole, I think most of you will agree, was amazing. Thanks to all the restaurants that hosted, and to those who offered but I couldn’t make it too (including Lembas in Kapiti, the Bay Plaza, the West Plaza and Soi).
Moderation is key, and it wasn’t the burgers it was all the gins. And beers and wine. I nearly exploded towards the end there and two gym sessions in 17 days were nowhere near enough. Lesson learned. But the social lubrication that alcohol provides made for some entertaining dating escapades. But like I said, moderation is key and there is more to dating than eating and drinking. Get creative!
So again, thank you. To Morgan, Edward, Kent, Edward, Cam, Jimmy, Lucas, Heath, Rachel, Laura, Laura, Olivia, Simon, Luke, Roger, Martin, Steve, Ryan and Matt:
YOU WERE ALL AWESOME!
And charming, and funny, and entertaining. And that’s all that needs to be said really.
Thanks also to everyone who offered people up, and Andrew for stepping in as photographer and chaperone on unlucky date #13, and to the B-List of options - some of whom have subsequently hit me up about not making the cut. I’ll happily buy you a burger if you’re still upset.
And post-burgers, the question on most people’s lips - after what was your favourite? was in fact - has it lead to anything? And also - will there be any follow up? Did you meet the man of your dreams? (which I remind you was not the aim of the exercise). That question actually led to quite the psuedo-feminist rant to a gentleman I’d been talking to at some bar in the early hours of Sunday morning after I’d been telling him about my burger dating escapades. And to those who care?
Well you’re just going to have to watch this space.
Thanks for reading.