Wandering around downtown Wellington I stumble upon The Old Bank Arcade just off Lambton Quay. I’m drawn to its historic grandeur and the promise of scones. Smith The Grocer spills out into the arcade, and I don’t realise how much room the cafe takes up until I leave. Even inside, the split-level cafe it’s roomy with walls covered in vintage wares and an impressive butcher’s block sits near the front counter. There’s a stack of fresh date and cheese scones, which is the usual scenario as far as scones go in New Zealand. Normally served with butter, I request cream and jam and have low expectations. When my date scone arrives it is big, fresh and rich with dates, but the jam is lousy as it’s just your average portion controlled variety. The cream tastes like a combination of whipped cream and mock cream and goes well with the ensemble making it a worthwhile diversion.
Tea: A good variety of interesting loose-leaf teas served in a small pot.
Overall: A great option if you’re out shopping in central Wellington.
Location: The Old Bank Arcade, 233-237 Lambton Quay, Wellington 6011 Ph: +64 4 473 8591
Reviewed in December, 2014