Sweet or savoury? Everyone has an opinion, but it’s fair to say most people love a good dessert. Even at the end of a big meal, it can be difficult to resist the dessert menu (“I’ll just have a look but I couldn’t manage anything else… actually, that chocolate tart sounds too good to pass on.”) And that’s before the coffees…
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Wellington has some genuinely magnificent restaurants, cake shops and bakeries, each serving quality desserts for those with a sweet tooth. Some desserts are the epitome of indulgence, while others are a refreshing end to a meal. Culture Trip concentrates on some Wellington eateries that offer some of the most memorable desserts on various budgets. One thing’s for certain – customers will be back for more of the sugary delights.
An Italian-inspired restaurant on Cuba Street, Ombra is open seven days a week from 11.30am until late and serves authentic fare at decent prices. All desserts are less than 13 New Zealand (£6.40), with four coming in at under the $10 (£4.90) mark. Quality and great value combine effortlessly at Ombra, which gains its imagination from the bacari (wine bars and eateries) of Venice. The traditional tiramisu is a staple for Wellingtonians looking for a taste of Italy, but opt for the Whittakers chocolate volcano with vanilla gelato for a pleasurable and satisfying end to the meal.
Sweet Bakery and Cakery
Not a restaurant, but that’s okay, because Sweet Bakery has two Wellington locations and the cakes at both are legendary. The Cake & Coffee shop is at 149 Karori Road two kilometres (1.25 miles) from the city centre, while the Cakes & Shakes venue is on 268 Cuba Street in Te Aro. They are both open all week except Mondays, and sell great drinks to accompany the delectable treats. This is the company to check out for anyone with a cake fetish. There are genuinely too many designs and flavours to whittle down, but the peanut butter chocolate cake and the classic raspberry and white chocolate cakes aren’t without legions of fans.
Kent Terrace runs from the Basin Reserve to the west of Te Aro in Mount Victoria. Here is the home of Capitol, a mid-high budget restaurant famed for its expert cooking of classic dishes. The desserts are no-nonsense and smack of satisfaction. Vanilla cheesecake with fresh cherries is always going to be a winner, and its competitors include boozy apricot and Sauternes cake with whipped coconut cream, and gooey chocolate pudding with crème fraîche. For something out of the ordinary, try the cheesy Mt Eliza Blue Monkey toast with quince paste.
Hippopotamus (QT Hotels)
Boutique hotel chain QT has venues across Australia and New Zealand, and Wellington’s Hippopotamus on Cable Street near the Harbourside Market is a great example of a restaurant that doesn’t follow the crowd. It has a flamboyant Parisian décor that just screams sophistication, complete with chandeliers and peacocks (not live). Their desserts are to die for; try the deconstructed ginger cheesecake, linseed and date pudding, or, if feeling extra extravagant, the ‘L’extraordinaire’ – pamu deer milk custard, otaki honeycomb, manuka honey jelly, sablé (shortbread cookie), kawakawa opaline (herbal plant), quince gel and thyme oil. Now there’s a mouthful that’ll live long in the memory.
Deriving its name for the smoke stack on a ship’s galley, Charley Noble is a class restaurant in Post Office Square. It’s headed up by head chef Philipp Doerr, and the menu speaks for itself. Though the mains are delectable, the dessert menu shines in its own right. For a luxurious end to a meal, opt for the dark chocolate and Kahula sponge – it’s accompanied with coconut anglaise and a hazelnut caramel tuile. Other delights include mixed berry pavlova, ginger and lemon cheesecake and a trio of fruit sorbets – delicious!
Floriditas is found on lively Cuba Street (number 161) and uses seasonal products to bring the very best in tasty light bites and scrumptious dinners. Go here to taste the fabled crostata – a type of Italian baked tart or pie, simply known as coppi in Naples and having several variations throughout Italy. At Floriditas, there may be a different flavour to try, but if the peach and lemon verbena crostata with vanilla bean ice cream is available, this is the one to go for.
A little leftfield, maybe, but the desserts at Monsoon Poon are simply awesome. Located off Courtenay Place on Blair Street in Te Aro, this spot has tempting puds on offer including lime, vanilla and coconut pannacotta, cardamom and flaming orange crème brûlée and smashed pavlova. For something a little more Asian-themed, try the Malaysian sago pudding, consisting of sago pearls set in coconut cream and finished off with palm sugar syrup. All desserts are just $10 (£4.90) and can be made gluten- and/or nut-free. Dessert cocktails are also available if sugar and alcohol hits are needed.
Crepes a Go Go
On Manners Street in Te Aro is Crepes a Go Go, specialising in – you guessed it – crepes. And they are sublime. With plenty of choice to satisfy even the most gluttonous dessert lovers out there, the most comes in at less than $10 (£4.90) for a seriously yummy bang for your buck. If feeling slightly guilty, go for the Sweet Tooth, consisting of bananas, salted caramel and whipped cream – at least it contains one of the essential five-a-day. They do have a great savoury menu, too, but it’s the deliciously sweet stuff that people flock here for. And there’s a sensational student 10 percent discount – can’t say fairer than that.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.