Guidebook: A Writer's Wellington

Special To The Times

Getting there: Air New Zealand and Qantas offer connecting flights from LAX to Wellington. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $1,380.

Telephones: To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 64 (the country code for New Zealand), 4 (the city code for Wellington) and the local number.

What to see: Katherine Mansfield Birthplace, 25 Tinakori Road; 473-7268. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Admission $2.40; international secondary school students, $1.70. From central city, take the No. 14 bus to Park Street.

Where to stay: In the heart of Mansfield's Thorndon, there's Eight Parliament St., 8 Parliament St.; 499-0808, fax 479-6705, This 1890s former fisherman's cottage operates as a guest house, with three double rooms. Rate $68.

For a touch of luxury, try the Wellesley, 2-8 Maginnity St.; 474-1308, fax 473-1913, This neo-Georgian boutique hotel, with 13 rooms, still functions as a gentlemen's club. Rates $59-$109.

For a more personal experience, try the Booklovers B&B, 123 Pirie St., Mount Victoria; telephone/fax 384-2714, Run by Jane Tolerton, a well-known local author, the graciously restored 1895 villa has four rooms (two with attached bath) and full bookshelves in every room. Doubles $52-$62.

Where to eat: At Days Bay, try the funky new Chocolate Dayz Cafe, 14 Marine Parade; telephone/fax 562-6132. Breakfasts and sandwiches $1.50-$5.50.

For a more elaborate meal, try Nova Bistro in Eastbourne Village, 150 Muritai Road; 562-7297. You can feast on pan-seared scallops served with a lime mayonnaise-laced orange kumara (sweet potato) salad and a puff pastry shell, drizzled with a lemon, lime and cilantro beurre blanc, all for about $13.50.

For a truly memorable night out, go to Icon, at Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand, Cable Street; 801-5300, fax 381-7192,, which offers wonderful views across Wellington Harbor. The menu includes seven-spice duck confit with pasta and truffle, and roasted monkfish medallions, cooked osso buco style, with salmon ravioli and littleneck clams. Three-course dinner for two with wine about $79.

A favorite is Logan Brown, 192 Cuba St.; 801-5114, fax 801-9776,, in a former bank building, whose exquisite interior is matched by its food. Three-course dinner for two with wine $65-$87.

For more information: The Wellington Visitor Information Centre, corner of Wakefield and Victoria streets; 802-4860, fax 802-4863, http://www.wellingtonnz .com. Get a brochure on the new Wellington Writers Walk, which features quotes from 11 writers important to the city--notably Katherine Mansfield--and leads you on a pleasant stroll around the waterfront.

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