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Hippopotamus – Pour Your Art Out High Tea

July 14, 2021

Visa Wellington On a Plate’s gone Out of Place

Every year, the Visa Wellington On a Plate team creates a Festival theme as a starting point for restaurants, eateries and bars taking part in Visa Wellington On a Plate all over the Wellington region. 

This year’s Festival theme is Out of Place (it was kind of appropriate after the year that was 2020, right?), and has seen eateries creating Festival events, Dine Wellington dishes, Garage Project presents Burger Wellington burgers and Cocktail Wellington presented by Tommy’s cocktails, which celebrate the improvisers, the fresh thinkers, the misfits, the rebellious, those who dance to their own tune and go against the grain. It's surprising, challenging, different, new, adventurous, exotic, momentous, delicious and curious.

At Visa Wellington On a Plate it’s become the norm to experience “out of place” during Festival events - where dance, art, performance, aerobics, movies, flower arranging might be as much a part of the culinary experience as the food is. It’s not unusual that a hotel and restaurant, famous for its incredibly extensive art collection is putting on an art-themed Visa Wellington On a Plate event, Pour Your Art Out. However, it is when you are the one creating the art! 

We chatted to QT Wellington and Hippopotamus’ Executive Chef, Jiwon Do, about what to expect when an exquisite high tea meets the world of art, models, sketch pads and striking a pose. 

Hippopotamus’ Executive Chef, Jiwon Do

How did you come up with the concept of Pour Your Art Out? Why did you want to incorporate drawing lessons into the event? 

Pour your Art Out has been a really fun project for me from a personal perspective. My wife has been to a few Sip & Paint events before, and that got me thinking about how we could create an artsy experience at Hippopotamus. After all, QT Wellington is famous for our stunning art collection.

Enter Pour Your Art Out - part life drawing class, part high tea. Combining culinary and visual arts, I knew this would be a great fit for my talented kitchen Picassos at Hippopotamus. Given Visa Wellington on a Plate’s theme, we’ve created an ‘out of place’ experience as Hippopotamus transforms into an artists’ studio.

We’re excited for our guests to start by walking through QT’s gallery-inspired lobby, head up to Hippo for a delicious food and creative outlet as they appreciate the beauty of the human form, and finally walk away with their very own drawings in their hands.

QT Wellington's high tea

Hippopotamus is famous for its beautiful high teas - how will food be woven into the event (how will art and culinary collide) and what can people expect?

The life drawing instruction and high tea offering will flow together for a seamless theatrical experience. As our guests arrive, they’ll be greeted with a glass of crisp bubbles to get their creative juices flowing. Then we’ll move into drawing instruction, with the experts at Strike a Pose starting with the basics like drawing high tea-inspired still life objects at their table. Tea will be served, and topped up throughout the drawing instruction, as our two models – male and female – come out for guests to learn to draw the human form in a series of quick sketches. In true QT fashion, each drawing will incorporate quirky foodie elements.

The High Tea menu is its own work of art, with nine sweet and savoury selections all incorporating the best local ingredients. To satisfy the sweet tooth, think Wellington Chocolate Factory macarons, Fix & Fogg almond butter croissants, and Parrotdog Coconut Hazy pineapple opera cake. On the savoury side, we’ll serve Native Herb crusted tuna pastrami and avocado bruschetta, Pure South beef sliders and more. And of course, a scone made with smoked Pure South Beef Fat and Café de Welly butter.

QT Wellington's art display in the hotel lobby

Tell us a bit about the process of working with artists and planning the event. 

We’ve been collaborating with the drawing instruction experts at Strike a Pose for months, which has been really fun. We’ve got the culinary side of things down, but needed to bring in the artistic pros to really bring the event to life. We’ve Zoomed with Strike a Pose’s Sharlamon Marx all the way on Great Barrier Island to mix in all the culinary quirk of Hippo with the fast-paced and fun drawing lessons.

Do you think you have to be good at art to attend this?  

Absolutely not! The event is open to anyone who loves high tea and has an open mind – from budding art enthusiasts to professional Picassos.

Visa Wellington on a Plate is the perfect time to step outside your comfort zone to eat and learn something new. Come with an empty stomach that’s not squeamish around the human figure.

Tickets for the Pour your Art Out High Tea are still available. Secure your tickets now and get ready to Eat Curious!

Pour your Art Out is one of many festival events celebrating flavours and cultures from overseas. Explore our Out of Place curated list and plan your culinary adventures for Visa Wellington On a Plate this August.