Not to be confused with a children’s day care, the Playhouse Cafe is a hip theatre restaurant & live events venue where we spent our first week on the South Island.
Getting there meant taking a ferry across the Cook Strait from Wellington to Picton.
The Playhouse Cafe is set back in the woods in what seems like the middle of nowhere. But the delicious food, crazy cool architecture & landscaping, and great live acts bring people out to the restaurant almost every night.
While we were there, we drove to a nearby town to hang up event posters, washed scads of dirty dishes, took money at the door for 2 different concerts, and tied labels onto jars of jam (which were sold at the Mapua Easter Market). Drew also made some minor changes to their website.
In our down time, we walked around the property, visited nearby Rabbit Island (sunshine+blanket on the beach+a good book+picnic lunch), hung out with other HelpX-ers in the restaurant or our big dorm-style cabin in the backyard, spent a day at the World of Wearable Arts Museum, and danced the night away to some of the live acts.
A couple of my favorite bands that played were folk/blues/country group The Eastern (lead singer Adam lived in Nashville for a bit and gave me a CD in thanks for working the door for them!) and reggae/soul/funk/hip-hop group Pacha Atma.
The place was packed for both shows (a change from the quiet and sparsely populated lunchtime and afternoon tea).
As has happened with just about every host, we were rather sad to move on after meeting such wonderful people. After the busy Easter weekend, the whole staff (who lived in an apartment attached to the restaurant) and all the current HelpX-ers sat down for a big pizza dinner and played a board game afterward.
One member of the Playhouse family that we especially miss is Wesley the cat, who took quite a liking to Drew, hopping up into his lap whenever we ate on the patio! And you know it has to be a rather special cat, since neither of us are cat people.
View more pictures of the Playhouse Cafe and cute Wesley on Facebook!