Motorcycling in his blood: First European

First European owner Andy Burchall built his first motorcycle when he was 15 years old, using a box of old parts he bought.


First European


“Mum and dad were pretty convinced I would never get it going, but I put it together and it worked,” he says. “And then I used to sneak out to ride it.” Motorcycling is in his blood. “It’s addictive – it’s like a disease that you either have or you don’t – and if you’ve got it, you can’t get rid of it.”

With 25 years in the motor trade, Andy is an engineer by profession. His passion for the industry is reflected in First European, which he took over five years ago with his wife, Teresa. Transforming it into a centric hub for motorcycle enthusiasts, they added Throttlestop Coffee Club upstairs to create a social space for customers, offering fresh barista-made coffees, food and comfortable seating.

“We wanted to provide more of a community atmosphere, rather than just a bike shop – have a coffee and chat while your bike is being serviced. Many of our regulars have made friends here and we also often provide a range of events for our customers, including ‘shop rides’ every third Saturday of the month.” The expert team are the official sales and servicing agents for Royal Enfield, MV Agusta, Benelli, and SWM motorcycles. From customised, retro and classic bikes, to used bikes, scooters and superbikes, First European also offers a wide range of clothing and accessories.


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Automotive adrenalin pump: Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

The man out for a walk came up to me and asked, “wow, how many houses is this thing worth?” The ‘thing’ in question was this 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder.


Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder


When the Gallardo was launched in 2004, it was Lamborghini’s first small car since the 1980s’ Jalpa. It would go on to become Lamborghini’s most popular car ever, with 14,022 being produced before production ended in 2013. Countless special variants also evolved, such as the gorgeous open-top Spyder. Designed by Belgian, Luc Donckerwolke, the Gallardo’s lines still look crisp and modern. Sure, there are no scissor doors, but the Gallardo still makes for a stunning looking piece of kit. Sitting inside, you are surrounded by a sumptuous cabin. Plus, the rampaging bull on the steering wheel is a stark reminder of Taurean company founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini.

As the Gallardo was made under Audi ownership, the switches and buttons for the centre console all come from the A8. Everything has a quality feel to it, from the sat nav to air con. Though in the Spyder, the best air con comes from putting the roof down.
Twenty seconds later, with the roof stowed away behind you, it’s time to hit the blacktop. Turn key and the 5.0-litre V10 with 382kW, awakens. This beating heart, coupled with either a six-speed open gated manual, or paddle shift E-Gear gearbox, allows the Gallardo to reach the national limit in 4.3 seconds and see the far side of 315 km/h flat out.

The Gallardo Spyder is still a true automotive adrenalin pump, thanks to acceleration that would re-arrange your fillings, gorgeous looks and that amazing spine-tingling noise. A grand day out it certainly was.



Electrifying Performance: Infinity

Motoring writer Nicholas Henare dishes the automotive dirt on Infinity, a sub-brand of Nissan, and this year’s electrifying range of performance vehicles.






Following on from a range of electric vehicles rolling out at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Infiniti Prototype 10 recaptures the spirit of early speedsters for an era of electrified performance. The concept represents a physical manifestation of Infiniti’s creative and ambitious plans.  Yet again this year’s range of prototypes have a familiar early 1900s feel to the vehicle, with a flash back to those incredibly well styled vehicles of the 1920s and 30s.
As a brand with technological innovation at its core, electrification is a natural next step for Infiniti. From 2021, every new Infinity model will be electrified, featuring hybrid or battery electric technology to enhance performance. The Prototype 10 provides a window into this desire to deliver driving pleasure, thrilling performance and range confidence. With prototypes built to please the eye as well as the desire to see innovation in driving requirements, Infiniti has produced something to rival even the purest of luxury brands on show at Concours d’Elegance.
“We all feel a certain degree of passion when talking about roadsters and speedsters,” Infiniti President Roland Krueger says. “We are equally passionate about the potential that electrification holds for the future of our cars – a daring speedster is the perfect study for our designers to explore an electrified future and ignite such excitement.”






The new concept follows two other design studies revealed by the company in the last 12 months: the Prototype 9 – first revealed in 2017 – and the Infiniti Q Inspiration concept, unveiled at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Where Prototype 9 – a sleek, open-wheeled, electric retro-roadster – imagined an alternative history for Infiniti, the Prototype 10 is resolutely focused on what the future holds for the brand. Utterly daring in its bold execution, the new concept is inspired by the spirit of early speedsters, its form and function evoking driving pleasure and thrilling performance.

“The Infinity Prototype 10 echoes the layout and design of early speedsters,” Executive Design Director for the brand Karim Habib says.  “This period saw the creation of some of the most evocative car designs of all time, where power was celebrated through high-powered single-seat competition cars. Our new concept speaks of an electrified future, something which is reflected in its form and details. It is appropriate that we found inspiration in an optimistic bygone era in which cars were characterised by the simple love of driving.”

A future vision realised by Infinity designers, Prototype 10 is informed by some of the most iconic car designs of all time. Its cool, clean forward looking design is further complemented by its electrical performance.
It seems that this year’s prototypes have that all familiar feel and it really is, back to the future.





Garden Goals

The second half of the year is ramping up and it’s the time of the year where we start to appreciate our exterior spaces so much more. Creating the perfect area outside can make this experience all the more palatable.


Garden Goals


In the spirit of spring’s new beginnings, we have put together a 2018 to-do list of areas the professionals can help ensure you have a great 2019. First up when embarking on your landscaping journey, consider what you want from your space. This might be an area for entertaining where you can host BBQs and outdoor dinner parties, a space for the kids to play, a spot you can relax in over the weekend, or if your garden is on the micro side of size, it might simply be about maximising the space available.

Engage a quality landscaping company to get the gardens looking tip top and you may find there’s less maintenance and upkeep when things are done right the first time. Make a plan and create a budget to get there. Engage your landscaping experts early, as they will know what is achievable and be able to assist with the planning stage.


Consider what you want from your space


A new deck is an easy and affordable way to extend your living spaces that will last for years. Likewise, paving too is a quick and easy way to dress up a tired space. Whether you want to create a special focal point, extend your living space or even just add a small pathway, you can get creative with the shape, size and pattern.



The essence of elegance: Ellen Estate

For the best advice in home décor, look no further than Michelle Laming of Ellen Estate Interior Design.


Ellen Estate


Whether a new build, a renovation, a one room makeover, or a complete house overhaul, Michelle offers not only her extensive consultancy expertise, but also provides clients the opportunity to explore the finest European housewares from her showroom at 107 Abberley Crescent (beside Luxe Hairdressers).

In the last 25 years, Michelle has travelled frequently to prestigious décor fairs Maison & Objet, in Paris, and the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, in Milan. Because of this, clients can be assured everything in their home, from cutlery, dinnerware, dining and living room ware, through to bedroom and bathroom ware, is the epitome of à la mode.

Register at the showroom to go into the draw to win a Portugal Linen Sheet and Pillowcase Set worth more than $700.


For more information, phone 027 369 7639 or visit


A gallery so grand: Windsor Gallery

For one hundred years plus, Windsor Gallery, 386 St Asaph Street, has transformed our art through its exquisite framing and has supported emerging and established artists through exhibitions in its contemporary gallery.


Windsor Gallery


Owners Tracey and Philip Wynands are proud to present exhibition Kiss Gustav by New York photographic artist Lisa Powers. Inspired by Gustav Klimt, Lisa’s style is described as “enigmatic with a slightly surreal narrative”.  Co-exhibiting with Lisa is artist Wilhelmus Ruifrok; his exhibition, Inline Form, deals with abstract realities. The exhibition finishes Saturday October 13, but some Powers and Ruifrok works will still be exhibited after this date.

Other artists regularly represented are: Andris Apse, Philip Beadle, John Burns, Keith Morant, Kees Bruin, sculptor Anneke Bester, and charcoal artist Mehrdad Tahan, to name a few. “We showcase contemporary artists of all genres,” Tracey says. “It’s a rich mix of over 100 magnificent works!”




Say Hello to Yellow

It’s the divisive hue of the colour wheel; in nature, when paired with black, yellow means danger; in Japan it represents courage; in Russia, a psychiatric hospital is known as a ‘yellow house’; it is also the colour of sunshine, happiness and sunflowers.


Say Hello to Yellow


Yet it seems this happy hue has knocked millennial pink of its popularity perch and this bright and punchy new player is vying for power. Gen Z Yellow is the latest buzz word in home décor circles. While yellow can be a polarising colour to wear, anything on the spectrum from lemon to mustard—which is where Gen Z Yellow lies—tends to be pretty easy to work with when it comes to design. After all, you don’t have immovable facets such as complexions to work with when it comes to our living spaces.

As such, it’s now embraced as energetic but equally relaxing; an ally to homes that want to generate an authentic aura of warmth. Tread carefully, for risk of it dominating and overwhelming the space. Start with the accents – curtains, lighting, cushions, throws and even rugs are great places to start. Say hello to yellow, the hottest colour of the summer, by welcoming a splash of sunshine into your home.


Say Hello to Yellow
Say Hello to Yellow
Say Hello to Yellow
Say Hello to Yellow



Sweet Seats

Few design trends are as useful as they are beautiful, but seats are increasingly blurring the lines between form and function, with our living spaces reaping the beautiful rewards.


Sweet Seats


With their purposeful role in our homes, they are in the prime position to make a design statement. So whether you’re in store for a comfy couch or some bentwood beauties, we’ve got the low-down on the sweetest seats around.  Although a lifelong member of the practicality party, dining chairs are getting a cool 2019 makeover. We’re increasingly seeing more creativity injected into their design, like the beautiful Venus Chairs by Pillow Talk, pictured.  When it comes to couches, it seems bigger is better, with plump silhouettes and over-sized chaise sectionals all the rage right now, which is a plus when it comes to comfort.

Curvy, rounded edges are having a serious moment in 2018. Traditional ’70s colours such as mustard, sage and deep jewel tones lend a healthy dose of vintage flair, or keep your finger on the contemporary pulse with of-the-moment shades like cobalt blue or millennial pink. Luxe materials such as velvet are making their luxurious mark.  If it’s the mid-century aesthetic you’re after, fear not – this art deco-inspired trend isn’t going anywhere soon. This look is all about opulence and glamour, so look for tuxedo or cabriole-style sofas.

Its modern incarnation incorporates many of the same design motifs as when it first hit the style scene in the 20s. Expect glossy blacks, shiny chrome, deep, tonal hues of purples and reds, bold geometric shapes, funky animal skins and ornate detailing.



Architectural Mystery: Murray Hewitt Joinery

There are few architectural details that can give a home a sense of mystery and wonder like a secret door leading to a hidden room.


Murray Hewitt Joinery


If you’ve ever wanted a private hideaway, extra secure storage for valuables, or an almost magical escape to another world, a hidden room is sure to amaze and inspire. One local Christchurch builder renovating his home had just such a whim for a hidden room – actually a hidden office/workroom. The most common mechanism for accessing a hidden room is via a bookcase that conceals a secret door. That’s where Murray Hewitt Joinery came into the story.

“The client supplied us with a whole lot of recycled rimu and asked us to turn a picture of a bookcase cum door from the Internet into practical reality,” Murray Hewitt says. “Creative engineering certainly came into play as we scratched our heads about how to create the required pivot in the bookcase so it would open as a door, but when shut would look like a single unit. It was a fascinating challenge – something different and out of the ordinary.”

The team at Murray Hewitt Joinery really enjoys the ‘out of the ordinary’. “They had fun working out the complex design then cleaning up any defects in the recycled timber, laminating it and adding details such as architraves to the bookcase itself to fit in with the style of the home. We definitely can turn our hands to anything and everything.”



Located at 25A Lunns Road, phone 03 343 0360 or email See the extensive joinery portfolio on


New look kitchens: Dream Doors Christchurch

Dream Doors Christchurch can transform the hub of your home, providing a new look without the new kitchen price.


Dream Doors Christchurch


Owner Adrian Kay leads a dedicated team of four skilled tradesmen, specialising in kitchen renovation/remodelling. “Our kitchen facelifts are what sets us apart,” he says. “We retain the bones of the kitchen and replace the doors, drawer fronts and benchtops for a completely new look.”

The service will not only breathe new life into your kitchen and provide a stunning result with the perfect blend of aesthetics and functionality, but it also saves homeowners thousands of dollars. Using locally sourced materials, it’s also a more eco-friendly option, with as much of the existing kitchen re-used as possible.  Adrian established Dream Doors Christchurch six years ago. “I wanted to get involved in the rebuild, to help people get back on their feet and this was a small way to give back.”

The business offers a complete package and a bespoke service, guiding the customer through each stage of the process, from design to installation. Everything is taken care of – from arranging the electrician and plumber, to splashbacks and appliances.
A free upgrade to the latest melamine door technology – laser edging – is currently available, so now is a good time to create your dream kitchen. “Laser edging gives a much cleaner, crisper look. We have a full range of door styles and patterns, and benchtops for any budget and look you’re trying to achieve.”


Located in Wigram, phone 03 338 1081 or email for a free consultation