Iconic Christchurch store Terra Viva is a veritable mecca of all things Christmas, between the garden centre, the inspiring home and giftwares department, and the fully-licensed café. Metropol catches up with Terra Viva’s effervescent Peter Worsp about what we can expect to see decking the halls in 2018.
Terra Viva Home & Garden has made a quantum leap from the ‘good old days’ when Christmas decorations were all about Father Christmas and always in red velvet and gold. Contemporary Christmas decorations have a great New Zealand look and, because they don’t have a strongly specific Christmas design, they’re multi-purpose and can be used all year round. There’s a definite move away from the short annual outing for three weeks at Christmas – makes a lot more sense!
Even the Christmas trees themselves are quite different, with LED/seed lights, and the most popular line is the white or black stemmed lit trees which give a simply superb look all year round. Combine the soft glow with candles and tealights, and double the effect by placing them in front of a mirror. LED/seed lights/fairy lights are the quick and easy way to create a festive glow, so coil them into glass vases with green foliage, or artificial flowers, and there’s an instant table decoration. A small wreath of foliage around each jar, artificial or real, adds the finishing touch.
The contemporary colour themes focus on soft mossy greens, greys, natural wood, cream, vintage-effect paint finishes with silver or glittering glass to enhance and contrast. The stars this year are the appealing little felted unicorns, mice and dogs dressed in ballerina outfits – little skirts etc – along with the ceramic animals. Their cuteness appeals strongly to children, so use them all year round in shadow boxes.
If you’re heading off to the bach for Christmas, check out the strong New Zealand coastal theme with shell hangings, and shell/bead/pearl cones for table centrepieces – these are decorations that will still look the part long after the festive season is over.
With a stunning view of Conical Hill, an outstanding menu and a selection of incredible beverages to choose from, it’s no surprise that everyone is flocking to Salt n Pepper while in Hanmer Springs to retreat and relax.
With options for all tastes, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, there is something special for everyone. Each day of the week has an indulgent menu item to select from. Monday is $15 Taco Boards, Tuesday is House Chicken and Wednesday is the Reef and Beef (a pint of that special beer goes so well with this). On Thursday there is the 1kg of Chilli Mussels which is worth taking a trip from Christchurch for!
The cornucopia of North Canterbury unfolds at Salt n Pepper and everything is not only tasty but fresh.
A cabinet filled with food made fresh and well-made barista coffee with great ambient surroundings and friendly staff – it’s your oasis if you want to take a break for a bit. Owners Brendon and Katrina hand-pick everything they use to make sure the delights of local produce arrive on your plate to please your palate. They take great pride in making your visit to Salt n Pepper a pleasurable one, so make sure you let them know if you need anything special.
Open 7am to 9pm and fully licensed for beer and wine, put Salt n Pepper on your itinerary for a visit to the thermal wonderland that is Hanmer Springs.
Take your break overlooking the duck pond at Boulder Point Precinct, 8 Chisholm Crescent.
With a high standard of service and fabulous food, Savoire Café & Wine Bar is an institution in Merivale and is now looking better than ever after a recent refurbishment.
New additions have been added to the menu complementing the ever-popular Eggs Benedict, Corn Fritter Stack and Antipasto Platters. Everything is made on site by a chef who really cares about quality.
Friendly staff will make your visit an enjoyable one, whether you are indulging in a high tea or enjoying a cold beverage with friends. It’s fully licensed, serving beer and wine and the Burton’s coffee is second to none. Dine in or out in the courtyard.
Function bookings are now being taken and talk to the staff about opening early to accommodate work parties.
Located next to JDV, visit the Facebook page, www.savoirecafe.co.nz or phone 03 355 5645.
Universo Brasserie & Bar’s new owners Madlen and Wayne Shaw are passionate about great food and impeccable service so it’s no wonder they couldn’t stay out of the hospitality industry for long.
After a “few months off” in Europe, the couple say they are delighted to have found “the perfect opportunity” in Christchurch again.
The Shaws started Addington’s The Pedal Pusher gastropub in 2012 and Rolleston’s The Pedal Pusher in 2017. They also owned central city café, Therapy and have previously both worked on cruise ships. Wayne says he is excited about the menu that Universo will offer, which is reminiscent of the food he prepared while working on luxury yachts.
Madlen says she is looking forward to being “front of house”, making sure Universo customers enjoy their food and the experience.
Retaining most of the staff, including head chef Mark Wilson, it’s business as usual at Universo however, Madlen says there are a few exciting new things happening – including the introduction of a brunch service and quick lunch menu. “We will now open at 9am, seven days a week, so that customers can enjoy our new breakfast menu. “We will also be introducing live music during weekends and offering cabinet food, so that you can buy a sandwich or salad to go.”
Madlen says they will be keeping a few of the restaurant’s signature dishes like the Yorkshire Pudding and Lamb Shoulder dishes, but are also introducing more fresh, seasonal produce from the Canterbury region. “Visitors want to taste locally sourced produce when they come to Canterbury and that’s what we will give them.” In the next few months, Madlen and Wayne will be focusing on building up their staff and attracting customers back. “This restaurant is only a year old and was very successful until just a short time ago. We want to restore that quickly and get on with growing a fantastic destination for Christchurch locals and visitors,” Madlen says.
Universo is located beside the Christchurch Art Gallery and has the support of the Christchurch City Council. Mary Richardson, Christchurch City Council’s General Manager Citizens and Community says, “Universo has become an important part of the gallery experience. We’re excited to see this continue under Madlen and Wayne’s ownership, as they respond to the needs of our daily gallery-goers. “They bring with them a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and will complement what our gallery has to offer.”
Take high quality ingredients, add in an experienced baker and chef, mix in a passion for producingtasty traditional fare and you have Fork in Fresh in Rolleston.
There’s a demand for good food,” Fork in Fresh owner Angela Morrison says. “For us it’s all about using local products and producing traditional tasting food. We use butter pastry and only the best ingredients. We may pay more for it but when it comes down to it, it’s all about the taste rather than the cost.”
Working alongside her pastry chef and baker husband Luke Leis, Angela herself is an experienced chef. The couple formerly ran a bakery/café in Palm Beach on the Gold Coast but moved back to New Zealand after their twins (now teenagers) were born. While Angela admits running a business now is “a completely new ball game due to social media” she says providing customers the best in service and product remains the same.
“We can cater to any dietary needs and there’s not much we can’t do if we put our heads together.” From donut and meringue towers, cakes to fresh baked bread, gingerbread houses to pies, Fork in Fresh does it all. “We like a challenge and are good at everything,” Angela laughs. For scrumptious fare head to the Facebook page or pop into the shop at 855 Jones Road, Rolleston.
Phone them on 0274 225 379. Open Monday to Friday from 5am to 4pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Walking into Silva Spoon Café on a dank wet Wednesday was like walking into brilliant sunshine.
This new café on Riccarton Road has a natural airy brightness enhanced by the Scandi-meets-Kiwi aesthetic provided by the colourful upholstery, use of blonde wood, and the cast iron frame suspended from the ceiling and woven with ivy. Hanging antique silver spoons add a pretty and delicate humour, playing on the name of owner Astrid Silva. The delectable cabinet selection is made on site, and is complemented by the all-day brunch and lunch menu, with vegetarian and gluten free options.
Healthy choices are catered for with fresh salads made daily and a variety of tempting smoothies. Most importantly the coffee is top notch and Astrid says they are “seeing customers come back time and time again for the great coffee” which is supplied by Gravity.
The children’s shoe store adjoining the café is also family owned and with this in mind Astrid has ensured there are children’s options both in the cabinet and menu food, while the baristas are a dab hand with a fluffy.
This spacious café welcomes bookings, can easily accommodate large groups and offers catering as well.
The location is handy: this feel-good café at 70 Riccarton Road is set back from Riccarton Road and close to Harakeke Street near the petrol station, with ample parking front and rear. It is open 7am to 3.30pm on weekdays and 8am to 3pm at weekends and the electronic loyalty card system accrues points that can be used on any items in the café.
Bodycore Gym is so much more than a fitness centre – it’s a community hub, where kindness and compassion are valued, and ordinary people aspire to reach their potential.
Combining a café and a supplement shop, the newly opened 24/7 gym on Battersea St in Sydenham provides an inspirational and uplifting setting to put the fun back into getting fit and achieving your goals. “We’re bringing ‘old school’ back, by creating an environment completely different to the common chain gyms, which are quite intimidating for some people. You don’t just do a class then leave without talking to anyone,” founder Muzz Coates says.
“My personal trainers are handpicked for their personality and knowledge, and the atmosphere here is fun, friendly and vibrant. We focus on making all our members feel like part of the team and not just a number.” The café is a peri-nutrition bar, offering a delicious sugar-free selection of protein-rich options.
“The carrot cake is to die for,” Muzz says, who originally created Bodycore eight years ago as a supplement store on Carlyle Street, with his own range of natural, locally manufactured products and a small fitness studio upstairs.
Due to his ever-growing clientele, he joined forces with co-owner Craig McGuigan to open the new facility. Craig says the focus was on creating a unique, family-friendly centre.
“It’s a space where anyone, from elite athletes or bodybuilders to beginners, co-exist in a supportive environment, mingle and learn from each other.”
Follow Bodycore on Facebook, order supplements online www.bodycore.co.nz or phone 374 6947 for more info.
Purple Weka Café and Bar is one of Christchurch’s best relaxed weekend dining spots, where good fun and great service goes hand in hand with great Kiwi-style breakfasts and lunches.
Located at 48 Fitzgerald Ave, the café has plenty of comfortable indoor and outdoor seating and onsite parking. It offers a stylish ambience and friendly atmosphere, second to none. For Purple Weka, a new season means a tantalising new menu. Start your day by getting stuck into a succulent omelette, which has been described as, “The best omelette ever”.
The eggs benedict or a hearty big breakfast are all part of Purple Wekas’ popular breakfast menu. The mince on toast with a soft poached egg is always an old favourite but there’s so much on the menu at Purple Weka worth exploring. Along with whitebait, there’s a wide variety of new options to sample. As well as traditional cheese rolls try the cheese and corn or cheese and mince rolls – a Central Otago fav!
Purple Weka is also fully licensed, so wine and beer is available. It’s a great location to meet your friends on the weekend too with plenty of parking. All sweet and savoury delicacies are made fresh each day and the kid’s menu means the wee ones’ cravings will be catered for. Speaking of catering, Purple Weka is also able to provide your next work or social function with quality eats and beverages.
For more information, visit
visit the Facebook page or phone 03 366 0258. Open Monday to Friday 6am-4pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am-3pm.
Located in the most idyllic place in Scarborough, Ocean Café and Bar is the perfect destination for family or friends to congregate and enjoy the essence of what sumner is all about.
At 147 Esplanade, next to the clock tower, Ocean Café and Bar is open every day for a la carte breakfast and lunch with baristas to make you a sumptuous coffee or two using L’affare Primo Coffee beans. With the need to reduce plastics entering the ocean, Ocean Café and Bar has been plastic free for the last six months. With so many of its customers having hot drinks in takeaway cups whilst dining in, it is introducing cup cycling by November.
Have you tried the legendary Zucchini and Corn Parmesan Fritters or creamy mushrooms with bacon for breakfast? Then what are you waiting for? Or perhaps lunch menu options like Smashed Pumpkin with Sundried Tomato Stack or Crispy Pork Balls with a crunchy Asian slaw. It’s a menu with variation designed to please, so you can enjoy the beautiful view while savouring something truly unique.
The menu changes three times a year, so there is always something new, including vegetarian options along with bespoke vegan options for those who need them; $5 Friday is a great time to visit, with a selection of tapas, beer and wine. With its friendly atmosphere, great staff and unique vista, Ocean Café and Bar will keep you coming back time and time again to savour something that little bit special. Enjoy.
With Christmas on the horizon and the booking of the all-important Christmas function at the top of your Christmas list, look no further than ‘The Hof’, or for the uninitiated, The Belgian Beer Café Torenhof.
A set Christmas menu is on offer, with prices starting from $45pp, with options like the Christmas platter, with smoked and cured meats, pate, beef and chicken skewers, garlic prawns, dips and crispy garlic bread. Main Fair Cider, thyme and roasted apple turkey breast with candid almond stuffing and cranberry sauce or the pistachio and light mustard crusted salmon steak with citrus butter and spiced orange pickle and accompanied by a dessert is just a taste of what’s on a much bigger menu that must be seen to be appreciated.
Why not head in for the EC Oktoberfest degustation dinner on 26 October with four courses and a wine or beer match for only $59; celebrate Christmas early! With 32 great beers on offer, owner Mark McGuinness says people often start with Stella, then their taste buds grow into bigger bolder flavours like Leffe or Grand Cru which keeps them coming back.
With pre and post-theatre dining when a trip to the Academy Cinema is part of the plan or just a trip in with family or friends, access is easy with 250 carparks. The regular menu retains its revered favourites, steak fries and the mussel aficionado’s choice, but there’s always new options to keep things interesting. So drop in for a pint or two and give ‘The Hof’ your tick of approval.