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Wigram Brewery

Winter tipples: we ask Andy Deuchars what’s brewing this winter at Wigram Brewery?

We recently caught up with Andy Deuchars from Wigram Brewery to discuss some of the company’s fine beers.

Wigram Brewery

With winter upon us, our attention is drawn to those darker brews such as the Czar Imperial Russian Stout, 8.5 percent. A big, black bitter beast.
The red wine of beers that takes your palate on a journey with its mixture of fine components to keep you amused. That end of the night beer, that meal in a bottle.
Can’t you just imagine sitting by a warm fire with some hearty food and a trusty 500ml bottle? Speaking of food, these dark ales go stunningly in dishes such as a hearty venison stew.
The Ace Smokey Porter uses a manuka smoked grain, using Canterbury grown grain of course is perfect for the occasion. The Ace is a robust indigenous Kiwi beast; smooth, mellow, rich and rewarding, it’s pure gold to any bohemian winter slow cook.
Then, of course, the mainstay of Wigram Brewery’s darks, the Dakota Dark; a caramel delight Schwarzbier that’s not too challenging on the tastes but with a beautiful coffee aromatic.
As Andy and I say to the ladies, “don’t be afraid of the dark” and for guys, we always focus on Porters and Stouts in winter, and why shouldn’t we?
When the days are short, and the nights are long it’s time to head for the dark beer. Now is the time to head to Cooking with Gas, The Volstead, Civil and Navel, OGB or head to Southern Dark Fest on Saturday 26 May at 3pm to try this stunning epicurean delight at Wigram Brewery.

Hoon Hay Thai

Best kept oriental secret: Hoon Hay Thai is a must visit for lovers of thai cuisine

Hoon Hay Thai is one of the city’s best kept oriental secrets. Tucked away amongst the bustling shops of Coppell Place, it is the place to be for those after the definitive Thai dining experience.

Hoon Hay Thai

It’s become a local favourite since inception back in 2013, with many regular customers dropping by for lunch or dinner. The restaurant offers takeaway and can deliver, plus if the weather is truly atrocious, the delivery is free.
Their menu is made up of an exciting range of dishes, expertly prepared by Hoon Hay Thai’s team of experienced chefs. Delicious delicacies like Panang Curry and Peanut Sauce with Rice have proved to be the most popular with locals. The staff also create their own entrees which include spring rolls, curry puffs and Thai fish cakes.
Hoon Hay Thai is fully licenced, with a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages on offer and BYO is also catered for. The restaurant can also serve as the ideal venue for special occasions and private or business functions.
For more information or to view Hoon Hay Thai’s complete menu visit the Facebook page or call 03-339 0320 to place an order.

Pink Ribbon High Tea at The george

High tea temptations: stick your pinkies out for the Pink Ribbon high teas at The George

The new Executive Chef of The George, Antony Page, recently filled us in on the new 50 Bistro winter menu heading our way, when the discussion moved to a charity function that runs close to Metropol’s heart – the Pink Ribbon Breakfast, supporting the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.

Pink Ribbon High Tea at The george

The George is getting behind this very worthy cause by throwing a Pink Ribbon High Tea until 15 June. Now you’ll be able to have the opportunity to enjoy something as decadent and delicious as a high tea at The George, while supporting research into breast cancer, with the goal of getting zero deaths from the disease.
You can start your High Tea with a Nautilus Rosé, or tea and coffee. Culinary options on offer include chicken, cranberry and brie sandwiches, carpaccio of beef and horseradish, and smoked salmon and herb cream cheese rolls. Or perhaps you’ll be tempted by the sweet treats like raspberry macaroons, strawberry custard tart or cherry chocolate brownie.
The choices on the menu are extensive yet, with one of Canterbury’s top chefs, Kelly Te Mete, behind the menu design, how could it possibly be anything but stunning? Why not get your BFFs together and make a date from mid-morning till late afternoon by calling The George to book your table?
Any time is a good time for that convivial catch up with the ladies over high tea when you can join with the George in supporting the wonderful endeavour that is the Pink Ribbon Breakfast.

Hanmer Bakery Cafe

Culinary heaven in Hanmer: The Hanmer Bakery Cafe is a culinary hotspot

Chances are, if you’ve been to Hanmer, you would have been to Hanmer Bakery Café. If not, you’re missing out on some of the best quality eats and drinks in town.

Hanmer Bakery Cafe

Located in the heart of Hanmer Village, Hanmer Bakery Café is the definitive culinary hotspot for locals and holiday makers alike.
Open seven days from 6am to 4pm, customers are served delicious food and provided with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating, together with warm and friendly service. It’s the perfect destination for people before or after heading to Hanmer’s thermal pools.
An extensive range of affordable savoury items made on-site means all tastes are catered for and appetites are spoilt for choice. Gourmet pies with flavours like venison and redcurrant; steak, egg, cheese and onion; and even potato-topped beef, mushroom and red wine pies are a good place to start. You can even get a winter warm-up of pumpkin soup and a crusty roll.
Kiwi favourites like lolly cake, ginger crunch and custard squares are on offer too. Plus, a big selection of freshly baked bread, rolls, pastries, homemade donuts, scones and mega chocolate chip cookies are certain to satisfy any craving.
Hot drinks are also a passion and Hanmer Bakery Café serves up Grinders Coffee, alongside a selection of other drinks.
For more information visit or find the café at the Village Shopping Mall, Hanmer Springs.


Seaweed spectacular: the delicious nutritious delights of this oceanic gourmet ingredient

It enjoys a great reputation in the context of its relationship with sushi, and plays an important role in miso soup, but have you ever stopped to consider the real benefits of seaweed?


Incredibly rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, seawood may not be a pretty face but it’s got some incredible street cred when it comes to its nutritional content. Low in calories, research has demonstrated it may help regulate hormones, is a good all round tonic, may improve heart health and provides your daily dose of iodine, a mineral that is critical for healthy thyroid function.
This dense green or brown sea vegetable can be introduced to your regular diet in a number of ways. Nori seaweed sheets can be used to roll sushi, tucked into a wrap or sandwich, cut in to pieces and tossed through a salad or added to pastas, casseroles, stews and soups.
As the Japanese say, ‘Oishii!’ (delicious).

The Villas

Feijoa paste: The Villas recipe series

Feijoa season is here and if you know of a pair of healthy and productive feijoa trees, why not make the most of nature’s bounty? Delicious with cold meats and cheeses, it will keep for months once bottled. Makes 800g.

The Villas


    • 10 ripe medium sized feijoas (about 1kg)
    • 3 cooking apples
    • 600mls water
    • 600g sugar


  1. Remove skin from feijoas, roughly chop fruit and weigh: you need 300g of sugar per 500g of fruit. Put feijoa peel, cores and apples into a pan; cover with water. Cook until soft and mushy – about 10 minutes.
  2. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing firmly to get all the liquid from the apple. In a large heavy bottomed pot cook chopped feijoas in this liquid until soft, then mash. Add sugar to feijoa pulp; stir until dissolved.
  3. Cook slowly on the lowest heat, stirring every 2-3 minutes until thick. When it’s ready (about 2 hours) the spoon should start to meet resistance and the mixture come away from the sides.
  4. Pour while hot into straight sided sterilised jars and seal.
Riverside Reinvention

Riverside reinvention: Oxford Terrace comes alive again

Few developments signify the greater rebuild in the way the bars opening up along the Avon River in the central city do.

Riverside Reinvention

Although the post-quake incarnation of ‘The Strip’ was conceptualised by Antony Gough, it was the building alongside on the corner of Oxford Terrace and Hereford Street purchased and developed by Richard Peebles and Max Bremner which was first off the starting block, with three businesses now raising the bar for nightlife in the city – both in the figurative and literal sense of the expression.

Riverside Reinvention Fat Eddie’s, a popular jazz and blues bar in Sol Square before the tremors, while downstairs two new businesses – upscale restaurant Original Sin and 1930s-themed cocktail bar Kong are taking a big bite out of the hospitality market.
With extensive experience running clubs in both Sydney and New York, Manager Stuart Black is charged with the running of all three venues, while Executive Chef David Nicol utilising ideas from his 20 years working in Europe, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean and the Middle East. As such, cuisine is at the heart of this hospitality trifecta, with pizzas the piece de resistance upstairs at Fat Eddies.

Riverside Reinvention Architectural Designer John Ayers and the clever hand responsible for translating his vision into the art and theming, Dean Johnstone, have created a space of many faces.
Twice the size of its former incarnation, Fat Eddies can accommodate 320 customers within its confines, that feature a dark interior, velvet-covered booth seats, wrought iron, high ceilings and chandeliers all tying this Christchurch institution to American jazz legends and prohibition-era rebellion, layered with slices of New York and New Orleans.
Although original Fat Eddies style pays homage to the scarfie flat, its latest incarnation has given this concept an upmarket makeover, with the use of fabric and colour, hand-blown neon, poster originals, and a 1960s television cabinet, all designed and made by Dean and his Dream It team.
Meanwhile, taking its name from the 1933 movie King Kong, Kong is a swanky cocktail bar, with an art deco feel designed to reflect the glamour of the 1930s. Purposing an escape from the 21st century mundane, John and Dean lose you in a glamourous age when style and panache peaked.

Riverside Reinvention The back of the bar is designed as a radiogram, and the lobby doors are the doors to a 1930’s lift, complete with lit floor indicator dial. Brass beading on furniture, authentic lighting and the general essence of luxe will have you screaming like Fay Wray at closing time.
Seating 140 people, inside and out, Original Sin is a powerful temptation, offering a fine dining experience in the heart of the city, with an immaculate fit out and menu to match.
Although the Christchurch earthquakes dealt the city’s nightlife a serious blow, with iconic hotspot affectionately known as ‘The Strip’ perhaps the biggest casualty, the riverside reinvention is reinvigorating the city’s social scene in no small part.


A spirited encounter: catching up with Glenmorangie/Ardbeg’s director of distilling and whisky creation

Interviewing the director of distilling and whisky creation from Glenmorangie/Ardbeg with the title of Dr was more than slightly intimidating but my fears were put to rest when the rumours of him being more like Dr Emett Brown from ‘Back to the Future’ were right on the money. In town for the biannual Dram Fest, Bill and I caught up at the George Hotel, not for a whisky but an Earl Grey tea.


I asked him how Glenmorangie got to where it is now. “I grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and ran with it. I knew Glenmorangie was something special.”
Part scientist, part artist, Bill’s skills and attitude to whisky is one of experimentation and discovery and he’s here to release the Pios, the 9th release from Glenmorangie’s acclaimed ‘Private Edition’ series, fully matured in ex-American rye whiskey barrels.
Aptly named for the Gaelic word ‘spice’, these barrels impart flavours never before seen in a Glenmorangie – rich and sweet with toffee, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg, with brazil nuts and citrus developing in the finish.
I asked Bill what he was most proud of and I was pleased to hear it was one of my favourite chocolate malt whiskys, the Glenmorangie Signet. “I found the Signet ground breaking. I achieved what I wanted in that. Although I’m seeing other brands making similar styles its still stands out as a great benchmark for me.”
“I see a great future for whisky lovers and, with such a fine event as Dramfest, there’s plenty of room to expand one’s palate.”
With his son and daughter following in his footsteps, there’s a great future too for the Lumsden legacy.

The Good Home

Where everybody knows your name: making yourself comfortable at The Good Home in Ferrymead

Since Cheers first aired in 1982 we’ve been in search of that elusive break from all our worries, wanting to get away. We want go where everybody knows our name.

The Good Home

Finally, thanks to Andy Laloli, owner and hands-on host of The Good Home Ferrymead, we’ve found the holy grail. Open for nine weeks, the restaurant and bar already have a loyal following of regulars and there is plenty of room for more.
Eleven of the individually owned gastropubs are dotted around New Zealand, and each one features a unique fitout. The Good Home Ferrymead celebrates Christchurch’s botanical heritage with living plants oxygenating the central bar area. The spacious interior is separated into individual zones including The Johnnie Walker Whisky Lounge, library area, children’s play section and sheltered courtyard, all united by a common theme reflecting well-appointed batch meets kiwi quarter acre dream, while the Joel Hart mural brings iconic kiwi art to the party.
Andy says there is something new to see every visit, and the library exchanges books. However, the upright piano minus keys always stores the cutlery, and Andy’s favourite spot – the leather chairs by the open fire – won’t be going anywhere soon.
Its bespoke menu of gastropub food is comforting with an interesting twist on children’s specials too, and the drinks range includes classic premium beers, craft beers, fine wines, cocktails, and a fine whisky range to sample. Essentials quiz night, rib night, happy hour and live music are all catered for. So, what are you waiting for? Pass the beernuts Norm!

earl grey tea truffles

Tea inspired truffles: this recipe for Dilmah earl grey tea truffles is divine

Tea is on the rise and not just to be consumed in the most traditional of ways, with tea ‘bars’ popping up globally, the increasing profile of tea cocktails and now it seems we have an increasing appetite for tea as an ingredient, adding a new dimension of taste, texture and flavour to our foods.

earl grey tea truffles


  • 2/3 cup (160ml) thickened cream
  • 40g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons loose Dilmah Exceptional Elegant Earl Grey tea leaves
  • 170g fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
  • 100g feuilletine
  • Murray River pink salt, to decorate


Combine cream and butter in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Add the Elegant Earl Grey tea leaves and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes to infuse.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour hot cream through a fine sieve over the chocolate, pressing with the back of a spoon to squeeze as much cream as possible through. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours or until firm.
Line an oven tray with baking paper. Place the feuilletine in a bowl. Roll a teaspoon of chocolate mixture into balls and roll in the feuilletine to coat. Note, when rolling your truffles, ensure your hands are cool and wear rubber gloves so the truffles don’t melt. Place on the lined tray. Repeat with remaining chocolate mixture. Top truffles with pink salt to serve. Makes 30.