metropol » old » destinations

Tag: destinations

Melbourne’s calling

Urban therapy: Melbourne’s calling


It’s the holiday time of year. Liesl Johnstone looks at why Melbourne is hot property for your travel itinerary.

 

Melbourne’s calling

 

Almost-summer is as good a time as any for some Aussie urbanity; some Melbourne time. Wake up here, and things could definitely be worse. Straight from New Zealand, there are a couple of extra hours before the alarm, for starters.

It’s becoming a repeatable luxury that I would highly recommend…. to station myself in the midst of a bustling city a few levels up off the street (for views and interest, allowing reasonable airspace from traffic sirens) to observe life, think, walk, read, eat and drink, then sleep and repeat. Did I mention the shopping?

As someone whose cultural norm was unfailingly to ‘get away from it all’ beside the sea or into the mountains whenever possible, city breaks are a new burst of neon. Occasionally there’s something strangely comforting about being in the midst of a large bustling population. Ditto, to walk down the street at night surrounded by teeming humanity; many pedestrians; copious night-cyclists.

Parts of Melbourne’s CBD (and Sydney’s) are not dissimilar to Paris, or any city of millions. The trees and old architecture lend beauty and respectability; the street art and talented (auditioned) buskers

 

Melbourne’s calling

 

proffer whimsy and edginess. Trams are yet another reason to love it here, giving so many such ease of access; a domino to the city’s vibrancy.The State Library of Victoria seems enough proof that Melbourne has a silken lining of learning, heritage and high culture. It’s beautiful architecturally; the fourth most popular library in the world, according to the city’s official visitor guide. The La Trobe Reading Room has that hushed, grandiose feel you get from a mix of history, the patina of quality timber, big airspace and gracious balconies.

Melbourne is a true melting-pot culture and notably one with incredible menus, globally sourced. I conducted a proper scientific straw poll, questioning two local dedicated gastronomic consumers on their favoured city establishments. Checking these out online showed a plethora of Trip-Advisor back-up and hearty recommendations. In a city this size, that equals booking weeks ahead.

If a weekend ‘Spice Journey’ appeals, try booking at Maha, which bills itself as an ‘unrestricted Middle Eastern’ eatery. Duck-fat hummus, preserved lemon, charred chicken kefta, Persian cherries, smoked almonds… plus a truly global range of craft beers and inventive, other-worldly cocktails.

 

Melbourne’s calling

 

Other well-patronised, gloriously centrally-located eateries included Sezar, an Armenian establishment with a geographically extensive wine-list; Tonka, with its ‘clean, punchy flavours’ of modern India, and Taxi Kitchen with its fabulously brash marketing (announcing unequivocally that you’ve arrived) and its inventive Aussie-Asian-fusion menu. The latter is perfect for savouring local fish, meat and a flavour-kaleidoscope of dumplings.

Other favourite haunts include the Peruvian Pastuso, (particularly noteworthy for its fab spirits menu, drawn from all over the globe), and the South-East-Asian Red Spice Road with artfully presented fresh fare and mind-blowing taste hits.

The conclusion? Any cuisine in the world can be found here, lovingly crafted; likewise any fashion. Alternatively, sit riverside on the South-Wharf boardwalk and do nothing. There’s no compunction to consume. Being somewhere different and just thinking is a re-boot too.

 



 

The Rowdy Kitchen

Options galore: The Rowdy Kitchen


Since its opening in May, The Rowdy Kitchen has established itself as a quality dining destination in the northern suburb of Prestons, Christchurch.

 

The Rowdy Kitchen

 

 

Owners Blair and Gabe McIntyre bring a wealth of hospitality experience and have created a relaxed environment, providing a multitude of different dining spaces for customers.  Whether it’s the intimate ‘pinkroom’ (dining for up to 10), or the main dining room with its impressive open kitchen or large deck, The Rowdy Kitchen offers something for everyone.

While the large internal area is cleverly divided with the use of joinery and plants, external areas feature a variety of seating options carefully protected from the elements by louvres and screens. This allows guests to make the most of the northern aspect and lush native plantings surrounding the venue. The interior features light timber finishes, beautiful faux living walls and an on-trend colour palette, creating a trendy atmosphere seldom seen in suburban restaurants and bars.

 

The Rowdy Kitchen

 

Kitchen Manager Tony Smith (formally executive Chef of the Christchurch Parkroyal) and head chef Sharne Thomas have created menus that feature classic dishes with a modern twist executed to consistently high standards. Its open kitchen, with impressive wood fired oven, provides an insight into the demands of operating a busy, modern kitchen. The bar offers 14 beers and ciders on tap including a range of offerings from New Zealand Brewers Monteith’s, Black Dog and Tuatara as well as leading international brands like Heineken, Erdinger and Lagunitas.

 

The Rowdy Kitchen

 

The north-facing deck features live music during the summer months while big screens will ensure you don’t miss any sporting action.
Whether it’s a freshly baked scone or an outstanding coffee, a friendly location for a family dinner, a function venue for your next team event, or a traditional wood fired pizza on the deck, The Rowdy Kitchen delivers warm service and delicious food in an outstanding location.

 



 

North Canterbury

Silly Season Spectacular: North Canterbury


North Canterbury – summer excitement central! Here’s a taster of some pre-Christmas events.

 

North Canterbury

 

Shopping night spectacular
Rangiora Christmas Celebration Night on November 23 from 5:30 to 9:30pm will see most of High Street’s retailers and eateries open late, with market stalls sprinkled along Rangiora’s central High Street. Live music, street performers, Santa himself, and fireworks, will start the silly season off with a spectacular bang!

Rose Magic

Imagine the nation’s finest roses, all bunched together. The National Spring Rose Show and Convention has picked North Canterbury, for the first time, to host its annual event. Rose Magic 2018 is the title and theme this year. Waimakariri Mayor David Ayers opens the show at 2:30pm, Saturday 24 November at the Woodend Community Centre. Door sales are $5, and under-16s free. Take time out to smell the roses! Visit www.nzroses.org.nz.


Christmas comes to Kaiapoi

Kaiapoi Christmas Carnival will transform Williams Street into a festive fantasy-land on Saturday 1 December 9am to 4:30pm. There will be entertainment and attractions from circus acts to artisan craft stalls. The Kaiapoi community market takes over the town centre from 9am to 12pm, then The Santa Parade commences at 1:30pm. It’s a full-on family fun day in this enchanting North Canterbury township.


Festive tree spectacular

The halls of the Waimakariri Council foyer will be decked with creative Christmas trees from Dec 7-20, 9am to 4:30pm. It’s a gold coin donation to enjoy this fundraising event for the Waikuku Surf Life Saving Club and St John.


Rangiora on parade

It just gets bigger every year. Rangiora central is the destination to be from 12pm to 6pm on Sunday December 9. The Christmas Party in the Park is the event to celebrate this flourishing community’s spirit, in Rangiora’s Victoria Park. And find a good spot and get cameras ready at 2pm for The Rangiora Toyota Santa Parade, with more floats than ever before.


Rangiora Christmas at the Races

The ultimate Kiwi Christmas party is coming to Rangiora Racecourse on Sunday 16 December from 10am to 5pm. Awaiting you is thrilling harness racing, live music and awesome hospitality options. Whether you’re looking to entertain friends, family or workmates, there’s a package to suit how you want to celebrate this festive season from general admission through to gazebo and marquee options.


Christmas in Space

The Oxford Christmas Parade takes off on the country town’s Main Street on Sunday December 16 from 12.30pm. This year it’s a Lost in Space theme, with prizes for the best floats and children in fancy dress – so come as your favourite character from this cool cult show. Enquiries contact Lyndsay 027 4190242.

 



 

Lushingtons Garden

A Lush Life: Lushingtons Garden


Lushingtons Garden Gifts & Café is one of Ashburton’s ‘in the know’ pleasures.

 

 Lushingtons Garden

 

The perfect stop for lunch and a stretch of the legs en route to and from Christchurch, it is even better for a day out. Meet friends, have lunch, stroll the garden centre and browse the giftware:; Lushingtons is an oasis of treats for the tummy, home and garden. Delighting the senses and lifting the spirits, once here it’s not easy to leave. Co-owners and sisters Miranda Sinton and Sophie Duff are locals who grew up on a farm in Mayfield. They’ve brought their love of the wholesome and artisan to Lushingtons, where the plants, great food and gorgeous gifts have been nurtured for nine years.

The garden centre is Miranda’s first love. It is award-winning, and known for its beautiful displays. Local and sustainable are watchwords, and the team strives for quality in the plants, most of which are grown in the nursery at Allenton. Sophie’s passion is the café, and together the sisters run the giftware store. The ystore is large and well-stocked with a focus on the desirable French and English Country style.

In the café you’ll find delicious wholesome and homemade cakes and slices, plus full breakfast, lunch and sides menus, which cater for gluten free and vegetarian diners.

 


Find Lushingtons Garden, Gifts & Café at www.lushingtons.co.nz.


 

Get amongst it: Events for North Canterbury


Warm weather means more events for North Canterbury. Here are a few to mark on your calendar.

 

Events for North Canterbury

 

  1. For a fun family day out head along to the Kaiapoi North School Spring Fair taking place on Sunday November 4 from 10am to 2pm. There will be plenty of stalls, entertainment and food on offer. This is a fundraiser for the school so inquiries from stall holders are welcome ($25 per site and $100 per truck). If you are interested please email rebeccaburns13@outlook.com or melaniefriedauer@yahoo.co.nz for further information.

  2. The 8th Annual Open Day at Tūhaitara Coastal Park will be held on November 11, from 10am to 2pm at Woodend Beach Domain. Meet the staff, volunteers, and community members working to rehabilitate Tūhaitara Coastal park. Enjoy an ice cream or coffee and meet a few of the Canterbury mudfish, also known as the kowaro.

  3. Shop until you drop in High Street, Rangiora on November 22 from 5:30pm to 9:30pm at the town’s Christmas Celebration Night. Wander around the quality market stalls while enjoying live music on the council lawn. The main man in the red suit will be present and there will be an amazing fireworks display. To register for a stall visit www.rangiorapromotions.co.nz.


Kjole

Fashionable flair in Hanmer: Kjole


Kjole’s mother and daughter team have bought the polished casual flair of Danish designer labels direct to Hanmer Springs.

 

Kjole

 

It’s been a successful first year for Kjole in the new Boulder Point Precinct. Owner Stephanie Suckling recently returned from Demark where she visited the Panorama Berlin, hailed as Europe’s fashion market place and met with the directors of Kjole’s eight exclusive labels. An emerging trend Stephanie noticed was for organic ranges such as sweatshirts and t-shirts, using organic cotton and dyes. Wide leg jeans were also hot. Next year, it’ll be daughter Penny’s turn.

Kjole’s exclusive Denim Hunter jeans are proving to be popular among customers. They are a skinny leg in 7/8 length with zips, great option for shorter legs, featuring three different colours, white, black and denim. There is also a new range of curvy jeans from the Danish label designed to stop gaping at the waist!

With fashion and racing a perfect match, Kjole will celebrate Melbourne Cup Day with its neighbour, Salt and Pepper café, in the Boulder Point Precinct. The fun, food and fashion parade takes off at 1pm – a chance for ladies to dress up and enjoy the fashion parade featuring labels Denim Hunter and Kaffe. Hairdresser Kay Brydon will host a presentation on teaming hair colour and style with summer’s winning fashion.

 


Tickets are available through Eventbrite and the Facebook page: Melbourne Cup 2018.
Kjole summer hours are 9:30am-5pm Monday to Saturday and 9:30am-4pm Sundays, or online at www.kjole.co.nz


 

Village Lake Luxury Apartments

Perfect in every way: Village Lake Luxury Apartments


Situated next to the lake behind the Heritage Hotel is the idyllic Village Lake Luxury Apartments. Incredibly spacious modern apartments with spectacular mountain views provide all the convenience of being at home with the added five-star luxury.

 

Village Lake Luxury Apartments

 

The stylish décor and furnishings are designed to make your stay relaxing and comfortable. Each apartment comprises a fully self-contained kitchen, washing machine and dryer, spa bath (apart from the accessibility unit which has a large walk-in tiled shower) and gas fires.

With the Hanmer Thermal Pool Resort only 600 metres away and a plethora of Hanmer’s best restaurants and bars all within a short stroll, it’s the perfect location for any occasion; a birthday, a girls’ weekend away, or a family trip.  Gift vouchers are available if you want to surprise someone special, or why not just spoil yourself? Functions can even be accommodated for, with everything you require for that important corporate getaway. Just contact the team to discuss your requirements.

 


With specials available, don’t hesitate to visit the website to keep updated on what’s happening or phone 0800 555 774.

Situated at 1 Rutherford Crescent, make Village Lake Luxury Apartments your accommodation choice for your next trip to Hanmer Springs.


 

Richards Real Kitchen

Dinner made easy: Richards Real Kitchen


Ever had those nights when you get home from work and the last thing you want do is prepare dinner? What if you were able to simply heat and eat beautifully prepared meals any of those nights? Well you can, thanks to Richard Till and the team at Richards Real Kitchen.

 

Richards Real Kitchen

 

With 22 years behind him in the food and hospitality industry, Richard’s attention to detail and love of food means you can experience a great choice of quality and delicious dishes at affordable prices. With Richard and his small team, only good quality ingredients are used. Every dish is prepared with a great deal of care and attention, just for you.

The fresh meals menu changes every week, along with nine classic frozen meals that are always available, and a changing array of frozen specials give you a choice of about 18 different meals at any given moment. Also on offer is wide range of delicious puddings, soups and, of course, Richard’s famously friendly customer service.

“Always happy to have a chat about any queries and customers can either pick-up or we can deliver for only $8,” Richard says.

 


To view the online menu, visit www.richardsrealkitchen.co.nz download the Richards Real Kitchen App, available on the Apple and Google App store or call Richard on 021 813 235.


 

Village Lake Apartments

The ultimate in luxury: Village Lake Apartments (Enter to win two nights accommodation)


For the ultimate luxurious getaway, set in the heart of beautiful Hanmer Springs, head to the Village Lake Apartments where exceptional hospitality awaits.

 

Village Lake Apartments

 

With spectacular alpine views and premium 5-star accommodation, the Village Lake Apartments are within walking distance to the town’s thermal pools and a myriad of leisure activities. With three and two bedroom apartments, the accommodation is second to none with modern facilities and spacious rooms each comprising of a fully self-contained kitchen, washing machine and dryer, spa bath and gas fire. Each apartment has its own balcony, or patio, and a picture perfect mountain-view backdrop.
The stylish décor oozes opulence and the furniture is designed with comfort in mind. With soft featherbed underlays and pillows, exquisite handcrafted toiletries by Jeymar and original artworks by Christchurch artist Liz Jenkins, the Village Lake Apartments have a true `home away from home’ vibe.

When it’s time to explore, take a short stroll to Hanmer’s idyllic main street for a spot of shopping, or enjoy a meal out and beverage at one of many well-regarded eateries or cafés.  It’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway, birthday, anniversary celebration or business retreat and has the Qualmark five-star gold rating. Owners Stuart and Jill Ware will ensure your stay is memorable.

 


The Village Lake Apartments are giving away two nights’ accommodation for two adults (blackout dates apply).

To enter, head to www.metropol.co.nz/win and put in your details. Entries close on Thursday 25 October and winners will be notified on Friday 26 October


 

Lifestyles

Hanmer’s Fashion Haven: Lifestyles


Lifestyles in Hanmer lures repeat customers from as far as the Gold Coast, with its expansive range of swimwear. Many make a weekend of it, as they can pop across to the pools and show them off!

 

Lifestyles

 

Bond-Eye’s Sea-level range (formerly Nip-Tuck) suits many different figures, as do Seafolly and Moontide, in sizes up to a G cup. “Ruching across front and sides, or styles that wrap around the body, give a lovely shape to show off all those beautiful figures out there,” owner Alice Stielow says. There’s Piha, Sunseeker, Jantzen, unique-styled JETS and Togs – from a Kiwi designer. “Tankini and pants are also perfect for those long in body, or for mixing and matching. The staff are really knowledgeable with body-types and know straight away what styles are best to try on.”

Forget budgie smugglers, the latest men’s speedo’s come in cool elastic-waisted trunks and there’s also styles for serious swimmers – all chlorine-resistant. Lifestyles’ urban wear includes Billabong, Ketz-ke, White Chalk, Stussy, Tigerlily, RVCA, Element, All About Eve, Levis, VonZipper, and a cool range of shoes. Alice owns two stores, Lifestyles and Fashionworks, and after three decades here, she treats everyone who visits like a local, with competitive pricing and friendly service.

Her second boutique store, Fashionworks, is a designer-label paradise for womenswear, footwear and jewellery. Ranges include the new Molly Bracken, Wish, NoaNoa, Ivy Blu, CooperStreet, Seduce, Zafina, Augustine, Charlo and Stella Royal – and gorgeous shoes to match.

 


Visit Fashionworks at The Courtyard, Conical Hill Road, phone 03 315 7120 and Lifestyles, Alpine Pacific Centre, Conical Hill Road 03 315 7126, or Facebook.