The secret is out about Villa 23 Café, New Zealand’s first and only Dutch vegetarian café with the ambient charm of a rare city treasure. Hedwig Dunbar-Keek and family have infused creativity into this gorgeous stand-alone villa. It’s now seeking a new owner, with new passions.
“It’s a central location, with little competition, between Blenheim and Riccarton Road. It would be perfect for any restaurant, culinary dream, or a combined office space,” she says.
An interior designer from Amsterdam, Hedwig wishes to move on to her next project spending precious time with her gorgeous new granddaughter while concentrating solely on her Dutch-style catering business.
The landlord let Hedwig recreate the once drab, unnoticeable villa with colourful imagination. Amazing Dutch-designed wallpapers add delightful difference to the disco-glam ‘Arabian nights’ room, the light-filled ‘colour room’ and the must-see optical illusion bathroom. Husband Gregory restored its soft-pink exterior, polished floors and sturdy structure to its 1911 glory.
Her son and barista Quentin greets customers, while Hedwig conjures no-nonsense-great food from the spacious new kitchen. The café oasis serves Peruvian-origin coffee to the lucky customers working in the area – and many pop in for Dutch grocery items. The healthy award-winning smoothies, little Dutch poffertjes and oliebollen are delectable and specialties which are also sold at their Dutch stall at Deans Bush market on Saturdays.
Hedwig is off to Amsterdam this winter for her annual inspirational research. However, for interested parties, she can be contacted at email@example.com, anytime.
Villa 23 Café, 23 Mandeville Street, Riccarton (next to Flow Hot Yoga). Phone 03-343 3375. See Facebook/Instagram for details.
Everything about Lemongrass is unique. It’s a Thai restaurant, located off the beaten track, in a hazelnut orchard north of Rangiora.
It is the true definition of a family business. Sriamorn Reavill and husband Paul bought the Loburn property and house, later building the restaurant onto their home. At Lemongrass you are likely to be waited on by Aaron, 11, or be joined at your table by head chef Sriamorn for a chat.
The children play a part in the restaurant. It’s their business, too. Chelsy, 9, is usually in the kitchen helping mum. She cooks a mean stir fry and makes great spring rolls. Aaron and family friend, Liv, who is 15 and whose mum Shirley also works in the kitchen, often take care of front of house. They are confident and knowledgeable of food preparation, the menu and the foundations of good customer service. In addition to their schooling and sports achievements, they work together the create a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, amazing food and a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Paul, too regularly chips in in the kitchen.
There is al fresco dining, or between courses take a stroll in the orchard and relax in the country silence. The food is spectacular, everything you expect Thai cuisine to be – bold flavours, aromatic delights, contrasts of texture and colour, all with a spicy kick.
You must make a booking at Lemongrass. It’s so relaxed that if there are no bookings, it probably won’t be open. When it is, the drive is more than worth it. For bookings phone 03-310-3102.
Angus and Laura Chisholm are the husband and wife team behind Angus Chisholm Builders. Angus has been in the building trade since he left school. That’s twenty years, a wealth of experience constructing everything from retaining walls and decks to architectural homes, townhouses and multi-unit buildings.
Not really content working for others, he branched out on his own early and has built a successful business, first as a sole trader then, in 2014, he incorporated the business with his wife, Laura.
Laura has a background in civil engineering, particularly water and waste-water reticulation. She has consulted for CCC and QLDC among others and has lots of experience designing and project managing the construction of waste-water systems, writing contracts and pricing.
Together, they have taken Angus Chisholm Builders to new heights. “We really do work well together. We understand all aspects of the building trade,” Angus says.
With Angus onsite, managing every project, overseeing his builders, apprentices, and subcontractors, and Laura handling the admin, accounts, and client liaison – and 3.5 children! – Angus Chisholm Builders is a smoothly run business well placed to complete any building project.
“We’re not scared of any job,” Laura says.
Hill sites – always a challenge – are no problem. Angus has built homes in Prebbleton, Lincoln, Rolleston and many other places, fitted seismic strengthening to a motel in Akaroa, and built pole sheds and other farm infrastructure.
A Registered Master Builder, Angus Chisholm Builders offers house and land packages from design to compliance and more, such as light commercial fitouts, fencing, landscaping, renovations, alterations and repairs.
Contact Laura on 022 477 8270 or visit www.anguschisholmbuilders.nz.
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