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A taste of Bavaria

World-renowned Cantabrian brothers Theo, Alex and Marcel, of Geisen wine fame, are the creative force behind one of the latest additions to hospo hotspot Riverside Market – Kaiser Brew Garden.



Fiercely committed to Christchurch, the German-Kiwi trio have collaborated with local hospitality personality Campbell Parker and expert brewer Dicky Fife to bring the quintessential beer culture of Bavaria to Christchurch’s thriving hospitality scene. The venture pays homage to the original Kaiser Brewery of Bavaria, founded by the brothers’ great uncle in the 1830s. More than 170 years later, the Kaiser beer business has been given a new lease on life.

An original handwritten family beer recipe given to the brothers on a trip to Bavaria is how the story begins. “The recipe has been tucked away but it arrived with us at the right time. The Canterbury earthquakes taught us that we had too many eggs in one basket in terms of our vineyards. We had brewing legend Dicky Fife on our Giesen team and, once he found out we had rediscovered our family brewing recipe… well, it was a no-brainer, Kaiser Brothers Brewery was born,” Alex says.


If anyone knows about beer, it’s Dicky Fife – after all, he’s the man behind Dux de Lux’s famous Ginger Tom brew! A renowned Master Brewer and Senior Beer Judge who’s taken out numerous trophies and medals for brewing himself, Dicky has taken the family’s original recipes and handcrafted a range of Bavarian-inspired craft beers that are brewed locally – the Kiwi way.

Well-known hospitality operator Campbell Parker, who has set up and run many successful hospitality ventures, says although he was living in Spain at the time, he couldn’t turn down the opportunity to partner with the Giesen brothers to establish Kaiser Brew Garden, so he packed up and moved home.


Campbell says Kaiser Brew Garden will be a perfect addition to the already popular Riverside Market. “It’ll be a relaxing garden terrace above the hubbub of the marketplace, where people can pop in for a yarn. Our values sit nicely alongside Riverside’s. We’re keeping it fresh, fun and local,” Campbell says.

With a working micro-brewery on-site, this roof terrace garden bar will be the only of its kind in the heart of the city. Here you’ll meet old friends and make new ones as you sip on one of their delicious craft beers, ciders or fruity cocktails, and peruse a Bavarian-inspired menu that features German favourites like sauerkraut, flammkuchen and apple strudel.


If you’re heading to the Great Kiwi Beer Festival this summer, you can taste four of Kaiser Brother’s Brewery’s delicious beers (including one that’s exclusive to the festival only!) and one refreshing apple cider – plus a shandy and lemonade will also be available.



Top tips for the table

Christmas is almost here, so if it’s a flawless dinner table you’re after, look no further.



  1. First things first – where will you have your festive feast? If it’s outside, make sure the table is on a level surface.

2. Depending on your taste, minimalism is always a good idea, so the table isn’t overcrowded. Decorations can be hung from the ceiling above the table to save space.

3. Co-ordination is key. Pick a colour scheme – three colours is ideal. Silver, white and green; red, white and gold…

4. A linen tablecloth in a single soft colour, such as khaki or dark grey, makes for a practical canvas for decorations. Offset this with crisp white linen napkins folded underneath polished cutlery for a clean, elegant look.

5. Natural materials give a rustic touch, and they’re sustainable too. Try strewing the table with branches and pinecones – metallic spray paint can jazz these up. Consider utilising items you already have, or buy decorations that won’t date or can be reused.

6. Little fairy lights or candles give ambience – even in the middle of the day. A popular idea is to stuff strings of thin fairy lights into jars and dot them down the middle of the table.

7. Make sure your flowers align with your colour scheme nicely. Pohutukawas give any table a festive Kiwi touch, while foliage intertwined down the middle of the table offers a pretty, rustic feel.

8. If you’re going to put flowers in vases, make sure the height is just right. You need to be able to see and talk to the person sitting opposite you.

9. Make sure cutlery, glasses and other utensils are the same for a flawless finish.

10. We recommend keeping food off the table and serving from the breakfast bar/bench instead, in order to keep the table from getting too messy.


Timelessly Tactile

Natural materials are moving to the forefront of our interior styling as environmental impact begins to dictate many of our purchase choices. Wood: it’s earthy, rustic, homely, timelessly elegant and sustainable… what’s not to love?




New home décor trends are constantly emerging, tempting us with their new appeal. But there’s one material that never goes out of style, that’s versatile and that transcends the trends and seasons with its timelessness.



This tactile material is none other than natural wood. Weathered or polished, natural wood brings the outdoors in. Wooden highlights can carry through the house from the bathroom to the bedroom; turn any lacklustre room into a cosy haven with simple wood accents.



Swapping out shades of wood makes a simple seasonal change no matter the style. Dark woods bring a wintry depth, while lighter, chestnut-coloured woods channel an organic autumnal warmth.



Summer is just around the corner, so now’s the ideal time to update your space with pale-coloured wood accents – think side and coffee tables, lamps, chairs, shelves, chests, baskets, mirrors (the list goes on!) – complemented by greenery and other natural textures such as neutral woollen throws, shaggy rugs and wicker accessories.



Browse our moodboard for inspiration.






Akaroa’s Top Eats

Need a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of city life? Head out to our favourite little slice of French paradise – Akaroa.



1. Rona’s
Head down to Rona’s at 74 Rue Lavaud; find a spot in the garden, sit back in the sun and enjoy a light breakfast or lunch, or pop in for a coffee and croissant to take away. A seasonal menu features a range of mouth-watering, healthy dishes that incorporate ingredients sourced from around Banks Peninsula region, such as free-range chicken, lamb and eggs. With a fantastic vibe, top-notch coffee and a view to Akaroa’s glistening blue waters, Rona’s is a must-try!

2. The Wharf
Seafood lovers – this one’s for you. The Wharf, situated in the heart of Akaroa’s waterfront at 75 Beach Road, prides themselves on sourcing the finest seafood the nation has to offer. Book a table for two and indulge in a delectable dinner on the waterfront with a loved one, or perch yourself at the beautifully appointed bar and peruse a fine selection of gins, cocktails, wines and tap/craft beers.

3. The Little Bistro
Exquisite seasonal fare awaits at 33 Rue Lavaud, home to The Little Bistro. Focusing on using organic, locally grown produce, Josh (new owner and chef) and his team whip up unique, beautifully presented starters, mains and desserts which are perfectly complemented by a glass or two of refreshing New Zealand wine. So what are you waiting for? Book yourself a table at this sweet little gem and prepare to have your tastebuds tantalised.

4. The Brasserie
Step into a tranquil garden and soak up Akaroa’s atmosphere with an al fresco breakfast, lunch or dinner at The Brasserie. This cute cottage-style restaurant offers a French/European-inspired menu that utilises local, seasonal ingredients – including Asian and European herbs from their very own garden! Head along to 41 Rue Lavaud for dishes-to-die-for, or why not be tempted by their delicious Allpress coffee and range of pastries, muffins and scones…

5. Ma Maison
There’s no better place to kick back in the summer sun than Ma Maison’s stunning outside dining area, complete with picturesque views of the wharf and the Akaroa Harbour. Peruse a selection of entrees, mains and desserts – take note: the Bitter Chocolate Torte is something seriously special! A true crowd favourite, Ma Maison is sure to please!

6. Harbar
Perched on the water’s edge with the ocean just mere metres away, Harbar is your go-to for gastro-style pub fare, sharing plates or an evening tipple as the sun goes down. Will it be fresh Akaroa salmon or classic fish and chips? For those who can’t decide, take a risk with the ‘Trust the Chef’ option, the most popular way to dine.



To the max

The trends of maximalism and minimalism seem to be fighting for the top spot everywhere. It’s time to wave goodbye to demi-fine jewellery as it steps out of the spotlight and is replaced by a chunkier rival.




This season, leave your dainty jewels on the duchess and make way for bolder, heavier, chunkier pieces with serious pizzazz. Big, bold necklaces are reigning supreme; gold chunky chains, oversized pearls, big beaded beauties, standout link chokers and strings of life-sized shells are all making waves, and headbands, rings and bracelets are also getting the chunky treatment.






Swimwear style

Quintessential summer events like pool parties, beach bonanzas and New Year soirées are calling… but first, let’s sort that swimwear collection. Read on to get acquainted with some of the hottest looks of the sunny season.



Wild one
Surprise, surprise – animal print is top of the list. Fierce one and two-piece silhouettes in tiger stripes, leopard spots, snakeskin and more prowled down the catwalk this year, alongside other exotic safari and jungle-inspired prints.




The LBB (little black bikini)
This bad boy is the classic staple for any summer closet. The little black bikini imparts effortless chic, and judging by runways the globe over, we won’t be short of variety. Signature string styles, plunging necklines and underwire bandeaus are all getting the black treatment.


Surfer chic
Wetsuit-style one-pieces with chunky zips are making waves, as is swimwear with sleeves – say what? Whether you’re looking for more UV protection or you want a more elegant, stylish piece, sleeved bikinis and one-pieces will do just the trick.





All in the straps
Statement straps are having their moment… pretty ruffled straps and bikini tops with short flowy sleeves both featured at Miami Swim Week, alongside teeny-tiny, super-skinny straps. If you can’t decide, why not try a one-shoulder piece? This on-trend asymmetrical look is sleek, sophisticated and more practical than other current swimsuit styles.



Retro revival
Retro styles are sure to have their fair share of appearances this season, as high-waisted bikini briefs, fun 70s florals, timeless polka dots and super-sweet gingham all inject vintage cool into the modern trends of the moment.




Brilliant brights
Fluorescent hues pack that playful punch; neon blue gives off major beach babe vibes, while a pop of yellow is bound to get you in the summer mood. Juicy citrus hues are in the mix, along with the sizzling shades of highlighter green and shocking purple.




Summer shimmer
Take a plunge into bold style with gleaming metallic styles, sparkly lurex and embellished pieces. Tanning is no doubt top of your summer agenda, so consider earthy tones like chocolate-browns, golds, rusts and bronzes – the perfect complementary shades for sun-kissed skin. Keep the design simple – these fabrics speak for themselves.




Food Forecast

This year has seen a myriad of healthy food trends climb the ranks, from an uptake of pre and pro-biotic consumption to an emphasis on sustainably conscious foods. While these won’t be disappearing, 2020 brings a new host of food trends to the table. According to Whole Foods, here’s what you should add to your shopping list come next year.




  1. Flour power
    Move over white flour, filling the shelves of the baking aisle next year are fascinating flours made from fruit and vegetables. You’ve probably already heard of the keto-friendly coconut and almond flours, but in 2020 you’ll be able to boost your baking with more protein-packed, higher-fibre flours from the likes of bananas, cauliflowers, chickpeas and tigernuts. Pastas and other packaged foods will also be getting a nutritious makeover.
  2. Drunk-free drinks
    The year 2019 saw a spike in healthier alcohol with lower percentages, sparkling water RTDs and kombucha-infused beverages. These aren’t going anywhere, but more innovative alcohol-free beverages are expected to be front and centre at parties and bars next year as millennials in particular swap out hard liquor for botanical-infused, distilled faux spirits like those available from Seedlip. Raise a glass to deliciously healthy concoctions, sober driving and hangover-free weekends!
  3. Fiesty flavours of Africa
    Make way for the wholesome, tangy foods of West African countries like Nigeria and Senegal. Key flavours include tomatoes, onions, chilli peppers, peanuts, ginger and lemongrass, and dishes also typically incorporate superfoods such as moringa, tamarind, sorghum and millet. It’s a yes from us!
  4. Plant-based progress
    Soy, which has dominated the plant-based arena for quite some time, is moving out of the limelight as brands begin to experiment with other nutritious and less allergy-causing plant-based proteins such as mung beans, hempseeds, avacadoes and even golden chlorella (a type of algae). Whole Foods predicts the plant-based movement will continue to snowball, with the market for meat substitutes expected to hit $2.5 billion by 2023.
  5. Not-so-simple sugars
    Wave goodbye to the traditional white stuff – sugar substitutes are expanding exponentially, from fruit-based sweeteners derived from pomegranates, dates and monk fruit to sweet syrups made from starches like sorghum and sweet potato. Jazz things up in the kitchen with these new unique flavours perfect for desserts, glazes, marinades and more.




Nailed it

After more than a month of fashion shows from the very best, there’s a whole crop of fresh spring/summer nail trends emerging for minimalists and maximalists alike.



Texture is the name of the game this year; add oomph with polka dots, geometric patterns, rhinestone applique and glitter, or channel your inner mermaid with cute embellishments such as pearls or tiny shells. High-shine varnishes with a shimmery, metallic finish are perfect for the festive party season, particularly in silver, gold and chrome hues.

Warmer weather means brighter colours, so why not experiment with a pop of on-trend marigold yellow, breezy blue, cherry red or vibrant peach? And remember – dark shades aren’t just reserved for the colder months. Can’t decide on a hue? Try gradient shades of one original colour, or a rainbow of your favourite pastel hues.

If au natural is more your aesthetic, an opalescent polish graduating in intensity (ombre to those in the know) makes for a magical moment, while a swipe of glossy topcoat keeps out dirt and adds a healthy sheen.

Nothing says nails like a classic French tip, but this traditional manicure has had a modern refresh for SS19/20; the expected white tips have been replaced by a rainbow of shades. How about experimenting with best of both worlds by picking your two favourite complementing colours for a two-tone tip?




Be a stud

Cue the revival of yet another ‘90s craze: studded silhouettes return as the ultimate embellishment of 2019. Small studs, big studs, spikes, rhinestones… if it’s studded, we want i t.Check out our styling tips ahead.




The easiest way to embrace this edgy trend is with footwear – studded strappy sandals, studded stilettos and studded boots are all statement shoes. Studded platform stompers or trendy embellished mules – which will it be? Attention fashion followers: shoes with studded or spiked heels and/or toes are a funky street style silhouette that’s attracting attention.




Traditional clothing is getting the studded treatment – plain white blouses with a studded collar or shoulders are making their grungy appearance amongst the other punky trends of 2019, while denim miniskirts and shorts with studs on one half are a summer wardrobe must-have.

Studded leather of any kind is the epitome of rock ‘n’ roll glam. Toughen up any feminine aesthetic with a bespangled leather biker jacket; the iconic silhouette reminiscent of ‘90s grunge. Pair with coloured snakeskin, a dark red lip or chunky hoops – or all three.

Feminine meets rock chick with a studded headband. Headbands scattered with jewels and other embellishments were seen amongst the 50 gloriously over-the-top alice bands featured in Prada’s SS19 runway looks – and of course, studs were the star of the show.




If there’s one accessory you need in your closet this season, it’s a studded belt. Add a little bling to an otherwise plain outfit – cinch that classic LBD at the waist and pair with platform heels for an edgy nighttime ensemble, or team with distressed denim and a simple tee for that casual weekend go-to.




Bags, purses and clutches have long been in the embellishment game, but they’re getting a star-studded twist this season. Play it safe with a studded black wallet, or go big and bold by way of a fluorescent shoulder bag adorned with spikes: need inspo? Check out Valentino’s ‘Rockstud Spike Fluo’, the iconic new neon bag collection straight off the SS20 runway.






Get composting!

With the spotlight shining brighter on sustainability and climate change now more than ever, there’s never been a better time to give love to your garden. Nourish your plants/vegetables and recycle your food scraps at the same time with compost! Here’s a guide to get you started.




  1. First things first: a good structure to contain your compost heap. Compost bins are the go-to, but if you’re feeling creative then build your own – just make sure it has a cover. Choose a sunny, sheltered position for your compost system and ensure it is easily accessible.
  2. Next you’ll need a layer (no more than 10cm deep) of carbon-rich brown matter; we’re talking straw, twigs and small branches, dry leaves and cardboard.
  3. Add alternate thin layers of brown matter and green matter – grass clippings, vege scraps, manure and coffee grounds. Haven’t got the energy for layering? Just make sure there is a good mix of green and brown material.
  4. Add a little water with each layer to keep it moist, and mix with every few additions. The content of your compost bin should have the consistency of a damp sponge.
  5. Turn your compost every two to three weeks in order to facilitate aeration and faster decomposition. A well-maintained compost can be ready in six to eight weeks.
  6. Mature compost should smell earthy and be dark and crumbly. You shouldn’t be able to recognise any of the original components.