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It’s happening at Universo

Owners of Universo, Madlen and Wayne Shaw, have achieved what eludes so many: sophistication and style in an atmosphere of family-friendly comfort and approachability.



Its three spaces – the café, restaurant and bar – can be used individually for functions, or you can have exclusive use of all three. The space seats up to 100 for dining, 140 for cocktails or up to 200 using the outside space in favourable weather.

Universo offers a set menu, canapé or cocktail-style catering. Christmas function bookings are available but going fast, and weddings and private/corporate events are a specialty.

While brunch is busy, Universo comes into its own for evening dining; the warmth of the russet and tan interior is complemented by the view of the twinkling city lights through the expanse of the Art Gallery’s glass walls.

Beautiful menus, patterned with cherished gallery favourites, offer fine food as well as sharing plates, while the café cabinet mixes old and new favourites.



Passion for quality: TwentyFour Catering

Catering for weddings and special events from Auckland to the Catlins, TwentyFour Catering is sure to provide an exceptional and memorable hospitality experience, with no event size or location too much of a challenge. As their mantra says, ‘Have kit, will travel!’



When you work with Ashburton-based TwentyFour Catering, you work directly with owner, operator and executive chef Chantelle Quinn and her talented team who are renowned for their flexibility, mobility and ability to conjure up any feast, anywhere.

TwentyFour Catering is driven with passion for quality, beautiful food and top-notch service, while taking pride in adding that special personal touch to every event.

Whether you’re after beautiful canapés or a three-course menu for your wedding, birthday lunch or corporate event, TwentyFour Catering can create a truly sublime feast bespoke to you, using locally sourced, natural ingredients.

Check out their sample menus at or phone Chantelle on 027 356 1212.



Next-level southern hospitality: Two Fat Possums

Long famed for its southern hospitality, West Melton’s Two Fat Possums has created a cosy, local hotspot that is noted as much for its warm, ambient environment as it is for its exceptional food.



So who better to host your upcoming event? The team that knows hospitality, of course!

Nestled comfortably in West Melton’s Village Centre, Two Fat Possums has the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of events, utilising either the function room or the sit-down restaurant. Flexibility too is inherent in the catering capabilities. Various set-menu options are available or the team can design a menu to suit.

Two Fat Possums is a local gathering point for fundraisers and events, with quizzes and their famed pizza fundraisers offering a quick and easy way to raise funds for your sports team or group.

Find Two Fat Possums at the West Melton Village on Weedons Ross Road, West Melton. Phone 03 421 6481 or visit



The Perfect Pantry: The Lincoln Pantry

A delightful country café and boutique grocery store, you’ll find The Pantry on the corner of Edward Street and Eastfield Drive, about 800m from the centre of the village on the road towards Tai Tapu.


Local artisan breads and provisions sit alongside fine European oils, vinegars and condiments. Then there are the cheeses… European staples such as Brie de Meaux and Roquefort, Kaikoura’s famed Harnett and the owner’s favourite, Pico Affiné – a soft oozy goat’s cheese. They’re the perfect ingredients for the epicurean in all of us. Why not pop in for some Kingfisher smoked salmon from Akaroa – utterly delicious and unique in flavour – or the preservative-free goat salami from Greendale’s The Naked Banger, both delightful as part of a platter. The team here can make platters to order and that goes for your catering too, delivering deliciousness for your special event. Perfect for any wedding function you may want to cater for, including the bridal party picnic or a wedding cake made of cheese!

The café cabinet brims with delicious treats with much also to offer gluten and dairy-free devotees. The cheese and black pepper scone is a must, as is another Pantry staple, the Hazel Heaven baton from She Universe in Governor’s Bay. Locals claim The Pantry has the best coffee in town – they use Atomic’s organic fair-trade Essenza blend – making a visit out to Lincoln highly recommended. Gift hampers and vouchers are also available.

Phone The Lincoln Pantry on 03 325 7717 or visit them at 4 Eastfield Drive, Lincoln.


TwentyFour Catering Co

Catering your special day: TwentyFour Catering Co

TwentyFour Catering Co is breaking ground all over the South Island. Although they’re based in Ashburton, the team loves to travel and no distance is too far to be a part of your special day.


TwentyFour Catering Co


Owner and Executive Chef Chantelle Quinn is passionate about providing a top quality service to take the stress out of your special day and takes pride in sourcing local, natural ingredients to deliver a unique menu catered to your personal style and to suit all guests.

TwentyFour Catering Co has been incredibly successful since its inception in 2014, providing a boutique hospitality experience, regardless of the size of the event.

Chantelle’s bubbly approach with clients sets the company apart in the world of catering. The team takes the time to get to know you so they can add personal touches to your special day.

Phone Chantelle on 027 356 1212 to discuss having TwentyFour Catering Co as part of your celebration.


New kids on the block: Fermentist

They’re the cool new kids on the culinary block, a micro-brewery, taproom and eatery with beer at its roots and sustainability in its heart.



The Fermentist offers so much more than delectable food and beverages; it’s also a popular function venue. After all, the micro-brewery’s guiding philosophy is to bring people together over great beers and food and that’s what you’ll find at the heart of any great event.

Catering to both small and large groups, there’s options to suit everyone, from brewery tours through to personalised functions and events.

Its own signature beers and cider are brewed onsite, complemented by a unique approach to food, with a menu that is focused on plant-based, locally sourced produce and fermented foods, with herbs and vegetables harvested from onsite edible gardens.
Opening hours are 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and weekends from 10am to 9pm.

To try The Fermentist experience, find them at 380 Colombo Street, Sydenham or visit

Creating a fabulous feast: Fiona’s Food

If you are searching for relaxed and affordable catering for your special day, look no further!


Perfect for weddings – alongside birthdays, corporate events and other special occasions – boutique catering company Fiona’s Food can work with you to tailor make a menu that suits every possible taste. Fiona and her professional team pride themselves on creating a personalised, memorable and seamless catering experience and, with everything made lovingly from scratch using fresh and healthy ingredients, you know you are getting the best quality and flavours, coupled with the very best service! With options for all dietary requirements and preferences, you can rest assured each guest will enjoy every bite.

Check out their sample menu options at, or give Fiona a call on 027 229 5671/03 351 3414 or email to see how the team can help you host a delicious wedding feast for your breakfast, lunch, dinner or reception.


Weddings on a Budget: Halswell Bakery

If you’re trying to plan your big day without spending a fortune, there are a few things that Halswell Bakery can help you with.

From simple, rustic style cakes, to beautiful, fresh sandwich platters, the bakery offers a bespoke service so you can consult with the team to ensure you get what you want, whether it be for your engagement celebration, hen/stag do, the wedding day, or the ‘day after’ barbeque. Individually packaged and personalised cookies make great wedding favours, while ‘message’ cupcakes are a great way to ask your besties to be your bridesmaids. What about some freshly baked bread for your dinner table or BBQ, or croissants to have with a champagne breakfast? The possibilities are endless.

Open seven days, you can discuss the options with the friendly team by popping into the store at 346 Halswell Road, phone 03 322 4600, or email “Let us help you celebrate this special occasion without breaking the bank.”


43 Degrees Café

Delightfully Delicious to your door: 43 Degrees Café

There’s nothing like a company merger to revitalise businesses – to meld the strengths of each company and from that, build something big, innovative and new!


43 Degrees Café


Take 43 Degrees Café, for instance. Recently the café merged with local catering company Bell & Co, renowned for delivering to your door salads that are nourishing, nutrient rich and superbly fresh. With the food philosophy ‘to promote social and environmental wellbeing by creating beautiful food’, it’s easy to understand why 43 Degrees Café owner Mia Lu is thrilled with this merger.

“People are aware of the link between health and diet now – it’s cool to think vegan and organic, and care where food comes from. Our salads of seasonal vegetables, fruits, grains and pulses are I00 percent beneficial to health and are delicious!”
Apart from catering for private functions, corporate events, Christmas functions, birthdays and barbecues etc., Mia envisages branching out to cafés, hotels and, most crucially, schools. Her goal is to introduce their salad boxes to teachers’ groups initially and thereby filter down to where healthy eating is most needed – to children.

“I’d love schools to have healthy options available and for children to find that good food truly has lots of variety, is really colourful and is totally yummy!” With all the food made onsite by a professional chef at 43 Degrees Café’s commercial kitchen, it appears that from the merging of these two businesses, catering in Christchurch is about to get awesome!


Visit it at 1/49 Sir William Pickering Drive, phone 03 357 2011 or visit


The season of entertaining

The season of entertaining

Entertaining shouldn’t seem a chore. If hosts are having fun, guests have a ticket to relax. Simple catering puts emphasis on friendships; not elaborate food.


The season of entertaining


It’s great to make a sweet slice ahead of time; even better if it’s flourless for gluten-free or low-carb guests. Chocolate-based recipes that use ground almonds are fab.  Next, a trip to the supermarket will do almost all of the food-and-drink prep for you. That’s because a few luxe ingredients are often all it takes to make an occasion feel special and taste delicious. A range of different craft beers and wines to different tastes will cater to everyone.

Good-quality breads and crackers are ideal. Ciabatta can be fried up in quality olive oil with a little lemon, garlic or chilli seasoning to become the basis for a dipping-platter to accompany drinks. It’s a good idea to research which relishes and salad dressings are your favourites, then simply add sour cream and make dressing bowls to accompany freshly chopped vegetables.

Good quality nuts, olives and cheeses, partially dried fruits, naan breads, guacamole, plus pastry nibbles from the supermarket’s freezers are all good investments for the outdoor entertaining season. Cream, full-fat yoghurt, sodas, tonics, limes, lemons and fresh herbs will all be useful when presenting platters and drinks.

Creatively concoct mocktails using drink concentrates as the base flavour. If the colour’s gorgeous, all the better. Add napkins and jugs of iced water to your table, and voila!