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The Influencers: Paul Lonsdale


Mainstreet Management Ltd Managing Director

I cannot believe we are already in February with the Christmas rush and holiday now a distant memory.

We are now fully launched into this new decade and I believe we, as a city and region, are ready to own it.

The last 10 years were tough on our city and our people, but in true southern style, we rose from that challenge and showed the world what we are made of.

“It’s a new city built for a new era and we should be proud that we are ready for all the opportunities it will bring.”

We started the new decade on a positive note with Christchurch landing a spot on the New York Times prestigious travel list, which is a fabulous accolade to our rebuild efforts thus far.

There is a positive vibe amount the business community for the new decade, with some large-scale projects being completed this year, including the Convention Centre and new-dedicated Cruise Berth in Lyttelton… and hopefully a decision on the long-awaited multi-use Arena.

It always surprises me to hear that some of our people have only just ventured back into the city centre for the first time in years but heartened they enjoyed the experience.

It’s a new city built for a new era and we should be proud that we are ready for all the opportunities it will bring.


 

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.


 

Merry Christmas!


Award-winning interior designer Angelique Armstrong has been sharing her top tips for creating successful interiors throughout 2019.


This issue, she simply wants to wish all her readers a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

“Enjoy the break with your family and relax!” she says.

“It’s been a fabulous year and I thought I would inspire you all with some images we have worked on.”

If you’re looking for something special for friends this Christmas, there’s plenty of options at Armstrong Interiors. “Come in and see what we have,” Angelique says.

“We also have some special works in from ceramic potter Kim Henderson if you’re looking for a one-off, original piece.

“In the meantime, we wish you all a Merry Christmas, from the Armstrong Interiors team.”

Visit www.armstronginteriors.co.nz, phone 03 356 2636 or check them out on Instagram armstronginteriorsltd

Find Armstrong Interiors at 27 Papanui Road, visit www.armstronginteriors.co.nz, phone 03 356 2636 or check them out on Instagram, armstronginteriorsltd


 

Organising your house for Christmas


Having a home that is well-prepared for Christmas partying is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Something you have forgotten to do, buy or organise can easily chomp away at your sanity.

 

So we’ve put together some fail-safe tips to get you through the silly season.

Prepare the festivities

It’s time to free up the freezer and make space for those holiday goodies. Pack in plenty of party ice. Stock up on artisan canapés and satiating savouries to pop in the oven for hungry

Pre-freeze what Christmas fare you can. Christmas-coloured frozen berries make instant smoothies, sorbets, desserts, and cool off a glass of bubbly fast. 

Borrow or buy a handy bar fridge. Fill up the pantry with extra food – it is better to have unperishable surplus than to run out. Ensure your herb garden is abundant.

Snap up the home baking with Christmas bows from the farmers markets and fairs. These Christmas treats can double up as last minute gifts for surprise visitors, or someone you’ve forgotten.

Thoughtfully have the likes of gluten free, vegan and low-carb supplies on hand. Bowls of cherries top the list!

Double up

Rolls of cellotape; slippery little things… they go missing just when you’re wrapping that extra parcel – so plant some around the house.

The same goes for scissors, gift tags, bows, pens and other such items that grow legs and play hide and seek.

Make sure you know where the spare sets of keys are hidden. The silly season rush catches up with the most organised among us – and Murphy’s Law often rules.

There’s just no time to hunt. Have extras – like batteries, cell phone chargers, top-up medication, bottled water, or any essentials that you often run out of, or misplace – on hand.

Last minute dashes to the store battling the queues, only interferes with the tick tock of the to-do list.

Reminders

Post-it notes – they can blend in with the Christmas decorations quite easily, especially if you choose the creative variety.

No amount of technology can replace these bright, cheery, in-your-face reminders, especially when our holiday brains are jumping around like reindeers.

Keep lists on your phone, on the fridge, beside the bed, anywhere. Just be sure to check them twice!

Fun-filled festivities

Drag out any fun-filled activities, games and silly season Christmas-themed anything. ‘Tis the season for lights, bells and whistles of a frivolous, festive nature.

Dedicate an area of the home for crazy chaos, and forget the vacuuming here. Remember the playful pets too – or your decorations may be toast.

Take stock

Are there enough glasses, crockery, water jugs and other utensils for an extended family visit?

Invest in plenty of festive serviettes – they add to the occasion as well as save on washing up for that nibble or slice of cake.

Wine glass tags are a savvy additional to banish that ‘is this glass mine?’ mix-up for good.

Savvy seating

Organise extra seating for the dining table or lounge if you need to, and be prepared for indoors and outdoors.

There might be a few spills among the thrills, so enrobe the new couch with a colourful throw.

Make more room for gatherings, and store away any extraneous items that clutter the festive home, or block the runway for excited little elves.

Health and safety

As the party season sizzles, so does the summer heat. Give the pets extra large bowls for their water.

Remove any fire hazards from the property, such as trimming trees away from the house. Check the first-aid kit and have extra suntan lotion on hand.

Double check the wiring on last season’s fairy lights.

The more organised the home is for Christmas, the extra warmth it will exude – and it will spell vamoose to any stressful vibes. Create an organised haven for relaxing merriment and there’ll be extra time to spend with those that are lonely during this joyful time.


 

The gift of pampering


The gift of relaxation and pampering would be truly heaven-sent this Christmas.

Be an angel and give family, friends or colleagues the luxury of time-out at Beauty Progress. Cult brand Gernétic skincare products created in France combine with the expertise of Director and Gernétic specialist Wendy Barker and masseuses Anne and Orn to provide wellbeing, relaxation and wonderful results for your skin.

Gift vouchers at a special price are available for combined massages and facials. “We want to help people relax after a busy year, and get the most out of Christmas celebrations and summer breaks,” Wendy says.
Beauty Progress is offering a one-hour back, neck, and shoulder massage, along with a facial treatment for $99, down from $157.

Wendy selects from the incredible range of therapeutic products to create a facial tailored to your skin and its issues. Gernétic skincare products work at cellular level, stimulating the skin’s natural healing capabilities.

“We find it is a really appreciated gift for people who have never had massage and facial and who wouldn’t buy for themselves.

It’s a little luxury escape in itself to come here, with the addition of little aches and skin issues addressed.”

If a glamourous holiday is on the horizon, the team can help you prepare with skin treatments, pedicures, manicures and waxing.

The Gernétic sunblock is very refined and so easy to wear on your face. Available in SPF50 and SPF30, it can be used as your moisturiser too.

Beauty Progress is open throughout Christmas and New Year, just phone to book your appointment.


 

Coco Gifts

One-Stop Christmas Shop: Coco Gifts


It’s the last day of the working year, the office closed at lunchtime and Phillippa was due in town for a Christmas party at 4pm. But first, she needed gifts!

 

Coco Gifts

 

Finally leaving her desk at 2:30pm, she still had to do the shopping, change into her party clothes, and be back in town in 90 minutes. Thankfully, she knew exactly where to head. Her first stop was Coco Gifts, located right in the heart of St Albans, just a few blocks from Merivale Mall.

Finding a park outside was easy and, while the shop was busy when she arrived, friendly staff were on hand to help with gift selection. There was something for everyone, including popular brands, like French Country, Citta Design, Beau Accessories, Four Corners, Helga May, Babu, and Moana Road.

Exploring the beautiful range around her, Phillippa was soon ticking items off her shopping list:
• Secret Santa – tick
• Gift for the woman who has everything – tick
• Gift for a candle lover – tick
• Gift for a male – tick
• Gifts for little people – tick
• Gift for a jewellery lover – tick!

Next thing, the staff were busy wrapping the gifts and, as she went to pay, a bonus $20 loyalty voucher prints out from the Coco Gifts VIP club. Tomorrow, she can come back and treat herself. At 4:05pm, Phillippa arrives at the Christmas party with the best gifts for all her favourite people and, most importantly, the experience was a breeze.


To make your Christmas shopping simple this year, pop into Coco Gifts at 63 Rutland Street, or visit
www.cocogifts.co.nz.


 

Cust Hotel

Have yourself a very clever Christmas! Done and Dusted


If you’re just a bit over the congested crowds of Christmas shoppers and hellish parking, and you’re desperate for time out, then hop in your car and tootle to the Cust Hotel, 1709 Cust Road; here you will make a startling discovery – Christmas shopping can actually be a relaxing, rewarding experience!

 

Cust Hotel

 

After you’ve enjoyed a slap-up pub lunch, wander through to the original dining room and delight in the quality retro, vintage and antique wares at Done and Dusted. Owners Jay and Barbara will give you a warm welcome while you browse at leisure. Marvel at the World War II Bombardier compass, a rare military piece for that special person. For dining/kitchen gifts, you can’t beat Kiwiana classic and collectable Crown Lynn, or maybe some fine Royal Doulton or exquisite crystal ware for the lovely ladies in your life?

Admire the antique brassware and beautifully bound books; imagine those wrapped in some gorgeous vintage linen and presented as a gift. Unsurpassable! There’s furniture – from Retro to Rococo – to feast the eye, and cabinets and pottery that are definitely worth an inspection.

Don’t forget to check out the barn (circa 1864) that’s part of Done and Dusted. Here you will find gorgeous garden bric-a-brac, stuff for the Man Cave… and maybe even something for the She Shed! As you head back to Christchurch with your car full of presents, try not to look so smug!

 


Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 4:30pm. Find it on Facebook or visit Done and Dusted at the Cust Hotel, phone 021 025 14694.


 

That’s a Wrap!

That’s a Wrap!


When it comes to sustainable gifting, we’ve got Christmas all wrapped up with these chic and earth-friendly alternatives to traditional gift wrap. Happy holidays!

 

That’s a Wrap!

 

  1. Jarry eyed Mason jars are not only perfect for edible gifts, but they’re also a great option for soaps, art supplies, or other small gifts. Add a bit of fabric or recycled tissue paper and let the gift do the talking.

  2. Artistic Accessorising If you’ve been wondering what to do with all the artwork that comes home from preschool all year long, it can have a second life as gift wrap.

  3. Fabulous Furoshiki Furoshiki is the traditional Japanese art of wrapping a gift in a beautiful fabric, scarf, or bandana which can be used again and again. The creative twisting here brings sophistication to fabric gift wrap.

  4. Tag team Why not try repurposing Christmas cards from previous years to use as a gift tag for the next gift you give. Punch a hole and tie a ribbon to dress up any present. Or give plantable gift tags a go. Made from paper embedded with seeds, the gift recipient can plant the tag and watch it grow.

  5. Leaf it Adding a touch of nature makes green gifting a more literal affair. Bamboo or banana leaves can be used to cover a small gift, or why not try a holly leaf, birch bark, or a bird feather to add a pretty natural embellishment.

  6. Plain Jane Plain packaging is much more likely to be repurposed by its recipient than its festive siblings. So keep it plain, Jane.

 



 

Summer Sweeteners

Summer Sweeteners


The city comes to life in the summer months, as we emerge from hibernation mode and prepare for some fun in the sun. Canterbury doesn’t disappoint, with a wide range of events to sweeten up the summer. So get your glad rags ready with our range of summer sweeteners.

 

Summer Sweeteners

 

MEET SANTA
1 December to 23 December, 2018
Meet Santa every weekend from Saturday 1 December until Sunday 23 December, from 10am to 2pm at Boys’ High.

 


THE NORTH CANTERBURY WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
10 March, 2019 Celebrate the autumn harvest in style at the coolest little wine festival in New Zealand. Discover seasonal flavours at an eclectic range of food stalls, sample an incredible selection of premium North Canterbury wines, and tap your feet to a sweet line up of local live music under the oaks at Glenmark Domain in North Canterbury.

 


TWILIGHT IN THE CENTRAL CITY
14 December, 2018 The central city is buzzing with the festive feeling so head in and soak up the warm summer days as you tick off your gift list, from 6pm to 8pm. The central city will be buzzing with festivities and magical Christmas elves will be out in full force. Follow the Pockets of Awesome Facebook page for more information.

 


A CHRISTMAS CAROL
1 December to 22 December, 2018
Completely sold-out for the last two years, The Court Jesters’ fun, family-friendly and interactive version of A Christmas Carol is quickly establishing itself as a must-do Christchurch Christmas tradition at the Pub Charity Studio at The Court Theatre. Find out more at www.courttheatre.org.nz

 


LEIGHS CONSTRUCTION OUTDOOR CINEMA
25 to 26 January, 2019 The beloved summer tradition of Leighs Construction Outdoor Cinema returns to the Arts Centre te Matatiki Toi Ora for another sizzling season. Films for all ages will be screened on two dates each summer month in the picturesque North Quad – immersing cinemagoers in one of New Zealand’s landmark locations surrounded by stunning heritage buildings.

 


CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT
13 to 15 December, 2018 The Court Youth company presents Children of the Night. Brought to you by the co-creator of the original Christchurch Ghost Walk, this is an immersive horror experience where you accompany the characters from the greatest vampire story ever told as they hunt down the monster that became a legend. Tickets from www.courttheatre.org.nz.

 


ARMSTRONG PRESTIGE HAGLEY PARK POLO CLASSIC
27 January, 2019 The Armstrong Prestige Hagley Park Polo Classic is returning to Christchurch. More than 2,500 attendees headed in for the first year and for 2019, this is expected to be bigger and better than ever before. Visit
www.hagleyparkpolo.com.

 



 

Christmas mince pies Recipe

Festive Feasting: Christmas mince pies Recipe


Christmas mince pies are a festive favourite for foodies. Why not add this to your silly season spread?

 

Christmas mince pies Recipe

 

 

INGREDIENTS

NZ Christmas mincemeat
175g raisins
150g sultanas
100g mixed peel
150g currants
30g blanched almonds
1 lemon, grated zest and juice
1 orange, grated zest and juice
Quarter cup brandy
Quarter cup sherry
Half tsp allspice
Half tsp ground cinnamon
Half tsp ground ginger
75g butter
150g brown sugar
2 ripe bananas

 

METHOD

Place raisins, sultanas and peel in a processor and pulse well. Add to a large bowl with currants, almonds, zests and juices, brandy, sherry and spices.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan over low heat and stir in brown sugar. Add sliced bananas to the butter and sugar, mashing them in well. Continue cooking until thick and smooth. Add to the remaining ingredients, stir well and cover.

Leave at room temperature and stir again the following day, before placing in a covered plastic container in the fridge. Can be left up to several weeks to mature. Add to pastry parcels, decorate and bake accordingly.