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All scream for ice cream: Ice Cream Charlie

A lot of us have happy memories associated with ice cream – summer nights, walks along the beach, a first date or a 60th anniversary. This tasty treat is a crowd pleaser that brings joy with just one lick. Ice Cream Charlie is home of the Vanilla Ice and, as such, Kiwi hearts are the home of Ice Cream Charlie.


The ice cream connoisseurs have been serving New Zealanders, specifically Cantabrians, for more than 100 years, with the first ‘Ice Cream Charlie’ (Sali Mahomet) serving from his cart in Cathedral Square in 1903.

Since then there have been seven owners but they each share the same philosophy of having a product that is 100 percent natural, using only the best New Zealand ingredients.

Their Vanilla Ice is not too creamy and not too icy and their raspberry sauce or fruit toppings make for a great pairing.

This is why they are the perfect people to cater for your next event, be it a work party, birthday or even your wedding.

Bring those happy memories to your next event – this delicious delicacy is good enough to make anyone giddy with excitement.

For more information on how you can hire this awesome team see below.


Expanding your living spaces

Now is the perfect time to protect your outdoor space and put the plans in place to extend your summer.



The expert team at Stratco has the skills to help you create a space that can be enjoyed throughout the year, with its own range of unique verandas and louvres – from design to installation.

“View our range online or visit us at our showroom to see what we can do for your outdoor space,” Stratco General Manager David Allingham says. 

A Stratco Outback® Verandah, Louvre or Carport provides protection from the elements, expands your possibilities for entertaining and storage or an all-weather play area for kids.

“A veranda not only adds functional living space and value to your home but provides protection from New Zealand’s harsh weather conditions. Our fixed-roof verandas offer an affordable alternative to our louvres. It’s a proven product with quality design – they’ve been around for years and there is no other product like this on the market.”

Whether you are building a new home or making extensions, by letting light into your outdoor area while blocking out harmful rays and rain, homeowners are able to get so much more function from their home.

The company offers a bespoke veranda which can be custom designed and built to suit your size, layout and attachment requirements.

“We manufacture and install the units ourselves, so we can really customise them to suit each space. They are ideal as either attached or standaalone units, and the addition of Stratco’s polycarbonate Outback Rooflite™ panels allows the supply of filtered light to the underside of the veranda.”

Another option is the Stratco Louvre. Controlled via a remote, Stratco’s systems also include a rain sensor as standard, so, if you are not home when it starts to rain, the unit will close automatically. Like the verandas, the louvres are ideal as either an attached or stand-alone unit and, if you want to add louvres to an existing veranda, the team can retrofit a louvre system into most veranda/pergola frames – just request a free site measure to determine the finer details.

From concept to finished product, Stratco’s louvre systems can be in place six weeks from the order date. Once the unit is measured at your home, the team runs each unit through an engineering programme, designed to confirm strength of system to suit your wind zone.

The company can also provide fencing and sheds, whatever you choose – the process is simple. Steve Cain, Outdoor Product Specialist at Stratco, will talk through the possibilities with you, and then measure and quote, which is free with no obligation.

Stratco then designs, manufactures and installs the products themselves – making the entire experience hassle-free.

Find the Stratco team at 55 Hands Road, Middleton, phone 03 338 9063.


Say goodbye to summer sun damage

It’s been a hot season full of sunny beach days, barbeques and time outdoors, but along with happy memories, summer is also known for leaving us with skin pigmentation and signs of ageing


Even with sunscreen use, UVA and UVB rays can cause freckles, dark sun spots, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles.

Dermapen microneedling treatments are highly effective for treating sun damage, working by creating microscopic channels in the skin which stimulate your skin’s natural repair process to regenerate, with the help of active skin-boosting solutions containing vitamins, minerals and peptides.

As melanocytes (pigment producing cells) are directly targeted, this process creates a more even skin tone. Dermapen treatments are also a safe and natural way to fight the ageing process, by using the skin’s natural healing response to kickstart elastin and collagen production, rejuvenating and plumping the skin without surgery or injectables.

Nicola Quinn Beauty & Day Spa is a Gold Authorised Treatment provider for Dermapen, using only the latest model device and protocol Dermapen skin products.

To find out more about Dermapen Microneedling and the SkinFit ‘buy three get one free’ promotion, ending 31 March, visit:


Gadgets and gizmos galore

You don’t need us to tell you that we’re well and truly into summer. The days are getting hotter and as a result you’re more than likely green with pool envy.



Now is the ideal time to start the planning and installation process for your pool which can be installed all-year round with the winter months proving just as popular.

Whether you are installing, upgrading or adding the latest and greatest gadgets to your pool, Julie and Warren Hastings at Lagoon Pools are the people you want to talk to.

They have an exciting Shimmer Range to make your pool stand out.

Your pool will look like it’s scattered with millions of diamonds as the light touches the pool surface.

It’s the perfect way to elevate the look of your new purchase. “We also have an exciting new colour available, a white pool with a blue sparkle, called Shimmer White,” Julie says.

“A lot of people want to update their equipment or add new features; it’s not just about installing pools!”

As leaders in swimming pool technology offering pumps and filtration, robotic cleaners, lighting, heating, covers and rollers and water features, as well as pool surrounds it’s easy to see why they’re on top!

Don’t be envious; be the envied next summer! Phone Lagoon Pools on 0800 927 282 or check out the website to find out more.


Top Picks

When it comes to summertime fresh fruit and vegetables, we Kiwis are truly blessed with the bountiful best. But what of late summer and beyond? Will there still be rich pickings? You betcha!



Below is an A-Z of what’s on offer.

A is for apple. Harvested between February and May, varieties such as ballarat, braeburn, cox’s orange, fuji, gala, golden delicious, granny smith, red delicious, and royal gala ensure to ‘keep the doctor away’.

The avocado is a fruit (yes, fruit!) that, due to being harvested at different times of the year, is another all-year goodie.

It’s one of the few fruits that contains monounsaturated fat – that’s the good fat that helps lower blood cholesterol.

Look for varieties such as hass, reed, fuerte and carmen.

Beans are a protein-rich superfood. High in fibre and antioxidants, these mighty legumes are great for the waistline, and may aid in disease prevention.

Take your pick from green, French, butter or broad beans.

Beetroot is another superfood readily available.

Studies have shown beetroot helps lower blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, and is rich in potassium, folate, vitamin C and other important minerals.

Berries are a great source of antioxidants, so not only are these little darlings delicious, they do heaps to protect body cells and control free radicals.

Make a berry delectable dessert of whipped cream, blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and strawberries. Yum!

Bravo for brassicas, broccoli and broccolini, while versatile veges buttercup squash and butternuts can be baked, boiled, sautéed, added to salads and stir-fries, or made into a nourishing soup.

Cabbages and cauliflowers can be found all year round, as can celery, capsicums, cucumber and carrots.

Heirloom carrots, in colours of orange, cream and purple, look beautiful and taste sensational.

Eggplant (aubergine to the French), especially the purple variety, is an all-year star. “Bring on the ratatouille, René!”

Garlic and ginger may be like chalk and cheese, but they’re always available, are vital for health and, let’s face it, no meal is quite the same without ‘em.

Grapes, honeydew melons, mango, nashi pears, nectarines, passionfruit, peaches, plums are all available through to March, and last but not least is the mouth-watering watermelon.

Check out the 5+aDay website for seasonal inspiration.


Hair today, gone tomorrow

Laser hair removal is a pretty smooth way to sail hair-free through summer.



Who doesn’t wish for silky smooth skin every single day without having to worry about regrowth ever again?

Technology and science have come a long way and the process is generally a fast, safe, painless and permanent one – and definitely not as scary as its light-zapping title suggests.

However, it is vital to choose a well-trained, highly qualified professional that uses a medical-grade machine.

While the initial outlay maybe costlier than waxing, the savings in the longer term make it an affordable and far more lucrative beauty investment.

It also saves so much precious time!

No more maintenance. Another bonus is no ingrown hairs, or having to put up with regrowth in between waxes, just when you need it the least.

And as for the daily grind of shaving – need we say more?

A laser treatment is often over a series of 6-12 sessions, during the cyclic hair-growth phase, with breaks in between.

Some people notice a finer regrowth right from the beginning. Both men and women have seen the light and chosen a laser treatment to de-fuzz all sorts of body parts.

Laser uses a concentrated light beam which penetrates directly and deep into the hair follicle.

It is not to be confused with an IPL treatment, which uses a broad spectrum of light. The two procedures are very different.

The professionals will be happy to explain all the facts, debunk the myths, and recommend the best treatment for your skin and hair type.

Hairless summer days, here we come!


Summer safety for pets

The team at Ourvets love the holiday season as much as everybody else, but between the fun and frolics, family pets sometimes get overlooked, so here’s some tips to keep them happy and healthy over the holidays



While we are filling up on holiday goodies, we all want to give our furry friends a treat too, but keep an eye on what and how much you are giving.

Roast meats (e.g. ham and turkey) are often very fatty and can cause acute illnesses for our pets.

Avoid fatty parts or skin and only give very small amounts of meat. Cooked bones are a big no-no for pets.

They might love these, but the bones can cause major blockages in pets’ guts.

The sharp edges of chewed bones can even pierce through the gut and be life-threatening.

Check in with the whole family and ensure they are aware of what they should and shouldn’t feed the family pet.

Both cats and dogs can quite easily suffer from heatstroke due to their limited ability to cool themselves down (they can’t sweat like us!).

Make sure to always have plenty of water available for your pets (some pets love ice cubes!); avoid taking dogs for walks or runs in the heat of the day (they can burn their feet on the pavement too!).

Never leave pets in cars, even for a short time, or if the car is in the shade – cars can be deadly for pets in summer.

Many people are aware of how toxic chocolate is to dogs, but many are not aware of how deadly lilies can be for cats.

If your cat gets any lily pollen on their coat, be sure to wash it off immediately with lots of water.

Be aware of chocolate around the home – on low tables, under the tree or in children’s stockings (that your dog might cheekily sneak into!).

Many of the above things can be avoided, and Ourvets wants you and your precious pets to have a safe and healthy holiday season.

If you are worried about your pet at all, don’t hesitate to give the team a call.

For more on Ourvets, as well as other great tips for your pet, check out the Ourvets website.


Festive Raspberry Ice Blocks

They’re the coolest little treat for the Christmas feast. In fact, one could argue they’re part of your five plus a day! Fill the freezer up and they’ll get you right through the summer holidays!



Two punnets of fresh raspberries
1/3 cup caster sugar
One tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
1/3 cup water


In a food processor, puree all ingredients until smooth.

Strain ingredients, or keep it rustic with chunks of fruit.

Pour the pureed fruit into a pitcher or a large measuring cup with a pouring spout and pour it into ice block moulds. Cover and insert the sticks, then freeze until firm.

When you’re ready to eat one, run the bottoms of the moulds under warm water for a few seconds in order to loosen the ice block from the mould.

Remove it from the mould and enjoy!


Little River’s Foodie Oasis

If you’re heading to Banks Peninsula these summer holidays, make sure a visit to the Little River Café & Store is at the top of your list.


Whether it’s time for brunch, lunch, a relaxing coffee in the sunshine, or a chance to pick up any last minute essentials, you’ll find it’s the perfect place for a break as you travel the beautiful stretch of Christchurch Akaroa Road.

Cam Gordon has been running the business for the past 10 years alongside co-owners, his partner Jess Morrison and her mother Claire Cameron.

“We keep getting busier each year,” he says. “Summer’s coming so it’s going to be increasing from now on.”

The passionate foodies are dedicated to providing a varied menu that changes by the day, introducing a lot more gluten and dairy-free options and a keto selection. Cam is especially proud of the popular Keto Haloumi Bagels, Cheesecakes, and the Ultimate Keto Benedict, served without bread and potatoes.

“We focus on old-school home-style food made to a high standard, and a varied cabinet range.

“Tourists come in summer from all over and people share their experience word of mouth, too.”

Little River Café & Store use as much local produce as possible, so you can sample regional olive oils, nuts, Akaroa smoked salmon and stone fruit. Everything else is sourced as close to Christchurch as possible.

Just next door, the general store stocks craft beer and a current New Zealand wine selection, as well as essential travel goods and services.

For more information, contact the café and store at


Summer Hotspots

It’s official; summer has hit! We’ve checked out the coolest little spots to make the most of the summer sun.

1. Ben & Jerry’s
The brand spanking new scoop shop at Riverside Market offers plenty of euphoric flavours, from sunrise to sunset, that date back to their original 1978 classics.

There are even decadent dairy-free options!

But part of why this is the coolest place to hang out when exploring the CBD is the window seat that looks out across the river – it’s the ultimate for people watching.

2. Abberley Park
In the heart of St Albans, this park is so much more than a cool picnic spot; there’s a super fun pool for the kids, a children’s playground, mature trees (some dating back to the 1860s)… and even a scented garden!

The paddling pool is open from mid-November to 31 March every year.

3. Woodham Park
It’s the coolest picnic spot you’ve never heard of!

Tucked away rather inconspicuously along Woodham Road in Linwood, the park comprises of three major lawns, bordered by shrubs, a variety of specimen trees in the English park style, with a kids’ playground, paddling pool and aviaries of exotic birds!

4. Quail Island
Dust off the kayak and hit the road… destination: Lyttelton!

A day exploring Quail Island is a day well spent. It may be a former leprosy colony, but don’t let that sway you, there’s plenty of history and wildlife to discover.

The small beaches are great for picnics and swimming, and you can also make your way there with the Black Cat Cruises Quail Island Ferry or Lyttelton Kayaks.

5. Beach Bar
There’s nothing quite like dining al fresco in the summer and when it comes to deciding where to go, the sights of Sumner Beach make Beach Bar one of the hottest places to head for lunch – both figuratively and literally.

6. Unknown Chapter
You need a good breakfast to fire up the energy levels in summer, and the smell of freshly roasted coffee is enough to draw anyone into Unknown Chapter.

You know it’s good when it’s this busy!

The eggs benedict with hot smoked Akaroa Salmon is one of the hottest options on the comprehensive breakfast menu.

7. Washpen Falls

Just a one-hour drive from the city, nestled in the midst of a working sheep, cattle and deer farm, Washpen Falls offers breath-taking views of the Canterbury Plains.

There’s a small fee which includes a track guide and use of walking sticks, but mid-way through the loop track, you will stumble across the spectacular falls.

Don’t forget the camera!