Christchurch – the city of roses! I was lucky enough to visit New Zealand over Christmas and it was so magical. Although a beautiful city, Christchurch is still reeling from the earthquake in 2011, and the city centre is still a shadow of its former self.
The rebuild is steady, but slow, and as a result business have established further outside the city centre which has created lovely little corners of restaurants, cafes and shops to discover.
Thankfully it was their summer time and we were treated to weather that reached over 25 degrees – perfect for winery tours, farmers market stops and real berry ice cream breaks! Below are some of my top picks of places to eat and drink on your trip to Christchurch.
Black and White coffee, think a New Zealand version of The Fumbally cafe, with communal tables, a mix and match of furniture and fun staff, great coffee with a roaster inside!
Park Ranger is the newest kid on the block and not only serves amazing beverages but also has lots of foodie goodies to buy.
The same goes for Addington +Co; a huge café with a coffee roaster inside, a store out the front and big long benches – yum.
Supreme Coffee is a quite a modernistic café compared to the other three above, with white walls, red lines and good coffee it was the perfect pit stop.
With three hats (the Asian Michelin Star) Roots has been New Zealand’s top restaurant for two years running. With a little garden out the back to have a drink in and décor to die for, this is a place to treat yourself. We had the 5-course dinner with matching wines, which ended up about 8 courses by the time they bring out all the treats and palate cleansers. This was my top place to eat – the asparagus foam with homemade ricotta is divine.
Akaroa Fish and Chip Shop: yes, yes I know, fish and chips! But really, these guys will batter anything from fish to oysters to winkles all whilst you sit looking at the most gorgeous view. Even if you’re not a fan of fish and chips go to Akaroa!
The Dirty Land – don’t judge a restaurant by it’s title! Whilst this is more an amazing cocktail bar they get their delicious Mexican food treats from their sister house next door. I would recommend the fish tacos with coriander mayo sitting outside with a blood orange cocktail…
If you are looking to visit a farmer’s market while visiting Christchurch Riccarton Bush Farmers Market should be the first on your list. We were told it opened at 9am so arrived at quarter past to find the place jam packed and people already leaving with baskets full!
It’s wonderful to really see a farmers market packed with locals and it just goes to show how we should be shopping. There was everything from Cherrycello (yum!) to Bacon Bros (sandwiches that come with a free hug – plus a 20 minute queue) Posh Porridge which, had divine toppings to locally smoked salmon makers, producers and more.
Lyttelton Farmers Market is another goodi. Set about 20 minutes over by the original port of Christchurch this market is smaller and has distinct hippie vibe but is just as worthwhile visiting.
While Re:Start Mall, is technically not a farmers market, it’s not a restaurant either so I’m going to pop it into this category. Re:Start Mall is made up of shipping containers that different shops occupy and now a food truck market has joined, everything from tacos to kebabs, sushi to dumplings can be found and it’s bang on.
Regardless of what you love or what tastes you have, there’s something for everyone in Christchurch!
Jette Virdi is a Dublin-based food stylist and creative entrepreneur. With a portfolio including clients such as Rozanna Purcell, Rachel Allen and Bord Bia, she’s your girl if you need an evocative image or event. Well known within the food industry, she consults with Irish brands to create and style recipes, to design and manage product launches and and hosts creative corporate workshops that boost productivity and team performance in the workplace. For more information and to contact Jette for a project go to jettevirdi.com.
For recipes and more visit her blog.