The earthquakes shook more than the ground five years ago; social lives also took a hit as many of the city’s beloved watering holes and slinky restaurants and bars lay ruined. Fast forward five years and the Christchurch hospo scene has seen a massive resurgence transitioning from container bars and pop ups through to swanky post-quake affairs of old. With bar and restaurant levels in the city higher than before the earthquakes and more venues on the horizon, Cityscape caught up with some of Christchurch’s renowned hospitality operators and some new faces on how the city’s nightlife scene has changed, how to create a desirable venue and what we can expect in the future.
TONY ASTLE, STEALTH HOSPITALITY
The driving force behind some of the city’s most beloved and highly regarded dining and drinking spots dating back to popular underground Lichfield Street haunt The Licker Lounge back in the mid-90s,...
Christchurch takes its coffee very seriously– in fact, we probably have one of the highest proportions of coffee-roasters-per-population on the planet. With that in mind, Cityscape stepped up its never-ending pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee and caught up with the people behind the grinds who are blending and roasting the city’s favourite coffees. From the fine art of selecting and blending beans through to the importance of origin and the alchemy of precision roasting, Cityscape discovers what goes into Christchurch’s premium coffees.“Anyone can roast coffee beans; the skill is getting up to 7 different single origins each individually-roasted to perfection and masterfully blended to create a really great cup of coffee,” says Hummingbird Coffee’s general manager Nick Cowper. “I think it’s important to have a wide range of unique, special and, above all, memorable coffees. It could be a beautiful single origin, or a complex blend.”
Having spent more...
Annual culinary extravaganza The Food Show returns to the city soon to showcase all things delicious and delectable over three days at the Horncastle Arena. The country’s largest selection of South Island food, drink and kitchen equipment suppliers will be clustered together May 1-3.This year a brand new area to the show will be launching, called The Healthy Hub. This area of the show is set to bring together all things health-giving, fitness promoting and wellness-enhancing. Those visiting the new area can expect to see The Real Food Pledge, an inspirational cook who is launching a new cookbook to inspire people to get back to basics and make healthy recipes from ‘real foods’, as well as Viberi, producers of a range of dried and frozen organic blackcurrant products.As usual, there will be plenty of tips, tricks and recipes to learn from inspirational chefs at the Whirlpool Cooking Theatre, where you’ll be...
Kicking stuffy gin stereotypes to the curb, Rogue Society Gin’s gritty sophistication rekindles the excitement and glamour of the roaring 20s for this in-vogue former prohibition staple. Fusing the goodness of 12 botanicals, this artisan small batch tipple is no nanna’s drink (though we dare say she’d love it!). Distilled in Christchurch (in a hand-beaten, 19th Century John Dore copper pot still no less!), glacial waters from the Southern Alps contribute to this super smooth drop in which juniper and citrus flavours kick-start a party in your mouth. Slap tradition upside the head with a Rogue & Tonic, switching things up with a wedge of blood orange.
Get a fix at: Bloody Mary’s, Baretta, Civil & Naval, The Dirty Land, Fiddlesticks, JDV, King of Snake, Mexicano’s,The Monday Room, No.4 Bar & Restaurant, Riccarton House Bistro, Tequila Mockingbird, Town Tonic and Volstead Trading Company.www.roguesocietygin.com...
Cityscape feels the love with Aroha Drinks' Mark Dillon.
How did you become one of NZ’s best drink makers?
I am really just trying to keep things as simple and natural as possible.
What inspires your creations?
I look for heritage fruits. Flavours that were used in beverages for centuries and have therefore proved their tastiness through the crucible of time.
Who would you love to see drinking Aroha?
To be honest, I get a kick when I see anyone drinking it. It justifies all the effort instantly.
What are Vonnie Vegg?
Pixies who live in the Elderflower trees. I have been keeping an eye out but have not seen any to date. They are famous in the Isle of Man where, to this day, people tip their hats to the Elder tree and it is illegal to chop one down.
Fave Aroha summer cocktail?
I’m going to be shooting for the Garden Martini. Perfect for lazy afternoons, it’s a double shot gin,...
Looking for the next big thing in summer swilling that’s super easy to fix, crazy refreshing and guaranteed to blow your guests’ hair back? Then it’s time to turn back the clock, tap into a swinging classic and get your Aperol Spritz on. The go-to drink over the European summer, the revival of this thirst-quenching elixir knocked summer perennial Pimm’s off its perch during its recent blitz of Europe.
Passing the Cityscape road test with flying colours and resembling bottled sunshine, this breezy, bitter-sweet, low(ish) alcohol aperitif is almost as easy to make as it is to drink. Booze hounds can kick it up a notch with a shot of gin to really get the party started.
Aperol Apéritif, 60 ml (if your local liquor store doesn't have it available, try New Zealand online retailers such as this one or this one).
Prosecco (or another dry sparkling...