Out and about in Christchurch
Spring in ChristchurchChristchurch’s founders knew a thing or two about public space. Grass knolls, verdant verges and manicured parks greet you at every corner. It’s not called the Garden City for nothing. Christchurch is fabulous this time of year. And central Christchurch is easy to explore on foot (it’s all flat!) – you won’t miss a thing!
For a funky, boho mid-morning meal head to Vivace Espresso (86 Hereford Street, Central City
Christchurch), where you can indulge in home-made crumpets served with heavenly hazelnut honey (NZ$5.50). If you savour something more, er, savoury, get stuck into a mammoth plate of Sweet Corn Fritters served with bacon, grilled tomato and spinach topped with a smoky jalapeno and tomato relish (NZ$12). Coffee is good and strong. Make like a local and order a massive steaming bowl of caf? au lait (NZ$4).
The Arts Centre
After brunch, head to the Arts Centre (Worcester Boulevard, City where local artisans display their wares, unique and hand-crafted ceramics, wood, glass and precious metals. There’s an outdoor market too where you can buy everything from hand-woven scarves in exotic coloured mohair to creamy hand made soaps made from goats milk and scented with Manaku honey, lavender or rose petals.
The brand, spanking new Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu (Worcester Boulevard, City) is a stunning work of art in itself. A mere four months old, this impressive building houses some beautiful Maori art, intriguing contemporary works as well as travelling exhibitions of old masters. Admission is by donation.
Yum Cha is Yum-o!
Food lovers will find endless options in Christchurch from simple sushi to popular Korean BBQs, to Belgian beer or yum cha. For those who like the cutting edge of cuisine, try new kid on the block, Indochine (Oxford Terrace, City) where you can sample super-modern Asian delights with a minimalist opium den ambience. Or if you’re after a low-key but authentic Asian feed, check out Joyful (182 Armagh St, City) where you can feast on deliciously fresh noodles and dumplings at caf? prices.
Out and about in Christchurch (contd)
Yamagen Teppan-YakiHotel restaurants the world-over are usually known for their mediocrity. The Yamagen Japanese restaurant with authentic teppan-yaki grill on the ground floor of the Crowne Plaza Christchurch (Cnr Kilmore & Durham Sts, Christchurch) is booked solid virtually every night, and far from being a kitschy in-house dining option, it is, in fact, a restaurant of choice for many locals.
The Crowne Plaza
After sampling the dining pleasures of the Garden City, you’ll want a good lie down. The Crowne Plaza Christchurch pulls out all the stops when it comes to offering weary travelers a warm welcome.
The rooms, decked out in classy, neutral tones will certainly please your inner princess. The ample storage and roomy hanging space reveals what every girl needs – a divinely fluffy white bathrobe. And after gorging on the large, gold-wrapped lozenge of decadent NZ chocolate lovingly placed on your crisp, white turned-down sheet, you’ll feel like royalty!
And speaking of royalty, The Presidential Suite on the top floor is a gob-smackingly impressive, multi-level affair, which in its time has hosted the kings and queens of the entertainment industry like Janet Jackson, Tom Jones and more recently, Ben Harper.
A room fit for a princess
Christchurch Crowne Plaza has another hidden treasure too, quite possibly one of the best concierges in the southern hemisphere. He knows the best places to eat, the most scenic drives and the best must-see attractions in and around the Christchurch area. His name is Tom and while you’re in town, he could well be your new best friend.
Crowne Plaza Christchurch
Cnr Kilmore and Durham Streets
Christchurch, New Zealand
Phone Australia 1300 666 545 for reservations or visit the web site www.crowneplaza.co.nz