20 Ways To Eat Like A Downton Abbey Lady

Let the aristocratic Crawley family school you on the impeccable table manners of the post-Edwardian era.

With soirée season upon us, we felt it was timely to brush up on our dining etiquette and be reminded of the utmost decorum to employ for faultless socialising that exudes an air of bygone-era elegance. With this task in mind, who better to look to than the eminently cultured Crawley family?

1. Table Posture
Your back should never touch the chair. One must sit straight and bring the food to your mouth. No matter how crumbly the pastry is, never lean down to the dish. The only exception is when you drink soup – you can gently bow your head ever so slightly.

2. Napkin Maths
There are sizes you know. Use a 17-20 inch napkin for lunch, a 12 inch napkin for tea, a 26 inch napkin for dinner and a 6-9 inch napkin for cocktails.

3. Consumption Pace
Loo breaks are unfortunately not an option. Most dinners will last an average of 2 hours so you will have to drink in moderation to prevent the need to go.

4. No Compliments
You shouldn’t pass comment on the food (because it was cooked by the chef not the Lady of the house), on the way your host is dressed (because it was a given that she looked nice) or décor (it would give away your status if you were not used to fine interiors).

5. Seating Plan
Women dominate at Downton Abbey but traditionally guests would be seated in a boy-girl-boy-girl order. Married couples would be split because it was assumed they spent enough time with each other and engaged couples were sat together so that they could talk in a chaperoned setting.

6. Turning the Table
To not exclude anyone at the table, you are expected to speak to one gentleman next to you. Then, when the main Lady at the table gives a gentle cough, turn to your neighbour on the other side. This was called ‘turning the table’.

7. Suitable Conversation
Never talk about money, work, sex, health, politics or religion on the table. The Dowager is a good regulator of this. Conversation at afternoon tea in particular should be light to go with the light meal.

8. Eat Seasonal
Meals on Downton Abbey consist of seasonal food such as asparagus in August and game in the shooting season. They are big fans of meat which includes pork, fish, beef and lamb. Refer to Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management for hundreds of recipes.

9. What Food Wastage Policy?
Before the ration was implemented during World War II, people weren’t so cautious about food wastage. It was okay to leave food on your plate especially because dinners consisted of seven courses.

10. Pudding is not a dessert
Pudding is the name of the sweet course served after the main meal. Dessert is only a fruit course served after pudding, and is still eaten with a knife and fork. Bananas should not be held and bitten into like a primate.

11. Parlour Time
If you’re the head lady of the table, once dinner is finished take the women to the parlour for coffees and liquors, so that the men can speak about politics for 20 minutes before they join you.

12. Breakfast Rules
If you’re a married Lady, it is customary to have your breakfast in bed, because you supposedly don’t have to socialise to find a husband. For those at the table, breakfast would be a buffet of kedgeree, toast, kippers.

13. Serve From The Finest
While the staff would drink from clay dishes, upstairs fine bone china was compulsory.

14. After Lunch Snacks Allowed
Traditionally dinner was not served until 8:30 or 9:00pm, so it was normal to get hungry late afternoon. Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford invented afternoon tea, the light pre-dinner snack. This consists of sandwiches with no crusts and scones which you should break with your hand, not cut it with a knife. The jam and clotted cream order is personal to you.

15. It’s A Cup Of Tea
Here are the rules: milk should be poured in after the tea; stir the milk in with your spoon in a back and forth motion (12 to 6 o’clock); the spoon should be placed on the saucer behind the cup, and you should never hook your finger around the cup handle. Instead, pinch your index finger and thumb through the loop and rest the base of the handle on your middle finger. If the table is too low, hold the saucer at waist height.

16. Don’t Call It High Tea
During the Downton Abbey era, the name ‘high tea’ referred to an evening snack which the staff ate, because it consisted of a substantial meal of cake and meat and was eaten on a high wooden table. The Americans misinterpreted it as a name for glamour and richness.

17. Hats and Gloves
Hats and gloves are required for all meals before 6pm. When eating, remove your gloves and place them on your lap and the napkin on top.

18. Best Dressed
Wear a tea gown – a low waited dress similar to the one Mary Poppins wears – for afternoon tea and a full evening dress with an up-do for dinner. Men should always wear black or white shoes to let the woman shine. Make sure your maid logs what you wore to guest dinners to prevent any repeated outfits. However, it is perfectly acceptable to repeat outfits in front of the family.

19. Tiara Ban
Only married women can wear tiaras to formal dinners, which is often gifted to them during their wedding. It is used to distinguish the single women in a room.

20. Want More?
It’s not appropriate to ask for more food or drink. Here’s how it’s done. If you want more tea during an afternoon tea, ask the person closest to the teapot if they would like more tea. In reply, they will ask you the same question. Alternatively, if the port decanter doesn’t reach you during after-dinner drinks say, “Lady Mary, do you know the Earl of [insert a town name]? He was a terribly nice chap who would always forget to pass the decanter”. They should get the message.

Via Stylist


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Gym Etiquette for the Old and New

It's not just your form that needs to be kept in check at the gym.

Civility reigns; even in realms where tank tops are encouraged, profuse sweating is the norm, and mild grunting is perfectly acceptable. While we completely agree that the social graces expected in a gym are a bit different from those expected at a symphony or the Louvre, we’re certain that a generous serving of courtesy will endear you to your fellow gym junkies, encouraging them, at the very least, to keep their smirks of disdain under wraps the next time you fail to bench press your usual 80kg warm-up weight. So before you commit another hateful faux pas at your local Les Mills, educate yourself on the rituals and customs unique to the workout world:

Avoid loud grunting and PDA (Public Displays of Annoying)
The last time we checked, we didn’t sign up for a Body Pump session in a public restroom so stop making noises that shouldn’t extend beyond one. And while we’re at it, standing behind us, lifting your shirt and hitting your abs like a gorilla is also not acceptable – we’re not in a jungle and it is not mating season.

Respect the bubble
Treadmills are a lot like urinals; if there are plenty available, never creepily pick one directly next to another runner. The same applies to bikes and elliptical machines.

Keep banter to a minimum
Overhearing debaucherous affairs regaled by phone has been known to prompt explosive bouts of throttling, so unless you want your fellow gym rats to put what they’ve learnt in Body Attack to good use, leave the Bluetooth headset in your locker.

Advise with caution
You might have a Ph.D. in physical training from Harvard with specialised experience with the national Olympic team, but unless you notice someone about to do themselves some serious harm, keep your tips and tricks to yourself. 

Don’t hog the drink fountain
Who doesn’t love the special few that hold up the entire gym while filling their gallon-sized water jug? When queues start to form, it is wise to take a drink and get back in line.

Turn down for what
Your one-hour playlist of hardcore Miley Cyrus remixes might help get you through your workout, but the people around you who are forced to listen to it might not respond as well to the motivating powers of the wrecking-ball clinger.


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Why paddle when you can fly?

If you've ever had the desire to fly, you'll understand Kiwis' burgeoning affection for Flyboarding.

Soaring in popularity, the latest extreme water sport, revolutionising the world since its 2011 conception, is no longer confined to celebrity getaways in Ibiza, with the surreal sport increasingly making waves at our local lakes and beaches. Offering the closest feeling to being Superman as humanly possible, riding a Flyboard will see you propelled from the water to the sky in seconds, where you’ll be hovering up to 15 metres high.

Joining the rest of the world in sharing Flyboarding’s founder, French jet ski racer, Franky Zapata’s ardent appreciation for this intoxicating form of recreation, there is a growing number of local Flyboard fanatics offering Kiwis the chance to experience this enlivening activity. Take advantage of New Zealand’s largest lake with FlyBoard Taupo, view Lake Esplanade’s glory from a whole new aerial perspective with FlyBoard Queenstown, or ignite envy among Takapuna beach goers with FlyBoard X NZ. Or better yet, treat yourself – and in doing so, also your friends and family – to your very own FlyBoard and spend this summer in star-worthy style.

Quite possibly the most exhilarating water sport experience, Flyboarding combines the best wakeboarding and surfing sensations, leaving paddle boarders in its wake. Essentially a type of water jetpack with boots strapping the rider in, the Flyboard is attached to a jet ski via a long hose which water is thrust through at a speed controlled by the jet ski’s throttle, forcing ample pressure to the jet nozzles beneath the rider’s boots, driving said rider into the air or headlong through the water at an invigorating speed. Unlike wakeboarding or waterskiing, there’s no need for any wait time for the boat to come back around, meaning more time to experiment and master thrilling 360s and backflips.

For those who typically shy away from extreme sports, Flyboarding beckons to be given a go, with the tricks to master solely being to emerge from the water with an Iron Man-like stance and a forward tilt to keep moving. So strap yourself in for an incredible ride and let this inverted skydive help you pluck up the courage for an adrenaline-abounding summer.


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Riva 1920

The Riva 1920 range blurs the line between art and functional furniture.

Passionate about building furniture that defies time and respects nature, Riva 1920 is an Italian brand culminated by numerous generations of the Riva family. With the input of selected design partners, the company is committed to creating flawless furnishings that can equally be described as works of art. The expert craftsmanship that has been passed down, along with a focus on quality and product evolution, has resulted in a brand that exudes contemporary creativity and is celebrated internationally.

Reflecting the profoundly fashionable land they hail from, each of the distinguished designs promises to make an impressive interior statement. With pieces suitable for every room in the house, the range radiates the solid, warm and timeless attributes of fine wood. Sourcing only the best timber available is paramount for the brand who procure the rare and valuable Millenium Kauri from our very own shores.

Whether you’re looking for an awe-inspiring feature for which their collection abounds, or something more subtle to complement an existing interior semblance, the extensive range – each piece a celebrated artistic feat in its own right – has something to offer. The range’s more playful side includes unique bench and stool collections that are inspired by everyday objects and presented in a modern manner. These innovative accoutrements come in the form of comfortable, functional stools resembling anything from a champagne cork to a playing dice, or the eye-catching benches in an array of styles from a vintage ruler to a clothes peg.

The Riva 1920 range is available from local showroom Matisse


99 The Strand

(09) 302 2284



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Bird does Breakfast

Introducing yet another chook centric pit stop that's offering a satisfying start to the day.

Extending their avian empire even further, chook specialists Bird on a Wire’s most recent venture has seen them assume a new residence on the sidewalk of Elliot Street in Auckland’s CBD. Joining what is fast becoming a destination for many a culinary delight thanks to the increasing number of food purveying containers, this cute, compact and sustainable outpost is proffering all the things we’ve come to expect from the chicken connoisseurs, and much more.

What’s rather ideal about this pedestrian centric food stop, is the breakfast offerings that are indulging our desires for a healthy start to the day whilst taking into consideration our largely time-poor tendencies. Utilising the line up of lettuces and herbs sprouting atop their distinctive black box – an effort by Box of Bird to become more self-subsistent – here at you’ll find several simple offerings that won’t overwhelm you with choice, yet are bound to hit the spot for a satisfying start to the day. The paleo-complimenting, chilli-dusted, free range boiled eggs, come with homemade hummus, a healthy handful of spinach and the added option of whole grain toast on the side. There’s also the toasted turkish bacon sandwich for those desiring a breakfast with a little more soul, alongside ready-made parfaits, wild wheat almond croissants and a cabinet brimming with tempting little goodies.

So combine all this with a Kokako organic coffee and a dose of the contagious energy from the team serving you behind the counter, and dare we say, you’ve got the makings for a very good start to your day. Never mind the fact that you’ll most likely be tempted to return for lunch and/or dinner given the array of gratifying and widely-vaunted salads, sandwiches and hot rotisserie chickens. With all this bird-inspired action on the go, there’s little doubt we’ll be coming back time and time again.

Box of Bird

Elliot St
Auckland CBD



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How to: Tinder with Tact

A match made in heaven requires a bit more than simply swiping right.

With the infamous online dating app – responsible for millions of hook-ups the world over – already marking its second birthday and set to launch a premium service this month, we thought it timely to enlighten blokes on some tips for successful, tasteful Tindering. The premium service’s paying members will be offered increased match-making power, however, fail to heed the proceeding advice and your pricey swiping efforts may continue to result in a matchless existence.

Do: Show off your interests. Unless that interest is biking. Nobody ever looked good in spandex shorts and a helmet. Take advantage of furry friends. It’s low-hanging fruit, but if you own a dog—or have a friend who does—take a picture with it. We can assure you many a woman has swiped right on a guy they were on the fence about because “Aww, he likes animals!” Note: This does not apply to reptiles or rodents.

Don’t: Go overboard trying to be quirky. Remember: nice, normal-looking dude; not one who appears to perpetually habit Halloween costumes or makes crazy hand gestures in every picture. Speaking of dress codes, do not go shirtless! Even if you have a nice body. It’s just one of those things girls like to be pleasantly surprised by in person, like guys who still open doors for girls.

Profile Text:
Keep it simple. A few words is fine, i.e. “Auckland, Med School, Dog Lover.” If you can’t think of anything to say, leave it blank; she’s focusing on your pictures anyway, and it’ll give her plenty to ask about in a conversation. Give some helpful details. An Instagram account or Twitter handle gives her a peek into your life without having to commit to a Facebook request.

Don’t: Quote. What is this? Your Facebook profile? Nor should you use Hallmark dating profile lines. It’s great if you are “just a fun-loving guy looking to meet some new people,” but it doesn’t tell us anything.

Making Contact:
Initiate the conversation. You get to pee standing up, so you have to make the first move. Say something more than “Hi.” It makes you sound like a nervous eleven-year-old girl and gives the recipient nowhere to go.

Don’t: Use emoticons. A recent study found that men who included 🙂 in messages received 66% fewer responses. Nor should you wait too long to ask her out. If you already know where she lives, works, and studied abroad in college, it’s probably time to suggest a drink or coffee. That said, don’t get ahead of yourself either. While “Sunday morning makeout sesh?” is probably any girl’s dream text from a boyfriend, it is not a good opening line from a complete stranger. Don’t call her “sexy”. Or be creepy in general.

General Tips:
Swipe right when you’re on the fence—if nothing else, to see what she thought of you.

Don’t: Spend more than fifteen minutes swiping at a time. Studies have shown overuse of dating apps makes users overly picky. Reality check? You’re likely doing this while eating cereal from the box and watching the Home and Away omnibus. Get off your high horse. Nor should you Tinder on holiday. For some reason, the app seems to get backed up on location-based matches and you’ll only frustrate yourself later.

Our number one tip: Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled in real life.

Via GQ


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Odettes is the stunning all day eatery at City Works Depot

A stellar new resident is welcoming the throngs in City Works Depot.

After much anticipation, the doors to City Works Depot’s latest instalment, Odettes, have finally opened. Giving way to a soothing space within the precinct’s industrially-inclined confines, this newcomer is already charming those eagerly awaiting punters.

Walking into the vast space, a single tropical themed canvas by Slim Aarons sets the tone amidst the refined yet lush furnishings that render Odettes something of an urban oasis. As the follow-on project from prominent Auckland hospitality duo Clare and Joost van den Berg, former owners of Zus & Zo and current proprietors of Zomer café in Takapuna, you can expect good things from the all-day menu that encompasses everything from exquisites breakfasts, salads and sandwiches to refined latter day meals, shared plates and some expertly prepared cocktails.

Offering a new dimension to City Works Depot’s already stellar line-up, this stand out new venture from the industry’s established pair is turning heads for only the best reasons. We suggest you make it a priority to try out this new eatery’s vast offerings – be it morning, noon or night. With such calming and comfortable environs, one would understand being tempted to stay longer than you ought.

Odettes Eatery

City Works Depot
90 Wellesley St West
Auckland CBD

(09) 309 0304



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Exhibition: Art in the Dark

Setting Western Park aglow, this brief but brilliant showcase will lure all ages into the shadows.

Your mother may have warned you about the creatures of the night, but as soon as the sun sets from November 13th to 17th, Ponsonby’s Western Park will become a beacon for all those who seek astonishing sightings of the illuminated variety. Returning for its fifth year in action to a deafening encore, Art in the Dark is set to transform the otherwise under-used park into a brightly lit hub of charmingly interactive installations and awe-inspiring traditional sculptures.

Posing a sustainable viewpoint and a testament to our No. 8 wire culture, this year’s Out Of Nothing theme will see a plethora of artistic interpretations utilising finite renewable resources to bring the glowing visions to life. The non-linear theme will also be responsible for the unleashing of some seriously mind-blowing out-of-the-box ideas, demonstrating the palpable innovative energy that first gave birth to this arresting outdoor exhibition.

From Craig Neilson and Reza Fuad’s conjured ‘out of nothing’ Square – a cubic window to a world of seemingly infinite proportions, to the science community’s Microbiologist and bioluminescence enthusiast Dr Siouxsie Wiles’ collaboration with Rebecca Klee that lets audiences influence when and how intensely bacteria glow, the intriguing collection of installations will reveal themselves, appearing and disappearing, offering audiences a chance to see Western Park, and art, in a whole new light.

The exhibition has now finished.

Art in the Dark

Western Park
5-7 Ponsonby Road



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Six of the best green juice blends in town

Up your immunity with a green juice injection from these one-stop juice shops.

It would seem that the green movement (of the liquid constitution) just won’t go away. Each iteration in the evolution of a healthy juice seems to be more nutrient-packed than the next, with our increasingly busy lives rendering these salubrious concoctions ever more imperative. Thus, these vitamin-filled elixirs, designed to be consumed on-the-go, are quite possibly what will continue to get us through until the holiday season. Herein we round up some of the best green blends around town.

1. Wilder & Hunt
There’s nothing modest about these power-packed smoothies – a mere kale leaf or two will not do with the Forever Young combining the juice of apple and pineapple for a veritable vitamic C kick. The generous portion size, combined with the power of green, will surely keep you going awhile. (65 Mackelvie St, Ponsonby & 15 Maskell St, St Heliers)

2. Ceres Fresh Market
If you’re not absorbing the life-giving nutrients via osmosis upon entering Ponsonby Central’s Ceres fresh produce market, ordering a bona fide green juice or Extreme Green Protein smoothie from these folks should do the trick. You’ll find no rationing here with the verdant elixirs favoured by many for their jam-packed nutrient-dense goodness. (136 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby)

3. Ripe Deli
Renowned for their consistently delectable offerings, don’t look past Ripe’s ever-popular green smoothie that combines one banana with an honest handful of spinach, coconut water, a little coconut oil and lime juice for a rich yet tangy invigorating potation. (172 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn)

4. Sip Kitchen
Serving up supremely nutritive concoctions thanks to the employment of its Angel Juicer, the production of these slow-pressed vitamin hits involve no bulking or heat, just goodness served up in Auckland’s northern bounds amongst a plethora of other enticing blended options. (25 Apollo Drive, Mairangi Bay)

5. Wedge Juice Bar
This central city juice stop, stationed in the entrance of Elliot Stables, proffers nothing more than the life-giving juice. With the greenest of green varieties; the Piccolo, counting kale, cucumber, mint and apple as its ingredients, you can count on this utmost invigorating concoction to consume on-the-run. (39 Elliot St, CDB)

6. Organic Mechanic
The only thing wanting about this health-giving juice stop is that you’ll have to wait until the weekend to get your hit. A permanent resident of Parnell’s La Cigale markets, these passionate blokes will see you served a blended juice brimming with the likes of kale, kombucha and much, much more. (69 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell)

Bon Vivant

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In store: Neon table lights by Minimalux

Oozing light, colour and minimalistic chic, these lamps make for coveted Christmas gifts.

Recently in the limelight at the renowned London Design Festival and newly arrived at Simon James Concept Store, the Neon table lights by Minimalux epitomise the British brand’s celebrated simple but splendid signature aesthetic. The eye-catching yet understated semblance, partly inspired by late American minimalist artist Dan Flavin and his rectilinear use of commercially available fluorescent light fixtures to create beautiful sculptures, promises to complement the artistic direction of any interior.

Contradictory to their name, these lumière accoutrements aren’t actually neon, but their appearance as so is described as a “trick of the light”; a conventional energy-saving bulb illuminates the coloured internal surfaces of each folded steel box, resulting in a bright, radiant glow that’s visible through the slim, linear apertures that trace the rectangular form.

Creating a look imitative of contemporary strip lights, these cleverly crafted lamps are available in colourful hues that will brighten up any space – blue, pink, green and yellow, or taking the extolled minimalism further, they also come in white. And removing the stress of making a choice from the five equally striking options, these make for a vibrant, statement showpiece when grouped or stacked creatively together.

For a gift that’s sure to ignite envy this Christmas, the Neon range is available exclusively from Simon James Concept Store.

Simon James Design

230 Jervois Road
Herne Bay

09 376 6955



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