A guide to buying exclusive duty free

Get your hands on some enticingly exclusive potations from DFS Duty Free.

For many of us, the prospect of a Duty Free shopping spree sees us unfailingly purchase the products we’ve come to know and love – from that bottle of ten year-old Laphroaig you treat yourself to every time you go abroad, to the Moet & Chandon Imperial that serves as the perfect gift for a celebratory occasion awaiting you back home. There is however, more than meets the eye when our sage retail senses tell us to capitalise our overseas adventures – they also present an opportunity to expand our horizons.

With the following range of sought-after liquors available exclusively from at Auckland International Airport’s luxury product specialists DFS Duty Free – we’ve taken in upon ourselves to guide you through these refined varieties that make for the ultimate addition to the discerning imbiber’s collection.

1. Blue Duck Vodka
Decorated with many a gold medal, the fact that this celebrated, hand-crafted vodka is distilled seven times here on New Zealand shores alludes to its suave, velvety superiority. With a texture so smooth and incomparable taste, it’s no wonder the spirit was inspired by the white water rivers of our country’s remote mountainous regions – habitat of the rare and extremely endangered blue duck.

2. Bombay Amber London Dry Gin
London’s master distiller enhances its adored potation by finishing it in vintage French Vermouth barrels that create a gin like never before. A contemporary take on their widely-vaunted selection of botanicals, the in-demand ‘Amber’ substance is vapour infused with nutmeg, toasted black cardamom and well-rounded with orange zest – gin has never been this deliciously mellow.

3. Thomson Whisky Two Tone Release
With its title referring to the two kinds of casks used in the delicious tipple’s maturation process – one being of European Oak formerly holding New Zealand red wine, and the other of American white oak used exclusively for whisky. Aficionados of the beloved spirit will adore the nose of sea air and caramelised fruits followed by a palate subject to red berries apricot and spice. 

4. Roca Patrón Añejo
Touted as the world’s number one premium tequila, this highly sought after variety’s intricate taste – both sweet and earthy – is born from the giant, two-tonne volcanic stone that is used to slowly crush the cooked agave releasing its rich juices. Combined with residual flavours from the centuries-old rock and a 14 month aging process, Roca Patrón Añejo is perfect match for the discerning tequila enthusiast.

5. Jim Beam Single Barrel
Whiskey drinkers looking for a point of difference will find it with this insightfully chosen variety produced by the Kentucky-based brand. Hands down their finest liquid creation, Jim Beam Single Barrel is referred to as the ‘pride of the rackhouse’, whereby the amber gold is specifically selected from less than one percent of the overall barrels before being individually bottled, labelled and numbered.

All of the above spirits are available exclusively at DFS Duty Free at Auckland International Airport. Click here to see all that is on offer. 

DFS Duty Free

Auckland International Airport


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Onehunga Cafe

Stop by this exciting new local morning, noon or night for some seriously delicious eats.

This week’s bounty of new openings has brought us yet another suburban gem, this time in the much-deserving borough of Onehunga. Having witnessed the ensuing gentrification of the diverse area, there has, for some time now, been a rather apparent gap in the market. Here to bridge that void is the bustling suburb’s newly appointed local, Onehunga Cafe – brainchild of the eatery’s general manager Ben Harper and chef Chris Allan who, under hospitality group Maestro, are endeavouring to deliver a destination that provides not only excellent bistro food, but also great service in an invitingly casual atmosphere.

Out-of-towners might recognise the enterprise as being responsible for the reincarnation of various Marbeck’s record stores around the country into roaringly successful foodstores of the same name, Dunedin’s new larder being one such example. The duo – both ex Hip Group – have teamed up to create the newly minted all-day eatery sitting pretty on the corner of Onehunga Mall. With design studio Material Creative having conceived the playful space that awaits only a few finishing touches, the interior’s inspiration is derived from the grid of colorful floor tiles that are a remnant of the former tenant, Video Ezy.

Opening the day with a dish such as the hedonistic waffles served with roast rhubarb, marscapone, coconut crisps and homemade spiced honey syrup will no doubt see you in good stead, if not prematurely seeking out a morning kip. There’s otherwise the banana bread French toast complete with crispy bacon, butterscotch bananas and maple butter or the corned beef served with American hash, caramelised onions and fried egg. Topping the charts on the ‘noon’ menu are the incredible Poh Boys, in your choice of lamb, meatball or pork belly. We tried the latter – a glorious rendition with meat rendered sticky and glossy by palm sugar marmalade, offset by the accompanying crisp Granny Smith slaw. The pulled brisket burger also comes in as a firm favourite, kept simply delicious with pickles and cheese harnessed with a buttered bread roll.

To wash it all down there’s a plethora of beverage options, from the homemade smoothies and sodas to the burgeoning selection of over 25 varieties of wine, as well as Hallertau and Harrington’s ready on tap. With plenty of streetside seating and daylight flooding the interior, there’s a good vibe about the newfangled establishment, and we have no doubt locals and adventurous urbanites alike will care to agree with our favourable summation.

Visit the Onehunga Cafe Facebook page here.
Open 7 days from 7am ’til late. 

Onehunga Cafe

259 Onehunga Mall

(09) 636 0371


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Barware at its Best

Tom Dixon's handsome barware series makes a refreshing gift that keeps on giving.

‘Tis the season for both giving and imbibing, and so it is in a timely fashion that celebrated British designer, Tom Dixon, has released a series of perfect, seasonably appropriate items that promise to be the envy of all this Christmas. The contemporary Plum barware range, from the Tom Dixon Eclectic collection, has been executed exquisitely in the form of all bon vivant necessities – a shaker, tongs, decanter, jug, and tall and short glasses.

Serving as functional, futuristic accoutrements to any home drinks display or bar top, the copper-plated Plum Cocktail Shaker’s design features a large belly and more tapered ends allowing for a firm grip and balanced shaking – a slim end cap doubles as a spirit measure, and the similarly copper-plated tongs are equally as attractive and practical. Also impeccably formed and made from mouth-blown, clear glass with hand-painted copper detailing, are the generously proportioned Tank Jug and Tank Decanter, which, aside from acting as appealing water or wine holders, are also excellent for serving summer favourites, Pimm’s and iced tea. And finally, to enjoy these refreshments in ultimate style, the collection includes perfectly weighted, generously proportioned Low Ball glasses that are superbly designed for short cocktails and whiskey, or the elegant, heavy High Ball glasses that are unsurpassed for all long-drinks.

With endless cocktail recipe inspiration and the hot summer days on their way, these exquisite bar essentials will see that special person in your life reaping endless benefits, and are guaranteed to reward you with a lot more than just the joy of giving.

The Eclectic by Tom Dixon Plum barware collection will be available at Simon James Concept Store from the 15th of December.

Simon James Concept Store

230 Jervois Road
Herne Bay

(09) 376 6955



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L’Atelier du Fromage

We're experiencing la folie over the joyous expansion of this French workshop.

Anyone who is a veritable fan of French food and wine is undoubtedly aware of the hive of franco-activity that takes place under the roof of Newmarket’s McColl Street as part of French wine and food merchants, Maison Vauron. With their très authentique French delicatessen located below – formerly known as C’est Fromage – having completed the due expansion of their premises just last week, the newly established L’Atelier du Fromage is now catering to a larger number of local and ex-pat patrons, legions of whom have become far too dependent on their delightful Gallic offerings. The most exciting facet of the recent renovation however, is the fact that the newly appointed space is now serving up a smattering of hot dishes direct ‘de la cuisine’ (from the kitchen).

Responsible for these delectable ‘plats’ is Gilles Papst, an ex-Iles de France chef who is putting his adept skills to excellent use in this new open kitchen context while compatriot Amandine Bodio offers his expertise out front. The menu offers a succinct series of dishes, from the cassolette d’escargot – a small cassoulet of snails served how they ought to be with the essential butter, parsley and garlic, to La Tartine Basque – an open sandwich of sorts comprising seared spring lamb with a medley of roasted red capsicum and tasty shavings of Grand Basque cheese served on grilled sourdough. For those partial to a portion of sausage, there’s the Saucisson Lyonnais – a serving of typical Lyonnaise sausage with poached egg, a sensational red wine reduction and perfectly cooked asparagus this time serving as the seasonal green vegetables. With a plate of the day adding variation to the concise menu that goes further to feature a Wagyu skirt steak and a chèvre salad combined with young vegetables, you won’t soon tire of the bench-setting dishes that are all quite simply, délicieux.

Serving as an ode to their culinary patrimony, L’Atelier du Fromage’s most sensational feature has to be the glass fronted ‘cave d’affinage’ – a place where cheeses go to repose until they reach their utmost aged perfection. Brimming with impressively large slabs of Brugge Prestige, Gruyere Francais and Beaufort, the beauty of L’Atelier’s increased capacity is that you can now dine in whilst admiring these handsome aging wheels. No doubt inspired by the tempting surrounds, you’ll do well to resist leaving without all the components necessary for a gastronomic fête of authentic French finesse.

The kitchen at L’Atelier du Fromage will open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm.

L'Atelier du Fromage

5 McColl Street

(09) 524 8524



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Introducing the Coco Cold Brew

An addictive coconut based cold brew is making waves at Atomic Headquarters.

Drawing upon Vietnam’s iced coffee tendencies with their latest creation, local coffee authority Atomic have unveiled a deliciously appropriate beverage – the Coco cold brew – drawing in more than just your regular coffee addicts in search of something new. Appealing to those who normally steer clear of the quotidian morning pick-me-up many of us maintain far too close of a relationship with, as much as straight coffee drinking purists alike, this refreshing new take on ice coffee has us enamoured with the cooler, sweeter variation.

Employing their increasingly popular cold brew coffee – usually served with ice and soda water – and instead adding to it coconut milk and some dulcifying extras, the Coco cold brew is now a firm favourite amongst the legions of caffeinators undertaking their daily pilgrimage. Where ‘Vietnamese coffee meets coconut meets cold brew deliciousness’ is how the Atomic team puts it, and we care to agree. Available only at the Atomic Headquarters in Kingsland – a fact worth noting for those loyal punters hoping to find one of these delicious potations being proffered at Atomic’s espresso bar in the CBD – we suggest you hotfoot it to the ‘hood and get in line for a vivifying serve of coco-coffee goodness.

Atomic Coffee

420 New North Rd

(09) 846 5883


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The Gentlemen’s necessity-based guide to carrying stuff

Behold a trio of good-looking, versatile bags to lighten your load.

As the year draws to a close, with it comes the urgency to tie up loose ends and where possible, streamline one’s life in preparation for the next term of mayhem. Helping to free cluttered pockets while lightening loads, we turn to the discerning dudes at Crane Brothers to prescribe a bag best suited to you by ascertaining where you’re headed and what your carry-all needs to subsume:

The Everyday Bag
You’ve got papers and gadgets you need to carry to and from the office but a briefcase can come across too corporate, while a messenger bag is a nonstarter. For a sturdy case that’s big enough to take a laptop but still small enough to carry on any flight, the Porter Shorthauler is an ideal companion for everyday travel. And since most of the Porter Yoshida bags are under development for three years before launching, their devotion to excellence is evident in the bag’s little details and pockets that will make your life just that little bit easier.

The Travel Bag
The beauty of a good overnight duffel is how it feels in your hands — sturdy and soft at the same time. And since it lacks a hard shell, it gives and squeezes when necessary. The Porter Boston is the perfect size for a weekend away, or longer if you are a proficient packer. Adamant about putting “heart and soul into every stitch”, the durability of this Porter Yoshida design ensures that it won’t let you down, whatever the terrain, wherever you may roam.

A Bit of Both
Maybe you have a papers-and-folders issue, or a gym-clothes-and-sticks-of-gum matter, but this ‘too much stuff to carry around’ problem can easily be solved with a tote that can toe the line between a heavy workload and an impromptu getaway. The aptly named Porter Tote was made with precisely that in mind, because one can never really be sure what the future holds when you let life lead.

Click here for the Crane Brothers selection of Monocle’s incredibly successful collaboration with Japanese bag artisans Porter Yoshida. The above mentioned styles, strictly handcrafted in Japan, are all available in stately shades of olive, navy and black.

Crane Brothers

Auckland, Wellington, Sydney

0800 99 33 11



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How to: Swerve a Snog

The only way to pass on a pash at the workplace, is the Tatler way.

If you’re weary of overly affectionate cougar Belinda from HR or you think Greg from accounts will attempt to initiate a seemingly harmless but very awkward peck far too close to your lips, consider including these six clever and highly effective methods in your arsenal and turn the unrequited affections of hopeless suitors down, with your grace intact.

1. Coughing fits buy time. But don’t get too enthusiastic – you don’t want sympathy.

2. Duck down suddenly to pick up ‘something shiny’ you just happened to have spied on the floor….But be careful not to bash your suitor on the chin when you stand up. (Dangerous if they have braces.)

3. As they’re bending in, simply ask: ‘Oh, did you have curry for dinner?’ Moment over.

4. Too late to escape? Purposefully miss their mouth and bite their nose. That’ll show ’em.

5. Grab the nearest person and use them as a human shield. Who knows, they might even like it. Call yourself cupid and quickly dance away.

Via Tatler


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In Store: Chaumet Hortensia

Chaumet's new floral-inspired collection has our abiding affection flourishing.

As fervent admirers of Parisian jewellery maison, Chaumet, we’re lusting in their direction yet again with the recent debut of their Hortensia collection – a sensational selection of beautiful, botanic pieces that take shape as refined jewellery bouquets. With each piece celebrating the eye-catching, distinctive beauty of the hydrangea flower (that’s soon to be blooming here), the impeccable designs evoke an air of femininity and grace.

Exuding the maison’s revered classicism in the form of a crown of flowers, the petals on each elegant Bandeau ring in the Hortensia collection are placed spontaneously to ensure each piece is a unique bouquet, composed in either yellow, white or pink 18-carat gold and, for superlative shine, embellished with diamonds. From a more delicately sized fine ring to two more statement sized styles and an extravagantly diamond adorned showstopper, each is equally refined, making for pieces that complement all occasions and attire.

The rings are perfectly complemented by the analogous pendants and earrings, which when paired together create enviable jewellery sets. Enhancing their everyday elegance, the pendants are all accompanied by long gold chains and come in either a ball pendant style or a diamond paved flat bouquet. The matching earrings promise to become new everyday favourites, with their versatility beautifying any outfit. And, numerous renditions of the French house’s timepieces have also been inspired by the hydrangea, making for refined daily accoutrements with unique, effeminate character.

The Chaumet Hortensia collection has recently arrived in store at Hartfield and makes for remarkable gifts, with pieces starting from $2,400.


327 Parnell Road 


(09) 373 2472



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Fresh From the Tree

Drinking the revered, remedying refreshment straight from the nut is now a readily available reality.

It would seem that the ubiquitous coconut water trend is one that just won’t go away. Prevailing as the single most hydrating experience of them all, you’d be forgiven for assuming that with all the innumerable brands out there, that the market might have met a saturated status. You’d be wrong however, as our attention of late has been increasingly drawn to the fully formed coconuts being purveyed at various locations across the Auckland cafe scene. Cocoloco, as they’re called, is a venture by two young local ladies who are taking a refreshingly different approach by ensuring the virtuous liquid is imbibed in its most natural form – that is, literally straight from the nut.

The conception of Phillippa Bagley and Francesca Bowden, two friends who met on a yacht in the Mediterranean as they both followed the sun in search of an endless summer. The duo had the profound realisation that most of their friends had never tasted real coconut water in its pure untouched form. Thus the novice entrepreneurs were inspired to find a way to make the revered, raw and completely unpasteurised version of the drink accessible in New Zealand. Hence Cocoloco’s coconuts are simply picked, wrapped, packed and shipped to our shores with no tampering or heating in between – something that the omnipresent heat-treated, pasteurised and often ‘from concentrate’, bottled varieties cannot attest to.

Allowing us, sans airplane ticket to a tropical island, to sip coconut water just as Mother Nature intended, it’s not surprising we’re not alone in favouring this fresh approach with numerous cafes and eateries now stocking their coconuts. Making our lives exceptionally simple, Cocoloco offer packs of 6 coconuts sent directly to your doorstep, as well as two essential tools you’ll want to have on the ready this summer; the Coco Jack and the Coco Drill which makes puncturing a hole in the nut to extract coconut water and breaking it open afterwards a breeze. Furthermore, their versatility is boundless encompassing a number of breakfast, cocktail and dessert recipes – from a superbly simple rum and coconut water cocktail that promises to help abate dehydration in the process, to luscious desserts and a delectably refreshing take on Bircher muesli. We suggest you place an order and give the below recipe a whirl.

Bircher Muesli, using the kit available from Cocoloco or The Muesli Hub.
Step one: Open a fresh Cocoloco coconut with your supplied Coco Drill, and pour the liquid into a glass. (You’ll need to use a little force when piercing the shell).
Step two: Add 200ml (3/4 cup) of Cocoloco coconut water to 1 cup of The Muesli Hub Bircher, make sure the coconut water is just covering the muesli. Cover and allow to soak in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
Step three: Place your bircher in a bowl, top with summer fruit and yoghurt, or leave without to make your breakfast 100% diary and refined sugar free.
Step four: Enjoy.

Bon Vivant

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Listen: Jenny Lewis ‘The Voyager’

Outstanding song writing, beautifully produced, and superbly delivered, here's a musical equivalent to a warm, strong hug.

Life is a journey, hence the title of Jenny Lewis’ third solo album, which finds the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman deliver her strongest and most cohesive set of songs. Full of bittersweet reminisces, Lewis reaches back into her past to tell wonderfully rich stories about infidelity (‘Slippery Slopes’), failed relationships (‘She’s Not Me’), lost friendship (‘Late Bloomer’) and unrequited love (Love U 4ever’). Her writing is intelligent, funny and sharp (“When I told you I cheated, and you punched through the dry wall” being just one of many great examples) while her voice is as always, simply superb.

Beck and Ryan Adams both help out on the production and the sound is glossier and stronger, driven by mesmerising guitar riffs and luxurious reverb. And when Jenny sings “There’s a little bit of magic, everybody has it” on the album’s excellent opening track ‘Head Underwater’ you can’t not believe that, despite all the ups and downs, Jenny Lewis is currently loving her life. Hard not to when you manage to convince Hollywood’s leading ladies to be in your band…as seen in her music video for ‘Just One of the Guys’.


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