Kick the silly season into gear with these 5 must-have summer accessories

Although we cannot ensure a long, hot summer, we can do our best to make sure it’s a bloody good time. Herewith, a myriad of essential summer gadgets.

Champagne showers
What is the silly season without unwittingly showering your guests with France’s finest? This weapon of mass partying will shake things up for the better. Load it up with a magnum bottle of Champagne and let the good times roll. She’s completely harmless, available in gold, chrome or rose gold, and can work with either a diffuser or serving spout (for classier occasions).

Rodeo Time
Don’t be fooled by this benign pool toy. Just because this beast doesn’t buck and you have an azulene puddle as your safety net, to grapple on the InflataBULL’s back for an extended period is no easy feat. Don’t believe us? Just search ‘Sofia Vergara tries to ride swimming pool bull’ on YouTube — it’s one of the better things the internet has given us this year.

Stay Lit
Make like Harry Potter with this portable lantern for the modern era. Pablo’s UMA lantern has redefined the age-old accessory in fine style and with state of the art technology; the movable lamp contains a built-in speaker so that you can play your sweet sounds through what doubles as an ambient source of light. It’s the ideal accomplice for impromptu beach parties at twilight.

Sun Worshipper
Who else would have the nous to build an umbrella that moves with the sun than the Californians? ShadeCraft’s ‘Sunflower’ is an autonomous shade that does just that and so much more. Fitted with AI technology and integrated solar panels, it stores energy and analyses data in real time to ‘throw shade’ where desired, and close itself in high winds. Controlled via an app, this hyper-intelligent brolly also tracks security through built-in cameras.

Under the Sea
Why not upgrade your snorkelling experience with this advanced apparatus? Modelled off deep-sea equipment, the H2O Ninja Mask utilises reduced fogging technology and 180-degree viewing to bring you a panoramic vista of the life aquatic. Wearers are known to spend over 30 percent more time underwater exploring all that lies below.

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The Louvre Abu Dhabi

The 6 most important things that happened in the art world in 2017

It’s been a big year in the art world, with sales going through the roof and general interest at an all-time high. Here we round up the most notable happenings.

1. The Louvre Abu Dhabi opened
The highly anticipated counterpart to the Parisian museum opened in early November. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning French Architect Jean Nouvel, the first museum of its kind in the Arab world will focus on shared stories across civilisations and cultures.

2. 3 Picassos to reunite
After 85 years of separation, it was announced that three revered works from Pablo Picasso’s ‘years of wonder’ will be lent to London’s Tate Modern for an exhibition beginning in March next year. We love Pablo!

(L) Pablo Picasso’s ‘Le Rêve’ (The Dream) (R) An Untitled painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat

3. Record Basquiat Sale
Basquiat aficionado Yusaku Maezawa paid over US$110 million (NZD$159 million) for the untitled work, breaking records for the most expensive American artwork to ever be sold. Such is the trend in the prices fetched by contemporary art.

4. LACMA Renovation details revealed
After much speculation about what, where, who and how, definitive plans about L.A.’s most visited art space have been decided upon. Swiss-born Peter Zumthor has reimagined it as a modernist structure that will straddle Wilshire Boulevard.

LACMA renovation rendering

5. The first ever Whitney Biennial happened
Launched amidst the tumultuous period of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the first iteration of the Whitney Biennial was intrinsically political. Who knows what’s in store for the years ahead?

6. Record Da Vinci sale 
Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ (painted circa 1500) shattered records by selling for over $450million at Christie’s New York in November. It now holds the title of the most expensive piece of art to ever be sold at auction, beating out Picasso’s ‘Women of Algiers (Version O)’.

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The classic souvlaki gets a gastronomic upgrade! Find out where…

Greek food often brings to mind the delicious (and sometimes guilt-inducing) souvlaki/gyros found on the streets of cities around the world. The difference between the two kinds of delicacy is hotly debated, but both terms essentially refer to meat or vegetables that have been cut up, put on a skewer, then grilled to hot, tender perfection before being served up on flatbread with sauce to devour. It has come to our attention that local purveyor of mouth-watering Greek fare, Gerome, is proffering this adored food in a speedy and sophisticated way via its daily ‘Souvlaki Sessions’.

Souvlaki with courgette keftedes

Featuring on the restaurant’s express lunch menu every day from 11:30am-3pm are six different souvlakis starting from $15 a piece. Of all the equally enticing options, we tried the one with courgette keftedes (pulled apart vegetarian meatballs) and can confirm that it was nothing less than hedonistic. Saucy, bready and gratifying, the rest of the line-up is much in the same vein; the pulled lamb shoulder comes with feta and fries in an elevated version of the classic; flavoursome chicken thighs are married with iceberg lettuce, mayonnaise and lemon; and the burnt eggplant is a show-stopper with cauliflower purée, pine nuts, white raisins and tahini.

This straightforward and seriously satisfying bite has made a memorable entrée into our lunch repertoire. May we advise you to follow suit.

Gerome

269 Parnell Rd
Parnell
Auckland

(09) 373 3883

www.gerome.nz

Gastronomy


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This new Miann opening is bringing the sweet life to Ponsonby Central

Treat yourself to a Powersurge online shop, and receive a generous restaurant voucher for paying it forward

Etiquette: the dos & don’ts of attending the tennis

With the ASB Classic nipping at our heels, we revisit some of the finer points of courtside decorum.

Service Time…
Do: Retire your cutlery quietly to the side of your plate until play has resumed.
Don’t: Smack the side of your glass with a knife and yell, “More Champagne please!”

When it’s a Tie-break…
Do: Lean forward so as to observe the action from the edge of your seat. Act tense.
Don’t: Get up and start stretching out of boredom.

Swapping Ends…
Do: Use this time to excuse yourself to use the facilities.
Don’t: Try start a Mexican wave.

When the ball hits the net…
Do: Inhale dramatically.
Don’t: Proclaim, “It’s N-E-T, not L-E-T, dummies!”

During the 90-second Break…
Do: Attend to any missed text messages.
Don’t: Yell, “take it off!” to the nearest player.

Really Long Rallies…
Do: Look around once it’s all over and nod in approval to fellow attendees (thus, sorting the wheat from the tennis-watching chaff).
Don’t: Look at your watch and yawn conspicuously.

When it’s an ACE…
Do: Pass a shrewd comment about the importance of maintaining one’s composure.
Don’t: Start heckling about how terrible at tennis the ace-ee is.

Deuce…
Do: Humbly observe that “it’s really anyone’s game”.
Don’t: Say, “only if I can have some vodka in it”.

When it’s all over…
Do: Find a rival supporter and shake his/her hand saying “fabulous game”.
Don’t: Point at the opposition and start saying “LOOOOSER” ad nauseum.

The ASB Classic will take place at Auckland’s ASB Tennis Centre from 1st-13th January 2018.

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We break down the anatomy of a perfect (cheese) burger

What is summer without the olfactory assault of something sizzling away on the grill? The answer: nothing but a meaningless stream of dog days, punctuated by the birth of baby Jesus and a booze-fuelled entrée into the new year. A burger is, without a doubt, the foremost accompaniment to the season’s customary activities that include, but are not limited to, beachside frolicking, backyard barbecues and liquid overindulgence (there are few better gastronomic objects with which to soak up our sins). Lovingly prepared with a beer in hand, ideally overlooking a well-manicured garden, or perhaps, more intrepidly, one of our fabulously proximate beaches, the simple and superbly gratifying construction is something worthy of acclaim.

In light of as much, we’re paying homage to the delicacy with a blow by blow account of how to assemble the most delicious burger ever. And we’re not talking about those new-age ones with Korean fried chicken and bao buns either, but the quintessential cheeseburger; a patty of humble minced beef origins with a slab of gloriously mundane cheese melted over the top. Salad, not made up of sesame-dressed slaw, but of a single piece of Cos, and a sauce that could rival McD’s top secret variety. With each ingredient as pedestrian as the next, this, my friends, is the perfect burger.

The Cheese
This might be a straightforward component but let’s not forget it has naming rights. A cheddar is the safest bet for its tang and bold taste. Call us lackadaisical, but our favourite way to buy it is pre-sliced, ready to slap onto the semi-cooked patty.

The Lettuce
The burger’s only source of verdancy is one of great contention. While many prefer the gratifying crunch of an iceberg specimen, we’re partial to the sturdy form of Romaine or Cos. Robust by nature, both breeds have the constitution to hold up the inner workings of your burger.

The Tomato
You might be fooled into thinking that any old tomato is up to the task — ‘tis not the case. While the vine variety will lend your creation more flavour, a Beefsteak has the benefit of providing a one-slice solution to avoid cheeky tranches escaping out of your burger’s back end. Salt the slice a few minutes before assembly to help reduce excess liquid.

The Bun
We dallied with making our own before deciding that the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. After all, the burger exercise is all about ease. Paneton makes excellent brioche buns that are available from Farro Fresh and New World stores. We suggest browning them face-down in the pan with butter before popping them in the oven to keep warm while cooking the patties.

The Sauce
Nailing the sauce is one of the most important things to do. More than just a tomato sauce x mayonnaise mash-up, we like one with a little tang and smokiness too. Try the following and adapt to taste: ¼ cup Best Foods mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon spicy pickle juice, 1 teaspoon tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon yellow mustard and a pinch each of smoked paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir and season.

The Meat
Prepare a simple hand-mix of 200g lean ground mince with an egg, salt, pepper, a teaspoon each of mustard, crushed garlic and a finely chopped onion. Shape into fist size patties.

Soapstone Burger Grill Press available from here.

Never quite been able to mimic that ‘crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside’ effect they do so well at your favourite burger joint? We have the answer: put your patties into the freezer for 15 minutes before they hit the grill to slow down the cooking process just enough to get that deep brown, flavoursome crust Heat the grill (or cast iron skillet) to high heat and add a couple of tablespoons of oil. When it starts smoking, add the patties and use a grill-press (pictured) to smoosh them down for as much surface area as possible. After 1½ minutes on one side, flip, season, add cheese then leave for another minute, before sliding onto an awaiting bun.

Gastronomy


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This new Miann opening is bringing the sweet life to Ponsonby Central

Treat yourself to a Powersurge online shop, and receive a generous restaurant voucher for paying it forward

A broad spectrum line-up of summer reads worth taking to the beach

Put the sizzle in your summer reading repertoire with this broad-spectrum line-up of the best new book releases.

Life In Code by Ellen Ullman
Ullman has lived and worked inside the rising culture of technology; the adoption of the internet, the development of artificial intelligence, and the ubiquity of unimaginably powerful computers. Here she tells the continuing story of the changes to our economy and society through her unique, expert perspective.

Selfie by Will Storr
There’s a fine line between healthy self-esteem and full-blown narcissism, and Generation Y is certainly treading it. Will Storr goes about examining the idea of the ‘right amount’ of self-love by assessing the mental health of various actual characters from different walks of life. It’s thoughtful, engaging and very ‘right now’.

My Soul Looks Back by Jessica B. Harris
This is a memoir about the author’s youth spent in New York City alongside Maya Angelou, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison in the early 1970s. Harris reflects intimately on her friendships with these fascinatingly seminal individuals, capturing an era that was abundant with creativity, art, activism and intellectual life.

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
From the man who brought us the cult novel, Crazy Rich Asians (which is currently being transposed onto the big screen) comes the trilogy’s hotly-anticipated third instalment. An addictive novel that follows the long-buried secrets of a family driven by fortune, you’ll enjoy a whole lot of drama and many LOL moments as you delve into Asia’s upper crust.   

Touch by Courtney Maum
This book is enough to make you rethink your reliance on the digital world; Sloane Jacobsen, a trend forecaster hired to head a tech conference celebrating childlessness, soon begins to sense that the next movement will be shunning electronics in favour of in-person connection. She takes a huge professional risk to defend this idea.

Eat Only When You’re Hungry by Lindsay Hunter
An overweight, 58-year-old man rents an RV and drives from West Virginia to Florida in search of his missing addict son. Along the way, he realises that his excessive eating and drinking may not be so different from his son’s addictions and must grapple with his past failings as a parent and a husband.

All titles are available from any good bookseller. 

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Sure, bitcoins are big news, but how do you actually spend them?

Bitcoin first entered into our consciousness as a mysterious form of money in 2009 (not coincidentally after the Global Financial Crisis bore a deep distrust in the banking system). Created by Japanese pioneer Satoshi Nakamoto (a pseudonym), its value has escalated from US$0.00076 per coin on launch to now US$16852.53* per coin — and growing. While it’s endured a turbulent existence along the way, the internet-mined cryptocurrency has captured the world’s attention, never straying far from the headlines. And though chiefly still viewed as an investment piece, more and more businesses are beginning to accept the cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Leading us to ask the question — what can we actually buy with Bitcoins?

Art
At Dadiani Fine Art gallery in London, Bitcoin is a very welcome form of payment. Should this Séamus Moran helmet take your fancy, for instance?

An Evening Out
Though a number of über-trendy international bars have been offering Bitcoin payment as a novelty for a while now, it seems the trend is spreading. Namely to Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour where Oyster & Chop is now more than happy to accept the cryptocurrency.

Cash it Out
Bitcoin ATMs are relatively rare on this side of the world, however, the online ‘Coin ATM Radar’ does claim The Dogs Bollix bar on K’ Road houses one… we’re yet to visit.

Guns
If there’s a way to make firearms more accessible to the masses, Texas is going to think of it. So dogged is the state’s determination to lock and load, that a local firearms dealer, Central Texas Gun Works, started accepting Bitcoin all the way back in 2014. Land of the free.

Travel
Expedia and Webjet accept Bitcoin, as does (unsurprisingly) Richard Branson’s commercial space travel line, Virgin Galactic.

Education
The University of Nicosia in Cyprus allows students to pay for their Masters of Science in Digital Currency in Bitcoin. Of course.

All figures correct at time of publishing

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Own the beach with the hottest swimwear of the season

Summertime really is a panoply of all things good. The sun-drenched memories we make during this time keep us going through the middle of the year, offering respite from rainy days in happy nostalgia. With the vast majority of the sunny season taken up with lounging on the beach, having the right swimming attire is imperative. Herein we offer up some suggestions for you and/or your significant other, to keep you feeling sleek on the sand until the final rays.

 

 

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SEE ALL SLIDES |

Left: Peony String Tri and Hi Pant in Le Spot from Virtue Swim
Right: Nicholson board shorts from Rodd & Gunn

Left: Saturdays NYC Timothy Ginko printed swim shorts from Mr Porter
Right: Zimmermann Corsair Ladder bikini from Superette

Left: Franks Whitsundays board shorts from Superette
Right: Lisa Marie Fernandez Mira striped ruffled bikini from Matches

Left: Roxana Salehoun one piece from The Mercantile
Right: Mexico Wheat board shorts from Chalk

Left: Greta bikini and Greta brief in black rose from Lonely
Right: Franks Hayman carbon board shorts from Superette

Left: Eres Presse square-neck swimsuit from Matches
Right: Paul Smith Beach Hut-print swim shorts from Matches

Left: Halden board shorts from Rodd & Gunn
Right: Marysia Palm Springs bikini top and Antibes bikini brief from Net-A-Porter

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Gerome
Ampersand
Mission Bay Pavilion
SEVEN
Hugo's

Without further ado, we present the best restaurant openings of 2017

As Christmas approaches and the end of the year edges into view, we once again are taking time to reflect on ‘what just happened’. Reminiscing on all the burgers, breakfasts, cocktails and cuisine we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy, here we celebrate the finest restaurant openings of 2017.

Ampersand
Whether stopping in for a brunch with friends, lunch with the kids or a dinner with your significant someone, this all-day eatery in Orakei Bay Village delivers on all fronts. For first-timers, the breakfast ramen is an unanticipated favourite.

Barulho
Taking its cues from the neighbourhood bars of Portugal, Barulho is tucked into a narrow tranche of Faraday Street with a rustic-chic interior that gives way to an unexpected private garden oasis (upstairs). Boasting an ever-evolving Portuguese/Italian menu and crafted cocktails, the casual spot has injected ample personality in lower Parnell.

Barulho

The Halcyon
Taking its name from an idyllic period of time, where wine was flowing and the good times were aplenty, Ponsonby Road Bistro’s sister restaurant was always destined to deliver a sense of fun. The relaxed eatery boasts a menu as bold as the decor and the Herne Bay corner spot is a welcome addition to the local dining scene.

Gerome
Contemporary Greek food hadn’t really been touched upon in Auckland until Gerome popped up on Parnell Road in April. Proffering its modern Mediterranean cuisine from a beautiful, Paul Izzard-redesigned space (reminiscent of a Prohibition-era New York bar), it’s a thoroughly curated and thoroughly delicious experience.

Happy Boy
Flooded with the faux glow of a gaming arcade, if you haven’t tried this Tokyo-inspired burger joint yet, you really are missing out. Delighting diners with a tasty line-up of pork, fish, tofu and beef bao-burgers, the Korean Fried Chicken is also a menu standout.

Happy Boy

Hugo’s
Located in the heart of the inner-city on Shortland St, Hugo’s is an elegant newcomer that covers a lot of culinary bases. Beginning the day as the perfect stop-in for meetings, where a faultless breakfast menu and excellent coffee keep the crowds satiated, it transforms into an intimate, date-appropriate hideaway as the day goes on and the lights dim.

Lillius
Named after the Latin word for purity, the fine food at play fits the nomenclature at Lillius. Taking diners on a three- or five-course journey, the fare is at once casual and refined and worthy of Auckland’s haute dining echelon.

Lillius

Mission Bay Pavilion
Having sat neglected for far too long, Tamaki Drive’s historic Melanesian Mission House was this year given a new lease on life with the opening of Mission Bay Pavilion. Highlighting fresh, local produce for every meal of the day, the takeaway fish and chips (enjoyed at the beach) are especially brilliant.

Huami
A sophisticated Chinese restaurant that embraces the theatrics, Huami has brought a deliciously authentic taste of Shanghai-style fare to town. Nestled at the entrance to SKYCITY, the Federal Street eatery is the perfect stop-in for big groups and intimate evenings alike.

Huami

SEVEN
A rooftop bar is always destined to be big news in Auckland — especially when it comes from the creative minds of Savor Group (Azabu, Ebisu, Ostro). SEVEN is the Asian bar/eatery that this year took over the Seafarers building top floor. A place where the only thing as fine as the food is the lip-smacking cocktails, it is the place to go for a Friday night tipple.

The Shucker Brothers
Arriving just in time for the warm weather, this elegant waterfront oyster bar has quickly become a favourite. Plating up the mighty molluscs in raw or battered form along with a Mediterranean tapas and main menu, the addition of chilled Champagne is always appreciated.

The Shucker Brothers

Gastronomy


From perfect pasta to mouthwatering mezze, these are the best comfort food takeaways to order right now

This new Miann opening is bringing the sweet life to Ponsonby Central

Treat yourself to a Powersurge online shop, and receive a generous restaurant voucher for paying it forward

Listen: 5 podcasts that will improve your dinner table conversation

Here at Denizen, we’re always looking for new podcast content. The beauty of the audio episodes is not lost on us as a way to go deep into subject matter that we wouldn’t normally be privy to. The following covers a range of people from different industries, shedding light on their various areas of expertise as well as just the things they feel strongly about.

1. The High-Low
This weekly pop-culture/news podcast, presented by Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes — former co-hosts of The Pandolly Podcast — hones in on various of-the-moment topics such as “Harvey Weinsteinery”, Trumpism, Drake and much more. Witty and with well-formed opinions, this UK duo makes for easy and interesting listening.

2. How Did This Get Made?
Hosted by Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and comedy heavyweight Jason Mantzoukas, each show, which typically features a different guest, gets into the deconstruction and mockery of outlandish and bad films. Right now, if you need some context before going to The Disaster Artist we suggest you listen to the episode on The Room.

3. Stuff You Missed in History Class
The name really says it all. Here, Holly Frey and Tracy V. Wilson school you on all the things you were too busy to care about during history class. The history buffs retrace the steps of some of the most fascinating (and intriguing) events that have played a part in forming the world as we know it. 

4. WTF with Marc Maron
This weekly podcast and radio show, hosted by stand up comedian Marc Maron, is an oldie but a goodie. With a stunning line-up of guests that include his celebrity friends (more recently, James Franco) he tackles some of the toughest philosophical questions of our time. 

5. Long Form Podcast
This is one for journalists and lovers of journalism. Speaking to individuals from across the media spectrum, The Guardian describes the show as offering “a peek behind the curtain of the all-powerful media and frequently ends up revealing that the people reporting the news are the real stories.”

Culture


What’s the deal with ASMR? We shed some light on this fascinating sensory trend

Need a new series? Add these addictive TV shows to your watchlist this weekend

What should you read next? These 5 engrossing novels deserve a place on your bookshelf