One of our Denizens puts her driving ability to the test at the BMW Alpine xDrive experience

For someone who only recently acquired a full driver’s license at the ripe age of 29, you can only imagine my nervous excitement when I got the call-up from BMW inviting me to partake in the Alpine xDrive experience, what could be described as the first class of defensive driving courses. Not only was I going to be able to showcase my accomplished driving skills, I was also about to learn a thing or two about how to manage the seriously powerful M and X series BMWs whilst driving at speed across snow and ice.

Hosted at the award-winning Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds in Cardrona Valley, an internationally renowned automotive testing facility in winter and sheep farm come summer, we were absolutely spoilt with a bluebird day resulting in superb weather conditions for fanging around the impeccably groomed, snow-laden fields.

On arrival, we were greeted by a line-up of driving instructors. Now these weren’t your typical straight-laced AA driving instructors, they were over accomplished professionals and world-class champions who, let’s be honest, were about to be highly entertained by my efforts in the hot seat (Literally, all of the vehicles had been preheated to a temperature of toasty.)

First on the agenda was drifting. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this driving technique, drifting, which originated in Japan, is the controlled slide of a car typically around a corner with complete loss of traction, and a combination of managing break, throttle and steering. Simple. After being given the 411 on what to do and more importantly what not to do i.e. crash into a grader, tractor or launch yourself off a cliff, we had our choice of the M2, M4 and M5 models. Naturally, I chose the M5; a brand new addition to the xDrive fleet and one of the most powerful vehicles BMW has ever built, it does 0-100 km/h in 3.4 seconds. In other words, she’s quick. While I didn’t quite nail the art of drifting, I did manage to pull a few doughnuts on the course, which impressed my fellow teammates (I think).

Slalom and gymkhana were next and my inner speed demon was awakened. I jumped in the 5 Series Touring and psyched myself up as we kicked off with some good old-fashioned drag racing. Foot on the gas, 0-90 km/h in what felt like milliseconds, off the gas at the finish line and on the brakes, hard. Better luck next time. My opponent had out-raced me by a matter of split seconds. For the next heat, I opted to swap to the 6 Series GT, best of two, winner takes all, and boy did I lap up that victory. To be fair, the entire day was nothing short of healthy competition. Barrel racing followed where again I proved my worth, however, it was the gymkhana that unfortunately I lucked out on.

We took a scenic road tour in the X3s and X5s from the bottom of the Proving Grounds to the highest point, the Northern Flats, where you have the most breathtaking views of Mount Cook, Mount Aspiring and the Southern Alps’ snowy vistas.

Saving the best and potentially the most petrifying for last, Senior BMW Instructor and gifted racing driver Mike Eady, whose personal best to date is a top speed of 150 km/h on snow, took us on a hot lap in the super speedy M3. I called shotgun, held on tight and squealed (with joy) as we slid from side to side, at a speed I don’t wish to know, around the icy track. Adrenalin was at an all-time high.

In a state of absolute euphoria, I felt the comedown kick in as soon as I had to disembark from what had been the experience of a lifetime, petrol head or not. Would I do it all again? In a heartbeat.

For more information on the BMW Alpine xDrive, click here.

Escape


Parker & Co founder Lynne Parker shares an insider’s guide to Stewart Island

Denizen’s definitive guide to wining and dining in Wanaka

Mt Isthmus is the luxurious new private villa that’s perfect for a mid-winter escape
'Venezuela Crisis' by Ronaldo Schemidt for Agence France-Presse
‘Warriors Who Once Feared Elephants Now Protect Them’ by Ami Vitale for National Geographic
‘Kid Jockeys’ by Alain Schroeder for Reporters
'Finding Freedom in the Water'
 by Anna Boyiazis

The world’s greatest photo exhibition lands in Auckland this weekend

Encapsulating some of the most moving and inspiring moments from the past year in one single image is no easy feat, which is why some serious laudation is reserved for a select few photographers who have managed to do so. This year’s World Press Photo exhibition, with its worldwide showcase of awe-inspiring photographs, is landing this Saturday 30th June at Smith & Caughey’s gallery space in central Auckland.

After whittling it down from over 80,000 entries, the calibre of this year’s content is remarkable with the jury awarding prizes in eight separate categories to 42 photographers. The winning image, selected as World Press Photo Of The Year, was ‘Venezuela Crisis’ by Venezuelan photographer Ronaldo Schemidt. A harrowing portrayal of the riots during the protest against President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, the image depicts 28-year-old José Victor Salazar Balza on fire, following the explosion of the gas tank of a motorbike nearby. Other images touch on everything from the Boko Haram movement to rehabilitated wildlife in northern Kenya, with titles that are as evocative as the images themselves.

Some local talent also features in the lineup, with Kiwi photographer Stephen McCarthy’s ‘Steaming Scrum’ — an image showing The British & Irish Lions and the All Blacks engaging during a match at Rotorua International Stadium — coming second place in the acclaimed Sports Singles Category. Whether it’s to scope through all the awe-inspiring images that made the cut or just to catch a glimpse of NZ’s acclaimed entry, a visit down to the captivating exhibition this weekend is a must.

From Saturday 30th June to Sunday 29th July, the World Press Photo Exhibition will be showing in the Gallery Space of Queen Street’s Smith & Caughey’s, for more information and ticket prices, click here

World Press Photo exhibition

Level 6 Gallery Space
Smith and Caughey’s
253-261 Queen Street
Auckland

www.worldpressphoto.co.nz

Culture


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

The beautiful order and chaos of Zara Dolan’s new exhibition at Sanderson Contemporary

Conquer the great outdoors with these invigorating local walks and hikes
The grounds at Point Leo Estate
The restaurant at Point Leo Estate
Orchard Keepers

Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula has gone straight to the top of our travel wishlist

Located one hour south of the Victorian capital, Mornington Peninsula is becoming a veritable hub for all things art and design. Attracting tourists and Melburnians alike, many of its latest offerings are significantly raising the bar. Point Leo Estate, set on 135 hectares — 20 of which are under vines — is privately owned land that has only just been opened to the public as a winery, restaurant and sculpture park. Exhibiting an impressive selection of local and international contemporary works, visitors can expect breathtaking walks through the grounds and delectable dishes at the fine-dining restaurant that boasts sweeping coastal views.

More of the incredible grounds at Point Leo Estate

When it comes to accommodation, there is an increasing selection of boutique accommodation that delivers on both homely style and warm hospitality. If it’s a polished, country getaway in the area’s Red Hill, you can opt for the peaceful accommodation at Lindenderry which offers elevated dining, a welcoming atmosphere and sprawling grounds.

Accommodation at Lindenberry

Jackalope, on the other hand, offers a veritably design-centric approach. The game-changing boutique hotel boasts an impressive art collection, sleek aesthetic and impossibly fine dining for the ultimate luxury escape. Meanwhile, Orchard Keepers is tucked between some of the area’s vineyards and orchards. Nestled under the shade of an ancient sequoia tree, the repurposed estate comprises three charming, historic villas, and feels like a home away from home.

With no shortage of great places to eat, drink and explore, the accessibility of Mornington Peninsula — just far enough to feel like a real getaway, but no too far to be counted as long-haul — makes it the latest addition to our travel wishlist.

If you need even more reason to visit Melbourne in the coming months, you can find it here

Escape


Parker & Co founder Lynne Parker shares an insider’s guide to Stewart Island

Denizen’s definitive guide to wining and dining in Wanaka

Mt Isthmus is the luxurious new private villa that’s perfect for a mid-winter escape

This is the only parka you need to withstand the current cold snap

With a reputation for being some of the finest (and most coveted) outerwear on the market, a selection of Yves Salomon’s meticulously handcrafted Army jackets has landed in Workshop. Set to be a stylish antidote to the exceptionally brisk mornings we’ve been having, the parkas are reminiscent of vintage military coats in both form and function, with each piece designed to deliver the warmth of a heavy-duty jacket from a more lightweight, feminine shell. The beauty of this brand is its ability to take traditional shapes and materials (like fur) and modernise them in a progressive way, creating something that is inherently timeless.

Crafted in France, the construction of each Army parka comprises a cotton canvas outer, lightweight puffer lining and incredibly soft, detachable fur collar. Available in khaki green or black (in either short or long styles) these will undoubtedly be some of the warmest jackets you’ll encounter all season (you can thank us later).


Left to right:
Short parka with fox trim hooding in Noir
Long parka with fox trim hooding in Noir
Short parka with fox trim hooding in Clay

Coveted


The new sleepwear collaboration between Papinelle and Karen Walker is in bloom

win

Prepare to step out in supreme style thanks to our $3000 giveaway to be spent online at new luxury concept boutique Faradays

Square up with the new way to wear checks, the ultimate winning move for your next outfit

We round up our favourite looks from the men’s SS19 runways

This year, Paris men’s fashion week felt like more of a spectacle than usual. With Virgil Abloh making his debut for Louis Vuitton and Kim Jones showcasing his first menswear collection for Christian Dior, it marked a changing of the guard. Colour was a recurring motif in both Paris and London and relaxed tailoring a mainstay in many of the SS19 collections, where open blazers, relaxed trousers and bright colours usurped common suiting. Showcasing strong collections across the board, these are some of our favourite looks from the weeks that were.

Dior Homme
Style notes: Soft suiting and subtle logos

Louis Vuitton
Style notes:
 Colour matching and monotone

Paul Smith
Style notes: 
Plaid and sleek shirting

Prada
Style notes:
Layering and bold accents

Dries Van Noten
Style notes: 
Psychedelic graphics and bright tones

Fendi
Style notes: 
Logomania

Hermès
Style notes: 
Muted hues and modern tie-dye

Versace
Style notes: 
90s denim, highlighter accents and silk scarf printing

Balmain
Style notes: 
Michael Jackson and evening sparkle

Stella McCartney
Style notes: 
Casual suiting and colourful layers

Jacquemus
Style notes: 
Romantic silhouettes, European summers and utilitarian edge

Kenzo
Style notes: 
Pattern clashing and after-dark neon 

Ermenegildo Zegna
Style notes: 
Laid-back suiting and pastel palette

Lanvin
Style notes: 
Structural layering and neutral tones

 

 

Coveted


The new sleepwear collaboration between Papinelle and Karen Walker is in bloom

win

Prepare to step out in supreme style thanks to our $3000 giveaway to be spent online at new luxury concept boutique Faradays

Square up with the new way to wear checks, the ultimate winning move for your next outfit
Wise Boys Burgers
Black Stag Deli
Langos
The Rolling Pin

This unique event will see our favourite food trucks put a Māori spin on their regular kai

Kai enthusiasts rejoice, for this Saturday there is a street food extravaganza that’s bound to set your taste buds alight. To celebrate the Pleiades — a star constellation which rises mid-winter, officially signalling the start of Matariki (Māori New Year) — the inaugural Puna Kai will be bringing together eight carefully selected food trucks in the form of a one-day-only festival.

A flavour explosion in every sense, each of the lunch wagons will be serving up their traditional fare with a Māori twist. Head to Black Stag Deli to dabble in the barbequed Green Lipped Mussels served alongside watercress chimichurri, or saunter by Crepes Creations and pick up one of the manuka smoked salmon crepes for an innovative, savoury take on the French street food classic. If it’s something fried you are yearning for, Langos’ pesto topped, deep fried flat bread drizzled with golden syrup is an indulgent treat that’s sure to hit the spot, while The Rolling Pin‘s mouthwatering dumplings are without a doubt worth saving room for.

Spanning from 12pm till 4pm, the Eastern Viaduct food fiesta (located where the car park used to be) will be joined by a range of other festivities, including a variety of games for the kids, a food-related workshop and a DJ set from Kinas Cuts that’s sure to kick your weekend off right. The best part? Admission is free.

Gastronomy


Planning an outdoor meet-up? Enjoy these lavish level 3 picnic boxes for dining al fresco

win

Win: We’re giving away up to 5 Savor Goods corporate gift boxes worth a total of over $750

A new daytime eatery opens in Parnell, bringing its casual yet welcoming Italian flair to the neighbourhood

Masu heralds the arrival of Dry July with a lavish non-alcoholic pairing menu

At this time of year, we need as much help as we can to stay on the straight and narrow, particularly when it comes to matters such as ‘overindulging’. Thankfully, SKYCITY’s Masu by Nic Watt is heeding our calls for a delicious yet slightly less decadent affair with a new food and drink pairing that fits perfectly into the scheme of Dry July.

The limited edition five-course Tokusen menu, designed by Chef Watt himself, comprises a spate of dishes such as a deluxe Ora king tartare, kingfish sashimi with sakura shoyu and ruby grapefruit, Te Mana lamb with seaweed slaw, wagyu beef and hapukā en papillote to name a few. Each course will be artfully paired with a non-alcoholic cocktail designed by bar manager Akira Ohki, and we don’t mean your customary tutti frutti mash-up. Starting with three cocktails using cult non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip, with the remaining two being kombucha-based, each concoction’s flavour profile will harness ingredients like sencha elderflower, tomato kombu, tamarillo, Sichuan blossom, pineapple and wild nasturtium.

In a nod to the trend that sees many of us wanting to turn over a salubrious new leaf, we’re welcoming Dry July with open arms. Especially if it means we can capitalise on an lavish new menu such as this.

The MASU x Seedlip non-alcoholic pairing menu is available from 1st – 31st July for $180 per person. 

MASU by Nic Watt

90 Federal St
Auckland

(09) 363 6278

www.skycityauckland.co.nz/restaurants/masu

Gastronomy


Planning an outdoor meet-up? Enjoy these lavish level 3 picnic boxes for dining al fresco

win

Win: We’re giving away up to 5 Savor Goods corporate gift boxes worth a total of over $750

A new daytime eatery opens in Parnell, bringing its casual yet welcoming Italian flair to the neighbourhood

We talk to Ollie Simon & David Lee in the lead up to their new CBD opening

Ever since it opened midway through last year, Ollie Simon and David Lee’s namesake Parnell eatery has arguably become one of Auckland’s coolest all-day destinations. Initially serving up typical brunch fare with a Korean bent, the pair soon decided to try their hand at the evening game, where a captive audience was plied with delicious bibimbaps and epic Korean fried chicken. The move coincided with a rise in the Korean food trend which is only just gathering steam. Simon and Lee (the latter also launched cult cafes such as Dear Jervois and Major Sprout) are now turning their attention to a new lunch and dinner venture in the prominent Commercial Bay development currently coming to life in the heart of Auckland’s CBD. Said to be a vintage style Korean bar, we sat down with the hospitality duo to find out more about what they’ve learnt and where they’re headed.

How did you each get started in the hospitality industry and what do you love about it?
Ollie: I got my first job in hospitality making coffee part-time back when I was at high school. I thought it would be a short-term gig, but 10 years later and after a brief hiatus, I’m still in the industry. Hospitality is a great industry to be in – you’re constantly interacting with and learning from customers, suppliers and other restauranteurs from all walks of life, which is always a motivator to keep pushing the boundaries of what we do.
David: I moved to New Zealand 15 years ago from Seoul and opened up a gelato shop. I love the industry as it provides endless opportunities to push the boat out in terms of food, service and all-round creativity.

What projects are you most proud of to date?
Ollie: Simon & Lee is my first venture and I’m incredibly proud of what we have created. We wanted to break the status quo and are stoked at how well it has been received.
David: I’m proud of everything I’ve done, but I’m especially excited to be involved in Commercial Bay!

Where do you make of Auckland’s hospitality scene right now? Is there anything it has too much of/anything it lacks?
Auckland’s hospitality scene is great. The city’s diverse ethnic makeup means we’re spoilt for choices with eateries at all levels, from noodles and dumplings on Dominion Road through to modern New Zealand dining at the likes of Depot and Orphans Kitchen. We’re loving the emergence of cheaper, mid-level dining over the last few years — going out for a great dinner and a few drinks without breaking the bank. We’re looking forward to fun, natural New Zealand wines hitting more and more bars and restaurants across Auckland.

Your most recent eatery, Simon & Lee, in Parnell eventually pushed the boundaries to become an all-day eatery. Do you think there is a movement for cafes/restaurants to operate in this way?
We’ve definitely been seeing more all-day eateries. It is a way for eateries to broaden their customer base and diversify their offerings. As rent is a fixed cost, extending opening hours can also help maximise revenue in an industry with tight margins. We think we will continue to see all-day eateries opening, but it certainly won’t mean the end of more specialised breakfast/lunch/dinner venues.

How do you get influenced for a new project and what is influencing you right now?
Travel is always a big influence. Seeing the way other countries and cultures do things compared to what we do in New Zealand is a big eye opener and a great source of inspiration for new projects when developing dishes, service and style. A lot of influence also comes from those around us. Firing around ideas with a friend over a coffee can sometimes be the biggest influence of all.

The concept for your new project at Commercial Bay sounds amazing. How did it come about and why did you decide on a vintage style Korean bar and eatery?
The concept is a bit of an extension of what we do at Simon & Lee, but focusing on higher-end lunch, dinner and drink offerings. Both the traditional and modern eateries around Seoul are a massive source of inspiration for us — we’re wanting to bring aspects of the street food and makgeolli (effervescent rice wine) houses to Auckland and team them with New Zealand hospitality. Our offering will include a combination of fresh takes on Korean, Japanese and Chinese classics, together with unique creations of our own. Think traditional Korean Jok Bal (pork hock) alongside scampi rolls and crispy pork belly buns. Service is also a big element of what we do. We’re big fans of the likes of Depot and Orphans Kitchen for their service. They offer a fun, yet refined atmosphere where you can relax, drink and eat your way through the night. We will also have a big focus on our beverage programme — modern New Zealand wines and beers, classic cocktails and new favourites. Commercial Bay will be a place to eat, drink, relax and enjoy our service.

How is this project different from the others?
Most of our other projects have largely been centred around brunch. Our Commercial Bay eatery will be the first of our projects to focus entirely on lunch and dinner. We are looking forward to putting together a fun yet sophisticated food menu and pairing it with some interesting wines, beers and cocktails.

Where are some of your favourite places to eat locally/abroad and why?
Ollie: Eden Noodles Cafe, Orphans Kitchen, Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle, Culprit.
David: Depot, Eden Noodles Cafe, Hakata Gensuke (Melbourne)

What attraction did you see in Commercial Bay and why was it important for you to be a part of it?
We were initially attracted to Commercial Bay as it is the first precinct of its kind in New Zealand. It will bring together the best hospitality and retail and act as a hub for locals and visitors alike. We can’t wait to be part of this reinvigorated space and bring what we love to the area.

Ollie Simon and David Lee will be opening their new eatery in Commercial Bay’s dining precinct in 2019. 

Gastronomy


Planning an outdoor meet-up? Enjoy these lavish level 3 picnic boxes for dining al fresco

win

Win: We’re giving away up to 5 Savor Goods corporate gift boxes worth a total of over $750

A new daytime eatery opens in Parnell, bringing its casual yet welcoming Italian flair to the neighbourhood

Get your fill this truffle season with Euro’s epic menu for under $30

Championing the truffle season with wholehearted gusto — and simultaneously urging us to drop everything in favour of championing it too — is a breathtakingly delectable smorgasbord being served up at waterfront eatery Euro. Proffering a varied selection of black Perigord delights, this unprecedented menu sees the world’s most coveted specimen elevating everything from pasta linguine to the humble toast.

Throughout the month of July, between 12pm and 4pm, eager gastronomes can lunch like a king at the hands of acclaimed chef Gareth Stewart. The opulent yet affordable three-course menu, at only $29.95 a head, encompasses an assorted blend of truffle-inspired, mouth-watering fare — think truffle on brioche toast, creamy celeriac soup topped with littleneck clams and luxurious truffle mascarpone, and organic chicken breast with truffle marsala jus.

To celebrate this stellar, truffle dedicated menu we’re offering the chance for you and a friend to truly give your taste buds a treat and sample the three-course lunch, for more information and entry click here. We’ll see you there — we’ll be the ones in the corner, drooling over the Jerusalem artichoke, pecorino, truffle and buffalo mozzarella concoction.

This special truffle menu is available Monday to Friday from 12pm-4pm throughout the month of July, with other dishes also available on the Euro menu. 

This competition has closed.

Euro

22/147 Quay St
Auckland

(09) 309 9866

www.eurobar.co.nz

Gastronomy


Planning an outdoor meet-up? Enjoy these lavish level 3 picnic boxes for dining al fresco

win

Win: We’re giving away up to 5 Savor Goods corporate gift boxes worth a total of over $750

A new daytime eatery opens in Parnell, bringing its casual yet welcoming Italian flair to the neighbourhood
Beef Pares — beef brisket braised for 18 hours with soy and star anise, served with egg noodles, bok choy, spring onion and confit garlic oil, topped with chives and fried garlic
Left: Pata Tim — pulled pork hock in a steamed Bao served with house-made pickled cucumber, coriander and chilli
Adobo Del Diablo — chicken thighs marinated in turmeric, bayleaves and peppercorn in a rich coconut cream served with Filipino slaw and coconut rice

Hapunan is serving up fresh Filipino fare around Auckland

Born from a love for the Philippines and its cuisine, Hapunan is the food truck dishing out full-of-flavour street food with a focus on traditional Pinoy dishes. Named after the Filipino word for ‘dinner’, this cute, mobile outlet is drawing on the importance of the meal in Filipino culture as a time for family and friends to come together over delicious food. Owners Aldrin and Laura offer dinner-worthy dishes (but not exclusively at evening time) on-the-go from the window of their unmissable, leaf-covered caravan.

Aiming to spread love for the relatively unrepresented (in Auckland at least) cuisine, Hapunan is putting a modern spin on tradition with a menu that is both accessible and intricate. Meals like the Beef Pares —which sees beef brisket braised for 18 hours with soy and star anise, served with egg noodles, bok choy, spring onion and confit garlic oil and topped with chives and fried garlic — sit alongside mouth-watering Prawn Siomai — where prawns, bamboo shoots and mixed vegetables are steamed in light pastry before being served with Filipino slaw dressed in chilli and garlic.

Prawn Siomai — prawns, bamboo shoots and mixed vegetables steamed in light pastry and served with Filipino slaw in chilli and garlic dressing

As is the nature with food trucks, Hapunan’s location is constantly in flux, but we can tell you that this weekend they’ll be in Mount Albert on Friday night from 5pm until 9pm, and on Saturday they’ll be at the Vibe Youth Arts Festival in Henderson from 11am until 4pm.

Hapunan

021 0453 071

instagram.com/hapunan

Gastronomy


Planning an outdoor meet-up? Enjoy these lavish level 3 picnic boxes for dining al fresco

win

Win: We’re giving away up to 5 Savor Goods corporate gift boxes worth a total of over $750

A new daytime eatery opens in Parnell, bringing its casual yet welcoming Italian flair to the neighbourhood