While those of us in New Zealand are just getting our heads around the month of isolation that lies ahead, many New Yorkers are already entering their second week of lock down.
Lightening the load, and offering a much needed break from the daily (bad) news feed is DJ D-Nice (@dnice). Serving up what bold-named followers such as Jerry Seinfeld and Michelle Obama are describing as a game-changing distraction with his uplifting tunes, D-Nice is delivering a live dance party into your living room.
Conducting daily Instagram Live sessions from his kitchen, the virtual dance parties have amassed upwards of 150,000 people, all logged on together rocking to his good time beats. Spinning records for nine hours straight, his #ClubQuarantine party has amassed an impressive following with Stevie Wonder, Naomi Campbell, Janet Jackson, Diddy, Will Smith, Ellen DeGeneres and even Oprah all stopping by for a virtual boogie during his live set.
Completely overwhelmed by his stratospheric rise to fame, D- Nice posted, “I had a tearful moment this morning after realizing that we all came together as a global community and danced while I played music in my living room. It was beautiful to experience and I’m truly humbled by the amount of love I’ve received. Thank you to everyone that supported me on this journey. Let’s continue to uplift each other as we get thru this dark time”
With the sole purpose of supporting our mental health, these uplifting social distancing dance parties are allowing the world to virtually dance together and stay connected, and for that we are truly grateful.
Left to right: Terracotta water pitcher (fourth-st.com), Margi Nuttall vase and Arno Declercq black centipede vases (simonjames.co.nz), Rachel Saunders Macaroni vase (fourth-st.com), Margi Nuttall jug (simonjames.co.nz), Florals by La Femme Fleur (lafemmefleur.co.nz), Background in Resene Hemlock and Resene Stone Age (resene.co.nz).
As we increasingly look at homes as retreats and places of solace, it’s time to update the sanctuary status of our living spaces. Colour has an immediate impact on our wellbeing, so reach for the paint brush and after some meditative strokes, bask in the brilliance of dusty green Resene Hemlock.
Psychologist Rachel Kaplan from the University of Michigan in the US has found that green environments decrease stress levels, so bring nature indoors with Resene Hemlock’s seventies-tinged evocation of lush landscapes.
From an interior design point of view, another reason that green is seen as calming is its place on the spectrum, producing the least amount of eye strain. Add bonus points for being associated with safety and harmony in many cultures.
If you are looking to increase your ‘green’ credentials in another way, Resene has been addressing environmental concerns for decades. Resene’s Environmental Choice approved product range, includes an extensive array of paints that have been independently verified as having no added VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) or having particularly low VOC content.
The lower the VOCs the fresher the air. Resene colours are also tinted using special, no added VOC tinters, so you can get your favourite colour tinted without worrying about added VOCs.
Make the most of this weekend’s opportunity to eat out and take comfort in delicious food from our leading restaurants. Unfortunately, the stress of picking a venue can detract from the restorative experience of wining and dining — so we have made it our mission to ensure you are covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Let us present your weekend dining agenda.
Feel your stress levels drop to 2019 levels as you take in the views of Waitemata Harbour before absorbing executive chef Josh Emett’s seasonally-inspired menu. Let your eyes rest on the Pressed Leek Terrine entree as you anticipate the layered caramelised onions floating on Windsor blue cheese and the unexpected crunch of pine nuts soaked in a fresh, lemon zest infusion. “The first tasting we did, we had probably 15 or 16 dishes and it was a real standout, probably because it’s just so different,” Emmet says. We second his vote.
In a restaurant that oozes relaxed sophistication, the simplest of dishes is executed to a standard of excellence. Head to Herne Bay staple Andiamo and take yourself back to a time of childhood innocence with an adult interpretation of Mac and Cheese. Salty bacon cuts through the creaminess of the pasta, with a hit of chilli adding a welcome element of surprise. The indulgence is delivered by fontina cheese, which nuttiness replacing the traditionally creamy cheddar. Let your inner-five year old rejoice even if 50 is looking closer to the mark.
You can either surrender decision-making to one of Sidart’s renowned tasting menus or take control of the à la carte offerings. The exquisite taste of chef and owner Sid Sahrawat extends from the surroundings to the fresh scampi with tangy tamarind, sweet coconut and Chettinad relish, with its complex flavour profile of spices paying tribute to the Chettiar community. Just try feeling low after this unique taste of haute cuisine.
It’s time to treat yourself in new and exciting ways. Enter the fusion of Chinese, Korean and Japanese flavours creating an unexpectedly delectable dessert at Hello Beasty. Usually it’s impossible to emerge from indulging in Stu Rogan’s beef cheek buns and one of a kind Prawn and Crab Toast with room for sweets but make the effort to devour a marshmallow toasted on the restaurant’s well-utilised Hibachi grill. The expected richness of the fireside favourite treat is balanced by a heavenly halo of diced pineapple, surrounding coconut tapioca and crowned with sweet mango sorbet. The crunch of sesame crisp is an added extra.
Why wait until the morning after the night before to order fried chicken? Few dishes are more satisfying and restorative but at David Lee’s Parnell institution Simon & Lee, the addition of a wasabi and soy marinade gives you enough kick to leave feeling invigorated and optimistic, with an extra spring in your step. While sushi chefs abhor customers drowning their perfectly prepared dishes in wasabi and soy, Lee’s team does the leg work of balancing heat in all its wondrous forms with their succulent chicken nibbles. Share if you must.
Working from home means there are less people around to judge you by the shoes you wear but that’s no reason for exposing your toes to cold floorboards or stray Lego pieces.
Choosing the right footwear could have a serious impact on your performance, helping you crush deadlines and budgets rather than falling into a black hole of Netflix and ASMR video clips.
Research from Northwestern University in the US shows that wearing specific articles of clothing has a direct effect on your psychology and performance. The term ‘enclothed cognition’ describes the connection between clothing and your psychological state.
So wearing pool slides at home could trick your mind into thinking it’s time for sun, surf and sangria instead of spreadsheets.
Get your brain in gear and launch into working remotely feet first.
The morning commute Get your creative juices flowing, even if it takes you five seconds to get to work from your bed to your laptop. Encased in the athletic Adidas designs your brain is bound to break records that will leave all thoughts of your slippers in the dust.
Wear them with dark wash denim or chinos and keep your feet feeling on top of things.
WIP it good It’s important to reassure your colleagues by chat or email that it’s business as usual. The classic derby polished to perfection instantly gives an instant sense of security. If it worked for grandpa in World War II it will work in 2020.
Presentation pieces Just because you’ve adjusted the lighting, your half-Windsor knot and arranged the books in camera-view behind you doesn’t mean that you’re ready to dazzle your superiors on a tele-conference.
Your feet might be out of view but Alessandro Michele’s signature snake design loafers for Gucci will have your brain prepared to strike (venom optional).
Social distance coffee Some meetings can’t be kept to a conference call, so head to a restaurant where social-distancing measures are in place. This far from basic black boot lets them know you mean business.
If you need to channel your inner architect without conducting a site visit, approach blueprints and plans in the design uniform of a simple sneaker. Swap out gloomy black with feel good blue suede. A matching turtleneck is optional.
End of work drinks Instead of racing to the car park and chasing traffic you can pour yourself a whiskey and congratulate yourself on making it to the end of another day. Things instantly feel better in these fashion forward slippers from Louis Vuitton.
They let your brain know it’s time to relax and you don’t have to worry about getting them scuffed outside your front door.
With seven years spent researching and developing Hyoumankind ergonomic pillows to gain a more restorative night’s sleep, Stephanie Wyborn discovered how the right sleeping position can enhance our wellbeing. This led her to develop the Back Sleep Pillow for people looking to explore back sleeping as a better sleep solution. (It also cleverly converts to a Go Pillow, for everyday support and travel.) Whether it’s the long term anti-ageing benefits, short term recovery, or simply getting a more comfortable rest, it seems there are plenty of benefits to back sleeping.
1. It promotes postural alignment When you sleep on your back, your body weight is distributed evenly, and your spine is aligned. With the spine properly aligned, bones, muscles and ligaments can completely relax after the day’s movement and stresses, and naturally heal themselves as you fall into a deep and dreamy slumber.
2. It supports recovery from injury Back sleeping is helpful following injury, particularly to the upper half of the body — keeping you still and relieving weight and pressure on the affected areas. As with most of us who change positions in our sleep, a pillow designed specially to keep you on your back can stop you rolling onto a sore shoulder, and make for a much more comfortable slumber.
3. It slows the signs of ageing Sleeping face down, pressed against your pillow, is essentially like ironing wrinkles in, as you force the skin on your face to fold and crease. Front and side positions also have the same scrunching effect on the chest, which damages the skin in the delicate décolletage area and creates distinctive ‘v neck’ lines. Creating a consistent back sleeping habit lets wrinkles and creases relax again and become less visible over time.
4. It assists with post-surgery If it’s been recommended that you sleep on your back following a specific procedure, such as eye or breast surgery, a specialised back sleeping pillow like the one by Hyoumankind, gently supports you to stay in that position all night. You can rest a little easier, knowing you won’t roll over and put pressure on the healing area.
I’ve been in the restaurant biz since far too many of you were babes on your mother’s knee and I can tell you the coming weeks are going to be a tough time for us all. That’s why I’m taking the unprecedented step of reducing the number of tables in my restaurants. This uncrowded approach is essential to ensure exceptional hygiene.
I’ll be sharing my time equally between all four restaurants to ensure they remain safe, healthy places for staff and customers alike – and because even after all these years there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
Take care, keep up your sense of humour, and know that for as long as we can, we’ll be here to deliver delicious meals, excellent service and worry-free dining.
With Coronavirus concerns on the rise, more people are unexpectedly spending time holed-up indoors. One thing to be grateful for at this time of uncertainty is that social isolation comes at a time when television is at its peak (silver linings, and all that). From new seasons of beloved series to new shows, our favourite streaming services are dishing out plenty of quality escapism over the coming weeks — here is the best of the best.
Westworld What: The latest instalment of this sci-fi favourite sees an exploration of the world outside of Westworld, which, for those who are new to the series, is a futuristic, Western-styled theme park where robots help guests experience wild adventures. A few new additions will join the stellar cast, including Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Vincent Cassel (Black Swan). Length: Three seasons, 28 episodes Where: Sky TV
Ozark What:Ozark is one of Netflix’s more compelling offerings, following family-man Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) as he continues to launder millions of dollars for a Mexican drug cartel. The third season drops on March 27 and will pick things up six months after the season-two finale, Length: Three seasons, 30 episodes Where: Netflix
Schitt’s Creek What: There’s no better time to indulge in funnybone-tickling escapism. Schitt’s Creek has found new life on Netflix with all seasons, including the latest — the sixth and final season — available and ready to be gorged on. Father and son team Dan and Eugene Levy, along with comedy queen Catherine O’Hara, continue to delight as a rich family coming to terms with their reduced circumstances. Length: Six seasons, 68 episodes Where: Netflix
McMillions What: This six-part documentary series tells the explosive story of the infamous McDonald’s Monopoly scam where a complex network of friends and family fraudulently won USD$24 million between 1989 and 2001. The gripping tale is told by all those who participated, including the prizewinners and the FBI agents involved. Length: One season, six episodes Where: NEON
Devs What:Devs is a slow burner, but what it lacks in explosive beginnings it makes up for with an utterly compelling science-fiction plotline. Directed by Alex Garland, (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later) no less. It follows software engineer Lily Chan as she investigates her employer, the mysterious CEO (Nick Offerman) of a Silicon-Valley-esque tech company who might be involved in the disappearance of her boyfriend. Length: One season, five episodes released (of eight) Where: Sky TV
Hunters What: Nazis, Al Pacino and a murder investigation are three things you didn’t know you needed at the crux of a TV series, until now. Hunters is set in seventies New York City and follows a ragtag band of Nazi hunters as they do everything in their power to block an impending Fourth Reich. Length: One season, ten episodes Where: Amazon Prime
Balmy temperatures and bluebird skies arrived just in time for the long-awaited Urban Polo at the Auckland Domain, after last week’s rapid decline into autumnal territory. The finest spot to watch the sporting and social action was the Denizen and Perrier-Jouët marquee, where guests cheered from the sidelines, admired Wonder Florals’ vibrant, Insta-worthy arrangements and sensibly sipped from flutes filled with crisp Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut. Making almost as big an impression as the strapping polo players were Perrier-Jouët’s brand new Grand Brut bottles, sporting a floral Anemone motif created by Art Nouveau master Emile Gallé.
Current events remind us that it sometimes pays to avoid the perils of the outside world and work from home. To get things done your home office needs to be more than a refuge, offering aesthetic satisfaction, along with stimulating expressions of your own personality.
Whether you are a pared-back minimalist or a fan of classic and traditional desks, Sarsfield Brooke allows you to create inspiring surroundings making it that little bit easier to meet your next deadline.
Minimal Nobody abides by the adage of a tidy desk leading to a tidy mind more than a minimalist. Avoid the colour wheel completely and opt for refined, utilitarian furnishings in a monochromatic scheme, like the solid oak Dimitri Writing Desk and the sharp Segno Chest of Drawers. Blacks, whites and greys provide a distraction-free backdrop while effortlessly exuding elegance and refinement.
Traditional Those with classic tastes generally put cosiness and style first. Be sure to invest in a desk chair that really goes the extra mile in terms of comfort, like the luxurious, cushioned Georges Desk Chair. Add gravitas to your room with an intriguing artwork, like the delightfully abstract Electric Blue Artwork by Novocuadro of Spain.
Modern Contemporary offices provide a very sleek and simple atmosphere. To achieve this aesthetic, prioritise rustic timber over other materials and keep furnishings straightforward and unadorned. This Canaletto walnut Victor Cabinet with glass doors easily teams pairs with the uncomplicated style of these upholstered H5 Chairs. Decorate the space with flourishing houseplants to truly tap into the current trends.
Experimental It is a place of work, but the home office doesn’t have to be restricted by seriousness and sensibility. For those who want to inject a dose of personality into a space, quirky home furnishings that play with texture, colour and design are key. The Erik Desk, for example, adds some spice to a space with its rhomboid-patterned drawers and cylindrical metal base, while the Lula Table Lamp gives the room a sense of playfulness via its acorn-reminiscent shape.
Picture this: It’s a fairly ordinary Friday morning, and as far as my routine goes, it’s business as usual. Well, with one minor difference. This Friday, when I pull up to my client meetings, I’m behind the wheel of the new 2020 Maserati Levante 350 GranSport — and I have to say, it feels good.
Before you start thinking that I must have won Lotto, let me set the record straight. It was, in fact, because I had selflessly volunteered my test-driving services in the name of quality journalism, that I found myself in the driver’s seat of an SUV that was proving most of my assumptions about its kind very wrong.
Leaving my first meeting that day, I pulled into the flow of traffic with an air of confidence, the signature Maserati purr from the pneumatic valves of the exhaust system daring people to stare as I glided elegantly past (and pretending not to notice when they did).
Even when idle, the Levante 350 GranSport has a certain ‘I’m loud and I’m proud’ character, call it a testament to the marque’s Italian pedigree and its commitment to an aesthetic of refined luxury. With a design comprising sleek, clean lines that run from a magnificent front grill all the way down to a perfectly-formed rear, the body of this car is so well-shaped, it would make the Kardashians jealous. It has that new-car smell that makes you feel like you’ve made it, an infotainment system so vast that you’ll end up sitting in your driveway for hours simply trying to make a decision (but with wealth comes options, right?) and hand-stitched leather so soft and carefully-detailed that a drive to the shops will feel like stepping into an Italian fashion atelier. With its trademark Maserati tridents embossed on all of the headrests, this car is Italian by name and Italian by nature.
Deciding it was time to put the Levante 350 GranSport through its paces (because what kind of test-driver would I be if I simply judged the car on its looks alone) I headed West, choosing the infamous winding road out to Piha as the ultimate testing ground. Once on the motorway, I switched into Sport Mode, and dropped down a gear, which really gave her a chance to open up. She handled it very, very well. And although I knew that under the perfect curves of her bonnet sat a Ferrari-built Twin Turbo V6 engine, I was still somewhat surprised that a car of that size could handle my Formula 1 aspirations with such grace and effortlessness. We got up to 100km/h in just six quick seconds, but despite being tempted, I decided to hold back from pushing her to reach her top speed of 251km/h. I didn’t want the team at Maserati to have to cough up for a speeding ticket on my watch.
Piha proved a good choice. Part of the beauty of the Levante 350 GranSport, is that it was designed to allow the driver to feel every twist and turn, with suspension that enhances ride comfort and handling. I truly felt like I was on a racetrack, even if I wasn’t driving at eye-watering speeds. The fact that she’s a high-performance SUV that handles like a sports car, really made me feel like I was getting the best of both worlds. The standard features in the Levante 350 GranSport include front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot alert, rear camera, keyless entry and dual-zone climate control, all the bells and whistles that will take you from A to B in total comfort and style.
Our time together was short and sweet, and saying farewell to my weekend whip was not easy. I was faced with a brutal reality check when I stood, like an idiot, at the driver’s door of my basic run-around expecting keyless entry, before suddenly realising I had to actually find my keys and press the unlock button. The dream was over, so there was only one thing left to do: buy a Lotto ticket.