Ghost Street.
Whole steamed king prawns, glass noodles, fried garlic, sweet soy.
Steamed wong bok rolls, soy, fresh chilli.

This underground eatery is bringing a taste of Beijing to Britomart

When it comes to dining out in winter, we crave warming, flavourful dishes and a cosy, cocooning environment in which to enjoy them. While this week’s opening of their new venture may have been in the works for over two years, hospitality duo Krishna Botica and Tony McGeorge are right on time with Ghost Street. 

Situated beneath their recently relocated (and eternally popular) restaurant Cafe Hanoi, Ghost Street has made itself at home in what was previously 1885 Basement. The subterranean space was given a thoughtful interior refresh by Dajiang Tai and James Ting of Cheshire Architects, an elevated yet approachable reimagining of the bustling hole-in-the-wall eateries that run along Beijing’s famous food street from which this eatery takes its name.

Textural and transportative, the 82-seat space presents all manner of options for differing group sizes — as perfect for an intimate date night as a rousing meal with friends, a business lunch and more. A 44-seat private dining room will also open on the 1st of June. A long, stool-lined, shared table runs in between the central pillars of the room, with an open kitchen giving diners ample view of executive chef Nathan Houpapa and head chef Khai Yee ‘KK’ Khor leading the culinary action.

The idea behind Ghost Street, Botica tells us, was to hone in on aspects of Chinese cuisine that the team feels passionate about. As with Cafe Hanoi, Xuxu Dumpling Bar and Saan, the eatery celebrates Asian cuisine while combining it with a Western-style beverage offering — at Ghost Street, this takes the form of aromatic cocktails that contain spices, bitters and herbs, almost like a Chinese apothecary, plus a curated selection of Champagne, wine and beer.

Both Houpapa and Khor have a particular affinity for Chinese food, and Ghost Street’s menu offers rustic, seasonal dishes from throughout the country with a particular emphasis on those from the western cities of Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan, and Xi’an. A research trip in China two years ago saw the team curate a collection of dishes that pack a flavourful punch, with a balanced selection that means you can hit all manner of taste profiles from tart and vinegary to savoury, to both sichuan and hot spice. 

Chinese pickles with fried wonton skins are an ideal way to start, and the pickle bowl is generous enough that you can cleanse your palate in between other bites. Scallop wontons are beautifully silky, layered in a shallow gingery broth laced with numbing sichuan oil. We found the vege fried rice to be extremely moreish yet non-stodgy, and we are told KK’s special fried rice with tiger prawn tails and XO sauce is another must-order.

Biang Biang noodles are already being touted as somewhat of a signature, and whole steamed Australian king prawns are a delicious dish to roll up your sleeves for, arriving in their shells on top of an umami tangle of glass noodles and stuffed with fried garlic. The full menu is comprehensive yet not overwhelming, with plenty to satisfy both carnivores and vegetarians alike. We also loved the sichuan eggplant — spicy and jammy, it melts in the mouth and is topped with sesame seeds and fresh chilli.

It’s not something we’d usually mention, but even the menu design is clever — tick a box next to the dishes you want, hand it over and you’ll be saved all the back and forth of yelling over the table to your waitperson. 

As they are wont to do with their other openings, Ghost Street’s team has identified a gap in their neighbourhood’s offering and filled it in the best way possible. We suggest you get yourself down there to try it for yourself.

Opening hours:
Monday to Wednesday: 5PM — close (around 10PM)
Thursday: 12 noon — close (around 10PM)
Friday: 12 noon — late (around midnight)
Saturday: 5PM — late (around midnight)
Sunday: 5PM — close (around 10PM)

Ghost Street
Basement Floor,
27 Galway Street,
Britomart
Access via Tuawhiti Lane (adjacent to Hotel Britomart)

www.ghoststreetakl.nz

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Meet actor Erana James, the Kiwi rising star making her mark on global screens

Among young New Zealand creatives with their sights set on fame and fortune, a voyage overseas is a well-trodden tradition. For 22-year-old actor Erana James, however, Hollywood came to her, offering a central role in the Amazon Prime Video series The Wilds.

Filmed in Auckland, it was touted as the breakout hit of the season upon its release in December 2020 (with a second season confirmed soon after), and thanks to the show’s success James has been catapulted onto the global stage.

The Wilds follows eight young women who, following a plane crash, are washed up on a desert island. Described as a successor of Lord of the Flies, or Lost (but with teenage girls), the show has been praised for its relatable portrayals of a range of young women from diverse backgrounds, and its stars have garnered dedicated fanbases that grow seemingly by the minute.

James as Toni Shalifoe in Prime Video’s The Wilds.

For James, who plays tomboy Toni Shalifoe and was the only main cast member from Aotearoa, the opportunity to shoot her first American TV show on home soil was a dream. “It was so amazing,” she tells me. “It’s the type of job that can change your life a little bit, because you get thrown out of life as you know it for such a long time.”

Having a strong female support system throughout the filming process was also incredible, she says, reflecting on the opportunity to work with industry legends such as the late Jamie Tarses, producer Amy Harris and writer Sarah Streicher, as well as her other female co-stars.

James was born in Whangārei and moved to Wellington when she was 10, where she got into acting at the age of 14 — her mother manages performing arts school Rata Studios. There, James was mentored by actor and renowned acting coach Miranda Harcourt, which led to the then-17-year-old being cast in her first local breakout role as Laura Chant in the Margaret Mahy film-adaption, The Changeover. A year after that was released, she was cast in The Wilds.

“I never really thought it would be something I’d do full time,” says James of her accelerating acting career. “But, I’ve been very willingly thrown into this crazy job at the moment, that I hope will continue to go well.”

Poised, eloquent and wise beyond her years, James speaks candidly about her journey and keeping her head in a notoriously difficult industry. She’s getting used to having more eyes on her than ever before, including a social media following of over 218,000, but she’s also not afraid to speak out for what she’s passionate about.

“I have always been and will always be passionate about indigenous culture, having indigenous culture be at the forefront of the education system and being able to play indigenous characters,” says James, who is Māori from Ngāti Whātua-o-Ōrākei hapū on her father’s side. “Telling those stories through the right lenses has always been [important]… and also changing the narrative around the types of women we see in film.”

Coming off the back of playing Toni, an openly gay character, James is delighted by the outpouring of positive messages she received from the LGBTQ+ community, telling her they felt seen and represented by her portrayal. “It just means the world.”

When it comes to preparing for a role, part of what makes James so compelling to watch is her skill in finding a balance between inhabiting a character and being herself. “My acting coach [Miranda Harcourt] speaks about finding the naturalism in the story you’re telling,” she says, “so, whatever part of myself I can activate for whatever character I’m playing — stronger, dull that back, push that further — if there’s already truth in that [emotion] in me, then I hope the truth comes through in that character.”

Ask James about who or what is inspiring her, and she’s quick to praise her brother, Ethan James, who also works in the industry as a 1st Assistant Camera (also known as a focus puller) naming him as her “biggest inspiration and drive.” And, as far as dream roles are concerned? “I have always wanted to work with Jane Campion, so whatever role she wants to give me!”

This year, James will be filming season two of The Wilds for several months, and after that, she’s looking forward to diving into more work. We’re sure she’ll have her pick of any number of amazing roles.

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Meet Sunday Blessings Auckland, the community-driven initiative combating food insecurity

It’s always a good time to think about what you could be doing to give back to the community and those in need. It can, however, occasionally be a little confusing trying to figure out what the best use of your funds or your time will be. In this new series, we’re highlighting initiatives that we deem worthy of your support. First up is Auckland community-driven food service Sunday Blessings

The philosophy
Sunday Blessings Auckland was formed in 2018 to address its founders’ commonly held belief that no one should have to rummage through a rubbish bin for food. That same year, a report by the United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Health Organization found that 14 percent of New Zealanders experience regular food insecurity. This figure is likely to have grown significantly in the aftermath of Covid-19, and Sunday Blessings Auckland aims to combat this by providing nourishing, hot meals to those in need.

Who they are
Sunday Blessings Auckland was founded by Laurie McLeod, Audrey Van Ryn and Danielle LeGallais, and involves a rotating roster of kind volunteers who get involved every week. 

What they do
Utilising community surplus food and volunteers, Sunday Blessings Auckland feeds around 160 people every Sunday at the Ellen Melville Centre on Freyberg Place, in the Auckland CBD, having served more than 26,000 meals since it was formed. The once-a-week service is often increased with an impromptu meal when they have a surplus of food donations, and the initiative helps to alleviate food waste overall by working with local hospitality businesses to repurpose their excess food. 

Co-founder LeGallais also frequently speaks to audiences about how to get involved in community work, simultaneously aiming to help shift negative preconceptions about the un-homed. This year, as well as the food-focused aspect of Sunday Blessings, LeGallais says the team will be moving into offering advocacy services in an effort to empower the community.

Who they work alongside
Sunday Blessings partners with various other important initiatives and charities to offer even more than a nourishing meal at the gathering site. These include Orange Sky, which provides free laundry and showers to people experiencing homelessness, and registered charity Tender Love & Care.

Not-for-profit repurposed clothing initiative Koha Apparel joins Sunday Blessings once a month, and loyal yet unofficial supporters include Glendowie Primary School’s staff and students, both St Georges and Kings College rowing clubs, and community group Brown Pride NZ.

Several hospitality organisations and retailers also regularly support eliminating food insecurity with less waste practices using Sunday Blessings, including Bluebells Cakery, AUT Events and its Newsfeed Cafe, Refuel Cafe in Onehunga and more.

How to get involved
A roster on the Sunday Blessings website that is simple to complete makes it very easy to get involved. Find links to two Google Doc sheets, one to volunteer for serving and one to volunteer to cook. Anything could be on the menu, including baked cakes and biscuits, pizzas, stews, soups, sausage rolls or sandwiches. Sunday Blessings is unique in that it takes perishable items for people to eat (as long as they’re still unspoiled, of course).

It’s also a great thing to get the whole family involved in, especially young children, who will benefit from seeing the value of compassion at a young age. As the Sunday Blessings team says: “don’t underestimate the power of a warm smile from someone giving their time and food.”

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Take cues from these street style looks to create an unforgettable outfit.

Need some autumn outfit inspiration? Here are 4 looks to wear right now

It can be difficult to know what exactly to wear at this time of year. As temperatures take a dive but days can still deliver warmth, getting dressed in the morning can prove tricky. So, considering that one of our favourite fashion go-tos, Workshop, has recently had an influx of new pieces from the likes of Isabel Marant, Acne Studios and Ganni, we thought it high time we rounded up some of the looks we plan on wearing to get through this funny, in-between time. (And hopefully, give you the inspiration you need.)

Everyday Formal

Cool and Casual

Easy Elegance

Luxe Layering

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Kate Spade New York’s vibrant new fragrance is here to inspire joy with every spritz

Fragrance has the power to influence our emotions and moods, so why not reach for something uplifting? Kate Spade New York’s newly-launched, eponymous fragrance is inspired by the fashion house’s vibrant, clever essence, which has celebrated women and their sense of individuality since its launch in 1993.

A joyfully feminine perfume, Kate Spade New York harnesses a combination of fruity and floral notes— in particular, wild strawberry. Perfumer Marie Salamagne of renowned Swiss fragrance company Firmenich aimed to pay tribute to the lush red fruit, capturing its unique scent and tempering it with rose essence.

A top note of bergamot adds a sparkling, citrus element, while the floral heart combines that rose essence with freesia. Base notes of ambroxan and cashmeran add a slightly musky, woody depth, ensuring this fragrance is not simply sweet frivolity.

For Kate Spade New York’s launch, dancer Maddie Ziegler lent her rhythmic talents in a free-spirited campaign capturing spontaneous celebration. Shot against the iconic New York City skyline, Ziegler and her friends embody the unbridled joy that comes with feeling authentically yourself — a sensibility we hope to channel, while smelling delicious in the process.

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Auckland Writers Festival is back with a bang and these are the best sessions to book

After having to be cancelled in 2020 due to unfortunate circumstances we’re all very familiar with, Auckland Writers Festival is back with a bang this year. Bringing us a smashing selection of the best writers and thinkers from here and abroad, the Festival is a place for all to celebrate the world of books and ideas, enriching the culture of our city from the 11th — 16th of May. 

If you’d like some guidance on what to book from the excellent selection of sessions, here are the events we’re looking forward to seeing at the 2021 Auckland Writers Festival.

Left: Neil Gaiman. Right: Kazuo Ishiguro.

The Universe of Story: Neil Gaiman
Famed British author Neil Gaiman will be here in person (he’s currently living in Hawke’s Bay with his partner, musician Amanda Palmer) to espouse on the art of storytelling that he’s beloved for the world over, following the recent publication of updated collection The Neil Gaiman Reader: Selected Fiction. Containing 50 of his short stories plus excerpts from American Gods, Neverwhere and more, the book showcases Gaiman’s range and prowess as one of the world’s most talented contemporary writers — one that has sold over 50 million books, no less. Catch him in conversation with author Nic Low on Sunday, 16th of May.

A Nobel Life: Kazuo Ishiguro
Those who have read his books can’t help but love the restrained yet poignant prose of Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro. The author of acclaimed novels like The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go has released a brilliant new book that is, once again, garnering hefty praise. Klara and the Sun tells the story of an artificial being in search of the family that will fulfil the purpose she was created for. Through Klara’s eyes we see both beautiful and cruel aspects of human nature anew, and ask the question: what does it mean to love? See Ishiguro in conversation with Michelle Langstone via livestream on Saturday, 15th of May, discussing his life’s work.

Left: Patricia Grace. Right: Garance Dore.

From the Centre: Patricia Grace
One of New Zealand’s most celebrated authors, Patricia Grace will be talking about the experiences that have shaped her life, books and distinctive voice following the publication of her new memoir From the Centre: A writer’s life — out on the 4th of May. Having penned multiple beloved novels, short stories, and children’s books including Potiki, Cousins (which has been adapted into a major film, in cinemas now) and Tu, Grace is sure to have plenty of wisdom and inspiring words to share, in conversation with Nic Low on Saturday, 15th of May.

A Question of Style: Garance Doré
One of the original fashion bloggers that kicked off the influencer movement, Garance Doré’s story is far from predictable. Having found what others would deem the pinnacle of success in the fashion industry, Doré walked away from it all in 2015 shortly after publishing her first book — New York Times bestseller Love X Style X Life — to find what made her truly happy. With a weekly subscription newsletter sharing personal, philosophical and often hilarious insights about her life, Doré speaks with Wendy Petrie via livestream about her journey on Friday, 14th of May.

Left: Ai Weiwei. Right: Behrouz Boochani.

Conversations: Ai Weiwei
The chance to hear directly from such an important, cultural figure is one we are excited about, as Ai Weiwei joins the festival via livestream to discuss his latest book Conversations. Chronicling candid discussions with critical thinkers, including Andrew Solomon and Evan Osnos, Weiwei touches on his relationship with China, the meaning of citizenship, how to make art, and technology as a tool for freedom of oppression. He will be talking to film-maker Chelsea Winstanley on Friday, 14th of May.

No Friend but the Mountains: Behrouz Boochani
Sometimes, in life, it’s good to have things put in perspective, and Behrouz Boochani’s story is sure to help with that. The Kurdish-Iranian journalist became a political prisoner after fleeing from Iran in 2013, detained indefinitely in the Australian-run Manus Regional Processing Centre, Papua New Guinea. On a smuggled mobile phone, he chronicled six years in the centre, tapped out in Farsi in a series of single messages, and subsequently translated into English by Omid Tofighian. The result was his book No Friend But The Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison, which went on to win a host of literary prizes. Now resident in New Zealand, Boochani speaks with Julie Hill on Friday, 14th of May.

From left: Reb Fountain, Tom Scott, Marlon Williams, Moana Maniapoto.

A Celebration of Song: Reb, Tom, Marlon & Moana
The craft of songwriting is often just as much of a beautiful mystery as authors penning novels. Three of Aotearoa’s most esteemed musicians Reb Fountain, Tom Scott and Marlon Williams, will join fellow singer Moana Maniapoto to dissect their artistry and inspirations. Completing the conversation will be acoustic performances, making this session one to prioritise for both literary and music fans on Thursday, 13th of May.

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Culture

We’re on the hunt for an experienced full-time writer
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With new owners and a new venue, the highly-anticipated Aotearoa Art Fair is back & better than ever for 2024

Time to simplify your wardrobe with the easy fashion essentials every man needs

Curating the perfect wardrobe is all about nailing the basics. Build a solid foundation first, and then indulge in some of your more wild sartorial pursuits. To get you started, here is a list of simple essentials that will stand you in good stead for the season ahead.

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A Pair of Standout Sneakers

A Pair of Standout Sneakers

A Pair of Standout Sneakers

A Pair of Standout Sneakers

There are sneakers and then there are sneakers, and these ones from Prada are deemed (in our book, at least) essential for the casual ‘cool’ and intriguing detail they promise to bring to an otherwise straightforward outfit. 

Prada PRAX 01 nylon sneakers 

A Versatile Shirt

A Versatile Shirt

A Versatile Shirt

A Versatile Shirt

A casual, collared shirt should sit at the heart of your repertoire. Easy to wear with anything, this piece will lend a certain formality to outfits that call for more than just a casual look.

Dadelszen cashmere and cotton shirt

A Sleek Weekender

A Sleek Weekender

A Sleek Weekender

A Sleek Weekender

Every man needs a bag that says, ‘I’ve travelled’ without looking like it actually says ‘backward through a bush, that is.’ Cast aside the luggage you’ve been pulling off your top shelf for years, and invest in a smart, sleek-looking bag that will add to your sartorial prowess, not detract from it.

Louis Vuitton bag 

A Comfortable Sweater

A Comfortable Sweater

A Comfortable Sweater

A Comfortable Sweater

In an age when comfort has become key, an all-purpose sweater is non-negotiable. Opting for something that is a step up from slouchy without feeling too high-end means that you will be able to pair it with anything. 

Elle + Riley Asher cashmere crewneck

A Layering Piece

A Layering Piece

A Layering Piece

A Layering Piece

A scarf will prove perhaps the most useful accessory in your wardrobe, particularly in the face of changing temperatures. Whether used as sleek layering or a heavy-duty coverup this piece is as stylish as it is user-friendly. 

Acne Studios scarf from Workshop

A Pair of Everyday Shades

A Pair of Everyday Shades

A Pair of Everyday Shades

A Pair of Everyday Shades

Not only are they practical, sophisticated, and destined to give you an air of mystery, but dark shades will also be your best friend when trying to mask a previous night’s conviviality.

Dita Lancier Sea Lens sunglasses from Parker & Co

A Steadfast Belt

A Steadfast Belt

A Steadfast Belt

A Steadfast Belt

Secure, reliable and always there to pull things up when you’re feeling down, a classic belt is a must in any man’s wardrobe. Start with one in solid black leather before adding brown, beige, or more detailed iterations to your repertoire. 

Workshop Denim narrow leather belt

A Throw-On Jacket

A Throw-On Jacket

A Throw-On Jacket

A Throw-On Jacket

A lightweight jacket should always be on hand for days when one layer simply will not do. Opt for a style that is elegant and understated so as to be able to wear it with everything. 

Our Legacy Stingrider jacket from Workshop

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Meet the Kiwi illustrator tasked with reimagining the classic Cadbury Roses box for Mother’s Day

A box of Cadbury Roses is a Kiwi classic. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone in New Zealand who doesn’t have some kind of special ritual or memory attached to these colourful, chocolate morsels. For me, a box of Cadbury Roses conjures memories of my grandad, who used to always keep them by the side of his bed (and would occasionally offer me one, as a treat). It’s hardly surprising then, that as Mother’s Day rolls around again and we start thinking about all the little things we can do to spoil the important women in our lives, a box of Cadbury Roses chocolates is firmly on the list. And this year, the box we all know and love has been given a bold reimagining, thanks to local illustrator Bonnie Brown — also known as Studio Bon.

Commissioned by Cadbury to design a limited-edition Cadbury Roses box, specifically for Mother’s Day, Brown took to the project with a fresh, feminine perspective and her signature, vibrant style, creating a design that was eye-catching and sure to stand out on the shelves. “I was a bit nervous,” Brown divulges, when asked how she felt at the prospect of redesigning what has become such a recognisable box. “Kiwis immediately associate Cadbury Roses with that classic, bright blue colour so I knew I had to create something that stood out in the same way, but that also felt unique and special.”

Cadbury Roses

Marking the first time Cadbury has ever collaborated with a Kiwi artist, the new, limited-edition Cadbury Roses are indeed special, and for more reasons than just the way they look. “The design was inspired by my upbringing in Nelson and Queenstown and having summers on the coast,” Brown explains, speaking to the undulating ribbons of colour that weave across the creamy, white background of the new boxes. “Projects like this are my favourite to work on,” she continues, “because there is a lot of creative freedom, but also real-world considerations to work within… and I like the challenge.”

Wanting to create something that would be perfect as a Mother’s Day gift, Brown’s contemporary twist on a Cadbury classic is a simple, delicious way to say thank you to those who have put so much of their time into raising us.

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Kōpiko wholewheat sandwich sourdough

Meet the by-delivery micro-bakery bringing delicious, highly nutritious sourdough to your door

It’s no secret how much work goes into creating a delicious loaf of sourdough — many of us became well acquainted with the lengthy process during the first lockdown, and no doubt just as many decided it was best left to the experts. 

For Maya Handley, a love for making sourdough began years before the concept of a pandemic had even entered our consciousness, leading her to create local micro bakery Kōpiko.

Now based in Oratia, West Auckland, Handley first began baking when she lived in the States for nearly 13 years — predominantly in New York. Having grown up in Auckland, Handley moved to America in 2005 where she initially worked in advertising before studying photography, pursuing a successful career as a freelance photographer in fashion and for architectural publications. Clearly, creativity runs strong in her family, as her sister Greta Villiger is Head of Design Pre Collection for fashion house Loewe. 

It was during a regular trip upstate with her young family that Handley began making sourdough, mainly out of necessity due to the lack of well-stocked grocery stores in the area. What she found was the gentle rhythm of the loaf-making process reflected many of the aspects she loves in photography. 

“It suited my personality and I was already in that mode of paying close attention to light, working within the constraints of the frame and my chosen device,” she tells me. “With bread making, it’s also quite repetitive and requires paying attention to subtle changes in something with three ingredients. Shifts in temperature, how it feels, the humidity on the day — all of these make a difference to the final outcome.” 

As her bread fan base grew, Handley decided to enrol in Artisan Bread Making at the International Culinary Centre, learning from bread coordinator and chief instructor Johnson Yu, and upon returning to New Zealand in 2018 she established Kōpiko bakery. 

Left: Maya Handley.

Of chief importance to Handley’s loaves is the use of 100 percent local grain that has been stored without chemicals (many grains are stored with chemicals to preserve it for a longer amount of time). She also incorporates the whole grain into her bread, upping the nutritional value immensely. “Most bread, even wholemeal bread, has large proportions of sifted white flour which sifts out the germ and bran,” she says. “The wheat germ is what contains the majority of the mineral and vitamin content, while the bran contains the fibre. Getting rid of these removes much of the nutritional potential of bread.”

Add to this the slow fermentation process, which helps the grain to be more easily digestible, plus the use of only sourdough starter and no instant yeast, and you have some of the most nutritious bread we’ve ever tried. It’s also extremely tasty, with a complex and savoury flavour that provides the perfect base to any topping from simple butter and sea salt to avocado, peanut butter and more. 

So, how can you get your hands on a loaf of Kōpiko bread? Handley has created a genius business model whereby bread is available to purchase online by subscription on a weekly, fortnightly or one-off basis. This in turn allows Handley and her assistant baker Bridget McCarthy to plan exactly how many loaves they need to bake, and avoid any food waste. 

Kōpiko’s seeded rye sourdough

Forget queuing in a store — Kōpiko delivers to a wide range of Auckland suburbs, from out west to central suburbs like Grey Lynn and Herne Bay, to Kingsland, Morningside and Mt Albert. They also set up at The Shed Collective food market in Oratia, and Titirangi Village Market every week — the markets are usually where they will test out new flavours in development, like an instantly popular oat porridge sourdough that sold out in half an hour.

While setting up Kōpiko has certainly been a labour of love, Handley says the process thus far has been extremely rewarding. “I didn’t know how much satisfaction I would get from seeing happy customers and having people come each Saturday to get their bread,” she enthuses. “That’s really rewarding and makes the work feel so worthwhile.”

She was stoked that people were trying their hand at sourdough baking during lockdown, because it has certainly fostered a wider appreciation for the craft. “I’ve noticed at the markets, people saying “oh my gosh, I had no idea how long it takes to make a loaf of sourdough,” she laughs. “Now people know all the effort and care that’s gone into making it. It’s like anything you try yourself, it gives you a greater appreciation for people that do it for you.”

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Gastronomy

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Taking over a coveted spot in Parnell, meet Rhu — the elevated new all-day eatery from an ex-Pasture chef
Raise a glass to rosé as Soul Bar & Bistro launches a month-long celebration of this delicious drop
The Curatorial House by Arent&Pyke features the Bibendum armchair by Eileen Gray for Classicon from Matisse.

Add a luxurious, tactile touch to the home with these velvet furniture pieces

Sumptuous and sexy, velvet has long been associated with luxury. From its tactile softness to the deep, jewel-like tones in which it is often rendered, this fabric might feel like the ultimate expression of opulence, but that does not exclude it from the modern home. When used correctly, a velvet piece is the perfect way to lend depth to a monochromatic, contemporary space — here’s how. 

From left: Moooi Amami Pouf from ECC, Gan-Rugs Grapy from Matisse; Reflex Plisse Bench Seat from Sarsfield Brooke; Coco Republic Sara Scatter Cushion from Coco Republic; Poliform Mad Armchair from Studio Italia.

1. Subtle centrepiece
Choose a velveteen pouf like this Amami one by Moooi to inject a soft sophistication into your living room. 

2. Sculptural seating
If your style is more bold, try adding an eye-catching piece like Gan-Rugs’ Grapy (by Kensaku Oshiro) to your space. As much a conversation-starter as it is a genuinely comfortable place to put your feet up. 

3. Understated addition 
A more subtle approach might be to inject a swathe of velvet via a piece like Reflex’s Plisse Bench Seat. While it doesn’t cry out for attention, it will most definitely get it.

4. Just a touch 
If you would rather just dabble in this trend, employ it with a lighter touch. Accessories like Coco Republic’s Sara Scatter Cushion will offer a hint of velvet without ever feeling too much.

5. Everyday luxury 
Why not embrace velvet in something you walk past and use everyday? A piece like the Poliform Mad armchair will offer comfort and luxury in equal measure.

VCA Asset 3 Desktop

Design

Pick up some late summer outdoor furniture deals in these epic designer sales
We take you inside Ponsonby’s exciting new architectural marvel — The Greenhouse
Don’t miss out on this discounted designer furniture pieces in ECC’s epic summer sale