Denizen’s definitive guide to the best facials in town

In serious need of a pamper session? When pencilling some well-deserved self-care into your busy calendar, a ‘one facial fits all’ philosophy just won’t cut it. Whether you’re after a tailored approach or a luxurious experience, a results-driven treatment or a face-sculpting massage, we’ve scoped out the facials designed to suit your needs. So go ahead, put your best face forward with our insider’s guide to the best facials in town.

Best scalpel-free facelift
The Yoga Facial at The Facialist, CBD
Using expert massage and lymphatic drainage techniques, this 30-minute facial was designed by renowned holistic facialist and The Facialist founder Ashleigh Scott, to lift, tone and firm the facial muscles. Using minimal products from Janesce Skincare, this facial is not so much about the products, but sculpting the face. A neck and eyebrow massage gives the appearance of a lifted face, while gua sha is employed for de-puffing lymph drainage, resulting in emphasised cheekbones, a face that looks lifted and toned, and glowing skin.

Best for winter
Codage Hydration Facial at Spring Spa, various locations
If you’re anything like us, you may have noticed your skin becoming a tad drier and more irritated as winter sets in. A hefty dose of moisture is always welcome in winter, and the Codage Hydration Facial at Spring Spa is our go-to offering an intensely nourishing facial that regenerates and moisturises skin, boosting vitality. With an enzyme peel that gently stimulates cell renewal to restore radiance, skin is soft to touch and perfectly glowing.

The Spa at Park Hyatt Auckland.

Best luxurious experience
The Spa at Park Hyatt Auckland, Wynyard Quarter
The Park Hyatt Auckland’s eponymous Spa is suitably refined and restorative, with a range of top quality treatments on offer. We can vouch for the effectiveness of the Ultimate Haute Couture Facial. Employing highly active algae derived V-TOX cream from London’s revered facialist Linda Meredith, this facial utilises oxygen to infuse the product into the skin. Oxygen therapy is an important component of skin care technology, thanks to its role in supporting collagen production, and the results from a 90-minute facial speak for themselves with skin feeling substantially plumper and smooth. Administered in some of the most indulgent surroundings ever seen in this city, an afternoon here is the antidote to life in the fast lane.

Best results-based facial
The Power of Three facial at About Face, Ponsonby
The ‘Power of Three’ facial is a potent treatment that includes a skin peel, LED light therapy and an active vitamin infusion via Sonophoresis to leave you with ultimate (and noticeable) results. You can count on this facial to leave your skin feeling plump, dewy and hydrated, and it’s a go-to for several of us in the Denizen office.

About Face.

Iontophoresis facial with a Synergy peel at Room 9, Newmarket
Room 9 director and skin specialist Amelia Story says with the seasonal change, she’s noticed a lot of her clients have dry skin. Introducing regular peels is an effective way to get instant results that also have long term gains, and the Synergy peel, while light and not at all aggressive, will help the skin renew. Add a peel to any one of Room 9’s facials, like the Iontophoresis facial that uses an Ionzyme DF II Machine to help the product penetrate even further into the skin. 

DermaPen 4 Microneedling (CIT) at Haven, Takapuna
Also known as Collagen Induction Therapy, this is a modern microneedling treatment that has revolutionised the method for even safer, long-lasting results. With the advanced technology, no numbing cream is required. The treatment addresses wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation; acne, scarring and stretch marks. It can also be used on the hands and décolletage. A decadent hyaluronic acid mask to finish will leave your skin feeling soothed and hydrated.

Best tailored appointment 
Sothys Bespoke Facial at Sofitel Spa, Wynyard Quarter
A considered, individualised philosophy is what underpins this luxurious one hour and fifteen minute treatment. Designed to offer each recipient exactly the kind of attention their skin needs, both relaxation and effectiveness go hand-in-hand as Sothys’ excellent products work their magic, with no two appointments the same. We recommend seeing therapist Jenny Natividad for this service, as her knowledge and expertise will make it all the more worthwhile.

Cordis’ Chuan Spa.

Best for men
We’re firm believers that men can and should book in for any of the aforementioned treatments but if you’re after an appointment that has been specifically formulated with men in mind, there are a few great options. The Sothys Homme facial at Cordis’ Chuan Spa is designed to detoxify and nourish the unique needs of men’s skin. Containing minerals derived from volcanic rock, this facial is rich in antioxidants to energise and provide essential skin nourishment. A Sothys Digi pressure massage provides release to the scalp, neck and shoulders, resulting in an all-round relaxing experience. Haven Spa’s Men at Work facial treatment involves an Ultraceuticals peel selected for the specific skin type in question, followed by an advanced vitamin infusion to treat, nourish and soothe the skin.


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2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes: Auckland’s Best New Eatery, as voted by you

Despite the hurdles the hospitality industry has faced over the past year, we have been spoilt for choice with the new restaurants arriving on Auckland’s dining scene. From excellent casual offerings to exceptional fine dining establishments, the city’s latest and greatest new openings run the gamut of genres, bringing a wealth of new options that we didn’t know we were missing. Without further ado, discover Auckland’s top 10 best new eateries, as voted by you in the 2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes presented by American Express.

1. WINNER: Ada
From the moment we first stepped foot into Grey Lynn eatery Ada, we knew it would be a roaring success — and it turns out we aren’t alone in our love for this new hot spot. Helmed by chefs Hayden Phiskie and Johnny Price, this eatery ticks all the boxes. Tucked at the rear of the much buzzed-about Convent Hotel, its interior enchants with curved archways and a soaring atrium, and the menu delivers just the sort of deliciously decadent fare we would expect from the two ex-Cotto chefs, who’ve honed their craft and given Ada a spin that’s all their own.

Arguably the jewel in Commercial Bay’s crown, Ahi has had such an impact on Auckland’s dining scene that we can hardly remember life without it. Opened in the spring of 2020 by multi-award-winning chef Ben Bayly and co-owner Christopher Martin, the inventive concept, inspiring space and original menu provided the hope and promise we so dearly needed after a disconcerting year.

Tiny but mighty, Pici has become a go-to for pasta lovers across Auckland ever since it opened in late 2020. Tucked into a cosy corner of St Kevins Arcade, on any given night you’ll find it bustling with diners happily sharing plates of handmade cacio e pepe, spaghettini vongole, and exquisite cheesecake dripping in extra virgin olive oil. Throw in the succinct yet impressive wine list and you can see why this humble little eatery has been declared a sure favourite by Denizen‘s discerning readers.

THE TOP 10: The Rest of the Best

4. Mr. Morris

5. Alma

6. Onemata

7. Candela

8. Onslow

9. Siso

10. Esther

Discover the full list of 2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes winners in our new Winter issue, on sale now.

2021 Hospo Heroes

Celebrating Auckland’s best restaurants, here are all the winners from our 2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes

2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes: Auckland’s Best Bar, as voted by you

2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes: Auckland’s Best for Brunch, as voted by you

2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes: Auckland’s Best Hospitality Figurehead, as voted by you

Any celebration of the hospitality industry wouldn’t be complete without taking time to recognise the figureheads who act as the steady hands at the helm. As the linchpins behind some of Auckland’s most notable establishments, these industry leaders are tasked with navigating some of the trickiest bits of the business, both centre stage and behind the scenes. Without further ado, discover Auckland’s best hospitality figureheads, as voted by you in the 2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes presented by American Express.

1. WINNER: Lucien LawAzabuOstroLobster & TapAmanoOrtolanaLobster & WayguEbisuNon Solo Pizza
Anyone who can thrive at the helm of multiple restaurants has our utmost admiration, and Lucien Law is one such man. The co-founder of Savor Group is guiding the vast hospitality company from strength to strength, with Amano, Ortolana and The Store recently joining what is already an extremely formidable assemblage of fantastic eateries, including Azabu, Ebisu, Ostro and Non Solo Pizza, to name a few. Like all of the personalities within this category, Law has shown an unwavering commitment to weathering the storm and maintaining momentum when things get tough.

2. HONOURABLE MENTION: Richard SigleyAndiamoEuroSoul Bar & BistroSisoThe BritThe Crab ShackJSH
Having founded Nourish Group nearly two decades ago, hospitality stalwart Richard Sigley knows more than most about what it takes to maintain longevity (and excellence) in an extremely competitive industry. Waterfront favourite Euro underwent a triumphant overhaul in 2020, while Nourish’s numerous other eateries including, Soul, Jervois Steak House and Andiamo — to name but a few — continue to consistently impress. Sigley’s newest venture Siso is bringing his hospitality expertise to Remuera, its success signalling that this figurehead is far from resting on his laurels.


3. HONOURABLE MENTION: Krishna Botica Cafe HanoiSaanXuxu Dumplings, Ghost Street
Sitting at the helm of Comensa group, which she runs along with her partner Tony McGeorge, Krishna Botica is the highly respected force behind some of the city’s most beloved eateries — including the new (and buzzing) Ghost Street. A true industry leader, Botica’s award-winning hospitality empire is largely testament to her dynamic, hardworking and charismatic approach, which shows no sign of waning.

THE TOP 10: The Rest of the Best

4. Kyle Street & Jordan MacDonaldCulpritLittle CulpritLowbrowNook

5. David LeeGochuThe Candy ShopGood Dog Bad DogCamper Coffee

6. Hugo BairdHotel PonsonbyLilianHoney Bones

7. Mark WallbankThe Blue Breeze InnGo Go DaddyChop Chop

8. Sammy AkuthotaSatya, GGX Flamingo, Satya Chai Lounge

9. Natalia SchamrothThe Engine Room

10. Josh EmettOnslow, The Oyster Inn

Discover the full list of 2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes winners in our new Winter issue, on sale now.

2021 Hospo Heroes

Celebrating Auckland’s best restaurants, here are all the winners from our 2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes

2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes: Auckland’s Best Bar, as voted by you

2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes: Auckland’s Best for Brunch, as voted by you
Amano. Photo: David Straight.

2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes: Auckland’s Best All-Day Eatery, as voted by you

All hail the all-day eateries. Where would we be without these one-stop shops, the establishments that keep us satiated from sunrise to sunset — and all the moments in between. These are the restaurants that execute every meal effortlessly, tempting us to return as soon as we’ve set our breakfast spoons down with the promise of an equally excellent lunch and dinner. Without further ado, discover Auckland’s best all-day eateries, as voted by you in the 2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes presented by American Express.

1. WINNER: Amano
We wouldn’t have expected anything less for this downtown restaurant that runs like a well-oiled machine, seven days a week, 7am until late. Whether it’s for a bowl of granola and a coffee, a lunchtime sandwich from their excellent bakery, or some of the best pasta in town, Amano is a firm favourite among all who voted.

Whether it be a warm beignet or a plump oyster, Al Brown’s Depot has been doing all-day dining right since 2011. From its fast, friendly service to its supremely fresh fare, Depot is a failsafe choice any time of day, and it’s easy to see why our Denizens agree.

Located in CityWorks Depot, Odettes has long been a cool, charming oasis in the heart of Auckland. While perhaps most beloved for its eye-catching (not to mention delicious) brunch offering, Odettes’ culinary prowess stretches well past breakfast, with three nights dedicated to serving its Mediterranean-inspired fare after dark.

THE TOP 10: The Rest of the Best

4. Federal Delicatessen

5. Onemata

6. Fabric

7. Ortolana

8. Clarence Rd Eatery

9. Rosie

10. Ima

2021 Hospo Heroes

Celebrating Auckland’s best restaurants, here are all the winners from our 2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes

2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes: Auckland’s Best Bar, as voted by you

2021 Denizen Hospo Heroes: Auckland’s Best for Brunch, as voted by you
Azabu's karaage chicken.

Denizen’s definitive guide to the best fried chicken in town

These days, a fried chicken craving needn’t be fulfilled at a greasy fast food joint or on a bad hangover. From karaage to buttermilk, Korean fried to Southern-style, the number of eateries putting their own spin on this crunchy, tender, deep-fried delight is impressive to say the least — for which we count ourselves lucky. For your perusal, we’ve compiled the best places in Auckland to get a fix of the good stuff.

What do you get when you combine Peruvian and Japanese cuisine? Criminally tasty buttermilk karaage chicken with pickled daikon and mayo laced with aji amarillo — a yellow, fruity South American pepper. Both Ponsonby and Mission Bay locations have their own take on this classic dish, so you can get your fix wherever suits.


There are many reasons to visit Commercial Bay’s modern Korean restaurant Gochu, and the fried chicken is a strong contender for the top of the list. Head chef Jason Kim has made sure his signature fried chicken is irresistibly sticky, crunchy and juicy. Heat seekers would do well to order ‘Jason’s fried chicken, but spicier’.

Hello Beasty.

Hello Beasty
An essential addition to any order at this Viaduct favourite, Hello Beasty’s kaarage chicken is served with a sweet-leaning Japanese-style BBQ sauce. A lemon wedge on the side means you can cut through the richness with a refreshing zing of citrus — making this one seriously moreish dish.

The Chamberlain.

The Chamberlain
A fresh new fried chicken menu has landed at Britomart bar and eatery The Chamberlain, and it’s described as being ‘tasty as cluck’. Tailored to your liking, you can pick from white meat (breast and wing), brown meat (thigh and drum), tender fillets or classic wings, and choose your spice level from four tongue-tingling options. Served with sliced bread and pickles, the only thing that could make it more perfect is pairing it with one of The Chamberlain’s 15 top-notch tap beers.


This St Kevins Arcade yakitori spot from the duo behind Lowbrow (read more about its irresistible wings below) and Culprit does great bite-sized pieces of karaage chicken. Free-range pieces of chicken thigh are lightly coated in delicious batter and served with delectable wasabi mayonnaise and a dusting of sesame salt. What more could you want?

Kai Eatery.

Kai Eatery
If you like your fried chicken as big as your face, you’re in luck. Serving modern Taiwanese street food, Kai’s infamous ‘XL’ chicken is the Mount Everest of fried chicken — a mighty bite begging to be conquered. Take your pick from three flavours (original, five-spice or flame-kissed charcoal sauce). If you’re not up to the challenge, the fried chicken bites are a good option.

As the home of some of the city’s best sushi and sashimi, Ebisu is our go-to when we’re seeking excellent Japanese fare. It’s no surprise then, that the Britomart stalwart has karaage chicken down to a delicious science. Served with crunchy, fresh mixed carrot salad and soy onion dressing, we even feel a little virtuous after polishing off this perfectly balanced dish.

Peach’s Hot Chicken.

Peach’s Hot Chicken
Specialising in authentic Nashville hot chicken, Peach’s Hot Chicken is so popular the former food truck transitioned to a restaurant in East Auckland’s Panmure. Choose your spice level (ranging from mild to Holy Cluck — described as a religious experience) and enjoy it served on either a piece of soft white bread, inside a tender brioche bun, or piled atop waffles.

Simon & Lee’s KFC (Korean Fried Chicken).

Simon & Lee
Get your hit of KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) at Simon & Lee, the Parnell eatery that indulges our desire to order chicken for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There’s the KFC chicken lunchbox, which pairs chicken with slaw, pickles, shoestring fries and aioli; chicken nibbles ranging in spice level up to ‘danger spicy’ (you’ve been warned); a fried chicken burger and finally the fried chicken bao. Consider this fried chicken heaven — complete with disposable gloves to keep your paws pristine.


Fans of Freaky (the now defunct CBD cafe) are eternally grateful that its famous fried chicken lives on at Beau. A triumph with sesame mayo, this Ponsonby wine bar makes fried chicken and a crisp glass of something good taste like the height of sophistication.

Winner Winner.

Winner Winner
Born in Hamilton, this joint is so popular it’s since established branches in Wellington, Pukekohe and Takapuna. Specialising in all things chicken, these guys know a thing or two about creating a winning chicken dinner. Brined for 12 hours and fried in buttermilk, boneless bites can be ordered with ranch and pickles, in a sandwich or stuffed in a burger with white BBQ sauce and crispy onions. With three spice levels to keep any palate happy, this is the perfect quick pitstop for a no-frills feed.


Ponsonby Korean restaurant Ockhee serves up two different (yet equally delicious) takes on Korean fried chicken. The sweet chilli and a roasted peanut glaze is delightfully sticky and syrupy while spicy soy and sesame glazed has a deep umami flavour. We recommend pairing with the Chun Sa Chae noodle salad for a deliciously fresh contrast.


As our go-to purveyors of fancy fast food, Lowbrow throws down a bloody good fried bird, taking its interpretation of this naughty nibble very seriously. The chicken sando is a thing of beauty, incorporating American cheese, iceberg, McClure’s pickles, and mac sauce with free-range chicken thigh, and the organic chicken wings… let’s just say a bucket disappears remarkably quickly.

Chop Chop’s Cobra Kai ramen with fried chicken.

Chop Chop Noodle House 
If ramen is the first thing you think of when Chop Chop comes to mind, fried chicken should be a close second. The Ponsonby noodle house can’t get enough of the stuff, whether its dripping with chilli sauce, crushed peanuts and yum yum mayo, crispy with hot Ssäm sauce or placed atop of a piping hot bowl of ramen as a delicious pièce de résistance.


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

Three key updates to look out for on the new Land Rover Discovery

As an SUV with a stellar reputation for both practicality and luxury, the Land Rover Discovery needs no introduction. What might need more of an introduction, however, are the facelifted features of the new Land Rover Discovery — freshly debuted in the New Zealand market this year, with an extremely impressive array of updates since Discovery’s last version. 

Encompassing both the exterior and interior in a sleek design refresh, the new Disco also boasts superior technological updates such as a new, highly-intelligent infotainment system, plus even more capacity for both passengers and luggage. There are three tiers of model available on our shores; the R-Dynamic S, the R-Dynamic SE, and the R-Dynamic HSE. 

Without further ado, here are the key updates to know about the Land Rover Discovery.

New style upgrades add even more refinement
Forging ahead in its streamlining of exterior aesthetic elements, the front grille is now rendered in a more visually regular honeycomb-style, rather than the previous split frontage. Headlights and rear lights have also been updated; continuously-flowing LED lights now grace the front, replacing the former, dissected lights and new wheel designs are available in 20-to-22-inch, five split-spoke style.

Inside, the stylish updates continue, with a new steering wheel brought over from the latest Defender, and a new toggle-style gear selector. Seats have also been given a facelift with the second row now offering longer bases for improved under-thigh support, and the choice of materials spanning classic leather or a new, sustainable non-leather trim. 

The most intuitive infotainment system yet allows for ultimate connection
It’s always a joy when automobile technology is effortless (especially when you’re trying to concentrate on the road) and the Discovery’s new ‘Pivi Pro’ touchscreen interface not only incorporates a high-definition, 11.4inch touchscreen — that’s 48 percent larger than previous models — but it also facilitates advanced features such as an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot powered by a 4G LTE data connection, able to give real-time traffic-and-weather updates without any slow-down.

There are nine USB ports dotting the cabin, and it’s easier than ever to keep little ones entertained on longer journeys with novel tablet-holding accessories that can be set up in the rear seating. The Pivi Pro system also enables wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, while two Bluetooth devices can be connected at once — no more disagreements on that front.

More space than ever before makes every journey tremendously comfortable
Even long-distance roadies can be undergone in a breeze thanks to seven genuine seats. The R-Dynamic S also incorporates heated 14-way electric front seats with a comfortable captain’s armrest, while the R-Dynamic SE is even more luxurious with heated 18-way electric memory front seats. The R-Dynamic HSE takes the overall comfort one step further with heated second-row seats as well. With all the seats folded down, there’s a vast 2485 litre boot volume, and 41.8 litres of cubby spaces means those belongings will be saved from rattling around in what is clearly a very roomy vehicle. 


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

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Love entertaining at home? These sleek new pieces are essential for your bar cart

Whether you love hosting your nearest and dearest for drinks and dinner, or simply prefer the ritual of mixing a cocktail or two after work, a well-stocked home bar is nothing less than essential, particularly as winter rolls around.

Luckily, renowned tableware and home accessories brand Christofle has recently released a series of new additions to its lauded Graphik collection, designed to take your humble, homemade cocktails to a whole new level.

Comprising a line-up of pieces that will have you making drinks as professionally as your favourite local bartender might, the new Graphik additions include a double-walled, isothermal ice bucket (carefully designed to keep cubes intact for longer), a sleek Champagne bucket and a similarly-shaped wine cooler, a jigger, which for anyone unfamiliar with the term, is a pouring tool used for measuring the exact amount of liquor needed for each drink, and the pièce de résistance, a three-piece shaker.

The shaker in question is not only silver-plated, and etched with the Graphik collection’s signature geometric lines (as with the other pieces mentioned above) but it features a specially-made strainer to filter pre-mixed cocktails, and encourages cooling so as to ensure that every drink poured from it is exactly the right temperature.

Available locally from The Studio of Tableware, these exquisite pieces deserve to take pride of place in your at-home bar and promise to make at-home entertaining sleeker than ever.


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

This transparent furniture trend is a stylish exercise in creative contradiction

Melding modern lines with a romantic garden outlook, this home is the epitome of quietly confident luxury

Weekend dining agenda: We’ve got you covered from after-work tipples to comforting Sunday lunch

If an oft-repeated refrain in your friend or family circle is “So, where shall we eat?” join the club. With all the culinary choice our brilliant city has to offer, sometimes you need someone to throw some suggestions your way to make a decision. From the ideal spot to sip a Friday night tipple to Sunday morning breakfast and beyond, here are some gastronomic options you could work into your weekend plans.

Kumara skins with truffle goats feta and honeycomb from Brolly.

Friday night drinks and snacks
Park up in Viaduct Harbour bar Brolly‘s cosy space and see out the week with some moreish drinks and tasty bites. Located just downstairs from Parasol & Swing, the 20-seat venue looks right out over the water and is the perfect place to watch the sun go down. We like the look of kumara skins with truffle goats feta and honeycomb, and the house-made charcuterie plate, to be joined by one of Brolly’s delicious cocktails. A House Martini, perhaps?

Bucks Bistro’s delicious seafood is a highlight of the restaurant’s offering.

Cosy beachside lunch with the family
Even though the weather’s not meant to be flash, Bucks Bistro‘s ocean-front location is spectacular. Rain or shine, it’s a great place to bowl up to with the whānau and let the team take care of you — we’d be making a beeline for the booth by the fireplace. As seafood is one of their key offerings, we highly recommend the signature seafood platter, plus the whole flounder. Bucks Bistro also has a children’s menu comprising tasty flatbreads, fish and chips and pasta, so the whole clan can leave happily well-fed.

Duck risotto from Andiamo.

A warming Saturday night dinner
We’ve started gravitating enthusiastically towards comfort food, and the duck risotto from Andiamo hits all the spots as far as this category is concerned. Admittedly quite a rich dish, this might not be one to consume if you plan on hitting the dance floor later, as both confit and parfait duck joins a hearty dose of truffle, woodland mushrooms and pecorino to warm both the belly and the soul.

Pain Perdu (French Toast) from Lieutenant at Commercial Bay.

Sunday morning shopping pick-me-up
Sometimes the best part of indulging in a little retail therapy is planning what food or beverage outlets you’re going to visit simultaneously to keep your energy up. The superior selection of local and international boutiques at Commercial Bay is matched only by its culinary offering — grab an excellent cup of Joe at specialty coffee brewer Kōkako‘s Level 1 coffee bar, or sit down for a smoothie and some organic brioche French Toast with mascarpone, rhubarb curd, pomegranate maple and winter fruit at Lieutenant.

Beef Wellington from Ostro.

A sumptuous Sunday lunch
At this time of year, we can practically hear Ostro‘s Beef Wellington calling our name… or maybe we’re the ones doing the calling. Regardless, parking up at a Waitematā-facing table in one of our favourite restaurants and digging into a dish that never disappoints sounds like a pretty great way to beat any seasonal blues. The Wellington is available as part of Ostro’s Sunday Roast offering — booking 48 hours in advance is essential.


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

These clever locally-made supplements are making it easier than ever to make wellness a priority

For those of us who lead a busy lifestyle (let’s face it, a frenetic mode of existence seems to be desirable social currency in the modern, Western world), finding ways to seamlessly integrate wellness practices into our everyday routine is essential. Note the key concept here: seamlessly. Too often, we find ourselves eschewing supplements that require excessive effort, even if they promise a host of positive benefits. 

That is why, when we came across the dietary supplements by local company Botanistry, we were delighted to learn of their versatility. Taking the form of 100 percent plant-based powder formulations, Botanistry’s targeted supplements have been developed under the expert guidance of Ayurvedic practitioners, medical doctors and food technologists, each blend a balanced combination of five nutrient-dense plant ingredients.

Suitable for most lifestyle choices including vegan, keto and paleo diets, these organic health powders can be added to drinks and dishes any time of day — from soup to smoothies, salads, coffee, even salad dressings or sprinkled on toast.

The Boosting Ambers supplement is particularly appropriate for the winter months, promising to help promote better immunity. Containing turmeric, for anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, vitamin C-rich lime zest, ginger, lemongrass and black pepper, this tangy, citrus-flavoured powder aims to help that immune system stay strong. We can vouch for it being delicious incorporated into a bowl of granola with fruit.

Beauty starts on the inside, and the Glowing Greens supplement is a testament to this (we love ours on a piece of avocado on toast). With mineral, vitamin and amino acid-rich Moringa powder, plus soothing peppermint, antioxidant-laden green tea and more, its main goal is to help revitalise and support skin health and metabolic function.

Botanistry currently offers a further two blends — Active Corals to help relieve muscle tension and stimulate circulation, and Digestive Jades to assist the digestive system and alleviate discomfort.

Taken daily, any of the brand’s clever supplements will harness both function and flavour to effortlessly deliver a dose of goodness — and when it comes to improving our day-to-day wellbeing, we can certainly get on board with that.


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Under The Volcano.

Culture Calendar: Six riveting documentaries you need to see at this year’s Doc Edge Film Festival

This June marks the 16th iteration of Doc Edge Festival, a celebration of documentary filmmaking organised by not-for-profit charitable organisation Documentary New Zealand Trust. Showcasing the best films from New Zealand and around the world, the Academy Awards® qualifying, international documentary film festival is held annually in Auckland, Wellington and online — although last year’s entire programme was held digitally.

As per usual, the festival line-up is impressive in its variety, delving deep on both hard-hitting and more lighthearted topics. What they mostly have in common, is they are a window into the beauty, conflict and sometimes pain of our shared humanity, one of the many reasons why documentaries are so important (and often inspiring).

Here, we highlight six films we’re looking out for.

Under The Volcano
When famed music producer George Martin built his AIR recording studio in 1979, on the picturesque yet isolated Caribbean Island of Monserrat, the world’s music legends came in droves. Dire Straits, Duran Duran, Elton John, Jimmy Buffet, Lou Reed, Paul McCartney, The Police and Stevie Wonder all made some of the most iconic songs of that generation on this tiny island, and this film (touted as one of the best music documentaries of the year so far) chronicles some of the memories and music that were shaped there.

A film that will have your pulse racing as much as any fictional thriller, MLK/FBI covers explosive information from newly-declassified FBI files, revealing the alarmingly dogged methods of surveillance and harassment of activist Martin Luther King Jr. by the US government and the FBI — in particular, the FBI’s First Director J. Edgar Hoover. It’s often important to reevaluate history through a contemporary lens, and this documentary shows us some of the discriminatory racial viewpoints (in this case, against Black activists) that have been foundational in American politics.

The Garden of Evil
Showing in its world premiere, The Garden of Evil is another documentary in the Crime and Conspiracy category that you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from. The story of Sir Peter Blake and Captain Pete Bethune, who were viciously set-upon by pirates 16 years apart in the Brazilian Amazon, is both infamous and tragic. Celebrated yachtsman Sir Blake was murdered, while Captain Bethune survived. Irish journalist and Professor of Criminology Donal MacIntyre, Brazilian Caio Vilela and British journalist Sam Cowie meet up with the Captain, and they travel back to the crime scene to explore the dark possibility that these horrific attacks may have both been carried out by some of the volatile region’s powerful criminal organisations.

A.rtificial I.mmortality
If you were able to create an immortal version of yourself, would you? This is the question asked in this futuristic documentary, along with “can we replicate the human mind and soul with technology?” Investigating some of the latest advancements in robotics, A.I and biotech, this fascinating insight into humanity’s technological evolution enlists the likes of Nick Bostrom, author of Superintelligence; Japanese roboticist, Hiroshi Ishiguro; and Deepak Chopra, who is currently creating his own A.I. mind twin.

Valerie Taylor: Playing With Sharks
Afraid of sharks? This might be one to avoid — but, then again, it might help change your viewpoint. Valerie Hunter was a famously ruthless shark hunter in the 1950s, until a personal epiphany transformed her into one of the ocean-dwelling animal’s most outspoken protectors and a passionate marine conservationist. This documentary features captivating re-mastered film footage, captured over 50 years, of Taylor’s up-close interactions with these carnivorous creatures that are so often villainised on-screen.

The Rossellinis
More of a lighthearted watch, The Rossellinis centres on one of Italian cinema’s most famous families for what Variety describes as “an indulgent but interesting exercise in documentary therapy”. Directed by Alessandro Rossellini, grandson of legendary film-maker Roberto, this wryly humorous film is the first cinematic release from the director, who uses the process to grapple with notions of legacy and inherited creativity.

Doc Edge Festival
3rd June-11th July

Showing in Auckland at SkyCity Theatre & The Civic
Wellington at The Roxy
& Online Nationwide


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