This impressive coastal terrace house finds perfect harmony between the urban and the organic

Magnificent views over Bronte Beach and the Pacific Ocean are just the beginning of this terraced house’s multifaceted appeal. With Tobias Partners having overseen the new-build’s architectural and interior design, its form climbs the steep slope from the street with both assured solidity and openness, an immediate materiality to its crisp structure and clean lines. 

haller modular system BY USM from ECC.

Ample use of light-coloured concrete and contrasting charcoal metal surfaces certainly contribute to this sturdiness, yet the building appears to have taken on board the vernacular of its coastal site, brimming with natural elements that mean it perfectly balances the urban and the organic. These include darkened wood doors and slatted panels, a spectacular marble kitchen island and skillful planting and landscaping throughout that add charming, verdant touches. 


The terraced layout approaches with ease a 13 metre climb from street level to the site’s highest point, reducing the overall bulk. The house’s lower levels encompass garage car parking, a swimming pool that looks out over the ocean, the main entry and a guest bedroom. Moving upwards, the main living and entertaining spaces include an entertaining terrace and a sheltered grassy courtyard while, perched at the top, are the family’s bedrooms and bathrooms. 


Internal rooms are also distributed by the multi-levelled building, with several attached outdoor spaces letting natural light flood the home and inviting in a refreshing cross-flow breeze. Just as this home exists in harmony with the surrounding environment, so too are the indoor and outdoor spaces within it able to be traversed as one, for a delightful al fresco meal or to simply soak up some sun and that breathtaking view. 

A base of enduring, timeless materials is ripe for the addition of furnishings that bestow personality and quirk. In the entranceway, a modular system from USM’s Haller collection acts as both definition for the space and a display shelf, brimming with eye-catching objet d’art, sculptural lamps and curated books, providing an interesting gallery of sorts upon arrival or when viewed from the outside-in. The same effect is bestowed by a playful mix of mid-century modern and contemporary furniture designs, some rendered in saturated colour that feel purposeful in the space among others in pared back neutrals. 

For a project that opens itself up so ardently to the elements, the team at Tobias Partners have still managed to create a home that cocoons its residents in privacy and comfort. A dynamic and joyful haven that offers peace and respite, with a healthy dose of sea air.

Image credit: Justin Alexander


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Miss Polly's Kitchen's Fried Buffalo Chicken Tacos.

Try this buffalo chicken taco recipe for a tasty weekend ‘fakeaway’ fix

Craving takeaways? Miss Polly’s Kitchen has come to our rescue, sharing a seriously delicious recipe for fried buffalo chicken tacos just in time for the weekend. Featuring juicy fried chicken, tangy buffalo sauce and fresh fillings, this recipe is the perfect excuse to bring together your bubble for an irresistible lockdown feast.

Fried Buffalo Chicken Tacos Recipe
Serves 2

4 chicken tenders
½ cup flour
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 egg — whisked
Oil for frying

Buffalo Sauce
½ cup buffalo sauce
¼ cup butter
A good squeeze of honey

To Serve
4 soft shell taco shells
Ranch dressing
Baby cos lettuce
Red onion (thinly sliced)
Tasty cheese
Sliced gherkins (Miss Polly’s Kitchen recommends McClure’s Pickles)

1. Cover the chicken tenders in half the buffalo sauce. Leave in the fridge for 30 mins — 24 hours.

2. Assemble all the filling ingredients onto a board (lettuce, coriander, red onion, cheese and gherkins).

3. Mix together the flour, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika.

4. In a small pot, heat the remaining buffalo sauce, butter and honey. Let it simmer on a low heat, then remove and set aside.

5. Heat a pot of oil on medium to low heat. Do not let it start smoking.

6. Dredge the chicken tenders in the flour mix, dip in the whisked egg then transfer back into the flour mix to coat once more and set aside.

7. Drop the tenders (carefully) into the oil for 2 minutes and then turn them for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the oil to rest on a wire rack. While these are frying you can warm your tacos over the flame or in a pan.

8. Once the chicken is cooked, place the chicken on a plate or bowl and pour over the buffalo sauce.

9. Now quickly whip your little taco into shape. Miss Polly’s Kitchen recommends ranch dressing on the bottom, then lettuce, followed by buffalo chicken, grated cheese, pickles, coriander and red onion.


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Left: Nagnata's Lucid Sweater in 'Dune'. Right: The matching Lucid Bralet and Lucid Yoni shorts, both available from Muse Boutique.

Keeping us stylish and comfortable when we need it most, Muse Boutique’s new Nagnata drop is making all our activewear dreams come true

Gone are the days when you wouldn’t want to be seen in your leisurewear or workout gear — especially with brands like Nagnata offering such stylish, design-led and comfortable pieces. The sustainably-minded fashion and lifestyle brand was founded in Australia in May 2017, and has won fans the world over for its offering that blends luxurious knitwear with movement apparel. 

Nagnata is unique in that it prioritises organic and renewable fibres in the creation of its eye-catching sets, bodysuits, sweaters and t-shirts. This includes an emphasis on organic cotton and merino, breathable fabrics that offer just the right amount of warmth in spring and breathability in summer.


Currently, for obvious reasons, comfort is top of mind when we’re putting together an outfit for the day — however, that doesn’t mean we want to sacrifice aesthetics. Hence why we’re eyeing up the latest drop of Nagnata at its exclusive New Zealand stockist, Muse Boutique. Within Nagnata’s new collection, we love the Lucid Bralet in the shade ‘Cuba’ (and the matching Lucid Yoni shorts) as well as the cute Lucid Sweater in Dune.


While we were perusing, we couldn’t help but notice Muse has a host of other new arrivals — from fluffy slides and stomp-worthy boots by Gia Borghini, to lush knitwear from Anine Bing; chic minimal pieces from Theory and more. We all need things to look forward to, and ours might just be looking forward to the delivery day of our brand new, and very stylish, wardrobe additions. We’ll also look forward to showing them off to the outside world when we’re all mixing and mingling once again.


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Daffodil Day is going digital to support cancer patients at this difficult time — here’s how you can donate

For the second year in a row, Daffodil Day has fallen during a lockdown — meaning it cannot conduct its street appeal. As the Cancer Society’s largest annual community fundraiser, it’s a crucial initiative to raise funds that provide vital support to New Zealanders on a journey with cancer. 

Every day, 71 New Zealanders are diagnosed with cancer, and (from its experience last year) the Cancer Society knows demand for its team’s care, compassion and time increases during lockdowns. Its expert supportive care team and transport services keep up the good work — making sure those who need to get to cancer-related medical appointments get there safely and on time, while reaching out to others via phone and video call. 

An online donation this Daffodil Day will ensure cancer patients get the crucial support they need as they face the extra stress and isolation brought about by the pandemic. To make a donation, head online and specify the amount you would like to give, or choose from a selection of options. For patients, $24 helps provide transport to and from a cancer treatment, $58 helps fund a counselling session, and $107 helps provide accommodation for those who need to travel for treatment. A donation of $150 contributes towards research that improves prevention, diagnosis and treatment. 

Cancer doesn’t stop, so the Cancer Society — and our compassion — shouldn’t either.


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The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s The Firebird.

Culture Fix: No need to leave the sofa, these excellent local performances, exhibitions and more are showing online

Well, it wasn’t the weekend we had planned, but we can still go on a journey with some of our finest cultural institutions offering virtual tours and experiences. As the local creative sector rises to the challenge of covid restrictions, these online overtures not only replace their physical counterpart for the time being, but create a new opportunity to view cultural work up-close, from a new angle. From special performances to evocative exhibitions and lockdown laughs, here’s how to keep your spirits high as we move through lockdown levels.

For inspiration further afield, try recharging your creative spirit on a virtual tour of the world’s most famous galleries and museums.

Watch The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s The Firebird
The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s The Firebird was in full flight travelling the country before its wings were clipped by Covid-19. Of course, the cast and crew are professionals at pivoting, and the company was quick to set the performance up as a Live In Your Living Room event. Purchase a ticket and you have until Monday the 6th of September to view the mesmerising show, which has been shot with special close-ups and visual effects to transport you into the audience, and into the story.

Tapu Coroglen Road, 2021, charcoal and pastel on paper, 1015mm x 1400mm by Liam Gerrard.

See Sanderson Contemporary Gallery’s latest exhibitions
Sanderson Contemporary sees its role in the art world as one of an intermediary — developing an ongoing dialogue between artists and patrons so they can sustain and challenge each other. Two of its current exhibitions are able to be viewed online. New Work by Liam Gerrard offers a contemporary take on the 17th century still life vanitas with hydrangeas in various states of bloom to gently remind the viewer of the delicacies of life. Meanwhile, Each to Each by Stephen Ellis explores the 3D modelling software the artist learnt last lockdown to create virtual tabletops and objects — a process that renders the familiar unfamiliar, reflecting pandemic isolations, and remembering liberties outside.

View Auckland Art Gallery’s collection
A city’s art gallery is not just a space to view important works of art, but a catalyst for creativity and community. Until we can visit in person again, the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki has an extensive online collection, which allows you to explore 17,500 artworks on your own time, and in your own home. Its virtual portal showcases two of the Gallery’s most significant recent exhibitions: Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art and Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan. If you’re about the details, follow on Instagram to see highlights of the collection up-close, IGTV interviews with artists and behind-the-scene snippets. 

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Listen to the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
Take your playlists to the next level this lockdown with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s library of performances. Relax or work away along to the soundtracks of Beethoven and Mozart classics and operas including Othello.

Explore with the Auckland Museum
Sensing the need for some digital distraction, the Auckland Museum has opened its exhibition archives for all to explore. Listen to an audio guide and take a virtual tour of its exhibitions, including Carried Away: Bags Unpacked, which reveals the stories behind our favourite accessory, and Love & Loss, an emotive exhibition that explores letters that tell their own love story.

Judy Millar’s Clouds and Fire and Water and Air exhibition.

Contemplate the works of Judy Millar
Judy Millar’s Clouds and Fire and Water and Air exhibition was created at her Auckland West Coast home during lockdowns last year — a time when the world went eerily quiet and we were forced to find new relationships with our immediate surroundings. As it happens, the exhibition that explores what it means to grasp hold of the simplest things is now available in a rather meta virtual exhibition at Gow Langsford Gallery. It offers a particular and peculiar snapshot of time and place.

Laugh with the NZ International Comedy Festival
The NZ International Comedy Festival is determined to keep us lol-ing along this lockdown. If you missed it the first time around, or find comfort in rewatching a classic, its Best Foods Comedy Gala is streaming on TVNZ On Demand. Naturally, several of the comedians on the circuit are also taking to their Instagram accounts to make light of our situation, including Chris Parker’s impersonations, Tom Sainsbury’s quick skits and Urzila Carlson’s Lockumentary.


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Wonder Boy.

Find a fresh perspective with the most riveting documentaries to stream right now

As the most compelling cinematic experience we can have, documentaries offer a chance to understand and connect with other people’s views of the world. While we’re stuck at home, why not stream one of these well-timed documentaries, and be transported to the world of Paris haute couture, New York’s 90s rap scene, Vienna’s turn-of-the-century art society and more.

Wonder Boy
He is one of the most lauded designers on the planet and is no stranger to rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, but Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing’s origins are far less glamorous. Wonder Boy follows Rousteing’s journey to find his birth parents, and in the process is an exploration of identity and how different people emerge from an unconventional start to life. Available on Netflix

This documentary is an intimate look at Val Kilmer, who is more creative than we all probably knew. While he is a famous actor, he has also been a life-long filmmaker himself and Val is put together from hand-held camera clips filmed by Kilmer and his friends and family throughout his life. Kilmer was recently diagnosed with throat cancer and is still recovering, finding it difficult to talk, so his son Jack Kilmer narrates this moving film that gives us insight into someone who is truly an artist at heart. Available on Amazon Prime

Klimt & Schiele: Eros and Psyche
Creativity loves restraint, and at the turn-of-the-century the golden age of the Vienna art world was coming to an end as legendary painters Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele fundamentally changed the feeling of art. Shown across five stunning exhibitions, with never-before-seen access, Klimt & Schiele: Eros and Psyche recounts another extraordinary moment in history — when art portrayed humanity’s restlessness, fears and desires with a new intensity. Available at Academy On Demand

Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal
If you were aware of this drama when it happened in 2019, you undoubtedly watched it unfold with a hefty dose of schadenfreude — it involved over 50 people (including a couple of famous actors) who were charged with a range of crimes from bribery to document forgery, all in the name of getting a group of privileged kids into elite colleges. This documentary investigates the mastermind behind the scam, a man called Rick Singer, through a series of incredibly realistic reenactments using real recorded conversations from the FBI. Available on Netflix

The Taste of Desire
Although it may not feel like the world is our oyster at the moment, this cinematic exploration of the oyster reveals the complexity of our desires. Following six very different people who prise it open, from Michelin-star chefs to a burlesque dancer, the sensual and at-time surreal film shares the lengths we will go to find satisfaction. Available as part of the Doc Edge Festival’s Virtual Bubble

Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell
While we all know how this story unfortunately ends, Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell explores the origins of someone who, even 25 years after his death, is still considered one of the world’s greatest rappers. It features intimate interviews with Christopher ‘Notorious B.I.G’ Wallace’s mother Voletta, label boss and friend Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs and more, and focuses on the incredible rise to fame of this legendary talent. Available on Netflix

The Scam
New Zealand’s award-winning documentary initiative Loading Docs has returned with a new season of short stories. Despite its twists and turns, the Tūmanako collection provides a hopeful viewpoint from our land and sea. Our pick is The Scam — a true crime adventure where an elderly Greymouth beekeeper inadvertently becomes a Brazilian cocaine mule, and comes close to catastrophe. Available at Loading Docs.

Fight for the Wild 
Journey, virtually, into the wild heart of Aotearoa in Fight for the Wild. The film and podcast series explores the notion of a Predator Free 2050 and asks whether this ambitious conservation initiative is achievable and if so, how? Really, it offers a chance to see up-close the unique native species that also call New Zealand home. Available at NZ On Air Watch & Listen


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2021 Everyday Heroes: Show your support for small businesses and be in to win!

There’s no better time to show your support of the small businesses and independent operators in our community whose services we often rely upon.

Denizen Everyday Heroes is a celebration of those businesses that have been so hugely affected by the challenges that continued lockdowns have presented. 

By shining a light on these fantastic people and places — whether it’s a florist, facialist, butcher, baker or bookstore — we’re all giving them the recognition and attention they deserve at this difficult time.

Our team of editors has preselected a shortlist of finalists, covering a vast array of diverse categories to ensure we celebrate as many amazing businesses as possible. But, if you think we’ve missed anyone you have the opportunity to nominate others too.

By both voting and sharing your favourites on your own social channels, you’ll be doing your bit to support these small enterprises, particularly in this time of need.

To thank you for doing so, everyone who votes goes in the draw to win one of four $500 vouchers to be spent at one of the winning businesses.

With your support, together we can celebrate and honour those who have worked so hard to continue to add value to our community.

Voting has now closed. Our Everyday Heroes will be announced on and across our social channels in the following weeks.

2021 Everyday Heroes

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These at-home yoga workouts will help you stay flexible and fit from afar

As we adjust to another level 4 lockdown, finding ways to reduce stress and anxiety is a wellness priority. What better way to find a new perspective than in the position of a downward dog or happy baby? The internet is filled with inspiring virtual classes catering to all preferences and abilities, and by signing up to those offered by a local yoga studio or practitioner, it’s a great way to support them while they can’t host clients in-person.

Here is our pick of the best online sessions you can undertake at home.

Basecamp Power Yoga
Celebrating your birthday in a lockdown can be a challenge, but the boutique Basecamp Power Yoga studio is bringing good vibes virtually for its second anniversary. For the next two weeks, it is offering Basecamp at Home live online classes, including Yin and Power Yoga Beats. Classes are $10 each, or you can purchase a weekly pass for $25.
Find all the information and classes here.

Wholehearted Yoga Studio
Birkenhead’s Wholehearted Yoga Studio has launched The Kindness Project. The two-week free (or for a koha) online membership includes access to livestreamed sessions and a growing library of classes. Owner Araluen Clarke is a trained counsellor and supporter of ‘self-compassionate yoga’, and the classes hope to help both your body and mind (and central nervous system) look after themselves better.
Find all the information and classes here.

Popular Ponsonby Road yoga studio (and winner of our 2020 Everyday Heroes survey) EastWest has a well-established suite of virtual classes ready to go. Priced on a sliding scale as to what you can afford, one auto-renewing payment per month gives you unlimited access to all classes including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin and more. You can cancel at any time with no contract, but we don’t think you’ll want to thanks to the teachers’ expertise.
Find all the information and classes here.

Mahi Yoga
Newmarket-based studio Mahi Yoga makes it easy to keep track of what its virtual timetable is, thanks to regularly updated stories on its Instagram account and clearly laid-out sessions online. Book in for a Vinyasa, or a Dynamic or Yin class, with the Mahi app or directly through the website. If you’re new to Mahi, you can book a week of unlimited classes for $35.
Find all the information and classes here.

With its sleek online platform, boutique fitness studio Sala has all its in-demand classes in one place — including yoga. Find over 80 yoga classes of all lengths and strengths, from prenatal yoga to sweat-seeking sessions and restorative stretching. Membership costs $25 a month, or you can try free for 14 days if you’re new.
Find all the information and classes here.

Unity Studios
All about creating subtle shifts, Unity Studios have moved their intuitive classes online with live Zooms. Each class is $10, and they can be booked online or via the Unity Studios app. If you can’t make the class time, Unity will send a recording of the class, which you’ll have access to for 24 hours. It’s the perfect time to try something new, including yin yang yoga and barre.
⁣⁠Find all the information and classes here.

Om Studio
Offering both livestreamed Zoom classes and an ‘Omline’ yoga studio library for access any time, Om Studio is a well-oiled machine when it comes to virtual sessions. Purchase individual Zoom classes through its website or the Mindbody app, or pay a monthly membership fee for unlimited access to the library.
Find all the information and classes here.

Yoga With Kylie
Having completed both a Bachelor of Nursing degree and training to become a Yoga Medicine Registered Therapeutic Specialist, Auckland-based yoga instructor Kylie Rook aims to make yoga accessible to everyone. She teaches a range of practices and hosts several classes via livestream through her website. Sign up to her mailing list and receive a free month of yoga through Yoga With Kylie Online, and follow her on Instagram for additional updates.
Find all the information and classes here.

Sweat Yoga
Inclusive yoga studio Sweat is all about bringing the heat. Not one to crack under pressure, the team have quickly put together an online schedule of 60-minute Instagram Live classes, including Vinyasa Flow. Anyone can join.
Find all the information and classes here.


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Most Wanted: How to make Azabu’s famous chicken karaage

No doubt one of Japan’s most popular dishes, chicken karaage has been perfected down to a fine art in Auckland by Azabu Executive Chef Yukio Ozeki. Now, you too can enjoy it at home, as he shares his top tips for the most moreish karaage.

“Crunchy on the outside, juicy and flavourful on the inside, karaage is a super popular Japanese street food that everyone loves. Delicious as both an appetizer and a main, it’s simple to make at home, but there are a few tips to making sure it’s the best it can be. The secrets to our recipe are the 24-hour marinade ahead of cooking, and frying the chicken twice. Don’t forget to finish with a sprinkle of salt and serve with Japanese mayonnaise and lemon juice.”

Azabu’s Free-Range Chicken Karaage Recipe
Serves 2-3

450g free-range chicken thigh with skin on
6g garlic
8g ginger
20g buttermilk
2g ground black pepper
2g sea salt
100g potato starch
1L vegetable oil

To serve
1 lemon, sliced into wedges
1 spring onion, finely sliced
50g Japanese mayo

1. Cut the chicken thigh into bite-sized pieces of about 4cm.

2. Grate the ginger and garlic.

3. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, buttermilk, ginger, garlic, ground black pepper and sea salt. Mix well. Put it in a ziplock bag and refrigerate overnight.

4. Take the chicken out of the fridge when ready to cook. Decant potato starch into a bowl and dredge the marinated chicken in the starch to coat each piece.

5. Pour the oil into a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven and heat the oil to 160ºC on medium heat.

6. For the first round of deep-frying: Deep fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the outside of the chicken is a light golden colour. Transfer to a wire rack to drain the excess oil. Place in the refrigerator or outside for at least 15 minutes.

7. For the second round of deep-frying: Now heat the oil to 175ºC. Deep fry for 2 minutes, or until the skin is a nice golden colour and is crispy. Transfer to a wire rack to drain the excess oil and continue with the remaining chicken.

8. Season immediately with sea salt and serve, garnished with spring onion, lemon slices and Japanese mayo.


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Training gotten off track? This running club is here to keep your half marathon plans moving over lockdown

Maintaining movement is a crucial part of both physical and mental health during more restricted Covid-19 response alert levels, something Kyal Whitburn and Conor McWilliams — friends and founders of Neighbourhood Track Club — know very well.

A running group dedicated to fostering a sense of community with a love of style, music and culture, Neighbourhood Track Club was born after Whitburn returned from London where he had been part of the ‘run crew’ scene over there. He and McWilliams (both of whom have been running for over ten years) decided during the last lockdown that they wanted to start their own iteration, and judging by its enthusiastic uptake when it launched soon after, it was a good idea.

Beginning with around 10 people and now (in non-lockdown times) attracting up to 80, Neighbourhood Track Club is a platform for runners of all levels — whether you’re cracking sub-five-minute kilometres, or you take it at a slower pace, when a run happens every second Tuesday there are several pacers for varying speeds.

This year’s Auckland Half Marathon is occurring on the 31st of October, which means the current lockdown has cut in at the most crucial time for anyone training. Neighbourhood Track Club has collaborated with renowned Nike Run Coach and elite Marathon runner Lydia O’Donnell to help keep those planning to participate on track, with ‘Runners High’, a free, online 10-week training programme.

Left: Conor McWilliams and Kyal Whitburn. Photo: Jono Parker; Right: Lydia O’Donnell. Photo: Alisha Lovrich

“For the half marathon, we wanted to do something — like all our previous challenges — to get people who might like the idea of running, but are too intimidated by it, to join,” says Whitburn.

Beginning this week, the guided Runners High programme breaks down the process over 10 weeks to make it more digestible for those who might not consider themselves a pro. It includes a comprehensive online calendar, created by O’Donnell, with expanded session information also on the Neighbourhood website explaining terminology and what to aim for.

Every Monday for the 10 weeks, the team will be doing Instagram Lives on the Neighbourhood account, including O’Donnell, who will be fielding questions from the community. She’ll be sharing tips and tricks, and troubleshooting any queries to make sure everyone feels as supported as they can, even virtually.

Throughout the 10-week period, there will also be prize packs up for grabs from brand partners like Nike Britomart and Almighty, further incentivising those training days.

So, if you’re keen to seek out that runners high, the team at Neighbourhood Track Club are making it their mission to help you do yourself proud.


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