Educational and engrossing, these are the non-fiction books to add to your reading list

The beauty of a well-written non-fiction book is you not only become engrossed in a narrative, but you often learn something along the way about a subject you may not have been overly familiar with. Peruse this varied selection, covering a trailblazing female architect and designer, the controversial rise of the vape industry, the lasting legacy of the circus business — and more.

No Compromise: The Work of Florence Knoll by Ana Araujo
Architect, interior designer and entrepreneur Florence Knoll nearly single-handedly reinvented the postwar American workplace, instilling several design principles that are still prevalent today. As Co-founder of the Knoll furniture company, her commissions went on to become design icons, including Harry Bertoia’s Diamond Chair, the Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe, and the Platner Collection by Warren Platner, and she invented the renowned ‘Knoll look’. This is, incredibly, the first monograph of her work, written by Araujo who is, herself, an architect and academic. No Compromise looks closely at Knoll’s extraordinary career, charting the inspiring journey of a seminal figure in modern design and how she gained such respect in her field.

Big Vape: The Incendiary Rise of Juul by Jamie Ducharme
Written as a non-fiction thriller with razor-sharp commentary from Time magazine reporter Ducharme, Big Vape delves into the controversial rise of James Monsees and Adam Bowen, founders of Juul Labs and creators of the world’s most well-known vape.

Battle for the Big Top by Les Standiford
This account of the dawn of the American circus industry is both engrossing and entertaining. Richly researched, Standiford takes us behind the curtain to the colourful story of three powerful businessmen vying for control of what would become an enormously profitable and influential industry.

On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint by Maggie Nelson
The tenth book from one of today’s brightest literary stars delves into the often fraught subject of freedom, asking what it even means in modern life. Nelson draws on a huge swathe of references for these expansive essays, including critical theory, pop culture and the minutiae of daily existence.

The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
The astonishing true story of one of the most unlikely prison breaks, this non-fiction thriller proves reality can be just as gripping as fiction. Harry Jones and Cedric Hill, two British officers, were languishing in a Turkish prisoner of war camp during WWI, before cooking up an ingenious con (involving a homemade Ouija board, elaborate fake séances and rumoured treasure) that ultimately led to their freedom.

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Culture

We’re on the hunt for an experienced full-time writer
Voices of Hope’s new audio-visual exhibition is an illuminating exploration of mental health in New Zealand
With new owners and a new venue, the highly-anticipated Aotearoa Art Fair is back & better than ever for 2024
Mercer Bay Loop
Meola Reef
Mangere Mountain
Kakamatua Inlet
Waikōwhai Walkway
Unsworth Reserve

The dog-friendly walks you and your pup need to hit

After recently sharing our list of most-loved local walks, we’re back with another set of trails that are better suited to our furriest of friends.

Mercer Bay Loop
Duration: 1.4km / 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Dog: On leash
A dramatic trail that weaves its way around some of Auckland’s highest sea cliffs in Piha, the views from Mercer Bay track are exceptional. A brilliant way to tire the dog out while enjoying some indulgent aesthetics, be careful on this one after a downpour as it can get slippery.

Dog Park at Meola Reef
Duration: Up to you
Difficulty: Easy
Dog: Off leash
If your canine had a choice on how to spend its days, we’re relatively sure that bolting about at this Point Chevalier dog park would be it. A fenced area in the centre of Meola Reserve, this is true puppy paradise. A fun one for the whole family, just be careful if you’re taking wee ones along as the dogs can get a tad over-excited and aren’t always known for looking where they’re going.

Māngere Mountain Walk
Duration: Up to you
Difficulty: Easy with some steep sections
Dog: Off leash areas
Though most people tend to head out West when they feel like a weekend wander, there is no shortage of outdoor adventures to be had elsewhere. Southbound, Māngere’s Mountain Path (Te Pane o Mataoho / Te Ara Pueru) is one of our top picks. With paths leading around the volcano’s crater and right up to the rim where stretching views of the Manukau Harbour await, it’s a fresh place for you and Fido to explore.

Kakamatua Inlet
Duration: Up to You
Difficulty: Easy
Dog: Off leash
Water, sand, bush and plenty of other dogs bounding about, Kakamatua Inlet is a dog’s play spot du jour. Less a walking trail and more a big open space, a short track leading from the car park opens up onto a sandy beach (best to go at low tide), where you and your pup can play.

Waikōwhai Walkway
Duration: 10km / 4 hours but you can do smaller sections
Difficulty: Easy-moderate
Dog: Off leash areas
A versatile outing, the sprawling Waikōwhai Walkway offers bush trails, beachfront, off leash areas and more. With an extensive map that covers the entire area and the different trails available for download here, Hillsborough’s coastal walkway is an adventure for all.

Unsworth Reserve
Duration: 5km / About an hour
Difficulty: Easy
Dog: Off leash areas
With a well-maintained trail taking care of your exercise for the day and off-leash areas to give the dog a decent run, Albany’s native-addled Unsworth Reserve provides an excellent day out.

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Escape

Craving that holiday high? Look local and plan a luxurious staycation at one of Auckland’s best hotel suites
Sights set on a European jaunt? Journey in style on one of Ponant’s Grand Voyages
Already thinking about this year’s holidays? Plan a sojourn in the sun at one of these spectacular island getaways

These pea and zucchini fritters topped with salmon are brunch brilliance

Sure, you could always kick off your weekend with a dirty old fry up of bacon and eggs. But why would you, when you have the opportunity to whip up this delicious tower of tastiness courtesy of our friend Polly Markus of Miss Pollys Kitchen.

Ingredients
Serves 4

200g High Country Salmon Gravlax Salmon
4 cups grated zucchini
1 cup of peas, defrosted (run them under hot water)
1/3 cup spring onions, green part only
5 eggs
1/2 a red chilli, diced
3/4 cup of flour
Zest of one lemon
2 large handfuls of basil
1/2 cup Italian parsley
1/3 cup mint
Salt and pepper

Method:
1. Squeeze the liquid out of the grated zucchini using a few paper towels.
2. In a large mixing bowl add the zucchini, peas, spring onion, chilli, lemon zest, parsley, mint and basil.
3. Grate the parmesan then add this to the bowl along with the flour & eggs. Season and mix well.
4. Spoon 1/3 cup of mixture into the pan on a low heat cook for 5 – 6 minutes per side.
5. Serve with avocado, a dollop of crème fraiche and some gravlax salmon.
6. Eat immediately whilst they are nice and crispy.

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Gastronomy

Andiamo’s new set menu is a delicious celebration of autumn
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

Introducing the sublime collection from luxury leather goods label Yu Mei, an optimistic celebration of summer spirit

While the bright and optimistic days of summer still feel a little out of reach, Yu Mei has managed to beam them straight towards us with the launch of its Spring/Summer 2021/22 collection, Under The Same Sun.

In embracing saturated hues of blue and yellow, as well as elegant tones like rich cocoa and khaki, the luxury leather goods label speaks to an elemental yet uplifting palette that is perfectly timed to see us into the new season. Signature shapes return, refreshed, such as the compact Suki Clutch and the generous Braidy Bag. The popular Georgie Bag has been reduced to a resolutely minimal form, more refined than ever.

For the launch of Under The Same Sun, Yu Mei presented a live-streamed digital runway presentation via its website homepage. Utilising new live-streaming technology (the first of the industry’s kind), the show was instantly shoppable with links embedded into each frame. Viewers could not only see each bag clearly and up-close, but could also purchase the product as it walked the runway in real-time.

With the alert level restrictions applying country-wide, plans of filming the presentation on the Desert Road were nimbly switched for a production on Wellington’s windswept Breaker Bay. Filmed by a team from creative agency Wrestler, the 10 models were styled and directed virtually from Auckland by Sebastian Hunt in a wardrobe of exclusively secondhand clothing — an approach that is in keeping with Yu Mei’s practice of regenerative materials, such as the deer Nappa leather used in its bags that is a byproduct of the venison industry.

Coinciding with its ingenious shoppable runway, Yu Mei is now available direct-to-consumer for Australian customers, giving our Antipodean neighbours the chance to easily access its accessories. And, in another hugely exciting milestone for the brand, its new global partnership with e-commerce behemoth Farfetch has launched, bringing Yu Mei’s ranges to 3-million active users.

With its timeless and versatile ethos of practical, understated luxury, Yu Mei clearly has no shortage of international appeal. And, on home turf, its latest collection is getting us ready for what we very much hope will be a carefree summer season ahead.

To celebrate Yu Mei’s exciting new launches, we are delighted to have an incredible collection of bags and accessories to give away, worth a total of $4069.

It encompasses Yu Mei’s Art of Packing range — a collection of small leather goods comprising the Bolton Laptop Folder ($590), the Adrian Envelope document holder ($275), The Matt Glasses Case ($196), the Emily Pouch ($360) and the Key Fob ($69), that all fit together perfectly within the brand’s larger styles. Additionally, the winner will receive a Claudia Tote ($1495), a Suki Clutch ($619), and a Sebastian Wallet ($465). Colour choice dependent on availability.

This competition is now closed.

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Coveted

An iconic brand for over 40 years, Pomellato should be in everyone’s jewellery collections — here, we talk to Sarah Hutchings of Orsini about why
Fresh off the runways of Milan Fashion Week — our favourite ready-to-wear looks from Fall 2024
Fresh from London Fashion Week — the best looks from the Fall 2024 runways so far
GEMMAYZE STREET. PHOTO: JOSH GRIGGS.

Have a hankering for hummus? Satisfy your craving with the best Middle Eastern takeaways in town

Fan of falafel? How about hummus? Luckily for us, Auckland is home to an array of excellent Middle Eastern eateries that not only nail the standard staples, but take our tastebuds beyond the familiar to tasty new territories. From authentic to contemporary, these Middle Eastern restaurants are serving up some of the best food in town — and all have it currently available to take away during level 3.

Left to right: Gemmayze Street; Shefco Baklawa Cafe.

Gemmayze Street — Karangahape Road
St Kevins Arcade’s beloved Lebanese eatery is back for level 3, offering mezze boxes (with a variety of dips, sauces, homemade bread and the aforementioned hummus) and make-your-own wrap kits (including lamb shoulder or falafel) during the week, alongside a new weekend menu of lachmajun (Middle Eastern pizza) and kebab shop-style wraps. An at-home version of its jeeb menu includes three irresistible courses with mezze, mains and dessert. For something sweet, the dark chocolate and halva (tahini nougat) brownie and white chocolate, ricotta and passionfruit knefe (filo tart) are not to be missed. Available for pick-up only, Tuesday – Sunday. Order online here.

Shefco Baklawa Cafe — Mt Roskill
Tucked away in an industrial area, Shefco’s Baklawa Cafe is the place to go for those in the know. Located on Stoddard Road, Baklawa Cafe is an offshoot of Lebanese grocer Shefco, which specialises in imported Middle Eastern goods and bread, sweets and pastries. A simple yet irresistible menu sees the likes of mana’ish (flatbread smothered with the likes of lamb and cheese or pleasingly green za’atar) fattah (crispy bread topped with yoghurt, chickpeas, tahini and nuts) and an array of authentic dips. Don’t leave without trying the fresh baklava, a housemade speciality. During level 3, Shefco Baklawa Cafe is open daily for takeaways from 9am to 3pm daily. Call 09 553 6333 to place your order.

Paasha Turkish Kitchen.

Paasha Turkish Kitchen — Mt Eden
After outposts in Glenfield and Pukekohe, Paasha Turkish Kitchen has finally set up shop in central Auckland with a relatively new space on Dominion Road. A slowly rotating doner machine provides tender, perfectly spiced chicken and lamb doner for wraps and pita pockets, while traditional shish kebab and iskender are chargrilled over an open flame. The mixed grill is a must-try, with lamb, chicken and kofta shish served with rice, tabbouli, hummus and salad, as are the zucchini and feta fritters for vegetarians. Paasha’s owners pride themselves on the utmost freshness of their ingredients and making everything from scratch onsite — right down to the sauces. Order in person for impromptu takeaways, for pick-up via Order Meal or delivery via Deliver Easy.

Des Traditions — Mt Roskill
If authenticity is what you seek, make a beeline immediately for Mt Roskill’s Des Traditions. This humble eatery on Stoddard Road serves a range of Middle Eastern favourites alongside a tasty array of curries, naan bread, daal and tandoori roti. Its signature dish is the arayes, which sees pita bread stuffed with spiced lamb mince, grilled and served alongside tender lamb cutlets and hummus. The charcoal-grilled meats and kebabs are also excellent, with all meat halal. During level 3, Des Traditions is open for takeaways and online orders from 12pm – 9pm, Monday to Sunday. Order online here.

Left to right: Petra Shwarma; Fatima’s.

Petra Shwarma — Kingsland
For a taste of Jordanian cuisine, look no further than Kingsland’s Petra Shwarma. Take your pick from dishes such as Jordanian mandi (spiced rice with grilled meat, raisins and cashew nuts), a cheesy Jordanian-style fajita and Jordanian shawarma with pickles. With a dedicated vegetarian menu, there’s plenty of vege-friendly options to choose from. Try the mixed platter with salad, haloumi stuffed pita pockets, falafel and hummus. Order here during level 3 for contactless pick-up and delivery.

Ima Cuisine — CBD
Fort Street’s Ima Cuisine is a stalwart on Auckland’s Middle Eastern food scene, and during level 3 the eatery has all your bases deliciously covered. Order heat and eat mains to take home including vegetarian mussaka or stuffed whole free-range chicken; slow-braised lamb shoulder and even oven-baked vegan kofta with tahini crust. Each main comes with four sides — and Ima is also doing weekend roast packs. These are popular and tend to sell out, so keep an eye on Ima’s social media for top-ups. Order all Ima’s food online here.

Fatima’s — Ponsonby, Takapuna, CBD
Fatima’s is a faithful takeaway favourite, serving up pita and shawarma to hungry Aucklanders since 1995. The flagship Ponsonby store has been around for what feels like forever, with an additional Takapuna location and a new space at Commercial Bay’s Harbour Eats recently being added to its ranks. For those in need of their Fatimas feed, both online and phone ordering is available for contactless takeaways from its Ponsonby and Takapuna stores. Fatimas full, fresh menu is ready-to-go, as well as Make Me Chawarma Kits and gift vouchers. Order and shop online here.


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Gastronomy

Andiamo’s new set menu is a delicious celebration of autumn
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
Eagles Nest

Your next holiday: The most luxurious New Zealand lodges for an unforgettable local escape

The landscape and quality of luxury lodges in New Zealand is almost entirely unrivalled. Boasting an impressive selection of retreats that capitalise on our country’s natural beauty while offering a number of unique cultural and culinary experiences, New Zealand is constantly proving why it’s so revered as an international destination.

While, in Auckland, we can’t yet travel to any of these spectacular, world-class properties, there’s no reason why we can’t optimistically dream (or, even better, book ahead) for when we can once more. After all, we’ll take any opportunity to make the most of our own exquisite backyard.

Eagles Nest, Bay of Islands
From its vantage point on a private ridgeline overlooking the Bay of Islands, Eagles Nest offers a whole new level of luxury. The property comprises five world- class villas, boasting their own heated infinity and spa pools, the use of a private chef (if so desired) and extensive wine cellars. Sacred Space and First Light Temple are nestled into the property’s magnificent landscape, taking full advantage of the beauty of nature to enhance their sense
of seclusion.

Eagles Nest is unique for the way it both stands apart from and melds into its natural environment. Rather than being ostentatious, this luxury accommodation exudes subtle elegance, and offers unprecedented peace and quiet. For that reason, it’s long been a popular spot for visiting rock stars, celebrities and global tech company founders, looking for a true escape into nature (without having to compromise on a few ‘essential’ amenities).

The jewel in the Eagles Nest crown, Rahimoana, takes in 300-degree views. This iconic, one-of-a-kind masterpiece also features a 25-metre infinity pool overlooking its own private beach, a helipad, acres of pristine native bush and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer panoramic views across sprawling, island-dotted waters. Sunsets viewed from here promises to be unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

The location offers guests the chance to explore the property’s private beaches, or discover the surrounding areas including the historic town of Russell and the culturally significant Waitangi. 

The Lindis

The Lindis, Ahuriri Valley
Nestled in the gently rolling landscape of Ahuriri Valley, The Lindis is an architectural masterpiece. Carefully designed by Wellington’s Architecture Workshop so that it virtually disappears into its surrounds, this luxurious, Central Otago escape is set on the Ben Avon Station — a 2428-hectare piece of breathtakingly beautiful land surrounded by conservation parks.

Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the magnificent outdoors into the lodge’s interiors, where the distinction between nature and design is further blurred. In the main building, three master suites offer cocoons of comfort with deep bathtubs positioned to allow guests to soak in the views. While, in the grounds, sit three pods by architect Noel Martin that offer guests ultimate privacy, and unparalleled immersion in nature.

With impressive facilities that include a sweeping dining room, an almost complete massage room and state-of-the-art gym, The Lindis expertly tempers material luxury with natural beauty. And if all of that wasn’t enticing enough, the lodge is currently offering a number of appealing packages to attract local tourism, as more and more New Zealanders start realising the boundless potential for discovery in their own backyards.

Keep an eye out for The Lindis Group’s upcoming project — a luxurious villa set on an expansive station on the shores of Lake Hawea — set to be open this December.

Helena Bay

Helena Bay, North Island
If you feel like a taste of next level luxury, steer your helicopter towards Helena Bay. This exquisite property is set on three kilometres of private coastline and offers guests the opportunity to explore their sprawling surrounds, sporting various coves and picnic spots. The beauty of the site is matched only by the opulence of the main house, an impressively designed mansion staffed with a team of 60 ready to spring into action.

Tempting guests out of their rooms (private villas with sweeping vistas across Helena Bay) is a library, a gym, a sauna, a heated swimming pool and two dining rooms, one formal, one informal. This full suite of facilities is further cemented by the work of Italian head chef Michele Martino — who honed his craft at Michelin- starred Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890 — ensuring guests are taken on a journey of gastronomic delight.

Kinloch Manor & Villas

Kinloch Manor & Villas, Taupō
Designed by multi-award-winning Patterson Architects and furnished by acclaimed interior designer Virginia Fisher, Kinloch Manor & Villas, on the shores of Lake Taupō, combines cutting-edge design with uber- lodge comforts.

The design brief was to update a Scottish castle, with a prerequisite Jack Nicklaus signature golf course standard. Comprising ten luxury villas, each with its own marble bathroom and magnificent fireplace, the overall effect is one of antipodean aristocracy — only enhanced by the dramatic views afforded to guests. In the main building, the dining room offers
exquisite ‘estate-to-plate’ menus while the Solar Spa provides weary bones a place to indulge in relaxing facials and body treatments.

If hitting little white balls into tiny holes fails to entice, Kinloch Manor can facilitate a number of adventurous activities to get pulses racing, or direct guests to nature trails where they can discover the wonders of the surrounding landscape. And when its time to relax, guests can simply retreat to their villa’s bathtub and soak in the vista. 

Cape Kidnappers
Cape Kidnappers

Cape Kidnappers, Hawke’s Bay
Don’t let The Farm’s simple name fool you. The only thing you will be reaping during your stay at Cape Kidnappers is the benefits of its chic surroundings and rustic flair. Set on a sprawling 6000-acre sheep and cattle farm, this luxe escape offers 180-degree views of the ocean. Although, you might find it difficult to take your eyes off the internationally-recognised, par 71, Tom Doak-designed golf course that runs adjacent to the property.

The main lodge features two dining rooms, a library and smaller sitting rooms perfect for hosting much-needed moments of peace and quiet. Away from the main lodge, 24 cosy cottages with private balconies are nestled into the landscape, each perfectly positioned to capitalise on the property’s spectacular view. And when the sun goes down, dinner is an elegant affair (that means jackets, gentlemen) with a five-course tasting menu and a series of delectable wines to match. 

Poronui Lodge

Poronui Lodge, Taharua Valley
Effortlessly combining tradition and comfort, Poronui Lodge sits in the Taharua Valley on an extraordinary 16,000 acres of farmland and virgin beech forest. This luxury sporting retreat was designed to give access to some of the most extraordinary wilderness experiences in the country — whether that be fly fishing along a pristine stretch of river, horse riding through an untouched landscape or hiking into nature and glamping under the stars. After your exertions, make the most of the expert hospitality on offer with a deliciously-fresh and hearty meal at The Lodge or a dining experience of finer proportions at The Cellar where around 10,000 bottles of wine line the walls, almost daring you to make a dent in the collection.

Wharekauhau

Wharekauhau, Wairarapa
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were travelling New Zealand, Wharekauhau in the Wairarapa was one of the places they chose to stay, likely feeling at home among the Edwardian grandeur of the main house and its sweeping grounds. Only 90 minutes drive from Wellington, this spectacular lodge has seen its fair share of notable names over the years (Jack Black, Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr included), and it’s easy to see the appeal. Perched high above the breakers of Palliser Bay, Relais & Chateaux-listed Wharekauhau Country Estate offers a beautiful base from which to explore the wider Martinborough region — its award-winning wineries, native forests and landmarks like the Cape Palliser Lighthouse.

The Estate itself is made up of 13 cottage suites, filled with walk-in wardrobes, cloud-soft beds and gas fires to warm you from the refreshing breezes that sweep in from the Bay. On-site amenities include a tennis court, a gym complex, a heated swimming pool, croquet fields, petanque lawns, a games room and a library. Elsewhere on the Estate, activities like quad biking, clay bird shooting and archery are available for guests who want to engage in something a little more robust. For a more gentle, immersive experience, they can also embark on a guided farm tour — Wharekauhau is still, after all, a working sheep station. 

When all is said and done for the day, an evening can be spent in the Lodge’s lounge and dining room, where a philosophy of simplicity drives the menu and sustainable, farm-to-table produce is showcased. Guests are even able to sip on Lighthouse Gin, cultivated using spring water drawn from the land on which Wharekauhau stands.

The Landing

The Landing, Bay of Islands
Set on 1000-acres on the tip of the Purerua Peninsula, The Landing offers the ultimate luxury getaway. Described by Barack Obama as “magical” in its guest book, the property comprises six private beaches, an award-winning vineyard, lush wetlands and four boutique houses — each with its own character and charm. From the Cooper Residence — a modern, five-bedroom ode to the traditional New Zealand farmhouse, perfect for those looking to host and available with an on-site private chef — to The Boathouse — a striking, contemporary structure located close to the water’s edge, with room to entertain around 20 guests — the idea behind The Landing is to make its visitors feel instantly at home. 

Once that’s happened, guests are able to choose from a number of activities designed to see them make the most of the land. Guided evening walks, for example, will see visitors invited to spot one of New Zealand’s native birds. Sightseeing cruises around the bay will ensure guests don’t miss out on the all-encompassing beauty of the area. While gyms, tennis and basketball courts, and off-the-jetty fishing are just a few minutes from each of The Landing’s homes. 

One experience to not pass up is a visit to The Landing’s newly-opened boutique winery, located onsite. A particularly good thing to do in winter (when sunbathing and water sports are not as appealing), the winery focuses on innovation and sustainability, producing 4,000 cases per year, and a tour of its grounds will see guests weave through the established vines before enjoying a tasting experience of The Landing’s critically-acclaimed wines. 

With special accommodation on offer over the winter months, including an enticing three-nights-for-two weekender and a Residences By Room option (where guests can book one of the houses only by the number of rooms they need), a mid-year vacation in Northland has never been a more appealing prospect. 

Blanket Bay

Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
For 20 years, lovers of luxury have been making the 45-minute drive from Queenstown to restore their spirits at the hands of Blanket Bay’s renowned hospitality. The fine balance this legendary lodge has achieved between professional service and welcoming comfort has earned the destination countless accolades, and has seen it repeatedly placed in the Top 10 of International Traveller magazine’s top international hideaways. Really, it’s easy to see why. 

Located at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by unforgettable views of the Southern Alps, Blanket Bay offers a tempting array of accommodation options including Lodge Suites, Lodge Rooms, Chalet Suites and the luxurious fully-serviced Villa. 

In-house facilities, enticing guests to indulge, include an intimate den, a games room, a spa, a gym, a jacuzzi, steam rooms and a therapy suite. But if they can drag themselves away from the comforts of inside, an impressive number of activities await those wanting to venture further afield. From guided fly-fishing and helicopter sightseeing to jet boating, high-country horse riding and local heli-skiing, the sheer scope of options will ensure guests of any proclivity are able to find something they love at Blanket Bay.

Aside from all of its amenities and adventures, Blanket Bay’s exquisite cuisine is one thing not to be passed up. At its restaurant, guests can indulge in a delicious, five-course degustation menu that changes seasonally and showcases the very best local produce, accompanied, of course, by some of the finest wines from around the region and beyond.

Mt Isthmus.

Mt Isthmus, Wānaka
Situated between two of the world’s most astounding mountain lakes — Lake Wānaka and Lake Hāwea — Mt Isthmus is a spectacular meeting place for friends and family. On a high-country station, the newest premium addition to The Lindis Group’s stable may feel isolated but it’s equipped with life’s modern luxuries, including a state-of-the-art kitchen (which comes with a personal chef service) and several entertaining areas. Immerse yourself in untouched nature, with all the comforts of home — the four bedrooms with incredible views feature super king-size beds and private ensuites. Relax, or enjoy the leisure pursuits of the wider Wānaka region, including hiking, mountain biking, jet boating and fly-fishing. 

Kauri Cliffs.

Kauri Cliffs, Bay of Islands
Having opened to international acclaim in 2001, Kauri Cliffs has long set the standard for the jet-set landing on our shores, and for New Zealanders who want to feel like they’re really getting away from it all. With stunning interiors by friend of the Denizen Virginia Fisher, the Lodge and accommodation quarters will immediately make you feel at elegant ease. In particular, we recommend the Owner’s Cottage and Residences for a breathtaking home away from home. With an exceptional Golf Course and private waterfall track and beaches on location, there’s no shortage of both manicured and natural wonders to admire. After a day of exploring, book in for a treatment at the tropical spa or prepare yourself for a personal picnic at the beach, with all of Kauri Cliff’s little luxuries brought to you by the sea.

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Escape

Craving that holiday high? Look local and plan a luxurious staycation at one of Auckland’s best hotel suites
Sights set on a European jaunt? Journey in style on one of Ponant’s Grand Voyages
Already thinking about this year’s holidays? Plan a sojourn in the sun at one of these spectacular island getaways

Spice up your classic G&T with these tasty twists

When combined with premium tonic water, the floral, refreshing aroma of a good quality gin becomes the ultimate salutation to summer. But what if we told you we had found a number of creative ways to take the classic gin and tonic to bold new heights? Try your hand (and tastebuds) at these alternatives.

Zesty notes
To make a sensational summer swig, simply take a glass filled with ice, add 45mL of gin and top with your favourite tonic water. Add a pinch of chopped chilli, some coriander leaves and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.

Fun & fruity
Enhance the notes of juniper in your favourite gin by putting berries in your ice tray before using the cubes to create a sweet and sour G&T. As the fruit pops slowly melt the nectar will shine through the beverage.

Festive spice
Lending a festive spin, cinnamon quills are a delicious way to accentuate gin’s botanical aroma. The flavour lingers on the palate while adding some festive spice into your life.

Looking for a new gin to try? Here are our top picks for the warmer months ahead.

Left to right: Grey Lynn Gin, Hastings Distillers Albertine Gin , Monkey 47 Gin, Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin.
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Gastronomy

Andiamo’s new set menu is a delicious celebration of autumn
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 short and sweet recipe for these cult-followed popovers will improve your breakfast immensely

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of staying at the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki, you’ll be familiar with its deliciously addictive popovers, which have been served for breakfast at the resort for over a century. Similar to a Yorkshire Pudding, with an airy interior and crispy exterior and requiring just four ingredients — consider these decadent popovers a bit of an upgrade over your standard buttered toast. 

Ingredients:
2 cups flour (plain)
½ quart milk 
1 teaspoon salt
6 eggs 

Method:
1. Pre-heat oven to 230 degrees.
2. Combine milk and eggs and beat together.
3. Add sifted flour and salt to egg mixture and beat in slowly.
4. Pour into hot oiled muffin tins.
5. Bake for approximately 45 minutes.
6. Serve warm with butter and jam.

Image credit: Brown Eyed Baker
VCA Asset 3 Desktop

Gastronomy

Andiamo’s new set menu is a delicious celebration of autumn
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Raise a glass to rosé as Soul Bar & Bistro launches a month-long celebration of this delicious drop

From sushi and sashimi to izakaya and bento, these are the most delicious Japanese takeaways to order-in now

The traditional dietary culture of the Japanese (washoku) is loved the world over — so much so, it holds a place on the United Nation’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. And there is no denying that here in New Zealand, we are as impassioned by the cuisine’s custom of celebrating seasonal produce on impeccably presented plates. These are some of our favourite Japanese eateries in Auckland, all of which are offering exceptional takeaways to tie us over at level 3.

Left to right: Cocoro; Ebisu.

Cocoro
Cocoro loosely translates to ‘the heart and soul’ in Japanese, and the Ponsonby eatery pours its heart and soul into every intricate dish. It’s one of Auckland’s best celebration restaurants, and, as such, its takeaways can make any milestone celebrated at home feel special. The curated menu includes its famous sashimi platter — a symphony of colour, texture and crustacea with over 25 varieties of seafood, including clams, crayfish tail and sea urchins — and other striking signature dishes. Pre-order online here.

Ebisu
In Japanese mythology, Ebisu is one of the Shichi-fuku-jin (Seven Gods of Luck). Named after the patron of fishermen and merchants, you’d be fortunate to order any seafood dish from this world-class waterfront eatery in Britomart. Ebisu is offering a curated range of its signature dishes including the Ebi Mayo roll, sashimi and sushi platters for contactless pick-up online. There is also a new selection of Omakase (chefs choice) set meals, and a range of bottled cocktails, sake, Champagne and wine to add to your order. Children will be well looked after too, with the kid’s sushi platter also available. Order online here.

Yuzu
Holding its own along Ponsonby’s line-up of polished establishments is the cult-favourite Yuzu. With a menu including izakaya, sizzling pates and rolled sushi — there is something for everyone. The team is currently providing takeaways at its Ponsonby Road address. Find more information here.

Left to right: Oji Sushi; Azabu.

Oji Sushi
Oji Sushi strives to serve locally sourced and sustainable bites, with ingredients including Big Glory Bay salmon from Stewart Island. Offering everything from rolled sushi to delicious sandos, the focus is on vibrant food for vibrant lives, wrapped up in recyclable packaging. Available as part of Savor’s extensive picnic selection, there are both family-sized platters (with up to 49 pieces) and children’s packs available to pick up from its Britomart locationOrder online here.

Azabu
Combining Peruvian Nikkei flavours with Tokyo-style sharing dishes, Azabu’s lively menu from Executive Chef Yukio Ozeki put a fire under the Auckland food scene when it opened in Ponsonby in 2016. It’s hard to choose between the fun and flavoursome dishes, but we will always order the warm tostada, with tuna sashimi or beef tataki, which are currently available as DIY at-home crisps. Its online takeaway menu includes a full range of signature dishes and sashimi platters, available for pick-up from both Azabu’s Ponsonby and Mission Bay locations. Order online here.

Gion
Bringing the taste of Kyoto to Auckland, Gion’s trained sushi chef Akira Kugue is passionate about delivering the optimum flavour of sashimi and sushi in Parnell. Simple, heart-warming and traditional, Gion’s beautifully presented takeaway platters fill that languishing gap in our lives right now. Order online here.

Janken
Combining the deliciousness of traditional Japanese cuisine with healthy, local produce, Janken is a thoughtful eatery that caters to various dietary needs, including vegan and an array of allergies (even soy). Over lockdown, they are doing dinner deliveries for Herne Bay, Westhaven, St Mary’s Bay, Ponsonby, Freemans Bay, and part of Westmere, as well as available on Uber Eats. Order online here.

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Gastronomy

Andiamo’s new set menu is a delicious celebration of autumn
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

From soft balayage to perfect platinum, here’s how to take dark hair to the light side

Going from brunette to blonde requires exceptionally high-performing products to achieve the desired result with minimal compromise to the hair’s integrity. This is where the Wella Professionals range excels, whether endowing subtle dimension with a natural balayage or leaning into the light side with a high-contrast blonde. And, should you wish to experience Wella’s superior products yourself, we suggest you enter the fantastic giveaway at the end of this feature.

Perfectly Platinum
Showcasing what can be achieved on healthy hair with no previous colour work, Cinnamon Scholes of Toni & Guy took Sabina’s naturally dark tresses to a striking light tone using Wella BlondorPlex. To tone, Wella Color Touch in Frosted Grey was applied from roots to ends, isolating the fringe area and smudging through the darker Steel Ash tone on the ends. “This created a bespoke, multi-dimensional feeling to the front area, framing the face,” says Scholes. With a pageboy fringe and soft layers cut by stylist Brad Lepper of French Revolver, the final look is modern yet wearable and the integrity of the hair is still firmly intact thanks to the BlondorPlex’s Bond Builder Technology.

Softly Does It
A perfect technique for someone looking to gently integrate some lightness into their locks, Jess’ naturally beautiful lengths were given a soft balayage, while her face was framed with ‘baby lights’ — ultra-fine lightened strands. “A fine weave allows it to grow out seamlessly,” says stylist Brad Lepper, who expertly applied BlondorPlex lightener in foils from mid-lengths to ends and toned with Wella Illumina colour to ensure the hair was kept shiny and soft. System Professional’s Luxe Oil and Eimi Perfect Me lotion were applied during the end styling process for a gloriously glossy finish.

Creative Expression
For those on the lookout for anything but basic blonde, Wella’s BlondorPlex colour can also be utilised for trend-forward, statement shades while leaving the hair in “near-perfect condition”, says stylist Mikaela Campbell. “We created playful shapes with Phoebe’s colour, lightening with BlondorPlex around the hairline, back and front, before adding depth through the crown using Wella Color Touch. Toni & Guy’s Bronwyn Illingworth cut a classic, graphic bob on Phoebe’s hair, which created a clean and simple base for the more creative colour look. “The end result was a statement colour and cut to make Phoebe feel powerful,” says Campbell, who looked to Wella’s ingenious formulations to maintain the hair’s integrity for a sleek, modern finish that shows shine, quality and consistency throughout.

Video: Devan Narsai
Makeup: Phoebe Watt

To celebrate Wella’s superior colour capabilities, we are giving one lucky Denizen the chance to receive a cut, colour and take home products to the value of $600 at any Wella salon. You can find the full list of salons here.

This competition has now closed.

T&Cs: Winner must be over the age of 21, and Wella will cover the cost of Wella colouring, any Wella treatments and the cost of Wella take home retail on the day (i.e a shampoo, conditioner, mask). Wella will not cover the cost of any services, treatments or take-home products that are not Wella.

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