Alba bookcase by Bernhardt & Vella for Arflex from Studio Italia.

Store your books in style with these sophisticated shelves

When looking for places to store our ever-growing collections of books, we turn to new and innovative bookshelves that both serve an organisational purpose and lend own their distinct personality to a space. From standalone bookshelves intended as a fanciful feature in a space, to integrated bookcases designed to meld seamlessly with their surrounds, these essential additions will elevate your home to a land of literary pleasure.

Dalton bookcase by Minotti from ECC.

Alba bookcase by Bernhardt & Vella for Arflex from Studio Italia.

Oka modular shelving unit by Kazuko Okamoto from Ligne Roset.

Hector book shelf by Vincent Van Duysen for Molteni&C. from Dawson&Co.

Minima 3.0 storage system by Bruno Fattorini for MDF Italia from Matisse.
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From intimate memoirs to entertaining short stories, these are the best books to read this summer

The start of 2023 offers up the best opportunity to tick all the books off our list that we didn’t quite get to last year. Whether you plan on hitting the beach or curling up in a shady spot, these are some of the best books to have on hand this summer, from poignant memoirs to thought-provoking novels and everything in between.

Holiday Reads

Really Good, Actually
by Monica Heisey
Relatable to those who have found out the hard way that love doesn’t always turn out as anticipated, comedian and essayist Monica Heisey’s breakthrough novel has been touted as the perfect trifecta of hilarious, heartfelt and wise. The story follows Maggie, who, recently divorced at only 29, discovers what it means to be single, and all the arduous uncertainties of modern love.

The Shards
by Bret Easton Ellis
In Bret Easton Ellis’ latest novel, we are transported to a vibrantly imagined 1981 Los Angeles. The city is plagued by a serial killer, the Trawler, who begins targeting teenagers throughout the city. Amidst this backdrop of fear and uncertainty, a fictionalised Bret and his friends become increasingly paranoid and isolated in their attempts to make sense of the danger around them. The novel delves into the complexities of human emotion — the fleeting nature of innocence, the perilous passage from adolescence to adulthood, and the darker impulses of sex, jealousy, obsession and rage. A gripping and suspenseful exploration of the human experience, written in the inimitable style of Bret Easton Ellis.

Big Swiss
by Jen Beagin
The streets of Hudson, New York serve as the backdrop for a woman’s journey of self-discovery in Jen Beagin’s novel Big Swiss. As a transcriber for a local sex therapist, she delves into the emotional pasts of others, all the while running from her own. Though she disregards professional ethics by falling for one of her clients, she is unable to control her own heart. The protagonist, shrouded in anonymity as she nicknames him ‘Big Swiss’, becomes a symbol of the human condition, one of contradictions and complexities. Although Beagin’s writing style is marked by frenetic energy, beneath it lies a poignant tenderness. The adaptation of the novel into a television series, starring Jodie Comer, will undoubtedly bring this story to a wider audience.

by Lydia Millet 
From a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, this compelling new book follows the story of Gil who, after moving to Arizona to escape heartbreak, finds his life beginning to mesh with those who live in the glass-walled house next door. Emotionally-moving and undeniably sharp, this book grapples with ideas of family and asks where the self ends and where community begins. 

Lucy by the Sea 
by Elizabeth Strout
Centred around a divorced couple stuck together and isolated in lockdown, Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times Bestselling author Elizabeth Strout, has crafted an exquisite story of human connection, enduring love, loss, despair and hope, set against the arresting backdrop of a swirling, moody sea. 

We All Want Impossible Things 
by Catherine Newman 
Edith and Ashley have been best friends for over 40 years, but when Edith finds she is dying from ovarian cancer and moves to a hospice, the duo must come to terms with having to let go. Written with unflinching compassion, humour and heartbreaking honesty, this moving novel will leave you laughing through your tears — a true love letter to female friendship. 

Marigold and Rose 
by Louise Glück
Written from the perspective of infant twins, this magical, incandescent book by the former Nobel Laureate for Literature, Louise Glück, offers an investigation into the mystery of language and of time itself, as Marigold and Rose come to grips with their new world. 

Now is Not the Time to Panic 
by Kevin Wilson
In this exuberant, bighearted novel about secrets, young love and the power of art, two teenage misfits meet one summer and create an enigmatic, anonymous poster that sparks waves of panic in their small town — with ripples that will affect their lives forever. 

Butts: A Backstory 
by Heather Radke
Balancing levity with gravity in a literary masterstroke, this fascinating read is the culmination of its author’s rigorous research into the history of human butts. Complex and culturally important in ways that haven’t been explored this deeply before, here, the butt’s significance is analysed in what feels like part deep-dive reportage, part personal journey and part entertaining examination of arguably our most politicised feature. 

Real Life Reads

Words and Music: Confessions of an Optimist
by Stephen Rubin
Stephen Rubin, a man whose career began as a music writer, has left an indelible mark upon the world of publishing. In his memoir, he offers a glimpse into the inner workings of some of the most renowned houses of American letters. He recounts the triumphs and disappointments, the battles and the whispered rumours, with a sharp wit and a discerning eye. This book is a rare and intimate portrait of the literary landscape, one in which books, fame, and the machinery of the industry are entwined. An illuminating look at the world of letters, and the people who shape it.

8 Rules of Love
by Jay Shetty
The masterful storyteller and beloved podcaster’s latest work is 8 Rules of Love. Here, Shetty draws upon ancient wisdom and contemporary research to provide practical guidance for navigating relationships in all their forms — with others, with ourselves, and with the world at large. He promises to offer tools to help us understand and navigate the complexities of love. This new work, like his first, is sure to be a must-read for those seeking to deepen their understanding of the human experience.

The Creative Act
by Rick Rubin
In the words of a legendary music producer, who has long held the power to tap into the wellsprings of creativity, comes a book of profound wisdom and artful crafting, born of years of experience and insight. This work, a testament to the creation, the beauty of art, and the journey of the artist, will resonate with writers and creators alike, sparking within them a renewed sense of purpose and direction.

A Book of Days
by Patti Smith
Offering intimate insight into the mind of this iconic musician, writer and artist, Patti Smith’s new book charts her passions, devotions, obsessions and whims via 356 photographs that take the reader through a single year. In daily notations, Smith offers a snapshot of her life and intriguing dispatches from her travels around the world. 

A Private Spy
by John le Carré
Aside from being acknowledged as one of the greatest writers of our time, John le Carré also led a fascinating life, much of which he documented in letters to various friends and acquaintances, including spies, writers, politicians, artists, actors and public figures. Filled with humour and wit, this compilation offers rare insight into a truly exceptional literary mind. 

Wild: The Life of Peter Beard
by Graham Boynton
Touted as the definitive biography of larger-than-life photographer Peter Beard, this new book by Graham Boynton (a friend of Beard for more than 30 years) captures in meticulous detail, the life and career of the original ‘enfant terrible,’ whose influence in the worlds of art, photography and high society was utterly unparalleled. 

Must Reads

Dear Dolly: On Love, Life and Friendship 
by Dolly Alderton 
Proving that a problem shared is a problem halved, this new book from the bestselling author of Everything I Know About Love and Ghosts is a compilation of Alderton’s most entertaining, moving and heartfelt ‘Agony Aunt’ letters and responses from her popular Sunday Times Style column.

by Ian McEwan
In his mesmerising new novel, literary giant Ian McEwan offers a powerful meditation on history and humanity, told through the story of one ordinary man’s lifetime. A universal story of love, regret and a restless search for answers, this book proves why its author is considered such a seminal literary figure. 

Idol, Burning 
by Rin Usami 
The book that took the Japanese literary world by storm, this blistering novel (by a promising young writer) explores fame, heartbreak, obsession and our online culture via a high-schooler’s fascination with the member of a famous boy-band. It is an obsession that pulls her whole world into chaos, when the subject of her adoration is accused of assault.

Art is Life 
by Jerry Saltz
From Jerry Saltz, one of the most prolific, compelling and indispensable cultural voices, with more than two decades of art writing for some of the world’s most lauded publications, this new book offers a real-time survey of contemporary art as a barometer of our times, and delves into the importance of art in our shared human experience. 

Novelist as a Vocation 
by Haruki Murakami
For anyone fascinated by the work of Murakami, this iconic (and famously reclusive) writer offers rare insight into his mind, sharing what he thinks about being a novelist, about the role of the novel in society and about his own origins as a writer. Originally released in Japanese in 2015, the book has just been translated to  English, so if you have ever wondered what inspires Murakami’s surreal worlds, this is a must-read. 

The Passenger & Stella Maris 
by Cormac McCarthy
This two-book masterpiece is the first new release by Cormac McCarthy in more than a decade, and tells stories that overlap and intertwine in a unique way. The Passenger follows the story of a salvage diver shadowed by the ghost of his father and the memory of his sister, a sunken plane, a missing pilot and a conspiracy theory that melds ideas of morality and science. Whereas Stella Maris follows a 20-year-old mathematician who shows up to a hospital with $40,000 in a plastic bag and one request: to not speak about her brother.

Short Stories

The Faraway World
by Patricia Engel
In The Faraway World, Patricia Engel presents a collection of ten haunting stories set across the Americas, exploring the complexities of migration, sacrifice and moral compromise through the eyes of characters burdened by traumatic pasts. Through her intimate and panoramic storytelling, Engel delves into the liminality of regret, the vibrancy of community, and the epic deeds and quiet moments of love. A New York Times bestselling author and Reese’s Book Club pick, this collection is a must-read.

Liberation Day
by George Saunders 
Dubbed by many as the best short story writer of our time, George Saunders is back with a new collection that sees him turn his uniquely witty, wickedly funny style to ideas of justice, ethics and power. Covering joy and despair, oppression and revolution, fantasy and reality, Saunders’ nine short stories are subversive, profound and memorable.

I Wouldn’t Do That If I Were Me
by Jason Gay
Written by a sports and humour columnist for the Wall Street Journal, this compilation of essays offers an insightful look at life in the face of huge societal change and discusses a range of topics from parenthood, to marriage, to friendship all with humility, grace and a good laugh.

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Dover Heights Residence by Alexander & Co. features the Botolo Chairs by Cini Boeri for Arflex from Studio Italia.

Elevate your dining experience with these unique tables and chairs

From family gatherings and long weekend feasts to celebratory dinners, it’s time to host your guests in style. To elevate your next occasion, add a striking focal point to any space or room with a chic dining table and chairs — look no further than our selection of statement-making styles that will crown you the undisputed darling of dinner parties.

A Cult Classic
Creativity meets comfort in the utterly unique Botolo Chair by Cini Boeri for Arflex from Studio Italia. Originally conceived by Boeri in 1973, this classic design has remained a favourite of industry insiders ever since — and for good reason. With the sumptuous, curved seat able to be finished in fabric, leather or faux fur and the distinct, cylindrical legs available in either metal or wood, this dining chair is for those seeking to break the mould.

Tama House by Nina Maya Interiors.

A Simple Chair
The outward simplicity of the Doyl Chair by Gabriele and Oscar Buratti for B&B Italia from Matisse, belies its sophisticated design. In order to offer such a sleek, unfussy look, this chair has been meticulously created using thick leather upholstery that has been folded, curved and turned inside out, but never cut — a testament to the power of using just a single material.

Lilac Linen House by Sally Caroline.

A Sculptural Seat
The cleverly-constructed Crown Chair by Chris Martin for Massproductions from Simon James features a concealed steel joint that makes its backrest appear as though perched effortlessly on top of the base. Available in a wide range of textiles and finished with foam padding, this piece is as elegant to look at as it is comfortable to sit in — the perfect combination.

A Piece with Poise
Offering a modern take on a vintage-inspired design, the Soho Dining Chair by Kelly Hoppen from Frobisher promises to elevate any dining room. From its neutral, taupe oak frame and clean, white upholstery to its ergonomic, curved backrest and eye-catching stainless steel leg details, this chair is the refined but practical piece your space has been missing.

A Striking Centrepiece
Anchor your dining space with the Plissé Dining Table by Paola Navone for MIDJ of Italy from Sarsfield Brooke. Boasting a uniquely-pleated, conical base and a customisable round top, able to be made in a variety of colours and finishes, this head-turning table is versatile, dynamic and the ideal piece to bring people together and invite conversation. And for inspiration on how to dress it, consult our guide to covetable tableware and accessories.

A Touch of Comfort
Invite opulence and comfort into your dining room with the Linda Chair by Luca Erba for Marelli from Sarsfield Brooke. Compact and cosy, this versatile armchair is made from a curved, wooden backrest and frame with padded polyurethane foam upholstery. This one is sure to have you and your guests relaxing around the dinner table long after the meal is done.

A Modern Edge
Danish and Japanese design elements collide in the Tokyo Chair by Niels Bendtsen for Bensen from Tim Webber Design. Featuring a solid wood frame and removable saddle leather seat, this pared back dining chair offers a distinctive, modern look and promises to bring depth and dimension to a well-appointed dining room.

A Conversation Starter
An impressive structure of bleached oak with a wash so light it could be mistaken for travertine, and a strong brass frame seemingly holding it together, the Celena Dining Table is Soho Home’s (available from Design Central) ode to Roc House — the Mykonos destination that is the ultimate embodiment of summer hospitality.

Clear Oak Residence by Woods + Dangaran.

A Perfect Pairing
Lend your dining room some dynamism by using two different styles of chair around the table. Here, Knoll’s iconic Platner Chair and Saarinen Conference Chair from Studio Italia sit perfectly side-by-side, the recognisable, attention-grabbing frame of the former offset beautifully by the simple, curvature of the latter. Equally eye-catching and elegant.

Mirror Image House by Smac Studio.

A Unique Shape
Designed in such a way as to hug the body and allow for multiple seating positions, the Fat Dining Chair by Tom Dixon from ECC makes for an unmistakable design feature. Boasting a humorous, puffed-out silhouette made from moulded foam, glossy metal legs in black lacquer, and made-to-order upholstery, this dining chair is highly unique and undeniably luxurious.

A Tactile Table
Make a strong statement in your dining space with the Holo Pillar Table by Kensaku Oshiro for Kristalia from Matisse. Carefully made with a round, tapered-edged top (available in a range of finishes, including speckled marble) that sits on a notable, oval base (completed in Kristalia’s new ‘Exclusive Colours’ powder-coating), this exceptional table has some serious presence.

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Keep your hair looking great on vacation with these shampoo and conditioner bars

We’ve all been there, packing for a trip, trying to fit all of our favourite toiletries into a small bag without sacrificing any step in our wellbeing routines. The traditional shampoo and conditioner duo can take up space and add unnecessary weight to our luggage, but they are an unwavering essential when days are spent in and out of salty water. So it begs the question: what’s one to do?

Enter Ecostore and its coveted line of solid shampoo and conditioner bars. Made from plant and mineral-based ingredients, the bars are vegan and 100% soap-free with a mild pH. They come in a compact and easy-to-pack form, making them perfect for out-of-town travel this long weekend.

Cleverly, Ecostore has crafted the shampoo bars in four innovative formulations, catering to different hair types. The Normal Shampoo uses argan and coconut oils to hydrate issue-free hair, while jojoba oil and shea butter found in the Dry & Damaged Shampoo Bar nourish and smooth distressed locks. In the Volumising Shampoo Bar, kale protein helps to volumize and strengthen fine hair, and flaxseed oil found in the Smoothing Shampoo Bar tames curly locks. Removing any potential confusion, the Nourishing Conditioner Bar locks in moisture for all hair types.

Not only are these bars convenient for travel, they also provide the same luxurious lather and scrub as their liquid counterparts. Each bar offers approximately 60 washes packed in recyclable cardboard packaging, allowing for clean, deliciously-scented and nourished hair without bulky and unnecessary plastic bottles.

Ultimately, Ecostore’s solid shampoo and conditioner bars are not only a more convenient and eco-friendly option for travel, but they also provide quality hair care. It’s a small change that can make a significant impact, both for our hair and for the environment — an essential to help us travel lightly through the new year.

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Laneway. Photo by Max Lemesh.
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Shakespeare in the Park.

Staying in town for the long weekend? Here’s what to do

Despite all the wonderful weather that we have been enjoying this week, our luck might not hold out as we enter the first long weekend of the year. That said, for anyone staying in town over Auckland Anniversary Weekend, there is plenty to do in the City that will keep you thoroughly entertained (regardless of what the weather decides to do). From epic music festivals to immersive cultural experiences to fascinating exhibitions, here is everything to do in Auckland over the upcoming long weekend.

Watch live music

Fatboy Slim.

Elton John
The most successful performing male artist of all time is making good on his promise to return to Auckland for one final live show before he stops touring for good, and we couldn’t be more excited to see him in action. For one spectacular night, Elton John will take to the stage at Mt. Smart Stadium, delighting crowds with his showmanship and iconic music. Given that there are still a few tickets available, we would encourage you to book with haste — this is one event you won’t want to miss.
Friday the 27th of January. See here for details.

Gardens Music Festival
Fatboy Slim leads the line-up at this year’s epic Garden Music Festival, taking place in the Auckland Domain. Joining the iconic DJ are the likes of LP Giobbi, Peking Duk, Set Mo and more. Kicking off at 2pm, this is the perfect excuse for a boogie.
Sunday the 29th of January. See here for details.

Haim, Joji, Phoebe Bridgers, Finneas and Fred Again…, lead this year’s stellar Laneway line up, as the popular inner-city music festival returns after a nearly three-year hiatus for what is shaping up to be a very fun event. This year also marks the first time that Laneway will be held at Western Springs (having moved from Albert Park).
Monday the 30th of January. See here for details.

Celebrate Lunar New Year

Painting by Wei Lun Ha at the Commerical Bay airbridge.

Lunar New Year at Commercial Bay
Kicking off its Lunar New Year celebrations in style, Commercial Bay invited Chi-Wi artist Wei Lun Ha to undertake a live painting session on the precinct’s airbridge. There, his colourful piece will remain for the duration of the Lunar New Year period, and we highly recommend checking it out yourself. In addition, Commercial Bay is running a special gift-with-purchase promotion, whereby anyone who spends $150 or more can collect a unique postcard and stamp that they can send to family or friends as a commemoration of this celebratory time of year. Commercial Bay resident Kōkako has also added a bespoke drink to its menu in honour of the Lunar New Year — and Orange Cold Brew Spritz. Seeing cold brew mixed with Six Barrel Soda’s orange and dandelion syrup, East Imperial tonic water and mandarin, this refreshing drink is putting a distinctly flavoursome twist on the morning coffee.

Yum Cha at Grand Harbour
There is arguably no better place to mark Chinese New Year than this Viaduct Harbour institution. Under the banners of the precinct’s striking new Lunar New Year campaign, Grand Harbour will be serving up its famously flavoursome yum cha and is set to be packed with weekend punters seeking a satiating bite. Grand Harbour will also be open on Monday for anyone looking to start their Auckland Anniversary morning in the best way possible.

Auckland Night Markets
Teaming up with Skycity to mark the Lunar New Year, the Auckland Night Markets are setting up shop at the base of the Sky Tower for two evenings of utterly delicious food. The first, takes place this Sunday from 4pm until 9pm, where hungry punters can find a mouthwatering array of local vendors serving up fresh and flavoursome fare, made on-site. The second will take place on the 5th of February.

Immerse yourself in the classics

Shakespeare in the Park.

Shakespeare in the Park
The PumpHouse Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park season is off to a roaring start with two timeless classics: The Merry Wives of Windsor and Antony & Cleopatra. Set in The PumpHouse Theatre’s Outdoor Amphitheatre, this year’s season of Shakespeare will have you falling in love with The Bard all over again, with productions running until the 18th of February.
See here for details.

Renaissance The Age of Genius
Don’t miss your chance to become immersed in the works of the great Renaissance masters at this incredible, multi-media exhibition set in the Hunua Room on Level 1 of the Aotea Centre. There, a powerful server and 10 high-powered projectors have been used to synchronise thousands of Renaissance images and transform them into an impressive display that wraps around three whole sides of the space. Viewed alongside a beautiful soundtrack of classical music, this exhibition offers an unforgettable experience with some of the world’s most famous pieces of art by Giotto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and more.
On now until the 29th of January. See here for details.

Head to the Museum

Barbara the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

See the new female Tyrannosaurus Rex
In a world-first, both adult male and female T.Rex skeletons are being displayed alongside one another at the Auckland War Memorial Museum has welcomed Barbara to sit alongside its impressive male T-Rex, Peter. These are two of the rarest T.Rex skeletons ever displayed with Barbara one of only three female T.Rex skeletons to have ever been discovered. This is one to take the kids to, STAT.
See here for details.

Secrets of Stonehenge
Explore the extraordinary mystery of Stonehenge via this immersive exhibition that harnesses cutting-edge research and the latest scientific evidence to delve into the story behind the iconic formation. Visitors will also be able to view more than 300 ancient artefacts, including stone tools, antler picks, pottery, gold and bronze objects and even a bronze axe with ancient graffiti, all of which could have been used in Stonehenge’s creation.
See here for details.

Catch a movie

The Menu starring Anya Taylor-Joy.

What better way to pass a day of inclement weather than by immersing yourself in a captivating film? Alongside the new releases drawing us to book dinner and a movie at our favourite cinema, is a raft of films that have popped up on various streaming services, perfect for a cosy night at home. Whatever your cinematic tastes, we have rounded up all the best new films to watch now, here.

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Manis is the delightful new Ponsonby bakery where France meets Indonesia

Those with a penchant for something sweet may have heard rumours of Ponsonby’s Manis, the unique new bakery where Paris and Bali collide. Denizen was recently among some of the first to try this new Ponsonby Road patisserie, and we can attest that the offering tastes as delicious as it looks.

Manis, translating to ‘sweet’ in the owners’ native Indonesian tongue, is a tasty collision of cultures, offering traditional Balinese pastries like martabak (a sweet pancake) and pie susu (a sweet milk tart) alongside French viennoiserie — including a number of variations on the classic croissant. There are also plenty more savoury pastry options (from pain au pesto and salami croissants to mouthwatering, filled house made rolls — perfect for anyone seeking a wholesome workday lunch).

Manis Ponsonby: Pistachio Croissant
Pistachio Croissant.

Considering that Auckland bakeries seem to be a dime a dozen, where Ponsonby’s Manis makes its mark is via the marriage of fresh, innovative flavours and proven culinary expertise. Co-Owner and Head Baker Angga Saputra spent eight years in the perennially-delicious Amano Bakery, and this recent opening is the culmination of his vision to bring sweet Indonesian cuisine to Auckland. To achieve this, he teamed up with Co-Owners Thaufik Probowasito, Rizky Venni and Nurhayati A Roi to open a bakery with a difference, and so far, the offering is already proving popular across the City. It is worth noting too, that as Indonesia is a largely Muslim nation, all the meats used in Manis’ sandwiches and baked goods are sourced from a local halal supplier.

Manis Ponsonby: Macadamia Caramel Danish
Left: Macadamia Caramel Danish.

The tasty food is coupled (of course) with perfectly-brewed coffee (there’s even a celebratory two-for-one offering running this month), and given Manis’ convenient location on the southern end of Ponsonby Road, it is a place that we’d recommend visiting early in the day before the crowd-favourites sell out (which we’ve been told happens often). We’d also suggest ordering a few to take home, or back to the office like we did, as the perfect summer afternoon treat.

Manis Ponsonby: Raspberry Cruffin
Raspberry Cruffin.

Opening hours:
Tuesday — Sunday, 8am until 3pm.


38 Ponsonby Road,
Grey Lynn, Auckland

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Meet The Butcher Baker, Helensville’s new farm-to-table destination for delicious dining

If you’ve found yourself in Helensville of late, you might have stumbled upon The Butcher Baker. A true farm-to-table style restaurant, harnessing the best of locally-grown and foraged produce, Owner Reginaldo Richard always intended the space to become a destination eatery for those across Auckland — as much as a foodie haven for locals to enjoy. Drawing on his tenure at local institutions like Honey Bones and Odettes, as well as his experience in some of the world’s biggest culinary hubs, The Butcher Baker is an ode to dining done well. And so, with a long weekend ahead, we thought there was no better time to discover the magnificence of this recent opening for yourself.

Paying homage to the rich history of its building (formerly both a baker and a butcher — hence the name), The Butcher Baker juxtaposes new and old. Fronted by an expansive courtyard, a delightful spot to sit and soak in the sun, the brick building has had a fresh and modern refit with pitched ceilings (that reminded me somewhat of London institution Rochelle Canteen) and a pared-back fit-out that feels effortlessly cool.

Aesthetics aside, Richard’s delicious dishes is the real drawcard here. The Butcher Baker’s menu changes often (weekly, we’re told) in order to capitalise on the best seasonal produce, sourced from local suppliers and foraged by Richard himself. Much of it is cooked in the eatery’s vast woodfire oven which sits pride of place in the open kitchen, offering new and innovative ways to cook and resulting in some seriously spectacular flavours.

“We use lots of fire to cook,” Richard tells me. “Not just meat, but vegetables and fruits as well. We even charr the meringue using one of the old-style irons. There are so many different ways to use the fire.” He explains that working with fire takes rapid-pace dining back a notch, which encourages those dining at The Butcher Baker to sit back, enjoy one another’s company and discover a renewed appreciation for the process and art of cooking. A welcome respite from the busyness and bustle of daily life, we think. “I see the fire as a key way to influence our menu,” Richard shares.

Those seeking something to satiate them in the middle of the day can expect to find fresh takes on brunch classics, like the English muffin adorned with whipped brie, anchovies, fig leaf oil and a soft-boiled egg, or dishes that pay homage to Richard’s Brazilian roots like the chickpea socca, topped with purple sprouting broccoli, almond and salsa verde. These pair perfectly with locally-roasted High Noon coffee or fresh Almighty juice.

Should you visit in the evening, some staples remain but there is a pivot to woodfired dishes and a sharing-style menu. Think of an interesting, more flavourful take on comfort food, and an approach to meat and fish that is innovative and aims to use as much of the animal as possible. (Richard often uses half and whole woodfired chickens, whole fish and dry-aged beef in his ever-changing dishes.) And the exceptional food is only complemented by a comprehensive list of delicate aperitivo, beloved natural wines and a range of craft beers. For dessert? The house sorbet is essential.

Growing up on a 500-acre farm in Brazil, a love for fresh produce and simple woodfire cooking was instilled in Richard from an early age. It’s a memory he recalls fondly of his mother, who would spend hours in front of the fire cooking traditional meals — the essence of which he hopes to bring to his new Helensville locale. Although The Butcher Baker is entirely its own, unique entity, we’d almost say this is where the innovation of something like Honey Bones meets the rich, smoky flavours of something like Milenta. High praise, we know, but once you visit (as you should this weekend), we are confident that you’ll agree.

Opening hours:
Tuesday — Friday, 7am until 2.30pm
Saturday — Sunday, 8am until 2.30pm
Thursday — Saturday (evening service), 4pm until 10pm

The Butcher Baker

5 Commercial Road,
Helensville, West Auckland

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The ‘tennis core’ trend has us serving up looks straight out of centre court

As much as we love watching tennis, there is a reason other than athleticism that has us glued to the Australian Open. ‘Tennis core’. It would seem that the players’ sporty match-day styles have inspired more than a few designers recently, who seem to have taken their cues straight from Centre Court.

From pleated mini skirts to tennis whites to chunky trainers and even a few designer racquets, ‘tennis core’ is the trend encouraging us to give the wardrobe a Wimbledon-worthy reimagining.

Centre Court

Tennis Rracket cover and balls from Louis Vuitton, Tennis socks from Balenciaga, V-neck T-shirt from Adidas x Gucci.

Centre Court
Miranda Kerr Louis Vuitton Capucines Campaign

Mini Tennis Racket Bag from Chanel, The Garment Verbier vest from Workshop, Pleated Re-Nylon miniskirt from Prada.

Centre Court
Piaget Possession watch, rings and bracelet from Partridge Jewellers.

Rolex Lady-Datejust Oyster 28 mm from Partridge Jewellers, Tennis 1977 sneaker from Gucci, Technical Gabardine Tennis skirt from Louis Vuitton.
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Upgrade your pool days Coast’s new Nimbus Collection

Coast’s utterly chic new Nimbus Collection is taking poolside afternoons to a whole new level. Signalling a bold new era for the coveted brand, the collection is the first that has been purpose-made for floating in the pool as well as lounging beside it. We’re celebrating the launch by offering one lucky Denizen reader the chance to win two Nimbus Loungers — the crown jewel of the collection.

Nimbus Orbit.

The Coast Nimbus Collection is a series of beanbag-inspired furniture comprising three pieces, the orbit, air chair and lounger. It presents a new dimension in comfort with its cloud-filled technology. This technology seamlessly blends style, convenience and portability. The covers, crafted from New Zealand-made, highly robust Sunbrella fabrics, boast a quilted texture with fast-drying foam for practical daily use and unparalleled comfort. The ease of removal for cleaning and storage only adds to the collection’s allure.

Nimbus Lounger.

As far as style is concerned, Nimbus is unmatched — a testament to the adage that style is eternal. The curvaceous shapes, inspired by some of Coast’s most sought-after signature designs, exude timeless elegance. The range is available in nine different colourways (there is also a made-to-order service using Sunbrella colours to match specific schemes) and is a study in simple sophistication. Among the offerings, the yacht-stripe trio evokes the carefree spirit of summer days, making it a stylish choice for any season.

Nimbus Air Chair.

Each of the piece’s air-filled liners (a patent-pending innovation) ups the comfort level significantly. They have been constructed with heavy-duty PVC drop-stitch fabrics — akin to those found in stand-up paddle boards — and reinforced with heat-welded seams for strength and longevity. This means that they’ll accommodate the activities of boisterous children as much as they will sun-lounging adults. Rising above anything else on the market, Coast’s new collection considers quality and longevity as highly as it does style. It offers something completely unique. Ultimately, this new collection is essential for avid seafarers and those to relish any day spent by the pool.

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Viaduct Harbour celebrates Lunar New Year with a striking new campaign

Last Sunday marked the start of Lunar New Year, kicking off two weeks of celebrations that herald our official transition into the Year of the Rabbit. (Or according to the Vietnamese Zodiac, the Year of the Cat.) And while you might often hear of this period referred to as ‘Chinese New Year,’ its significance is more far-reaching and diverse within the wider Asian diaspora than that term alone suggests.

Lunar New Year
Krishna Buenaventura Marinas wears a denim dress by Carl Jan Cruz, a headdres made by the T’boli (an indigenous tribe in the Philippines) and Marginal Tabi shoes

Acknowledging the importance of this holiday to those across various Asian cultures, seeking to highlight it in a more personal way, the team at Viaduct Harbour assembled a diverse crew of talented creatives to produce its new Lunar New Year campaign. The result is a striking series of stills taken through the precise photographic lens of Rob Tennent (of Vietnamese descent), in which local Auckland creative Krishna Buenaventura Marinas and her Nanay (māmā) Lynn (both Filipino) take centre stage in three iconic Viaduct Harbour venues — Grand Harbour Chinese, Saint Alice, and Boracay Garden Restaurant.

In every shot, Buenaventura Marinas and her Nanay are wearing garments made by Filipino designers, including custom made Bon Hansen top and skirt that reinterpret the dramatic shoulder lines of traditional Filipino garments, which Buenaventura Marinas ordered after seeing in the pages of Vogue. Their hair and makeup were finessed by Korean-Kiwi artist Liz Hyun — whose deft skills with a brush have seen her lend her talents to a number of Viaduct Harbour campaigns.

Lunar New Year
Krishna Buenaventura Marinas wears a piece of suiting by Bon Hansen

For Tennent, the period over Lunar New Year has always been a time for family — a value that is clearly reflected in the imagery he produced here. “My grandma was very strict about staying home and only being with family,” he says. “It’s a time when I get to see all of my cousins and extended family. There would always be so much food, and everyone would pass out by 3pm either from drinking or just having their afternoon naps. I remember all of the kids standing in a line singing before receiving their lì xì (red envelope).”

But for anyone who celebrates Lunar New Year, the next two weeks are likely a time of retrospection, family and setting intentions for the year ahead. And if you’re seeking to celebrate with the people you love, Viaduct Harbour with its myriad venues is one of the best places to mark the occasion with aplomb.

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