Bloody Mary’s

Hubby and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary last week – time definitely flies by when you’re having fun and throw a baby into the mix!

Eli had wanted to go to Bloody Mary’s to celebrate his birthday (which is the week before Christmas) but we came down with that awful stomach bug literally that morning so I had to cancel the booking.

A month later and we were ready to give it another try!

Bloody Mary’s is a steakhouse and a mighty fine one at that. It is definitely a decadent experience; service is impeccable, the menu and wine list is extensive, and the decor is moody and luxurious, befitting the restaurants name.

For an entree I had the venison liver parfait, bread and butter pickles. The parfait was smooth and creamy, the bread was crispy (I could have done with a couple more slices as the parfait itself was a very generous serving) and the pickles added a bit of zing. Overall it was delicious.

Eli had the seafood chowder. The waitress poured the chowder over the seafood at the table which seems to be a popular way of serving this dish at higher end restaurants at the moment. The seafood was cooked perfectly and the chowder was lovely but we both thought it could have had a little more depth to the flavour, it was a little too creamy.

IMG_1333 IMG_1334

For our mains I ordered fillet steak with garlic gratin and port wine and thyme sauce. Eli ordered the NY strip loin (but received the sirloin, the only real disappointment of the evening!) with goose fat roasted potatoes and mushroom & garlic sauce. We shared sides of asparagus and cauliflower cheese which we thought were very generous servings for the price. We both like our steak medium rare and it was cooked beautifully. The sauces were full of flavour and there was plenty to go around. I think my potato gratin won over Eli’s roasted potatoes as they weren’t as crispy on the outside as I would have liked.

IMG_1337 IMG_1335

For desert we shared the chocolate tart with salted caramel and pistachio ice cream which was the perfect end to our beautiful dinner. The base carried most of the saltiness which was surprising but in a good way, and the pistachio toffee was so good it resulted in a little haggling between the two of us for who deserved the last piece!


For a Monday night the restaurant was busy, it is attached to popular hotel Rydges so many diners were definitely tourists, but I can see why it is popular with Christchurch locals as well. If you like a well cooked steak meal where you get a little freedom of choice, then Bloody Mary’s definitely delivers.

All photos taken (quickly!) on my iPhone hence not the best quality!


Date Night

My in-laws have been staying with us and kindly shooed us out the door on Monday night so Eli and I could have a date-night! Exciting times for a Monday!!

We decided on dinner and a movie which for me meant we must try one of the many new restaurants that have been popping up all over Christchurch this year.

We chose to go to Town Tonic and weren’t disappointed. After saying I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed into having Italian when Town Tonic returned Eli’s call in regards to the booking we discovered Monday was pizza and pasta night! Ha! Never mind, we decided to just roll with it and I’m so pleased we did.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 7.26.04 PM

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 7.26.17 PM

Photos by Naomi Haussmann for Neat Places

Upon entering we were immediately impressed with the slick decor; no wonder the business crowds head to Town Tonic during the day – classy and cool and tasty. We were then enlightened to the fact that we could actually have whatever we liked – the chef would whip up anything our bellies desired; this mumma has a fried brain so the thought of having to choose something myself when out for dinner was actually the last thing I wanted to do! Luckily there was a delicious sounding menu put together by the chef to choose from also – phew!

I actually had a French inspired seafood bouillabaisse which was DELICIOUS! A generous amount of seafood (including the sweetest scallops I have had in a loooong time) coupled with a thick, robust tomato sauce and a crusty piece of bread to scoop up all the tomatoey goodness = winning!

Being able to create your own dish allowed leeway from the original menu so Eli chose the vegetarian pizza (macadamia nuts, asparagus, creme fraiche, mushrooms) but added chorizo. The macadamia nuts added such great texture – definitely something to add to our home made pizza toppings list.

It wasn’t overly busy and I loved that the chef personally came to see how we were enjoying our meals; it was so nice to chat about the ideas behind the food as well as praise her personally for our beautiful meals. The open kitchen area also means you can see closely how your meal is being prepared should you wish.

Definitely keen to head back to Town Tonic (any night of the week!) as the food was delicious and the staff were friendly, laid back but attentive.

We then went to see Hunger Games Mockingjay Part One – sooooo good but soooo frustrating that we have to wait to find out how it all ends. I haven’t read the books and am tempted to read the last one to see what happens!!!!

Monday date night was good times x


Boots – Witchery (Similar here and here)

Coated Jeans – 3 x 1 (Similar here)

Shirt – Asos (Similar here)

Fake Fur Gillet – Old (Similar here)




Vintage String Lights

I was super excited to stumble across the amazing online lighting store Mr Ralph and discover for the first time on my internet travels someone in NZ who stocks vintage style globe string lights. A major step-up from fairy lights in terms of styling an outdoor event, I have been hunting for these since planning our wedding. I can’t wait for the warm weather to return later in the year so that we can string them up over our outdoor dining area and enjoy numerous dinner parties and summer soirees.

Here are some images that inspired the purchase!

images via my Pinterest 



Tequila Mockingbird


image via

On Saturday night I joined a bunch of fabulous ladies for dinner at recently opened Tequila Mockingbird. This Latin themed bar and restaurant was buzzing the whole evening and I was thankful we were seated in the quieter area towards the back of the restaurant!

The menu is a rather eclectic mix of large and small sharing plates as well as mains from the grill. I have to admit that I assumed it was going to be Mexican with Tequila in the name but the food is much more Spanish (croquettes, patatas bravas, paella) and South American (all grilled meals are served with chimichurri sauce).


image via

I struggled to choose from the menu as nothing was really jumping out at me but finally went with slowed cooked Wakanui Rump Steak which was served with watercress and honey roasted sweet potatoes. The meat was lovely and tender and the chimichurri sauce was full of flavour.

The menu is a little confused but the atmosphere and interior made up for it. With a bit of tweaking I’m sure the food will be improved and will keep the large number of initial patrons returning.

Chimichurri or Chimmichurri is a sauce used for grilled meat. It is originally from Argentina. Make your own with this easy recipe:

  • small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp oregano, fresh or dried
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2½ tbsp olive oil
  • juice ½ lemon
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar

To make the chimichurri, blitz the parsley, oregano, garlic, shallot and chilli flakes in a food processor or chop very finely by hand. Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil, the lemon juice, vinegar and some seasoning, and pulse to combine everything to a saucy consistency.


image via