Black Estate

We had such a fab weekend in Hanmer – the weather was amazing (even though we spent much of Saturday afternoon inside watching the cricket! Exciting but stressful thanks Black Caps!) and we left on Sunday feeling very relaxed and rested.

On the way up to Hanmer on Friday we stopped for lunch at Black Estate winery in the Waipara Valley. The modern black architecture of the building was a stark contrast to the golden burnt fields that surround it. Inside the simple decor let the stunning view take precedence and the food was a delicious compliment to the setting, not to mention the cold crisp bottle of Rose we shared! There was plenty of space for Axel to practise his hill climbs (while his Granny chased him!) which allowed me to enjoy my perfectly seasoned groper, served on confit potatoes and green beans with a tomato salsa. There was a lot of tasting off each others plates from everyone at our table as it would have been rude not to share such delicious flavours!


image via Black Estate

I highly recommend a road trip for a special lunch to Black Estate – all of our meals were beautiful and the setting truly is something special. You could easily while away a number of hours sitting in the sunshine enjoying the view, wine, food and company x


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.

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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.

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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!

Another Level Cheesecake

It seems to have been a food related content week this week, but I make no apology for todays post!

I am a huge cheesecake fan and the folks over at Honestly Yum have me dreaming of whipping up this bad boy over the weekend. With a pecan base and salted bourbon caramel sauce I have no doubt it would be a crowd pleaser this festive season. And it’s gluten free which my mum and brother would certainly appreciate; dinner at your place on Sunday mum and dad? I’ll bring desert!

Follow this link for the recipe and have a delicious weekend everyone x


image by Honestly Yum


Blog Love: Thyme & Temp

You may already know one half of Thyme & Temp, gorgeous flame haired Jane, from her fashion blog Sea of Shoes. It seems Jane is super creative in a number of ways as along with her man Jeff she has created a foodies blog that chronicles their culinary journey from one cooking endeavour to the next. And they are good. Challenging themselves to cook interesting and sometimes difficult recipes that they photograph beautifully, and then write about intelligently. Pretty impressive stuff and definitely worth bookmarking to your favourites.

Take some time to explore their blog and have a delicious weekend everyone x

all images via Thyme & Temp


We visited the Colombo on Sunday for a little shopping and while there had a dozen delicious dumplings from the recently opened Pot Sticker Dumpling Bar.

They are obviously proving extremely popular as the chef was working a mile a minute to keep up with incoming orders. I can see why – we went for a mixed dozen of fried dumplings and they were fab! Light on the outside and bursting with flavour on the inside, all topped off with a dash of soy sauce and chilli.

I highly recommend those of you who live in Christchurch head to the Colombo and join the dumpling movement!

Photos Naomi Haussmann for Neat Places

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 



Cheese Please!

One thing I really missed while pregnant was antipasto platters. Blue cheese, cured meats, fresh mussels yuummmmmo!

When putting together a cheese board you definitely need a good base to show off all the deliciousness. There are some beautiful options out there at the moment for which to build the perfect antipasto platter on – check out my favourites below and then follow this link to Style Me Pretty Living where Jacquelyn Clark details how to create the perfect cheese board.

Happy weekend everyone xx

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1. Danbo Natural Round Board – Citta Design

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2. Bloomingville Hexagonal Marble Tray – Superette

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3. Kitchen Board – Treehorn Design

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4. Skagerak Denmark Long Chopping Board – Mildred & Co.