one of the things i love so much about blogging, and the internet in general, is the way you can connect with people with similar interests in completely different parts of the world. today’s first city guide (stay tuned for another at 12!) is a great example of this across-the-globe connection. i was thrilled to hear from simone quentin de manson in new zealand a few weeks back, excited that she was going to be sharing a guide to her hometown of christchurch. having never been to new zealand, but always hoping to find a way to visit, i’ve been collecting guides to new zealand for a few years. one area i know little about is christchurch, so i was happy to hear from simone that it’s home to a great arts scene and many wonderful local shops. so i hope you’ll enjoy simone’s guide to christchurch, new zealand as much as i have. thanks so much to simone for sharing her favorites! [images above via simone]
CLICK HERE for the full city guide after the jump!
Christchurch is a small city in the South Island in far away New Zealand surrounded by stunning scenery, whimsical old mining towns and plenty of tourist attractions, if you make it all the way down here to NZ I have no doubt its not just to see my little home town!
If I was traveling around a remote country looking at towering mountains and eating in little tearooms and restaurants on the road, what would I miss most about city life? Mmm… that’s easy: coffee, shops, well-designed pretty things, yummy food and the buzz of the city. So let me fill you in on the coolest places to go in Christchurch to feel in touch with civilization again.
Christchurch City Centre
Lets begin at the very beginning. The part of Christchurch that has been around since pretty early on in its history. The park and Arts Centre.
To help with your transition into civilization I recommend a stroll through the gardens, it’s completely free with many themed gardens, lush green lawns plus a fishy looking fountain. Don’t neglect the greenhouses, warm and interesting. Can be accessed from many angles, however the main entrance if off a car park that comes off Rolleston Ave.
Weave your way from the Gardens to the Arts Centre and if it is a weekend it will be full of Market stalls! The Markets run from 10am until 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The old buildings surrounding the markets used to house our university, they are now full of permanent shops that stock mostly locally made goods. In some of the shops you even get to peer into their messy workshops. Try some fudge in fudge cottage if you need a sugary treat.
The shops and galleries are open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Sunday.
COOKING WITH GAS
A restaurant with YUMMMY food situated across the road from the Arts Center. Open Mon – Saturday for evening meals. 23 Worcester Blvd.
THE DUX DE LUX(the dux)
Popular with the locals for its delicious beers brewed on site, but also for the extensive outdoor seating in a great location. If you like ginger beer, try theirs. Very refreshing. They also have the occasional band playing on Friday and Saturday nights. 10.30am to late Monday through Sunday, Cnr Hereford & Montreal Streets
CURATORS HOUSE RESTAURANT
Reputation means you may of heard of this place already. Lovely surrounds and delicious food. Open 7 days from 11am til late, Lunch, Dinner and Refreshments, 7 Rolleston Avenue, Botanic Gardens.
CHRISTCHURCH PUBLIC ART GALLERY
Over the road and around the corner from the Arts Centre is the city’s new Gallery. If you like Art and what-not head in that direction. Great big glass building with sculptures outside. Can’t miss it. Open 10am to 5pm daily. Late night Wednesday until 9pm. Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch.
The Centre of Contemporary Art often has some “less famous” but just as cool artists on show.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 5pm. Saturday – Sunday, 12pm – 4pm, 66 Gloucester St
Ok now lets head into town, walk/drive/skip towards the cathedral, you can walk a block south to take either Hereford street or the next block for Cashel street. Heading east into town you will see these little places:
One for the bibliophiles. I usually feel like I am entering into book heaven when I walk in here. “Oh that looks interesting, and that and that…” Interior Design books are at the back, should you make it that far in…. 79 Hereford Street, Mon – Thu 8:30am – 5:30pm, Fri 8:30am – 7:00pm, Sat 9:30am – 4:00pm, Sun 10:00am – 3:00pm
Across the road from Scorpios is Vivace cafe and coffee roaster. Small but delightfully simple, good coffee, snacks and a passionate barista. 86 Hereford Street.
TETE A TETE
Antiques and vintage clothes, these guys were around since before ‘vintage’ was fashionable. 88 Hereford St Christchurch Mon – Fri 10:00am – 5:30pm, Sat 10:00am – 4:00pm
If you walked up Cashel Street you would see these places:
Up some old wooden stairs is one the shops that begun the gifty, handmade wares craze in Christchurch. A lot of the work has a NZ feel. Get something for anyone from babies to grandmas. I often covet designer jewellery in the wavy wooden cabinets. There’s often some ‘manly’ stuff for the guys in stock. Coffee shop right next door with a view of the river and street from the windows for the tired traveller. 82 Cashel Mall Monday to Thursday 9.30 am – 5.30 pm Friday 9.30 am – 6 pm, Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday 11 am – 4pm
Vintage Homeware, Antique Furniture and some clothing. Owned by the Tete a Tete peeps. First floor, look out for a cute sign, very close to the Vault.
Clothing, glassware, gifts and art all with the New Zealand theme, classy and well presented. 101 Cashel Street.
Stands for “New Objects Of Desire” this is a new Furniture and Homeware shop. With a Scandinavian influence, it’s our closest stab at competing with IKEA. (No Ikea in NZ… I KNOW.)
This is at the end of the pedestrian mall, next to the hotels. 141 Cashel Street, Mon-Thu 8.30-5.30pm, Friday 9-6pm, Sat 10-5pm, Sun 9-4pm.
So concludes the two streets of interest closest to The Cathedral.
Further east, still in walking distance, are “the Lanes”. A bit like a mini Melbourne we have a few hidden gems in amongst some lanes and alley ways with a lovely vibe.A write up on it for you here.
Around and about these lanes are some gems not to be neglected:
A wee courtyard filled with bars. The Jazz bar Fat Eddies is often a great night out. Access from Lichfield Street.
An old school three story second book store, floor to ceiling books, magazines, records and anything else one might put in the book category. Smiths has even been used for the occasional fashion photo shoot. Find on Manchester Street. 133 Manchester St, Christchurch. Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 10.15am – 5.30pm, Saturday 10.15am – 2.30pm, Sunday – Closed.
Very popular with the locals for good reason; best coffee, great breakfasts and atmosphere second to none. Been around since I can remember starting to drink coffee. Mmm yes gotta be a favorite of mine. 150 High Street, Monday to Friday 7am – 10pm, Saturday 8.30am – 10pm, Sunday 9am – 4pm.
DUSK GALLERY AND STORE
A treasure trove of handmade goodies. Photography, cards, home wares and more. Great stop for some crafty handmade inspiration. 18 Poplar Street, Monday – Friday: 10.00am – 5.30pm, Saturday: 10.00am – 4.00pm, Sunday: 11.00am – 3.00pm
Delicious English style beer brewed onsite. 6 Poplar Street.
A European style cafe with friendly service and good coffee. Open Tuesday – Friday 9am – 5.00pm, Sat 10am – 5pm, Closed Sunday Monday. Ash Street
A small beautiful gallery run by design savvy collectors. Vintage, New Furniture and Homewares, 179 High street.
Specializes in Vintage Ceramics and lighting. However they have a lovely selection of furniture and odds and ends also. 151 High St Christchurch, Mon – Sat 11:00am – 4:00pm
Fabrics from international, local and Australian designers. Just fun to wander in and gaze. 216 Madras Street, Open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.
For beautiful designer jewellery. 167 High Street
A German Delicatessen and beer house. Fast becoming a local ‘hot spot’, good sausage. Tue to Sat from 11am to late
THE BICYCLE THEIF
Pizzeria and bar. Nice atmosphere. 21 Latimer Square, Christchurch. Monday – Friday 8am to late, Saturday 5pm to late Sunday Closed