metropol » Archives for Morgan Tait

Author: Morgan Tait

Rug up for winter


Our bodies aren’t the only things we need to rug up this winter… our living spaces could also do with an injection of rugs, too. These floor coverings anchor a room and work hard to define and differentiate spaces in a home.



Rugs can be used to frame an area, such as one used for seating or dining, or to texture an area like a bedroom or office. When worked into the overall design of a room, rugs can draw all the elements together – whether in colour, style, shape or texture. Functionally, rugs add warmth and help with acoustics – they also make for a cosy nook in front of the fire or, likewise, in a sunny spot.

In 2021, interior trends are leaning towards rugs in warmer, earthier and neutral tones made from natural fibres such as wool, sisal and jute. These fibres not only contribute to creating a grounding space which connects us to nature, but also tend to perform well in durability, which is important if you opt for a floor covering in a high-traffic zone such as a hallway.

Contrastingly, bold patterns and colours are also tipped to dominate rug trends this year as people opt to express more personality in their home habitats. Think rugs which resemble artwork, and patterns reminiscent of the Art Deco era.

And finally, as with interior furnishings, people want tactile elements in their rugs. This means longer pile rugs are making a comeback, no, not a retro shagpile, a more refined contemporary texture which resembles lush and cosy wool.


Rug Society cow print rug


Bloomingville Griffin rug from Sweetpea & Willow


Rug Society geometric foil rug


Rug Society Ted rug


Futuristic fermentation


Fermented foods have been making waves for a few years now, as the power of their probiotics keeps those keen on consuming gut-loving goodness coming back for more. And this trend is showing no sign of subsiding. Morgan Tait looks at the next evolution of fermented foods.



Cultured coffee

Putting new meaning on the term “coffee culture”, fermented coffee is where harvested coffee cherries are sprayed with natural yeasts and fermented. This is said to unlock sweet and light flavour profiles. Nespresso has launched La Cumplida Refinada, its latest limited-edition coffee which uses the fermentation technique.

Long live the cheese!

Some food producers are using cultures to prolong the life of food and prevent it being wasted. Named bioprotection, the concept works by cultures and fermentation being added to food to “outcompete” yeast and mould spoilage. The cultures can be added to a huge range of fermented dairy products like yoghurt and white cheese. Yes, that means long lasting cheese!

Sweetening the deal

Fermented sweetener with zero calories, fermented honey and sool, a Korean rice alcohol are also amongst those fermented foods tipped to go big. The first two speak for themselves, but sool is a broad range of beverages which can be flavoured with fruit to make a wide range of sweet alcoholic drinks.



Brew news

It can be tough deciding on what to fill your glass with when it comes time to enjoy a cold brew, and as the popularity of craft beers and brewed beverages continues to increase – the choices become even harder. So, when it comes to the brews making waves as trend-setting tipples in 2021, Metropol has investigated.


So popular are hazy beers, that a new category had to be created for them at the recent 2021 New World Beer & Cider Awards. Featuring flavours of tropical fruit with a typically creamy body and sweet finish, these brews are flying out of craft and established brewery taps countrywide.

Hard seltzer, a fermented and carbonated fruit-based alcohol, has taken the world by storm in the past year. Some are made from wine, beer or cider bases, while others springboard from vodka. Alongside alcoholic ginger beer and kombucha, these brews also got their own new class at the above awards – a first for any national competition in the world. Must be popular!

Our favourite sugar-free probiotic fizzy fruit drinks have taken a quirkier turn in recent times, as they have taken an R18 turn into the alcohol market. The perfect balance of bitter and subtle sweetness, an alcoholic kombucha has a beer element, but with its fizzy, fruity and gluten-free properties is much lighter and sweeter.



Favourite foodie ‘grams

When it comes to meal inspiration, one place you can always count on finding something new is the internet. And in particular, Instagram is establishing itself as a hub not only for recipe sharing, but for bringing food lovers together to indulge in all things edible.

Two Raw Sisters’ Peanut Brownies


Kiwi-in-London Alex Haslop has built quite the Insta following with her delicious and nutrient-packed recipes. Built on the premise of “removing the mental load of cooking,” Alex uses simple ingredients and posts the easy-to-follow recipes on her ‘gram and website. Follow Alex for colour- and vege-ful curries, salads, and stir fries.


Auckland food blogger Albert Cho is a force to be reckoned with. He’s blown up online for his frank, hilarious and NSFW hospitality reviews in New Zealand and abroad. Albert’s take on Kiwi cuisine is enriched by his Korean heritage, ensuring a scroll through his Insta is an experience as educating as it is entertaining.


Did you SEE his lockdown Negroni? Since the IGTV masterclass for the three-ingredient cocktail aired, actor and food lover Tucci has been offering up more cooking classes on his IG, and we can’t get enough.


Cantabrian sisters Rosa and Margo Flannagan are plant-powered pros. With their own cooking school at The Welder, two recipe books, and a supermarket salad line – it’s easy to see why they have such a following.


With 25 cookbooks under her belt, it’s no surprise New Zealand chef Annabel Langbein’s recipes attract eyeballs online, too. Her Insta grid doubles as a source of recipe inspiration and a peek behind the curtain of her hunt, gather, feast ethos.



Time for bed

A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our health, yet too often it can be easier said than done. One way to invite a glorious night of shut eye into your life is to create a sleep routine, and, yes, that means new sleepwear.



A hybrid of athleisure, lingerie and loungewear, modern pyjamas aren’t mucking around.

Which is good, because when it comes to choosing which sleepwear to take to bed, the criteria is clear: comfort, but not at the expense of style.

Hybernate Lounge PJ Set in Dusty Pink

And in 2021, when the world has just spent its most recent past in prolonged periods of varying degrees of sleepwear – options abound. We are spoilt for styles, colours and fabrications of jammies in classic long-sleeve and pant combos to luxurious silky sets and cosy separates.

Agent Provocateur Classic PJ Pants and Camisole in Black

But just because items come as sets, doesn’t mean they must be treated as such. Pick a pair of pants and team with a soft cotton tee or camisole, or select an oversized sleep shirt to be worn with boyleg briefs or boxers.

Don’t like wide leg pants? Choose some leggings.

Auguste Gabrielle Lian Pyjama Set

Don’t like button down shirts? Opt for a pullover.

Short legs and sleeveless tops can be made up for long sleeve tops, snuggly socks and a delicious dressing gown.

And of course, nighties come in all lengths – both hem and sleeve-wise.

Auguste Maui Lian Kimono in Brown

Whatever items – or combo – you go for, bedtime will always feel luxurious when you’re wearing something stylishly snuggly.


In frame

If glasses are your thing, now is your time to shine, because rather than a few distinct styles emerging as standout trends for 2021 – they’re all in! Retro rounds, classic cat eyes, sporty aviators and sleek rectangles have all had a modern update and are ready to accompany you wherever this year may go.


Karen Walker Homer Gold


From classic designs to the more statement and novelty, glasses designs are emerging in fun and bold styles.

Frames are large and small, thin and thick and lenses are colour tinted – meaning there is something for every face shape (and personal preference).


Moscot Lemtosh in Root Beer Fade

Fashion forecasters are noting the re-emergence of larger sportier frames; Think thicker aviator styles with tinted lenses.

Alex Perry – AP 69

Retro rounds are having a reboot, ranging from small to larger lenses and again in all manner of tints.

Rectangles are the fashionista frame du jour, the thick frames are acetate and we’re seeing them in those on-trend tonals, pastels, tortoise shell and sleek, classic black.

And just like tiny glasses have been the trendsetter’s accessory for the last year or two, supersized frames seem to be setting their place at the style table.

Deus ex Machina Dues 10

Frames are, conveniently, able to be used for both sun and reading lenses, and the popularity of blue light lenses (to block out the rays from screens which can interfere with our sleep cycles) is also continuing to soar.

Ongoing Sun Aligre Rose

New Zealand designer Karen Walker’s frames are, as always, a style go-to, and local stores like Matthew’s Eyewear Eyecare, Specsavers and Bailey Nelson have a wide range of styles and choice, along with optometry services to ensure you’re looking out for your eye health, too.


Interesting oats

A staple of winter breakfasts and brunches, oats are a warming, filling and nutritious way to start your day. But, gone are the days of lumpy, sloppy and bland bowls – instead, oats have rebranded as a delectable and nourishing breakfast blank canvas. We share some simple and favourite flavours to accompany your next bowl.



To craft something scrumptious, start right at the beginning. Mix seeds such as chia and flax, cacao nibs, spices like cinnamon, turmeric and cardamom, or supplements like protein or collagen powder into the oats before cooking. When cooking, use a 1:2 oat to liquid ratio, and try using coconut or another nut milk for a dairy free and flavourful options.

Once cooked, take your oats to a new, yet still nutritious, level by adding your favourite fruit. Fresh fruits such as banana, berries, mango, kiwifruit and grated apple are excellent options, but so too are stewed fruits. Defrosted berries, stewed rhubarb and stone fruit, pan fried bananas, or poached apple and pear are a comforting collab.

Top off your creation with the addition of, well, anything really. Yoghurt, cream, custard, coulis and other sauces can be decadent sweet treats, while seeds, shredded coconut, nuts, maple syrup, goji berries and currants continue the wholesome theme. Muesli, crumble or crushed cookies add a new textured element, and sprinkle of chocolate never goes astray.


Must do in Hanmer

Hanmer Springs is one of Canterbury’s most loved not-so-hidden gems. A short drive from Christchurch, North Canterbury and the upper South Island, the small-town punches above its weight in both beauty and activities. Whether you’re a seasoned local, regular visitor or first-time tripper – Metropol recommends some things you simply must do in this quaint alpine village.



Options bound for enjoying the great outdoors in Hanmer. There are also ample opportunities for tramping, walking and mountain biking to enjoy mother nature.

Stop into the iconic Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Resort to soak up the natural hot springs, where relaxation is teamed with fun for the whole family. Psst, there’s a day spa next door!

Visit the abundance of boutique shops in the village to find loved and local labels, arts and crafts, homewares, keepsakes and of course, artisan cuisine.

Pique your competitive streak with a hit of mini golf, or take to the water in a jet boat, try a horse trek, quad bike or Jeep tour, or, head to the local ski field, Amuri, just 17km away.

All this adventuring (or relaxing) is sure to build up your appetite, so make your way to one of the beautiful cafés, restaurants or gastro pubs lining the village centre. From delicious coffee to a hearty meal, all bases are covered.


Sayonara, stress!

While the physical health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic might be lesser felt here in New Zealand – the psychological impacts on stress and wellbeing have certainly been real. So just as the cooler months roll in, it can be an opportune time to consciously chill out. Here are Metropol’s tips for some science-backed stress busters.



BANISH THE LANGUISH: You’ve heard of burnout, but have you heard of “languishing”? Described by the New York Times as “the neglected middle child of mental health,” languishing is a somewhat joyless and aimless emotional state. Sitting in the middle of the mental health spectrum, this feeling of “meh” can make us more susceptible to mental health issues, as well as sufferers finding it harder to concentrate and wanting to withdraw. Keep the languish at bay by finding your “flow”. This is what psychology professor Adam Grant (and author of above article) describes as those activities which catapult you into routine and bring meaning to your day, for example your morning coffee and sudoku or a Youtube yoga class.

HEALTHY HABITS: What we choose to fuel our bodies with not only impacts our physical health, but also our mood. Sugary foods may give a temporary high, but as blood sugar regulates, mood swings can creep in. Which means there is some bad news about caffeine, too. If you’re already stressed, caffeine can supercharge those stress side effects like anxiousness, difficulty sleeping and energy crashes. Instead, snack on nourishing wholefoods like fruit and nuts, and drink a cup of green tea instead of that cuppa Joe.

THE STRESS EFFECT: High levels of stress over an extended period have been scientifically proven to affect basically every physical function of our bodies. From high blood pressure and heart health to altering the brain, mucking with your hormones, messing with your sleep and lowering your immune system: stress is not helpful for health. Understanding how stress affects you, and knowing what to look out for can be a great way to self-regulate and keep on top of your health.

MINDFUL MOVES: Making a conscious effort to move your body in ways which you enjoy is another science-backed way to beat stress. Research new ways to exercise, from gentle stretching to walking and more intensive work outs, and one mindful must-do is getting the right amount of sleep: Go to bed earlier, banish electronics and consider accessories like a sunrise lamp or herbal sleep remedies. If your mood is consistently low, talk to your GP or free call or text 1737.


Functional Fashion

High performing clothing you’ll look good in should be a non-negotiable in your winter wardrobe, with items that can take you from activity to après with ease. Metropol has rounded up some cool-weather inspiration.




Snug and snappy. North Face Salty Dog Beanie


The best of a shirt and jacket in one. Patagonia Isthmus Men’s Quilted Shirt Jacket


Toasty and tailored. Macpac Merino Blend Footprint Socks


A high-performing cardi. All Birds Men’s Wool Cardi


Timeless shades. Garret Leight Rimowa X GLCO Sun


Cosy and cool. North Face Women’s Oh Mega Fur Pom


Go anywhere in this go-to. Patagonia Women’s Classic Retro X Jacket in Nest Brown


A boot which can do it all. Timberland Men’s 6-inch Premium Waterproof Boot


These boots were made for…everything! Sorel Women’s Winter Carnival Boot



Far from basic base layers. Icebreaker Women’s Motion Seamless Tights and Anatomica Sports Bra



Macpac Narvi Down Coat