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Follow the big cup! The Millhouse Kitchen

If Ashburton is on your horizon, keep your eyes wide open for the big cup at the newly refurbished Ashford Village Complex. There you will find Millhouse Kitchen which offers fabulous coffee, a delicious menu and cabinet food to weary travellers and very happy locals, seven days a week.



This multi-faceted café features an array of al fresco spaces including the veranda, as well as the garden café.

Seating varies from stylish Euro-style cafe chairs to the park benches outside, while the interior décor features beautiful timber and black finishes, and is always filled with fresh flowers.

Built around classic flavours and local produce, the menu at Millhouse Kitchen varies with each season’s best offerings.

The specials board and the freshly baked goods are a fixture however, and their sweet and savoury treats run from scones and muffins to slices, cakes and biscuits, in both traditional and more adventurous flavours.

The perfect spot for a picturesque brunch or to while away the afternoon over craft brews and a burger, or rose and nibbles, the gorgeous outdoor venue is optimal for guests of the four-legged variety too (just BYO your own water bowl, please).

For more information contact (03) 307 9249 or visit the café at 427 West Street, Ashburton.


Hair for a good time! Capelli Hair Design

Haircuts, styles, colour transformations and care are all covered at Capelli Hair Design in Ashburton, where a talented team of stylists are ready and waiting to turn their hands to whatever hair requests you have.



Finding your go-to hairdresser can make all the difference – not just to the way you look, but the way you feel.

Not to mention how easy it is to get an appointment with your preferred stylist, the price, finding a park, and savouring what should be a relaxing pampering experience.

Capelli offers every hair service imaginable from cuts to colours, express up-dos to tailorer-made wedding day packages. The talented team are constantly looking at ways to expand their horizons by keeping up with new looks and upskilling.

In recent times, a dedicated barbering area was added to the salon along with customised barbering training for stylists for an added expert touch for male clientele.

Clients at Capelli are not only treated to the utmost in haircuts, colours and styles – but are also treated with luxurious and award-winning haircare products from professional brands such as L’Oréal, Kérastase and ghd to get an amazing end result. You can also shop these brands online or in-store.

Open Monday to Saturday, phone (03) 308 9320 to book now.



Ashburton eats: The Millhouse Kitchen

Sunshine streams into the Millhouse Kitchen onto cosy leather armchairs and farmhouse-style table and chairs, creating an inviting atmosphere for this hidden gem of a mid-Canterbury cafe.



The heritage of the 108-year-old building is pristinely preserved in the wooden panelled walls and framed historic photographs which hang upon them, but the hospitality, cuisine and beverage offerings are refreshingly contemporary.

Just over an hour’s drive from Christchurch city, whether your end destination is Ashburton or you are passing through – add this family-run café to your travel itinerary.

Mark Milmine and his wife Nicky, already proud owners of Somerset Grocer, recently took over the reins of the historic location built by the England Brothers in 1912.

Now it is the Milmine’s turn to add their own spin to the already rich heritage of the building.

This one stop shop offers breakfast, lunch and delicious treats – with the selection featuring classics, as well as some more new-age twists.

Sought-after dishes include the crispy chicken burger, chilli chicken salad and salmon and sesame rice superfood bowl.

Eat inside amongst the charming farmhouse aesthetic, or head into the snug garden.

“People can sit outside, relax and forget about the day,” says Mark.

Check out the quaint café located off SH1 in the Millhouse building.

For more information contact or call (03) 307 9249.


Sporting win for Ashburton

The sale of land for a $50 million high-performance sports facility bordering Lake Hood Aquatic Park has gone unconditional and will be designed by Warren & Mahoney Architects.



The Southern Parallel Sports Campus will include indoor and outdoor G3 pitches, running tracks, tennis and basketball courts, swim therapy, medical and therapy suites, a nutrition centre, lecture hall, a lodge – the existing Lake House building, but extended – and 20 residential-style accommodation units when building commences in 2021.

The real estate purchase for the site went unconditional recently, and Inovo Projects have been appointed to manage the project.

Inovo, supported by Tonkin & Taylor environmental and engineering consultants, have commenced the first phase of the project to secure required consents in co-operation with the Ashburton District Council.

Concept designs show a modern, multi-building design on the shores of Lake Hood, a 72 hectare man-made aquatic park with water-skiing and boating facilities, which also hosts national rowing events.

The campus will offer “a safe haven in a secure and stress-free environment catering to one’s every need whilst continuing to develop fitness, skills and education,” according to project proposals on Southern Parallel Sports’ website.

The campus is intended to cater for high performance, injured and disabled athletes, as well as returned servicemen and women, youth and the local community.


Well heeled: Stepping Out

A great pair of shoes will take you places, and if the places you’re going this party season include the races, weddings, and barbeques, then Stepping Out is your ultimate shoe shopping destination, where Moana Taylor and Carolyn Ewing have created a mecca for occasion sandals and shoes.


With brands including Hispanitas, Django and Juliette, and Minx, you’ll find a lovingly curated selection of elegant heels in beautiful colours which will keep you smiling on the longest days on your feet, and no issues with sinking into the turf either!

Along with an extensive range of footwear and accessories, the team at Stepping Out offer friendly helpful honest advice.

“We encourage ladies to bring their outfits or fabric in with them, so we can work with them to find the perfect pair of shoes,” says Moana.

194 East Street, Ashburton

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm and Saturday 10am to 1pm

Fusion front runner: Formosa Restaurant

Atmosphere and flavour collide at Formosa, Ashburton’s standout Asian-fusion restaurant perfect for post-race dinner, fine dining, cocktails or dessert.

The Formosa experience starts from the moment you walk in the door; where you are greeted with a vibrant red brick wall emblazoned with flowers and cluster of red parasols floating above.

With beautiful, polished décor in a spacious setting, Formosa has three roomy and uniquely themed spaces: The VIP Room, Chinese Lantern Area, and the Red Parasol Area that are perfect for an intimate date night, a family lunch or event for up to 120 guests.

It also has an open kitchen so you can witness the creation of your food and engage with the friendly chefs while they are in action preparing beautifully presented, authentically Asian dishes.

The fabulous food pairs beautifully with the delightful wines and cocktail menus and can be prepared for dine in or takeaway, or customised for an event, complete with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

A fine dessert menu and new high tea offering provide even more options for post-race festivities, or something special to do this spring and summer.

Open Monday to Saturday, 11.30am to 2pm and 4.30pm to 8.30pm.

Phone 03-308 7874 or email to make a booking


Fabulous Flirty Feet: Style Footwear

The sun is out and summer is on its way at Style Footwear in the heart of Ashburton’s CBD. New ranges from Saimon, Cabello, Revere and others are arriving, and the team are excited to show you what’s available this season.


The casual lace-up look is popular again, with over a dozen colours available in just one style! With colours like mustard, orange, mint, white, tan and sky blue coming through, not only in footwear but accessories, it’s looking like a bright season ahead.

There are beautiful dress sandals for special occasions, bring in your outfit to find the right footwear. With the new range of handbags and jewellery in store, there might be everything you need in one place.

Style Footwear now stock Baron Leathergoods men’s wallets and key rings – Baron are another New Zealand family business and a pleasure to work with, says store owner Melissa Shimmin.

Style Footwear is Ashburton’s only Ruralco and Rural Women’s supplier, and discount is given to those who show their cards. Laybuy is also available instore and online. Check out the specials area for a good bargain.

It’s been a challenging year, but Melissa is optimistic for the season ahead and says the support, from not just suppliers, but Canterbury locals, has been amazing and she wants to thank everyone.

Follow Style Footwear on Instagram, Facebook and online.


It must be fête! (St John Ashburton)

What started as an offer of a stroll through six hectares of spectacular gardens now includes a fête with more than 60 stalls and live entertainment. This inaugural event for Ashburton St John will raise funds for its community health initiatives and local services.


Hosted by Sue and Ted Rollinson at their Awaroa School Road property near Rakaia, the fête includes cuisine offerings and live entertainment – including a cooking demonstration by local chef, caterer and former Masterchef finalist Chantelle Quinn.

The boutique stalls offer a range of unique, artisan and New Zealand made eco-products including clothing and accessories, garden plants and supplies, furniture, arts and crafts, jewellery, beauty products, giftware and gourmet food and wine.

Tickets include admission and an opportunity to explore the acres of gardens and meandering boardwalk through native forests.

Tickets can be purchased on, or from a variety of locations. Call 03 308 7132 or check the St John Ashburton Facebook page for details.


A stylish step forward: Style Footwear

The team is back up and running at Style Footwear on Burnett Street in Ashburton. Located in the CBD, the friendly store is packed with comfortable, stylish footwear as well as new ranges of bags, wallets, scarves and jewellery.

Sadie 3 Piece Handbag Set – $129.95


After navigating the challenges of lockdown, owner Melissa and her right-hand-woman Trudy are continuing what they do best: providing comfortable affordable footwear with professional personalised fit service and advice.

Melissa, who has owned Style Footwear for seven and a half years, has a local-focussed philosophy – stocking New Zealand-owned designers, with an Ashburton-based jewellery range, and hand-knitted merino scarves making their way in store, too.

Chloe by Black Caviar

“The COVID situation threw some challenges our way, but lockdown provided the time to contemplate and to plan for the future of Style Footwear – which is to keep going,” Melissa says.

Melissa says herself and Trudy are loving seeing their regulars and have enjoyed catching up with everyone now that they have returned to the “new normal”.

As the winter season ends and the spring/summer range is not far away, it is of course sale time – which means great bargains for the customer!

Style Footwear’s online store is also growing quickly with orders being placed from Australia as well as all over New Zealand.


Cat Coin Purse by Buxton

Melissa says she wants to thank everyone for their on-going support and she looks forward to seeing you all instore soon.

Be sure to join their mailing list and follow on both Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news happening at Style Footwear.


Dive into Ashburton!

This little rural town is a beating heart, functioning as a major service centre for the surrounding farming district. But if you’re not into agriculture and prefer to explore this loveable location in other ways, we’ve got you covered. We have pulled together some of the main reasons you should make the drive to awesome Ashburton.



(Sky) Dive right in: What better way is there to see the town than a complete aerial view. Take in the amazing sights of the Southern Alps, South Pacific Ocean and Canterbury Plains. The enthusiastic team at Skydiving Kiwis will look after you in an unforgettable Ashburton experience. And like they say who said Kiwis can’t fly?

Night at the museum: If you love museums, you’ll love Ashburton because you have the option to visit six of them. Choose from the Ashburton Museum, Vintage Car Museum, Lynn Museum, Aviation Museum, The Plains Railway and Museum and finally the Art Gallery. We’re thinking that we may have to explore these little history hotspots further in an upcoming article – stay tuned.

Plains by plane: You don’t have to throw yourself out of the plane to take in the scenic views of the South Island. In fact, with Air Rangitata you (and four of your friends if you wish) can sit comfortably in their Cessna 206 aircraft and take in all the eye can see. Choose a set route or take advantage of their charter service.