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‘tis the season: Fig Restaurant

It’s mid-November and chances are there are some who are yet to organise an end – or start – of year celebration. If you are pondering a location, Ravi Naidu has it fig-ured out. Fig Restaurant at Quality Hotel Elms is a crowd-pleasing silly season locale.


The Papanui modern bistro has just curated a new bar and restaurant menu and is eager for guests and foodies alike to get their first taste of the diverse yet cohesive menu.

From tantalising light bites to inventive main courses, there is buffet and a la carte breakfast menus from 6am, all day snacks and dinner from 5pm.

With four conference rooms available, from the Garden Room for 120 guests to the Green Room for 40, in-house chef Himal can work with you to create a menu suited to your group’s size and preference.

Whether you’re planning an end of year company function, social holiday party or family get together, you can relax in the sophisticated interiors, or enjoy the warmer weather alfresco.

The Fig Restaurant Christmas dinner is also back for another year.

The mouth-watering buffet-style meal features Kiwi classics such as New Zealand lamb, Coromandel half-shell mussels and Akaroa salmon.

To book email or phone (03) 352 4903. Don’t be a Grinch and start planning your function now!


Head to Hanmer

With everything that has unfolded these last few months, it’s time to help greater Canterbury get back on its feet. We’ve all got a part to play and supporting small local businesses is one small way we can do just that. Such businesses can be found in the tourist favourite, Hanmer Springs.



Metropol has long had a Hanmer section in the magazine, showcasing some of the town’s greatest places to stop off, eat or have fun at.

Now is your chance to visit them. There’s a reason the little town is so popular with tourists… it’s because it has a bit of everything, for all ages.

From the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa to the beautiful bars and restaurants, adults can have a romantic weekend away, with plenty of options for adventure or relaxing.

Meanwhile a family adventure might be on the cards and Hanmer Springs can cater to that too, with the minigolf course, maze, bike and walking trails, a Hanmer High Country Jeep Tour or even visit the Amuri Ski Club just 17km down the road.

It’s time to show your support and utilise the amazing places we have right at our back door. After all, Hanmer is only a hop, skip and a jump over the river.


One of life’s pleasures: Fiddlesticks

If eating is one of life’s pleasures then dining out is a delight and where better to reward yourself for good lockdown behaviour than inviting and stylish Fiddlesticks in the heart of the Arts Precinct? The cosy intimate dining spaces are complemented by the roaring fire in the courtyard outside.


Open from 9am until midnight seven days, breakfast and brunch, lunch, dinner, gluten free and grazing are deliciously taken care of.

The choices on the breakfast and brunch menu are nothing short of an adventure through the cuisines of the world.

Lunches are light or larger to linger over, while dinner features the best of local produce and the fab Fiddlesticks Feature Feast For Two: a bespoke shared feast for two with any two sides that is ever-changing, constantly evolving to tempt and surprise.

The grazing menu offers snacks and full meals to accompany the range of beers, bottled and on tap ciders and light brews, signature cocktails and, of course, the incredible wine library that will see you hesitating over varieties of the fermented grape from regions near and far.

There’s also the ‘Wines of intrigue’ section with both red and white, or maybe a toss of the coin will help you choose between a little something from ‘Bordeax – left bank’, and ‘Bordeaux – right bank’.

Fiddlesticks is the ultimate lockdown breaker – lock it in!


A café collaboration: Purple Weka Cafe

Friends helping out friends, and businesses building each other up, is what Cantabrians do best.

Ben and Hayley at Purple Weka Café


Café and bar owner Stu McDougall was eternally grateful to have his entrepreneurial buddy, Ben Hogg, weave some infamous Purple Weka magic online during lockdown.

He kept loyal customers entertained, as nothing was coming out of the kitchen for four long weeks.

With a communications degree from Massey and a ten year stint as a marketing executive in Christchurch, the 31-year-old launched his own enterprise in January – – helping the “small guys” engage closely with customers.

Ben has always enjoyed helping others to harness creative ways to grow their business.

“It’s something I’ve been doing for years anyway, helping out friends like Stu.

We met when I moved down from Palmy. I stayed with him and he showed me the ropes of local life.

Helping with Stu’s social media, I wanted to capture the thing that makes his café such a special place for customers, so I spent a whole day at the café to get a feel for the banter I’d come to associate with knowing Stu.”

When reading Stu’s hilarious 10 commandments for level 2 on Facebook, no one would suspect that Ben was the social media guru behind the scenes.

“We also felt it was important to support Stu’s team by sharing their side-hustles too, such as Cassidy’s photography, Hayley’s nail business and Jacinta’s keto-friendly cooking.

“Businesses succeed when they collaborate and we all need to look at ways to complement, rather than compete, with each other.”


Ivory Bar

Dining with a difference: Ivory Bar

Step inside Ivory Bar and it’s like stepping back in time, back to the days when art deco was the new chic.


Ivory Bar


Just 30 minutes from Christchurch, on Ivory Street in Rangiora, the former Northern A & P Society Building, first opened in 1926 and now listed as a heritage building, has recently been lovingly restored to an opulent, even decadent, 1920s styled restaurant and bar.

The Beulink family has owned the building for 16 years. “It was more or less abandoned,” says Robert Beulink. “However, we fell in love with the building and recognised its significance and its potential.” After three years of planning and restoration, that potential is finally being realised. Ivory Bar’s sensational European tapas and shared plate cuisine are specialties for lunch and dinner, with lunch available from 11:30am. Ivory is open every day ‘til late.

The class and distinction of this establishment is obvious, from the pillared exterior to the spectacular interior, and tidy attire is both expected and appreciated. The décor of crystal, copper, wrought iron and brass, the ornate ceilings, chandeliers and traditional wallpapers all make for a sophisticated environment to enjoy champagne, fabulous cocktails, a range of craft beers and an extensive menu of delicious food.

Private function areas are available, with food and beverage packages tailored to suit. If you are based in Christchurch, Rangiora, or elsewhere, Ivory Bar is well worth the trip. See more at



The Bog

Twentieth birthday bonanza: The Bog

The Bog began its legendary history as the home of the Irish in February 1999 on Cashel Street, where the Guinness flowed and the craic was mighty.


The Bog


The Bog is known worldwide for the best pint of Guinness in town, traditional Irish music, friendly staff and hearty food.  Not long after its inception, the Guinness 100 Pint Club board was born and the 17.17 Club introduced. ‘Table 15’ was formed as a base where the locals would hang out, with many a story told and a few scoops of Guinness shared.

John Julian aka ‘JJ’ or ‘The Sheriff’ as he was known, would make sure the pints of Guinness were up to scratch and the names were placed on the board straight.  Not forgetting Peter O’Donnell who would keep staff on their toes and give a finger salute when he wanted another pint of the black stuff. On the topic of legendary locals, there’s no forgetting Chris O’Neill, who has been drinking at The Bog for just over 19 years.


The Bog


Those lucky enough to meet the OG resident know her as ‘Ma’, a fierce woman, seasoned Guinness drinker and great friend. Unfortunately, due to the devastating February 2011 earthquake, The Bog had to shut its doors, reopening in March 2014 at 50 Victoria Street.  The original Guinness boards were salvaged and still hang proudly in the corner of a small section of the bar, famously known as ‘The Old Bog’.

The Bog will be celebrating an important milestone when it turns 20 years old on Sunday 24 February this year and it’s guaranteed to be a good one lads.  With a week full of entertainment, taking us back to 1999 with original-priced pints and live music, including the original Irish Jam Session with the Jamesons and Black Velvet Band.


The Bog


During the week there will also be an Irish themed quiz night, performances from The Southern Cross Irish Dancers and bag pipers, spot prizes, Guinness and Jameson giveaways, and much more. So grab your family, friends and paddy caps and head down to The Bog Irish Bar from Tuesday 19 to Sunday 24 February for the big 20 year birthday celebrations.



Purple Weka

Classic Kiwi-style spot: Purple Weka Café and Bar

Located at 48 Fitzgerald Ave, Purple Weka Café and Bar is one of Christchurch’s best relaxed weekend dining spots, where good fun and great service goes hand in hand with great Kiwi-style breakfasts and lunches.


Purple Weka


With plenty of comfortable indoor and outdoor seating and onsite parking, the café offers a stylish ambience and friendly atmosphere, second to none. For Purple Weka, a new season means a tantalising new menu. Start your day by getting stuck into a succulent omelette, which one gentleman described as, “The best omelettes ever”.


The eggs benedict or a hearty big breakfast are all part of Purple Wekas’ popular breakfast menu. The mince on toast with a soft poached egg is always an old favourite but there’s so much on the menu worth exploring.
Along with whitebait, there’s a wide variety of new options to try. Why not give one of the famous cheese rolls a go, with mince and cheese straight from Otago? Purple Weka is also fully licensed, so wine and beer are available. It’s a great location to meet your friends on the weekend too. All sweet and savoury delicacies are made fresh each day and the kid’s menu means the wee ones’ cravings will be catered for. Speaking of catering, Purple Weka is also able to provide your next work or social function with quality eats and beverages.


For more information, visit, visit the Facebook page or phone 03-366 0258.
Open Monday to Friday 6am-4pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am-3pm.


No. 4

Iconic social space: No. 4

With Cup Week and Christmas on the social calendar horizon, what better place to celebrate than at one of Christchurch’s most iconic restaurants and bars? No. 4 will have celebrations all Cup Week and it is taking bookings for its ‘bus and breakfast’ package now.


No. 4


With Piper Heidsieck Champagne lunches every day and live music though out Cup Week, grab the team for bubbles and fun and book your table now to make this annual week extra special.  No. 4 offers exceptional indoor and outdoor dining and refreshments. With spring in the air, what could be a more perfect end to the day than al fresco drinks with friends? When the cooler weather kicks in, the inside is cosy, warmed by a roaring fire and even the courtyards are heated.

And what would a friendly neighbourhood establishment be without a delicious and varied menu that caters to all tastes, including gluten-free meals? With incredible generous and varied platters, it has gained a reputation for exceptional dining.
There is a charismatic vibe when it comes to hosting functions and offers a range of different function areas which makes it the perfect venue for a cocktail party, birthday, anniversary or corporate event. Feel free to organise an on-site meeting with a Functions Co-ordinator, so you can create a bespoke function to fit in with your requirements.


Drop into No.4 at 4 Mansfield Avenue, Merivale. Visit for the full menu and other details.


No.4 Bar and Restaurant

Winter Warmers: No.4 Bar and Restaurant

No.4 Bar and Restaurant is a premium establishment in the heart of Merivale. Housed in a converted 1920’s villa, it offers exceptional indoor and outdoor dining and refreshments.

No.4 Bar and Restaurant

On these cooler evenings, the inside is cosy, warmed by a roaring fire, and the courtyards are heated. When the beautiful summer weather kicks in, what could be a more perfect end to the day than al fresco drinks with friends?.
And what would a friendly neighbourhood establishment be without a delicious and varied menu that caters to all tastes, including gluten-free meals? If there is a function on the horizon, it’s the perfect venue for a cocktail party, birthday, anniversary or corporate event with space and catering for all tastes.

Open seven days from breakfast ‘til late, the No.4 menu includes favourites such as chicken wings, turkey schnitzel, salads, shared platters and, of course, a range of prime Canterbury beef.
It’s comfort food time and beef cheeks in No.4’s wonderful madeira sauce or perhaps the pork belly, Malaysian kumara and apple curry or a Denver venison leg with a celeriac and juniper rosti, black pudding crumb, carrots and beetroot are great options to warm you up and give you something to enjoy amongst friends.

Renowned for its generous and varied platters, No.4 has gained a reputation for exceptional dining. Look out for daily specials, such as $12 Tacos on Tuesday, $10 cocktails on Thursday, the Boss’s shout on Friday and much more.
Drop into No.4 at 4 Mansfield Avenue, Merivale.
Visit for the full menu and other details.