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In your beach bag

A day (or longer) at the beach, lake, bush and pool is a Kiwi summer ritual. As such, our beauty rituals must change to incorporate products and practices which protect and nourish our summer skin. Here’s Metropol’s round up of products to include in your beach bag this sunshine season.




Obviously. But investing in the growing breed of modern facial sunscreens can have added skincare benefits. Australian brand Ultra Violette is getting some serious attention for its hardworking SPFs which not only protect from UVA and UVB, but also hydrate and can even act as the perfect primer under your makeup.

Cool down with a cool facial mist. Preferably, one which packs a punchy list of ingredients to not only refresh, but hydrate and even give a little glow. Cult brands like Tatcha, Olay, Glossier and Kiehl’s all have options which come highly recommended. One spritz and you’re transported straight to the spa.

Nourish and protect those kissers with a reliable lip balm to stave off chapping and keep things plump and luscious. Options abound from every brand under the sun (ha), but you needn’t necessarily splash on this summer staple. You’ll get change from a tenner with Lucas Papaw Ointment and Burt’s Bees Lip Balm.


Slip, slop, slap and reap the rewards

Modern day facial sunscreens are not only for avoiding sunburn and long term skin damage. They brighten and enhance complexion, nourish and protect against aging and melanoma, and give a gorgeous silky coverage – a priceless beauty package.



Facial sunscreens are not created equally to the potent-smelling, greasy sunscreen you may be used to lathering on at the beach.

These are non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) and are designed specifically for face, neck and décolletage – which are all vulnerable to UV damage, even in winter.

Many modern formulas do more than just protect from those harmful rays. Some have brightness boosters, for the latest glow-on look, and some are even packed with antioxidants like plant extracts and vitamins to simultaneously nourish the skin.

Ranges without harsh chemical formulations are blossoming on the beauty shelves, too, using zinc or titanium oxide mineral bases.

Sinking in softly without residue, today’s skin protectors have a luscious scent – especially if you adore tropical or floral fragrances, or even fragrance-free.

We are over strong chemical whiffs of sunscreen of old.


Summer safety for pets

The team at Ourvets love the holiday season as much as everybody else, but between the fun and frolics, family pets sometimes get overlooked, so here’s some tips to keep them happy and healthy over the holidays



While we are filling up on holiday goodies, we all want to give our furry friends a treat too, but keep an eye on what and how much you are giving.

Roast meats (e.g. ham and turkey) are often very fatty and can cause acute illnesses for our pets.

Avoid fatty parts or skin and only give very small amounts of meat. Cooked bones are a big no-no for pets.

They might love these, but the bones can cause major blockages in pets’ guts.

The sharp edges of chewed bones can even pierce through the gut and be life-threatening.

Check in with the whole family and ensure they are aware of what they should and shouldn’t feed the family pet.

Both cats and dogs can quite easily suffer from heatstroke due to their limited ability to cool themselves down (they can’t sweat like us!).

Make sure to always have plenty of water available for your pets (some pets love ice cubes!); avoid taking dogs for walks or runs in the heat of the day (they can burn their feet on the pavement too!).

Never leave pets in cars, even for a short time, or if the car is in the shade – cars can be deadly for pets in summer.

Many people are aware of how toxic chocolate is to dogs, but many are not aware of how deadly lilies can be for cats.

If your cat gets any lily pollen on their coat, be sure to wash it off immediately with lots of water.

Be aware of chocolate around the home – on low tables, under the tree or in children’s stockings (that your dog might cheekily sneak into!).

Many of the above things can be avoided, and Ourvets wants you and your precious pets to have a safe and healthy holiday season.

If you are worried about your pet at all, don’t hesitate to give the team a call.

For more on Ourvets, as well as other great tips for your pet, check out the Ourvets website.


Summer Hotspots

It’s official; summer has hit! We’ve checked out the coolest little spots to make the most of the summer sun.

1. Ben & Jerry’s
The brand spanking new scoop shop at Riverside Market offers plenty of euphoric flavours, from sunrise to sunset, that date back to their original 1978 classics.

There are even decadent dairy-free options!

But part of why this is the coolest place to hang out when exploring the CBD is the window seat that looks out across the river – it’s the ultimate for people watching.

2. Abberley Park
In the heart of St Albans, this park is so much more than a cool picnic spot; there’s a super fun pool for the kids, a children’s playground, mature trees (some dating back to the 1860s)… and even a scented garden!

The paddling pool is open from mid-November to 31 March every year.

3. Woodham Park
It’s the coolest picnic spot you’ve never heard of!

Tucked away rather inconspicuously along Woodham Road in Linwood, the park comprises of three major lawns, bordered by shrubs, a variety of specimen trees in the English park style, with a kids’ playground, paddling pool and aviaries of exotic birds!

4. Quail Island
Dust off the kayak and hit the road… destination: Lyttelton!

A day exploring Quail Island is a day well spent. It may be a former leprosy colony, but don’t let that sway you, there’s plenty of history and wildlife to discover.

The small beaches are great for picnics and swimming, and you can also make your way there with the Black Cat Cruises Quail Island Ferry or Lyttelton Kayaks.

5. Beach Bar
There’s nothing quite like dining al fresco in the summer and when it comes to deciding where to go, the sights of Sumner Beach make Beach Bar one of the hottest places to head for lunch – both figuratively and literally.

6. Unknown Chapter
You need a good breakfast to fire up the energy levels in summer, and the smell of freshly roasted coffee is enough to draw anyone into Unknown Chapter.

You know it’s good when it’s this busy!

The eggs benedict with hot smoked Akaroa Salmon is one of the hottest options on the comprehensive breakfast menu.

7. Washpen Falls

Just a one-hour drive from the city, nestled in the midst of a working sheep, cattle and deer farm, Washpen Falls offers breath-taking views of the Canterbury Plains.

There’s a small fee which includes a track guide and use of walking sticks, but mid-way through the loop track, you will stumble across the spectacular falls.

Don’t forget the camera!


Salt on the Pier

A seaside setting: Salt on the Pier is the seaside location you need for your perfect beach wedding

With the seaside backdrop affording incredible views across Pegasus Bay and the New Brighton Pier itself providing access for stunning photograph opportunities, Salt on the Pier at New Brighton is a great location for your wedding or special event.

Salt on the Pier
According to Sam from Salt on the Pier, there are some great packages to choose from for any budget from Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Premium menus, all providing a wonderful night of delicious food and a great choice of beverages for even the most discerning palate.
The company’s highly experienced front of house staff and great chefs, who are extremely talented and knowledgeable, are there to facilitate your event and make it easy, so you can have a relaxing experience on the day. With online booking available at, it’s easy to get it sorted.
Just download the function information package to find out everything you need to know or call Sam on 03-388 4483.

Beach Cafe

Service with a smile: heading out to the Beach Cafe

Beach Café, by Waimairi Beach, lets you kill a few birds with one stone, so to speak. “Take the dog for a walk, a romantic stroll with your partner and then a couple of wines – perfect,” says Manager, Frank Tamati.

Beach Cafe

Frank and his brother, Mike, recently reopened the Beach Café. They grew up in the eastern suburbs, attending Wainoni Primary and Shirley Boys’. The beachside community is in their veins. After successful careers up north and abroad, they have come home to give back to the community they love.
Dog friendly, with water bowls and treats for pooches, and very family friendly with an enclosed, covered playground and a menu for the littlies, Beach Café brings great food and drinks to the seaside environment Kiwis know so well.
It’s a bright, airy space with a décor and feel that reflects the beach, which is a two-minute walk away. It’s the perfect place for breakfast before, or after, a stroll or a swim.
“The waffles for kids have gone nuts,” Mike says. “Very popular.” The brunch menu has something to please everyone. The tapas, small plates, and platters are fantastic for sharing, and a good match with a Squealing Pig wine selection. Walking groups, mums and dads groups, business meetings, and group functions – birthdays and even weddings – are all catered for.
With a bar serving beers, wines, and bubbles, and flexible hours – 9 ‘til 4 every day, and late Fridays – “it’s a great place to have a great feed and a sneaky wine, and just relax,” Frank says. Coffees to go, cabinet food, varied menu, or just an ice cream on a lazy Sunday afternoon, Beach Café definitely has service with a smile.
Beach Café, 16 Beach Road, North New Brighton, phone 03-382 8599.