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Melt-in-your-mouth treats: Mrs Dentons

Any stress will certainly melt away with a taste of the pies at Mrs Denton’s takeaway cafe and deli on Kendal Avenue.


Any stress will certainly melt away with a taste of the pies at Mrs Denton’s takeaway cafe and deli on Kendal Avenue. Owner and consummate pie maker Delwyn Lanauze relishes baking her small-batch handmade pies with their luxurious fillings and clever flavour combinations.

“Making pies is therapeutic, creative and stimulating,” says Delwyn. She specialises in seafood pies and always has four varieties on the menu – Chatham Island blue cod with leek and parsley, scallop, cream paua and seafood chowder – all original and innovative recipes. She does produce the usual combinations as well, such as steak and kidney or steak and mushroom, but the Delwyn originals are the big hit.

Pies are not the only delectable offerings at the cafe. The cabinet is full of baking and sweet treats, from apple strudel and bounty balls to raspberry almond tarts and peanut truffles. “My take-home heat and eat meals are also very popular – so easy and convenient. I can hardly keep up with the demand for blue cod fish pie, lasagne, cauliflower mac and cheese or the ratatouille pie.”

Mrs Denton’s is open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 2.30pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm. Visit the Facebook page



Rendezvous on 72: Route 72


Take a drive along Highway 72 to Cust and it will lead you to the unique Route 72 Café Bar Emporium.

Owners Steve and Annette Thomson have created an outlet for inspiring tastes and treasures both, with the café servicing one set of needs and the emporium and its fabulous selection of crafts and gifts another.

“Breakfast starts at 9am, and the lunch menu at 11.30am, in addition to a selection of lighter bites, burgers and fries also available, and an assortment of beverages to accompany them,” says Annette. “The views from the upstairs dining room are spectacular, out over the Cust River and valley, the foothills and the snow-capped mountains.”

Visitors can wander through the adjacent emporium and see its exciting range of beautiful skin care, leadlight lamps, jewellery, clothing, artwork and homewares. A must-see is the range of New Zealand-made Lothlorian possum, merino and alpaca garments. Made from the finest and most sustainable yarns, the Lothlorian range includes luxurious, warm, knitwear and accessories for both men and women.

Lothlorian groove jumper


“We are the perfect North Canterbury destination for an inspiring rendezvous; just 30 minutes from Belfast via Tram Road,” adds Annette.
To plan your next rendezvous, phone 03 312 5595 or visit



Healthy, homely and delectable: The Craft Room Cafe

In Heathcote Valley’s secluded microclimate, healthy home baking lures the senses to Craft Room Café. The cosy yet spacious spot is relaxing inside or out, in the morning or afternoon sun. With parking aplenty, the weekends are buzzing.



“It’s teamwork that creates this happy hive,” says hands-on owner and busy bee Hannah Woodward. “On quieter weekdays you’ll likely have a large table to yourself to sprawl out on.”

Hannah is mindful about less sugar and nutritious fillings such as her quinoa or buckwheat bircher-style granola with apple, coconut yoghurt, coconut sugar and flakes, almond milk, maple syrup and poppy seeds, adorned with fruit.

A favourite is the buckwheat pancakes, and now omelettes with pick-your-own fillings.

Vegetarian soups also warm up the latest menu.

“We like to look after everyone, always offering gluten free, vegan and dairy-free choices and often swap out ingredients to suit.”

Local suppliers are supported, such as Vic’s bread for the generously packed salmon bagels, and local crafts are for sale.

“Local Prima roasted coffee is consistently amazing. Bold but smooth.” she says. Perfect with a scrummy Afghan biscuit.

Hannah’s up-cycled the café’s furniture, and the indoor plants are her passion. To appreciate the labour of love poured into this gem of a community café, visit 66 Port Hills Road, open seven days and follow the team on Facebook or Instagram.

Hilltop hotspot: Sign of the Takahe

Comfy café by day and family-friendly restaurant experience in the evening, Sign of the Takahe is a destination neighbourhood local on the Port Hills. Soak in panoramic views across the city to the Southern Alps from the tranquil garden, or cosy up inside the beautifully renovated heritage building.



Sign of the Takahe is everything you hope for when visiting a neighbourhood restaurant; a friendly welcoming atmosphere which delivers on exceptional taste and service. No matter if you visit the Hackthorne Road destination for brunch, dinner, a coffee or drink – you’ll keep wanting to go back.

Owners Andrew and Kay Male started and invested in the business in 2019, and have changed it from a fine-dining restaurant to open it up to all with an upstairs bar, comfy seating and a more chilled out and relaxed vibe.

“It’s a place where you feel naturally at ease; be it for a casual coffee, a business brunch or a celebration of epic proportions,” says Andrew.

“We have a welcome to all approach with a family friendly dining experience using local ingredients.

“It’s a seasonal mix of Kiwi and European style cuisine, with some international flavours thrown in and all beautifully presented on the plate.”

Caitlin, High Tea and baking expert

Earlier in the day, you’ll find crowd favourites like eggs benedict on potato hash with mushroom, bacon or salmon, as well as Belgian waffles and smashed edamame.

In the evening, embrace the Kiwi- European fare with fresh seafood, generous steaks, New Zealand lamb, as well as favourites like gourmet burgers and delightful pizzas.

A fine selection of local beers and wine are served, too.

Andrew says his dedicated head chef, Ryan, has created exceptional menus.

“Ryan has been with us from the very very beginning and has put his heart and soul into making our dinner, wedding and function menus a tribute to the timeless New Zealand and European classics that people have come to know, love and adore.”

As well as the menu items, 99 percent of the cabinet offering is baked in-house.

Dedicated Head Chef Ryan

The heritage building’s founder, well known naturalist Harry Ell, had a philisophy for the Takahe to be open to all.

And Andrew and Kay have taken on this approach by providing a unique welcoming vibe. With scenic views over the city, it’s no wonder this is a popular spot for families and takes on a beer garden feel, especially at the weekends.

Andrew says time stands still at the Takahe, and he’s not wrong; as soon as you walk in you melt into the relaxed, cosy vibe – and it’s easy to see how you could while away the hours over a coffee, drink or meal.

To make a booking or enquiry, phone (03) 925 8766, visit Sign of the Takahe on Facebook or online at:


Made from scratch: Bunco’s

It’s a place where nicknames are celebrated. Derek Morris, known as Bunco by his mates, thought that name was the perfect one for his new cafe in Amberley.



Not only that, but some of the mates get their own nickname recognition in the various brioche bun burgers that are the signature dish of the cafe – the Just Jon Burger, the Stiffy Burger and the Dirty Burger.

Derek, a chef for many years in New Zealand, Australia and Canada, had a vision when he set up Bunco’s cafe last year – for tasty, home-style meals with everything made from scratch, just as mum does.

And everything means everything – bread, brioche, sauces, pies, slices, custard squares, biscuits and cakes – even ice cream.

“A true chef shouldn’t be opening bags,” says Derek. “I have a real passion for food and hospitality. Part of that is interacting with my customers and getting to know them, as well as giving them delicious things to eat.”

Derek caters for all tastes from the big appetite to the more health conscious, with a large gluten-free range too. You could have Bunco’s Big Breakfast with all the trimmings or the Vegan Smash for breakfast. For lunch; steak, egg and chips or a falafel bowl.

You can’t miss Bunco’s on State Highway 1 in the middle of Amberley. The cafe is open seven days for breakfast and lunch up until 4pm. Search Bunco’s on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest specials and news.


Fluffies for fluffies: Fluffies for fluffies

The aptly named Central Bark Café is a haven for customers who wish to relax, indulge and meet likeminded pet owners. Locally owned and operated by Cantabrian Linda Ashworth, her goal is to create a destination café like no other in Christchurch.


Here you’ll not only find a tempting cabinet bursting with fluffy cheese scones and mouth-watering cheesecakes, but a menu awash with vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian options.

The café’s skilled baristas offer a wide selection of coffee (Halo Coffee), teas, smoothies, cold drinks, New Zealand wine and craft beer.

And that’s just for humans – the real point of difference here is the doggy menu; pupcakes, freshly made dog biscuits, puppaccinos and made-to-order doggy birthday cakes! Paw-fect!

Linda says Central Bark takes the role in helping to save the planet seriously, so you can dine at the café with a clear conscience.

“We designed our café furniture couches from old 44-gallon drums which we had environmentally cleaned of their oil and then we recycled the drums into amazing comfy couches, we have minimised our plastic usage wherever possible using such items as eco-friendly coffee cups and vegan straws made from rice,” she says.

Being part of Pet Central, this 11 Langdons Road locale also offers retail, grooming, daycare, training classes and even a luxury cat boarding hotel. Venture over for a dose of culinary cuteness!


Weekly Central Bark Café regular Canterbury



Location, location, location: Salt n Pepper Cafe

Salt n Pepper owner, Dharambir Judge, argues that his café has the best view in Hanmer. Situated at the Boulder Point Precinct you can take in the scenic Conical Hill whilst taking in your sensationally smooth Atomic coffee.



It’s dog-friendly, which makes stopping in on your walk that bit more inviting. Dharambir says they have great food at a reasonable cost.

Freshly baked muffins each morning, cabinet choices and an à la carte menu are all on offer.

If you’re making your way over in the afternoon, treat yourself to an array of the best wines from North Canterbury and beyond.

More of a beer person? Tap and craft beers are also available such as locally loved Three Boys Pilsner.

And if the view is something you want to share with your family or friends on a larger scale, private functions are available for booking.

The café will work together with you to create an amazing set menu.

So, is Dharambir right? You’ll just have to find out. Visit the café for breakfast, lunch or dinner at Boulder Point.


Time for an upgrade! Red Post Cafe

In a year where best laid plans were thrown out the window and there was no choice but to embrace uncertainty, Red Post Café co-owners Trent and Carolyn took a bold step.



The pair have run the Culverden café since July 2008, and while most of us were negotiating what sweats to wear in lockdown, they were in negotiations to purchase the building the café is in – and were successful.

So, what does that mean for the café’s future?

“Owning the building has now freed us up to undertake some long overdue TLC,” says Trent.

“Customers should look out for internal upgrades in the form of carpet, curtains, and a paint job. Externally, there are changes to the garden and later in the year – new paint.”

But luckily for Red Post regulars, business will not be interrupted during the upgrade.

Neither will their commitment to maintaining high standards of service and food offerings to customers.

Keep an eye out for seasonal changes to the café’s menu like warming soups for autumn and winter, and weekly menu specials, too.

Check out Red Post Café on Facebook or add the café to your next day out. Open from 8am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 8am to 5pm Friday to Sunday.


Destination Pegasus: Flat White Cafe

Exploring what’s on our doorstep is something Cantabrians have been doing more of this summer and there are still enough sun-filled days left to make the most of it. Scenery is one thing, but let’s be honest, you’re really after something delectable to eat. So, set your sat-nav to Pegasus Town and follow your nose to a delicious brunch or lunch all prepared onsite at Flat White Café and Bar.



It’s just 20 minutes north of Christchurch, and a stone’s throw away from the lovely Lake Pegasus. Peru-meets-Woodend in your coffee cup at Flat White Café and Bar.

Where their own blend of ethically-sourced Peruvian beans is locally roasted just up the road by Three Llamas.

Any day of the week, beautiful, local and seasonal North Canterbury food and drink fill the cabinet selection and brunch menu, with locally-made gelato the perfect aperitif.

A carefully curated selection of North Canterbury wines also awaits; and the bi-monthly wine club is an opportunity to learn more about – and sample – the region’s famous drops.

Flat White Café and Bar also executes delectable catering or hosting of special events. And on Saturday April 10 will hold an Italian long lunch crafted from local ingredients.

Contact Clare and the team on the details below to book your spot.

Pop into Flat White Café and Bar Monday to Saturday from 8.30am to 4pm and Sundays 9am to 4pm, or phone ahead for bookings and enquiries on
(03) 920 4036.



Peck of the bunch: Purple Weka Cafe

Wekas are known as cheeky food-stealing birds, but at Purple Weka Café & Bar, the food is the one stealing the show. Teamed with a welcoming atmosphere and impeccable service, this is one local hospitality hotspot worth adding to your 2021 to-do list.



Owner Stewart McDougall says the fare is made on-site with fresh ingredients (including house-made jams and relish) and serves up time-honoured favourites.

“Our food is quite traditional and all cooked on the premises apart from some pies,” he says. “Our most popular dish is the savoury mince served with a soft poached egg, or the creamy mushrooms served with bacon on grilled ciabatta.”

Much like the playful bird, the atmosphere at the Purple Weka is fun and friendly.

“Our café is a fun place to visit, often with peals of laughter coming from the diners interacting with the team,” says Stewart.

Add some Purple Weka magic to your next meal out, or enquire about catering for your next event.

You’ll find them at 48 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch.

Phone orders are welcome on (03) 366 0258 or browse the menu online.