Best of Auck­land 2018

Want to dis­cover the city’s choic­est (and lat­est) de­lights? Let this be your pass­port to plea­sure.

Metro Magazine NZ - - City Guide - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY — RE­BEKAH ROBIN­SON

SHOP­PING & SER­VICES The best… Ba­sics that don’t make you feel ba­sic

H&M

While we cer­tainly don’t dis­cour­age fork­ing out a few hundy on a beau­ti­fully made New Zealand de­signer piece, when it’s ba­sics you’re af­ter, thank god for H&M. The Swedish fast-fash­ion gi­ant opened its first New Zealand store at Sylvia Park in 2016, and then in Au­gust, H&M Com­mer­cial Bay ar­rived — per­fect for the mall-averse and for lunchtime re­tail ther­apy. The mul­ti­level store is well laid out, mean­ing you don’t have to trawl through too many body-con mini dresses to get to that $15 white tee you’re af­ter. It also has a home­wares sec­tion filled with cov­etable, af­ford­able goods. If you can get out the door with­out an $8 fish-shaped bot­tle opener or one of the stylish sub-$30 glass carafes, you’re stronger than we are. H&M Com­mer­cial Bay, 21 Queen St, cen­tral city. hm.com

Book­shop for the #metoo era

The Women’s Book­shop

Rid­ing the waves of fem­i­nism for nearly three decades, the Women’s Book­shop is as rel­e­vant right now as it was when it opened on Do­min­ion Rd back in 1989. As much a com­mu­nity as a shop, cus­tomers helped with a move to Pon­sonby 10 years later, where the book­shop — and found­ing owner Ca­role Beu — re­mains. The orig­i­nal fo­cus on books by, for and about women has broad­ened over the years to wel­come men, both on the shelves and in the store, but the em­pha­sis on sub­jects of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to women con­tin­ues. Our pick of the new re­leases? So­raya Che­maly’s Rage Be­comes Her — a pitch-per­fect ex­am­i­na­tion of the tem­per of the times. 105 Pon­sonby Rd, Pon­sonby. wom­ens­book­shop.co.nz

Break­out la­bel for sum­mer

Hej-Hej

Af­ter the well-re­ceived de­but of their first col­lec­tion at Fash­ion Week in Au­gust, fol­lowed by a brief con­ces­sion to bricks and mor­tar with a pop-up on Pon­sonby Rd, Alice Isles and Kiki Judd of new wom­enswear la­bel Hej-Hej — say “hey hey” — got down to (on­line-only) busi­ness. With Isles based in Auck­land and Judd deal­ing with their sup­pli­ers on the ground in Shang­hai, Hej-Hej’s af­ford­able li­nen pieces are sell­ing well via In­sta and their web­site. We like the (slightly wrin­kled) style of this thor­oughly modern break­out brand. hej-hej.co

Bulk bins, be­cause they’re cool now

GoodFor

This “whole­foods re­fillery” makes be­ing a bet­ter per­son easy. It’s bulk-bin buy­ing, yes, but that just doesn’t con­vey the zen-like al­lure of GoodFor’s four out­lets. The sparkling-clean, white-on-white sur­rounds and smil­ing staff make you feel like you’ve en­tered some sort of health re­treat, even if you’re just pop­ping in to fill a Tup­per­ware con­tainer with muesli. There’s no plas­tic pack­ag­ing here — you can BYO, buy one of their glass jars or, if you must, take a pa­per bag. Along­side the im­pres­sive ar­ray of bins full of var­i­ous flours, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds and the like, you’ll find liq­uids on tap — the Eco­s­tore range of clean­ing prod­ucts, plus a va­ri­ety of high-qual­ity oils, syrups and vine­gars. The cosy Mt Eden Vil­lage store is the lat­est to join the fam­ily, and ru­mour has it na­tion­wide ex­pan­sion is on the hori­zon. 2 Wil­liamson Ave, Grey Lynn; 79 St Ge­orges Bay Rd, Par­nell; 360 Lake Rd, Taka­puna; 445 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden. goodfor.co.nz

Cu­rated vin­tage wares

Ba­be­l­ogue

Also the name of a rau­cous prose-poem by Patti Smith, Ba­be­l­ogue is a po­etic se­lec­tion of tex­tiles, decor and fur­ni­ture, mainly from the mid­dle of last cen­tury to the 1980s. Owner Char­lotte Rust, pre­vi­ously of vin­tage cloth­ing store Fast and

Loose, had traded in re­tail for the art and cos­tume de­part­ments of TV and film, but was se­duced into it once more af­ter vis­it­ing Morocco and Paris, two places that are honey to the col­lec­tor’s bee. Rust has an eye for spe­cial pieces by lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional ar­ti­sans, es­pe­cially scar­let Turk­ish kilim rugs, glass, chrome, on-fleek cane fur­ni­ture and lots of re­ally pretty lamps. 4 Beres­ford Sq, K’ Rd Precinct. ba­be­l­ogue.shop

De­tail-ob­sessed men’s tailor

Do­ran & Do­ran

If you’d in­dulge him, Paul Do­ran could talk but­ton­holes for as long as you’d let him. And you’d lis­ten. But while he’s ob­sessed with de­tail (you want that in your tai­lor­ing), he takes a re­laxed ap­proach at his Par­nell stu­dio, with in­te­ri­ors by his wife, de­signer Amelia Holmes. Af­ter a decade on Sav­ile Row and a stint zigzag­ging the globe with Ver­sace, Do­ran works with ex­perts in Italy and a team of ta­lented lo­cals to craft con­tem­po­rary made-to-mea­sure and be­spoke suits — the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two is a mat­ter of about 150 mea­sure­ments and a fair bit of coin — with beau­ti­ful fab­rics from the likes of Gucci, Jil San­der and Es­co­rial, the Can­ter­bury brand that pro­duces lux­u­ri­ous, ul­tra­fine wool from very rare Saxon sheep. He also stocks ca­su­al­wear and New Zealand brand Stan­dard Is­sue for the per­fect knit (he’s had one of their fine black knits for more than a decade and says it still falls like silk). There’s park- ing, a free Uber ser­vice for clients and a Tues­day-night run­ning club. 7/15 Fara­day St, Par­nell. do­ran-and-do­ran.com

Eclec­tic city mar­ket

The Cross St Mar­ket

St Kevins Ar­cade alumni Ali­son Reid and Tony Down­ing have long been up­town Auck­land’s hard­est-work­ing re­tail­ers, bring­ing care­fully se­lected vin­tage threads, fur­ni­ture and cu­riosi­ties to the peo­ple since ages ago. Their ex­cel­lent, four-days-a-month mar­ket, in what used to be Lim Ch­hour’s stor­age shed be­hind Karanga­hape Rd, is crammed with sar­to­rial and house­hold trea­sures made by a re­volv­ing crew of ta­lented stall hold­ers. Come for the cheese’n’pickle toasties, stay

for the chill tunes, linger out the back at The Coven if you re­quire su­per­nat­u­ral as­sis­tance. 4 Cross St, K’ Rd Precinct.

Emerg­ing precinct

Fara­day St

Orig­i­nal con­crete floors, in­tri­cate tim­ber ceil­ing trusses, tow­er­ing stud heights — it’s just as well it was ar­chi­tects Fearon Hay, rather than a de­vel­oper, who got their hands on this group of 1940s brick ware­houses in Par­nell. Fara­day St, just off St Ge­orges Bay Rd, in this for­mer area of big in­dus­try, is now a lit­tle neigh­bour­hood that hums with per­son­al­ity and style across 60 me­tres of north-fac­ing street frontage and 1500 sqm of floor space. With their own stu­dio in the loft, Fearon Hay have sur­rounded them­selves with ev­ery­thing you could want from a neigh­bour­hood — great cof­fee (Red Rab­bit), a bak­ery (Daily Bread as a pop-up with Casa Do­ran home­wares), a cool Korean-in­flu­enced cafe (Si­mon & Lee), Barulho (a Latin-Euro bar-eatery from the for­mer own­ers of Maldito Mén­dez), a florist (Grace and Flora), Viet­namese street food (Hello Mis­ter), and a tailor (Do­ran & Do­ran). And across the road at the old Tex­tile Cen­tre, Philimore Prop­er­ties (who are be­hind Im­pe­rial Lane) plan a laneway as part of a re­de­vel­op­ment of the his­toric site. Par­nell is be­com­ing in­ter­est­ing again, at last. A spe­cial men­tion, too, of fairy-light fes­tooned Brit­o­mart, not only all grown up, but com­fort­able in its own skin. 1-15 Fara­day St, Par­nell.

Flow­ers… and skulls

Green­point

The rick­ety roller door and graf­fiti of her Grey Lynn floristry shop, which opened in March, gifted Ge­orgie Ma­lyon with the name “Green­point”. She reck­ons her lit­tle bar­rio on Great North Rd res­onates with the gritty feel of its Brook­lyn, New York, name­sake. And with blokes drift­ing through the shop and out the back to his bar­ber­shop, her part­ner, Tim Castelow, gave the name the tick be­cause “it’s not too girly”. The shop is as lush and lay­ered as Ma­lyon’s max­i­mal­ist flo­ral art and lim­ited-edi­tion pho­to­graphic prints, which in­ter­weave botan­i­cal ar­range­ments with the cy­cle of life and death (there’s smoke and skulls), and ref­er­ence the 17th-cen­tury Dutch still-life prac­tice. “It’s not just about run­ning in and grab­bing a bunch of flow­ers,” says Ma­lyon, who de­scribes her­self as an old-school florist. She’s there for a chat and the vel­vet sofa is there for cus- tomers to take a comfy pew and breathe in the flo­ral fra­grances. 566 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn, Auck­land. green­point.co.nz

For a whole lot of min­i­mal­ism

Ev­ery­day Needs

We don’t know how “ev­ery­day” our “need” is for a $195 pair of white leather wooden-soled clogs from Fin­land, or for a $130 beech­wood door­mat from Swe­den, but we re­ally do want them a lot. This serene, eggshell-blue space of­fers house­hold prod­ucts cho­sen by stylist and de­signer Katie Lock­hart. It might be that you “need” a small brass bell from Ja­pan, or a Bel­gian li­nen tea towel, or a stool by Martino Gam­per. Rep’ing Aotearoa are el­e­gant pink cups by Mon­mouth Glass Stu­dio, Kirsty Cameron’s di­vine “God­mother” blan­kets and artist Kate Newby’s book In­cred­i­ble Feel­ing. 270 Pon­sonby Rd, Pon­sonby. ev­ery­day-needs.com

Home­wares shop­ping strip

Jer­vois Rd

Be­tween the ev­ery­day shops that ser­vice Herne Bay on the Jer­vois Rd strip which runs be­tween Al­bany St and the Wal­lace St lights is a taste­ful trin­ity of de­sir­able de­sign pur­vey­ors. In the mid­dle, a “bashed” brass ves­sel by Tom Dixon

might glow in the win­dow at Si­mon James Con­cept Store, ping­ing gold onto the pave­ment out­side. Next door, to the right, Fa­ther Rab­bit might have some­thing colour­ful, but never gar­ish, on the win­dow ledge for kids, and at eye level, a few pieces in oat­meal li­nen for the grown-ups. To the left and pre­sid­ing over the cor­ner of Al­bany and Jer­vois is Tes­suti, the neigh­bour­hood’s high priest­esses of luxe gifts and goods for 28 years. All stores in this lit­tle en­clave stock lo­cal de­sign­ers as well as big-name in­ter­na­tional brands. Si­mon James Con­cept Store, Fa­ther Rab­bit, Tes­suti, 230, 232 & 224 Jer­vois Rd, Herne Bay.

Mini-me book­store

Lit­tle Unity

The new kid on High St, chil­dren’s book­shop Lit­tle Unity, ar­rived on the cor­ner of Vul­can Lane in Septem­ber. Fairy tales, clas­sics, large-for­mat books, new re­leases from over­seas and YA lit­er­a­ture are stocked in a space about a quar­ter the size of the par­ent store next door. De­signed by So­phie Ed­wards and Tom Dobin­son, its for­est-green walls and An­gle­poise lamps add to the cosy at­mos of this new ad­di­tion to proudly in­de­pen­dent Unity. Wel­come to the world, Lit­tle Unity. We could eat you up we love you so! 31 Vul­can Lane, cen­tral city. uni­ty­books.nz

One-stop shop­ping with­out the mall vibes

Bloc

You could do a lot worse of a week­end than head­ing here to tick off a de­cent chunk of your Christ­mas shop­ping list in one fell swoop, then re­ward­ing your­self with a cof­fee from the pleas­ant cafe on level one. The al­ways cov­etable Città and Fa­ther Rab­bit oc­cupy the ground floor, with Tim Web­ber De­sign and Alex & Cor­ban Home up the stairs on level two, and Dan­ish fur­ni­ture re­tailer BoCon­cept cov­er­ing the top floor. Keep an eye out for the semi-reg­u­lar Bloc night mar­kets — spe­cial deals from the re­tail­ers, pop-up stalls by guest de­sign­ers and free-flow­ing wine and beer. 20 Nor­manby Rd, Mt Eden. bloc.co.nz

Out­ing with your soon-to-be mother-in-law

Maman

On an oth­er­wise unas­sum­ing cor­ner off Re­muera Rd, Maman reads like a love let­ter to Euro chic. There are mar­ble bench­tops, par­quet-style chang­ing-room doors and ceil­ing-hung dis­play racks with clothes by around 30 emerg­ing and es­tab­lished la­bels from Paris, Stock­holm, Copen­hagen, New York and Los An­ge­les. Opened by sis­ters Emma Main and Kate Boy­den in 2015, Maman puts in­di­vid­ual style into a sub­urb that’s grad­u­ally re­leas­ing the twin-set into the wild. 2a Clon­bern Rd, Re­muera. maman.co.nz

Spot for re­tail ther­apy that’s not Pon­sonby Rd

Mack­elvie St

While Pon­sonby Rd is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly high-street, Mack­elvie St has be­come an en­clave for es­tab­lished New Zealand de­sign. There’s Lonely, Gre­gory, Ric­o­chet and Deadly Ponies and in the con­verted ware­house spa­ces oc­cu­pied by Work­shop and The Shel­ter are a clutch of lo­cal la­bels (He­len Cherry at Work­shop and Jimmy D, Wynn Ham­lyn, Lela Jacobs and Tay­lor at The Shel­ter), plus a host of high-end in­ter­na­tional brands. Yu Mei, the leather-goods la­bel from Welling­ton, is about to open up, there’s The Poi Room for lo­cal art and ob­jects, a florist (Brook­lyn Flow­ers), kids’ ap­parel (Grey and Wild), Il Forno Ital­ian bak­ery and bars Cuba Li­bre and The Cork Gin & Whiskey. Take us there. Mack­elvie St, Pon­sonby.

Slinky silk dresses

Miss Crabb

De­signer Kris­tine Crabb spe­cialises in floaty, colour­ful num­bers that ap­pear sim­ple but are clev­erly cut to drape like a dream, flat­ter­ing ev­ery size and shape, and mak­ing you feel damn spe­cial. Crabb, who marks 14 years in busi­ness this year, weaves her magic from a work­room above the Pon­sonby Rd flag­ship store, with its brick walls, high ceil­ings and racks of silky beau­ties you strug­gle to re­sist run­ning your hand along. Ev­ery­thing is, er, fab­riqué en Nou­velleZé­lande (ac­tu­ally though). And it’s not just dresses, of course — the rompers and robes are par­tic­u­larly dreamy — and a glass cabi­net is filled with sparkly things by New Zealand jew­ellers Alexan­dra Dodds and Na­talia Peri as cov­etable as the clothes. 41 Pon­sonby Rd, Pon­sonby. miss­crabb.com

Place to rein­vent your­self af­ter a breakup

Muse Bou­tique

Olivia Vin­cent’s New­mar­ket fash­ion store has a fancy new sis­ter on the cor­ner of Pon­sonby Rd and Tole St, with chic in­te­rior de­sign by Ru­fus Knight. In this era of dizzy­ing on­line op­tions, Muse does the hard work for its clients by hand­pick­ing pieces from in­ter­na­tional su­per­stars Di­ane von Fursten­berg, Tibi and Self Por­trait, up-and-com­ers Ce­cilie Copen­hagen and Dodo Bar Or and Kiwi de­sign­ers Ge­or­gia Alice and Mag­gie Mar­i­lyn. Vin­cent, formerly a brand man­ager for Vivi­enne West­wood, trav­els three times a year, to the Lon­don, Paris and New York fash­ion weeks, for in­spi­ra­tion. Some­one’s gotta do it, right? 264 Pon­sonby Rd, Pon­sonby (also at 11B Teed St, New­mar­ket). muse­bou­tique.co.nz

Spe­cial-event glam for the risk-averse

Mecca Auck­land

Need to look fancy for that party/awards do/wed­ding/hot date, but you’ve been burnt in the past by over-priced, overzeal­ous makeovers? Mecca is here to save the day. For $90 you get a 45-minute ses­sion with staff who are at­ti­tude-free, know their stuff and don’t lay the makeup on with a trowel. Best of all, the price is re­deemable on prod­uct — and trust us, there will be some­thing you want. The Auck­land flag­ship of the Aus­tralian beauty em­pire opened on the for­mer Top­shop site at the cor­ner of Queen and Vic­to­ria in Septem­ber, join­ing a hand­ful of other lo­ca­tions around the city. While most stores are either a Cos­met­ica (the higher-end ver­sion) or a Max­ima (the fun younger sis­ter), the flag­ship “beauty bazaar” com­bines the two, mean­ing there’s a huge ar­ray of brands and prod­ucts on which to re­deem your dol­lars, from cheap and cheer­ful to ul­tra-luxe. 203 Queen St, cen­tral city. mec­ca­beauty.co.nz

HEALTH & SELF The best… Art­fully crafted brow

On Brow­house

On Brow­house has been rais­ing eye­brows since Nicky Shore opened the ded­i­cated wax bar in 2008. A decade on, and with styles more nat­u­ral than the Linda Evan­ge­lista look pop­u­lar back then, these spe­cial­ists have mas­tered the art of eye­brow mi­crob­lad­ing — the semi-per­ma­nent brow tat­too. A job well done will see etched, life-like “hairs” blended seam­lessly with your own home-grown ones. The beauty bar has sev­eral Auck­land out­lets, but mi­crob­lad­ing is only avail­able at 152 Quay St. Lash Noir at City Works De­pot also el­e­vates brow shap­ing to an art form — they’ll share their be­spoke de­sign with you be­fore shap­ing your look, and they’ll equip you with a tu­to­rial so you can DIY at home. On Brow­house, 152 Quay St, cen­tral city. of­fan­don.co.nz; Lash Noir, 90 Welles­ley St, cen­tral city. lash­noir.co.nz

Buzz cut

Boar and Blade

An off­shoot of the Welling­ton orig­i­na­tor,

Boar and Blade has be­come a hit, not only for their smooth cuts and beard beau­ti­fy­ing, but for the laid-back wel­come they lay on. “Guys just like to come in and hang out with us,” says owner Ho­hepa Rutene, who bought the busi­ness off his mate and founder Bren­dan Blake about 18 months ago. A fix­ture at Pon­sonby Cen­tral, next stop is Wyn­yard Quar­ter, where a new store is due to open by the end of the year. A cut and style ($40) is the most pop­u­lar re­quest; other bar­ber­ing ser­vices range from a beard trim and part shave ($30) to a cut, style and part shave ($60). In his spare time, “Hops” runs the new back­yard bee­hive busi­ness Pon­son­bees (pon­son­bees.squares­pace.com). Pon­sonby Cen­tral, 136 Pon­sonby Rd, Pon­sonby. boarand­blade.co.nz

Lush lashes

Blink & Cerise

De­cid­ing on thick­ness, curl, length, the “Clas­sic” or “Rus­sian” look are just a few things to con­sider when turn­ing up the vol­ume and ex­tend­ing the length of your lashes. If it’s all new to you, the Q&A-style cheat-sheet at Blink’s web­site will open your eyes. Owner and “mas­ter lash stylist” Jes­sica Laing opened Blink in 2010 and has earned a rep­u­ta­tion as one of the best in the busi­ness. Sculpt­ing lashes since 2006, Cerise is a ded­i­cated lash bou­tique and prides it­self on be­ing the first spe­cial­ist on the scene; owner Elisia Webb also runs work­shops and cre­ates tai­lored looks. Blink, 485 Khy­ber Pass Rd, New­mar­ket. blinkbou­tique.co.nz; Cerise, 4 Or­bit Drive, Al­bany, and 45 Mt Welling­ton High­way, Mt Welling­ton. cerise.co.nz

Male manny

About Man

An image of a bearded, tat­tooed, bare-shoul­dered bloke takes up a win­dow of About Man clinic in Pon­sonby. It’s a lit­tle at odds with the gilt-mir­ror look in­doors, but this “op­u­lent gen­tle­men’s lounge” can eas­ily ease new­bies to men’s groom­ing into the game with a whisky or beer from the bar. There’s also years of ex­pe­ri­ence at hand — the men-only clinic is the brother to About Face, which has been look­ing af­ter women’s skin for more than 30 years. We are putting our hands up for the 45-minute Hand Care man­i­cure ($89), which in­cludes nail and cu­ti­cle groom­ing, a hand scrub, mas­sage and masque treat­ment. 18 Jer­vois Rd, Pon­sonby. about­man.co.nz

New way to pun­ish your­self

F45 Train­ing

It’s been around for sev­eral years but F45 — F is for func­tional, 45 refers to the du­ra­tion of each class — has only taken off here in the past few months. De­vised by a cou­ple of par­tic­u­larly masochis­tic Aus­tralians, this hard­core group fit­ness pro­gramme crams cir­cuit, in­ter­vals and func­tional train­ing into one class, and there are 31 work­outs on ro­ta­tion to en­sure bore­dom is never an is­sue (Surely sur­vival is a big­ger con­cern? – Ed.) There are seven F45 stu­dios in Auck­land, with two more set to open any day. Var­i­ous lo­ca­tions. f45­train­ing.co.nz

Place to get the knots out

KZY Real Mas­sage Treat­ment & Re­lax­ation

For­get ly­ing around in a fluffy robe sip­ping com­pli­cated tea. The fo­cus at this walk-in, no-frills out­fit is firmly on firm Chi­nese mas­sage, with three ther­a­pists ex­pertly min­is­ter­ing to your mus­cles, either clothes off with es­sen­tial oils or “tra­di­tional ba­sic” (clothes on, no oil). A mas­sage we had re­cently at an “ur­ban day spa” for nearly twice the price didn’t come close to KZY’s one-hour ba­sic full body ($60). 424 Khy­ber Pass Rd, New­mar­ket.

Sa­lon that’s not Stephen Marr

Colleen

The craic is good at K’ Rd hair­cut­ter Colleen, where Lau­ren Gunn and her team of cut­ters are ta­lented and friendly. Hair­cuts sure don’t come cheap in this town, but in this case your chances of post-snip bliss are higher than most. Plus, the prod­ucts mas­saged into your locks are free of sul­phates. Best of all is the store it­self, a grace­ful her­itage build­ing with a peek of the har­bour, beau­ti­fully re­fit­ted by ar­chi­tect Sue Hillery. As your head tips back at the sink, be­hold an or­nate late 19th-cen­tury ceil­ing the colour of a packet of pink smok­ers. 466 Karanga­hape Rd, K’ Rd Precinct. colleen.nz

Wicked in­dul­gence

Thalgo Poly­ne­sia Spa Rit­ual at Chuan Spa

At around 300 bucks for two hours, it ain’t cheap, but when is true in­dul­gence ever a bar­gain propo­si­tion? This four-stop “jour­ney of the senses” at the Cordis, home of the best day spa in town, takes you to Poly­ne­sia with­out leav­ing Sy­monds St, via a body scrub, a soak in an “in­fin­ity” bath, a mas­sage and a thor­ough slather­ing in “sa­cred” oil. It’s heav­enly, re­ally it is. Tell your­self it’s self-care, if that’s what it takes. 83 Sy­monds St, Grafton. chuanspa.co.nz

FUN STUFF The best… Bowls with burg­ers

Royal Oak Bowls

By the time they got to­gether last year, they had 208 years of col­lec­tive his­tory to share — that’s a lot of bowl­ing and beer at club prices. United and re-formed as Royal Oak Bowls (One­hunga Bowl­ing Club was founded in 1901 and Hills-

boro Bowl­ing Club in 1925), fresh ideas are keep­ing the club cool for new­bies. Fri­day-night “Burger and Bowls” is one of them — $20 gets you a prime beef burger in a brioche bun, plus ex­pert in­struc­tion for new­com­ers on how to avoid a “dead bowl”. There’s also Twi­light bowls on Wed­nes­days, which plays in teams of two for about 90 min­utes and costs $15, in­clud­ing food by La Fo­gata, a neigh­bour­hood Latin Amer­i­can joint. New to the sum­mer sched­ule is So­cial Bowl­s3Five, a punchy, fast-paced for­mat of the game, with a six-week league run­ning from No­vem­ber 1. The club’s own team, Royal Oak Rock­ets, is play­ing in the tele­vised league on Sky Sports, on un­til No­vem­ber 28. 146 Sel­wyn St, One­hunga. roy­aloak­bowls.co.nz

City strollin’

Weona-West­mere Coastal Walk­way

If you fancy some fresh air but don’t want to a) over-ex­ert your­self or b) ven­ture too far out of the city, the Weona-West­mere Coastal Walk­way will be right up your al­ley (or board­walk, as it were). A 1.4km stroll along the edge of the Western Springs creek es­tu­ary, it runs be­tween West­mere Park and Lem­ing­ton Re­serve, with a very scenic sec­tion of board­walk that takes you through man­groves and regenerating na­tive bush, much of it planted by vol­un­teers. For an even more cen­tral board­walk op­tion, the Westhaven Prom­e­nade wends its way from Westhaven Drive right up to the har­bour bridge, and will even­tu­ally form part of a 21km cy­cle­way set to run all the way to St He­liers. En­trances off Lem­ing­ton Re­serve, Weona Place and West­mere Park Ave, West­mere.

DIY ex­hi­bi­tion spa­ces

Comet Project Space & May­onez

When the city’s own gallery is starved of fund­ing, you know it’s tough times for artists. Not-for-profit gal­leries are pop­ping up to pro­vide artists with a plat­form for their own work and for fel­low emerg­ing artists who strug­gle to crack com­mer­cial spa­ces and con­nect with like­minded folk. With do­nated ma­te­ri­als, Bob­bie Gray and Ali­cia Tay­lor cre­ated a “beau­ti­ful white cube” in the back­yard garage of Gray’s Pon­sonby rental. They opened Comet Project Space on a sunny win­ter’s day with home­made cock­tails, a friend’s band and a re­cep­tive crowd. It’s run as a pop-up and buy­ers are put di­rectly in touch with artists. And in Grey Lynn, be­hind a blue door, and with a disco ball hang­ing in­side, May­onez is run by two White­cliff stu­dents, who opened the for­mer cor­ner store in Au­gust, and have since held five shows and a few gigs. Mes­sage them on In­sta­gram (@may­one­zltd) or their Face­book page for open­ing times. Comet Project Space, 249 Pon­sonby Rd, Pon­sonby. comet­pro­jectspace.nz; May­onez, 43C Dry­den St, Grey Lynn.

For blaz­ing trails

Wood­hill Moun­tain Bike Park

Ten bucks is the cheap­est you’ll pay for a day of thrills in Auck­land and there are plenty of them — as many as your legs, lungs and padded pants can han­dle — at Wood­hill Moun­tain Bike Park. The trail crew never rest — they es­sen­tially cre­ated a new park in 2014, when tree har­vest­ing wiped out Wood­hill as we knew it, then there was the re­build in April of al­most ev­ery sin­gle sec­tion of ev­ery trail af­ter that hor­ror storm hit Auck­land. And de­spite one of our wettest win­ters, the crew’s skill en­sured moun­tain bik­ers en­joyed the best trail con­di­tions ever. This sum­mer sees stage two of the Pump Track and Dirt Jumps up­grades. The team don’t shout out new projects, so you’ve got to get out there reg­u­larly to find out what’s new, but we can say you won’t be dis­ap­pointed this sum­mer. Get out there and make the most of fave tracks like One Night Stand and No Va­cancy be­fore the next wave of har­vest­ing hits in 2020. And if you need to cool your wheels for a bit, there’s also Disc Golf — that’s 54 holes of throw­ing fris­bees into bas­kets. Restall Rd, Wood­hill For­est, Wood­hill. bikeparks.co.nz

Drink and a bit of ex­per­i­men­tal theatre

The Base­ment

Stum­bling dis­tance from Q, home to some out­stand­ing, in­no­va­tive theatre, is an­other stal­wart of Auck­land’s con­tem­po­rary stage scene: the Base­ment. Ar­riv­ing here feels a bit like go­ing to some­one’s flat — if that per­son was hugely ta­lented and had a great se­lec­tion of beers. The hum­ble com­mu­nity theatre has served as a launch­ing pad for some of our best creatives — the likes of co­me­di­ans Rose Matafeo and Last Tapes Theatre Com­pany, whose Ed­in­burgh-ac­claimed shows both de­buted here — and in its 10th year con­tin­ues to up the ante with al­ways fresh, al­ways fun pro­gram­ming. The spring sea­son is an an­niver­sary spe­cial, with Base­ment

Playlist fea­tur­ing ex­cerpts from shows from years past, and the premier of Jacinda, the 2017 elec­tion-cen­tred work by Sam Brooks ( Burn Her). With tick­ets for most shows hov­er­ing around the $18 mark and run times rarely top­ping an hour, Base­ment of­fers low-com­mit­ment, high-re­ward theatre with­out peer. Lower Greys Ave, cen­tral city. base­mentthe­atre.co.nz

For green­ing your lunch break

Grif­fith’s Gar­dens

Tak­ing your sand­wich to sit among the planter boxes of Grif­fith’s Gar­dens is a pretty nice way to feel closer to na­ture with­out leav­ing the CBD. The gar­dens form a cen­tral part of For the

Love of Bees, a “city bee col­lab­o­ra­tion” spear­headed by artist Sarah Smut­sKennedy and funded by Auck­land Coun­cil. Ev­ery Thurs­day, they play host to free “lunchtime learn­ing” classes cov­er­ing top­ics like com­post­ing, seed sav­ing and con­trol­ling gar­den pests nat­u­rally. For more pock­ets of na­ture in the city, check out For The Love of Bees’ new­est project, the Or­ganic Mar­ket Gar­den (OMG) on Sy­monds St, where reg­u­lar work­ing bees are help­ing trans­form it into a sec­ond teach­ing hub; and keep an eye on the so­cial me­dia of Kel­marna Gar­dens in Herne Bay and Sanc­tu­ary Mahi Whenua in Mt Al­bert for their semi-reg­u­lar work­shops and open days. 42 Welles­ley St West, cen­tral city. forth­elove­of­bees.co.nz

Fur ba­bies with goo-goo eyes

Cot­ton-top tamarin ba­bies at Auck­land Zoo

When the frankly hor­ri­fy­ing state of the world gets you down, noth­ing calms the mind like watch­ing two crit­i­cally en­dan­gered cot­ton-top tamarin ba­bies, with their lit­tle blond mul­lets and soul­ful eyes, re­peat­edly prac­tise hop­ping up onto a plat­form and jump­ing off it again, sup­ported all the way by their ador­ing par­ents. See also the new capy­bara ba­bies, which look for all the world like ex­tras in a Wes An­der­son film, and Levi and Smi­ley, two newly ar­rived Tas­ma­nian dev­ils — crea­tures the zoo in­sists are “sweet, smart and greatly mis­un­der­stood”. 99 Mo­tions Rd, Western Springs. auck­land­zoo.co.nz

New read­ing room

Samoa House

A for­mer art-his­tory pro­fes­sor her­alded “the death of fine arts” when, in June, the Univer­sity of Auck­land closed its spe­cial­ist li­braries for Elam Fine Arts, Mu­sic and Dance, and Ar­chi­tec­ture. But a group of Elam stu­dents and sup­port­ers came up a more pro­duc­tive re­sponse. They found a space to fill the gap and filled it with do­nated books and retro school desks per­fectly placed for K’ Rd peo­ple-watch­ing. Fine arts mas­ters stu­dent Kathryn Au­camp told BFM, “Look­ing at the con­tin­ued, ac­cel­er­ated at­tack on the arts from the univer­sity, spa­ces like this are re­ally, re­ally es­sen­tial.” Level 2, 283 Karanga­hape Rd, K’ Rd Precinct.

EAT­ING & DRINK­ING The best… Bread for toast with jam

Daily Bread pi­o­neer loaf

Tom His­hon and Josh Helm of Or­phans Kitchen teamed up with ex-Bread and But­ter Bak­ery head baker Pa­trick Welzen­bach this year to open Daily Bread — a bak­ery/deli in an old bank build­ing in Pt Chev — and boy, did Auck­lan­ders lose their shit over it. Even now, al­most a year on, the lines on week­ends are un­be­liev­able. Sure, we’ve been se­duced by those sour­dough pas­tries, too, but what we re­ally love is pick­ing up a pi­o­neer loaf to toast at home. It’s a long-fer­mented sour­dough, with a caramelised, crackly crust and is, with­out a doubt, one of the top three loaves in town right now (the oth­ers are Pas­ture’s sour­dough and The Dusty Apron’s white baguette). 1210 Great North Rd, Pt Che­va­lier (also at 15 Fara­day St, Par­nell). dai­ly­bread.co.nz

Dumplings on Do­min­ion Rd

Mixed seafood and pork at

Bar­illa Dumpling

Move over pork and chive, with your flabby, love­less wrap­pers; there’s a new hero in town: mixed seafood and pork dumplings, which, de­spite be­ing made in the same kitchen, feel so much more bal­anced and del­i­cate than their more pop­u­lar cousin. Salty-sweet mixed fish and rich pork is an ex­cel­lent mar­riage, es­pe­cially when lib­er­ally dunked in vine­gar, soy and chilli oil; we par­tic­u­larly like them fried. Hit the 305 Do­min­ion Rd branch of Bar­illa, where the light­ing is still pun­ish­ing but the BYOW pol­icy helps you for­get. 305 Do­min­ion Rd, Bal­moral (also at 571 Do­min­ion Rd, Bal­moral). bar­il­lad­umpling.com Hang­over cure Peach’s Hot Chicken

We’d hap­pily eat the fried chicken sand­wich from bub­ble-shaped food truck Peach’s Hot Chicken as our last meal — its spicy, crispy fat­ti­ness makes it one of the most ad­dic­tive san­gas in town. As a hang­over cure it’s near-per­fect, the demi-sweet­ness of the brioche bun in har­mony with the chicken grease and Nashville-style cayenne-heavy se­cret spice blend. A warn­ing: “hot” is hot enough. Hunt them down at @peach­s_hot_ chicken or peachshotchicken.com

Milk­shake as thick as a fast-food multi­na­tional’s, but bet­ter

Burger Burger

Made with Duck Is­land ice cream — ar­guably the best thing ever to come out of Hamil­ton — a Burger Burger shake never fails to please. We’re very fond of the pe­can pie spe­cial, blended with pas­try and golden syrup, and the nos­tal­gic pineap­ple lumps flavour with fresh pineap­ple, and choco­late; but the pu­rity of the vanilla thick shake, where the ice cream shines through, is ex­tremely hard to beat. Pon­sonby Cen­tral, 4 Brown St, Pon­sonby (also at 3B York St, New­mar­ket; For­ti­eth and Hurst­mere, 40 Hurst­mere Rd, Taka­puna). burg­er­burger.co.nz

Non-ob­vi­ous place for ve­g­ans

Madame Ge­orge

At Madame Ge­orge, head chef Pa­trick Sch­mitt prides him­self on a root-topetal ap­proach to cook­ing, of­fer­ing a menu that caters to ve­g­ans with­out shout­ing about it. Some dishes sound fairly plain, but in Sch­mitt’s hands sim­ple in­gre­di­ents are trans­formed to be­come pretty on the plate and in­ter­est­ing in the mouth. On our last visit, ve­gan kim­chi puffs were a crunchy pre-din­ner snack; black­ened jer­sey benny po­ta­toes were doused with emul­si­fied or­ganic tofu, shaved broc­coli and white sesame; and a man­darin and Aperol sor­bet was lifted by a liquorice hit of tar­ragon oil and neatly topped with a sun­flower seed cracker. Ge­nius. 490 Karanga­hape Rd, K’ Rd Precinct. madamege­orge.co.nz

No-frills pho

Try It Out

The daugh­ter of Try It Out’s own­ers, Jenny Ha, is blunt about how they do things at this Ōtāhuhu in­sti­tu­tion, formerly the lo­cal li­brary. “We fo­cus on the food, not the decor,” she says. Good job they do, be­cause it gives them time to sim­mer the cin­na­mon and star anise-laced beef stock which forms the base of the restau­rant’s pho, for 12 hours. We love the rare beef and gelati­nous beef ten­don ver­sion hid­ing slip­pery rice noo­dles, with a le­mon wedge on the side. That said, the chicken with beef stock and beef ball it­er­a­tions are also wor­thy con­tenders. 79 Atkin­son Ave, Ōtāhuhu.

Pop-up to drink a funky wine

Rebel Yell nights at Pas­ture

If the for­mal restau­rant ser­vice at Pas­ture — re­cently re­duced to two sit­tings of just six peo­ple, dé­gus­ta­tion only, from Thurs­day to Sun­day — sounds a lit­tle in­tense, you’ll be pleased to know own­ers Ed and Laura Verner have launched less for­mal pop-up se­ries Rebel Yell. Billed as un­der­ground wine nights, they hap­pen spo­rad­i­cally (but mostly on Wed­nes­days) so you have to fol­low their In­sta­gram to be in the know. The idea is that you choose an af­ford­able, hard-tofind bot­tle of wine from a shelf in the door­way be­fore head­ing in­side to drink it while chow­ing down on a few snacky share plates. The last ses­sion for 2018 is on No­vem­ber 7. 235 Par­nell Rd, Par­nell. @re­be­lyel­l_akl

Scen­ester hang­out

Cotto

You’ll find them, beanie-clad, wait­ing in line out­side or at a bar across the road — some­times for up to two hours. Since trans­form­ing from pop-up to full­time restau­rant at the end of last year, and then win­ning Best New Restau­rant in the Metro Peu­geot Restau­rant of the Year Awards five months later, Cotto has boomed from lit­tle-known hip­ster joint to good-luck-get­ting-a-ta­ble vir­tu­ally overnight. The pair be­hind this loud, fun hang­out and its short, good-value, loosely Ital­ian menu, John Pount­ney and Hay­den Phiskie, came from Grey Lynn’s De­li­cious, where pasta was the hero. It’s also the fo­cus here, so you’d be silly to miss dishes like beef cheek ragu with smoked pa­prika mal­t­agliati, or beet­root and baked ri­cotta ravi­oli. 375 Karanga­hape Rd, K’ Rd Precinct. cotto.co.nz

Slurp-wor­thy noo­dle dish

Sarawak laksa at Ma­mak

Malaysian Street Food

This bright, modern Shore­side restau­rant — no re­la­tion to the down­town place of the same name — is one of the only places in Auck­land to slurp a bowl of spicy-sour Sarawak laksa, a favourite dish of the late An­thony Bour­dain. Sim­i­lar in name only to the more com­monly found curry laksa, Sarawak laksa is a sta­ple of East Malaysian cui­sine and fea­tures a pun­gent mix of spices in­clud­ing ground co­rian­der seeds and chilli bela­can (chilli and prawn paste). The noo­dles dif­fer, too. Un­like the Hokkien­style egg noo­dles found in most laksa dishes here, this ver­sion comes with skinny ver­mi­celli — ideal for those eat­ing gluten-free. Each steam­ing bowl has ten­der shred­ded chicken, crunchy beansprouts, co­rian­der and strips of omelette lurk­ing in its flavour­some depths. 6 Huron St, Taka­puna.

Sub­ur­ban slices

Set­te­bello

Napoli na­tive Francesco Acri’s pas­sion for the tra­di­tions of Napolese pizza mak­ing is in­fec­tious (he’s re­li­gious about his Margherita to the point that it’s D.O.C.-cer­ti­fied); then there’s the take­away tiramisu, the BYOW pol­icy, and the $15 ba­sic piz­zas on Tues­days. The menu is lengthy but, as with most things, the sim­pler the bet­ter here — Acri’s most cov­eted pizza, which comes dressed with noth­ing but peeled toma- toes, buf­falo moz­zarella, basil and olive oil, is a hymn to re­straint. 3/1 Rata St, New Lynn. set­te­bello.co.nz

Tast­ing pad­dle and toastie

Garage Project Kings­land

Auck­land beer nerds re­joiced when the cap­i­tal’s finest brew­ing sons opened their first north­ern out­post in March, with 12 ro­tat­ing taps, a cou­ple of lean­ers, two sought-af­ter arm­chairs and a fridge laden with GP’s finest. It has a tast­ing li­cence only, so you can’t set­tle in for a night on the pints, but it’s easy to while away an hour over a pad­dle of six weird and won­der­ful of­fer­ings, per­haps sup­ple­mented with a cheese and kim­chi toastie. Or stop in to fill up a flagon or crowler (a one-litre can filled and sealed in front of your eyes) to take home — the staff are gen­er­ous with tast­ings while you wait. 357 New North Rd, Kings­land. garage­pro­ject.co.nz

Place to drink now Golden Dawn’s closed

Let us know if you find any­where.

ABOVE— Char­lotte Rust of Ba­be­l­ogue in Beres­ford Square.

ABOVE— Ge­orgie Ma­lyon of Green­point florist in Grey Lynn.

BE­LOW— Tony Down­ing and Ali­son Reid of The Cross St Mar­ket.

ABOVE— Si­mon & Lee on Fara­day St.

BE­LOW— Garage Project’s cel­lar door in Kings­land.

ABOVE— Madame Ge­orge on K’ Rd.

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