21 DEC 2015

Best of 2015

We've taken a little bit of time to reflect on another busy year with a list of our favourite things. Places to dine and shop or films we've loved. Enjoy!



The ultimate central city luxury restaurant, Ostro is a story of the design and food planets in perfect alignment: Celebrity chef Josh Emmet, Fearon Hay architectural refit, Inhouse Design branding and collateral, and the team behind a string of other highly successful restaurants (including Ebisu, Tyler St Garage, Matterhorn). Enjoy the best catch from the sea, while taking in a view of the harbour, served by expert staff and be seated in Eames chairs. Our pick: The simple and sublime interpretation of Bombe Alaska for dessert.


Finding a beautifully designed spot to enjoy dessert is such a treat. Enter Milse, designed by Cheshire Architects. We love the clever use of patterned ply, wrapped around the walls and ceiling space to create a secluded ambience. Continuing in the same direction, Miann was established by the original pâtissier at Milse, Brian Campbell. Offering the same level of exquisite presentation and a to die for, imaginative menu, this is another serious win for Auckland city cuisine.


We met Chris and Ann Maree when they owned Kingsland's best café, The Fridge. Their new venture, Dilecta, is a delightful gem in the heart of Grey Lynn. Behind the original deco shop front they have established an inviting space to dine. We love choosing from the selection of small meals to set up more of a tapas style tasting arrangement for dinner. It's clearly been a labour of love, and includes texture and colour provided by a selection of carefully selected mid century art glass and west German pottery hand picked by the owners.


This place is on our list to try out over the summer – The Jefferson is an impressive little whiskey bar which is part of Imperial Lane. The darkened space is lit only by a streaking, jagged light in the roof and the backlit wall of the bar, stacked three high with a dizzying selection of whiskey.

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This area of Wellington has a lot to offer, including the newly established Precinct 35 store. The interior is simple and refreshing, inspired by Japanese minimal style. Owner Prak Sritharan has sought out designs with honest intentions, natural materials and a sense of craft as well as design. These are objects which improve with age, just the way we like it.


Set up by the designer of fashion label taylor, Vicki Taylor, The Shelter sits next door to Workshop as a complementary house of brands store and café. We love the offbeat black/white interior and cohesive selection. A definite destination store for Ponsonby in one of the suburb's most fashionable streets.

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This dialogue driven sci-fi thriller had us on the edge of our seats. It's an intense psychological thriller that examines humanity, masculinity, and artificial intelligence while creating a growing sense of tension and paranoia. It's also set in an incredible modernist man cave / bunker with awesome mid century furniture and a Jackson Pollock artwork - not a bad place to be trapped contemplating the fragility of the human ego.


After watching Ex Machina we needed some serious mood lifting and Dope was just the remedy. This movie was an award winner at the last Sundance Film Festival it's easy to see why. Dope is set in the mean streets of south central LA but it's treatment of the subject matter is mostly lighthearted and often satirical. It's a coming of age story about Malcolm, a self proclaimed geek who loves 90s hip-hop culture, punk music and getting good grades at school. Malcolm's Harvard aspirations looks to be on shaky ground when he discovers a large quantity of drugs and a gun in this backpack.


We haven't seen this yet and apparently the less you know the better. What we do know is that it's getting freakin' awesome reviews and is a reboot of epic proportions. We'll definitely be seeing this on the big screen over the Summer!

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We've steadily made our way through a host of fantastic TV series this year. Not all of these were released this year but we felt like they are worth a mention. Our favourites among them were Danish crime drama The Bridge, American drama Masters of Sex, UK crime dramas Happy Valley and The Fall, along with US political drama House of Cards US and its original UK version.

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This summer we're making a pilgrimage down to New Plymouth to visit the recently completed Len Lye Centre. The building was designed by New Zealand architect Andrew Patterson and is formed from curved stainless steel and concrete. It's a bold tribute to a bold artist, we can wait to see the building and the internationally acclaimed kinetic artwork housed inside.

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