Christchurch: April update

April has been a fairly quiet month for me, in respect to many other months I have had, which has been nice in some ways. Again, nice to be in Christchurch rather than rushing about so much.

After our glorious Easter weather and the short spell I had in Auckland, pre-winter weather had started to kick in. We initially had a lot of rain, which I was so unprepared for. I seriously need to invest in a proper raincoat.

I think I have mentioned before how ultra prepared Kiwi’s are; its insane, you go for a hike somewhere, and they have first aid kits, supplies, torches, everything. Me, I show up with my trainers and half a bottle of water. I think this comes from the minimalised packing style I learnt off my mum. She used to chuck and few things in the car and we’d be away. I think I have learnt a little since being here, although this didn’t reflect well in my trip to Abel Tasman too well.

Happenings in Christchurch in April

High Tea at the Pallet Pavilion:
On Saturday 13th, I attended another event at the Pallet Pavilion in town – high tea, which was an event put on to thank the local community. I went along with my flatmate and her friend. For a small cost of $5 you got a cup of tea and cake served by French maids. It was rather posh. The rain held off and it was quite a mild day.

Juanita, Pauline and myself enjoying a cuppa and cake

Naughty French maids.

On the same weekend, we took another walk around the central city to see some changes, which there were a few. I have taken a number of walks around, as well as driving over the past few weeks, so some changes weren’t as dramatic, but it was still exciting!

Impromptu ‘come dine with me’ event
For a at least one week, my flatmate Jim had been promising to make us a shared Roast dinner meal, this was put off a few times, until it finally happened. During the making of the food, Jim announced “we have so much food … should have invited some people” so I texted three friends, thinking that by 7pm, everyone would have eaten and I would get no response. They all responded. The three friends were all random and unconnected in any way, so it really was a bit of a come dine with me experience.
It was such a good evening, with great food, wine and conversation. It is probably the second time I have ever had people around to my place for food. I think I need to do this more often.
Over the past year I have been shown such amazing hospitality, and I think I need to give back!

Breakfast at Holy Smokehouse:
Saturday 20th April 2013, I was up early and off to a breakfast with the women of my church at a local place called the Holy Smokehouse, based in Woolston. This place specialises in fish mainly and they have a little shop area were you can buy smoked fish as well as smoked bacon to take home with you.

Their menu was pretty amazing, and I wasn’t sure what to have. I was wanting a little of everything. Fortunately another girl and I decided to share, so I ordered the Waffles with bacon and spilt the poached eggs. Amazing food. The restaurant had such a warm and friendly feel to it. I will definitely return again.

My breakfast of bacon and waffles, with banana

The menu personally welcomed us; a lovely touch

New Regent Streets opens (as does the heavens)
After my church breakfast, I popped into town to see the opening of New Regent Street. It was such a wet day, but I still wanted to see it, and also support the new local businesses.
There were probably only about 5 shops that were open, as many others has not finished fitting out their shops, or had the sign off from the council, which is a shame, but it is a step forward for Christchurch. The hotel across from New Regent Street is due to open at the start of May, so that will bring some more revenue into the city. Brilliant!

New Regent Street, when the rain has subsided, but still quite a grey day.
I really enjoyed walking around and even looking in the windows of shops. For me, it is exciting as it is not somewhere I have been before, ever and it is now open. I don’t think I have ever been this excited about the opening of a street before, in fact I don’t think I have been anywhere were a whole street has opened. Perhaps my only experience of larger scale openings are with shopping centres in my home town.
The street had such an epic little fudge shop, which has ever flavour of fudge imaginable. So I got about 8 little squares of different ones to try. Yum.

Get your bum to Christchurch for some of this amazing fudge!
I loved being able to walk right to the bottom and see where the street connected to, as up until this point I had relayed on maps for this, but when you see it, and you see what street connects to what, it is a bit of “aw yeah” moment.
Christchurch: Ever evolving city (these signs used to be plain red), they have now been replaced with these.
Throughout the rest of April, I had at least 2 other big walk rounds in the central city, and it is changing so much and I am loving it. I intended to write a bigger post about Christchurch changes very soon.
Colourful pavements in Gloucester Street, central city
At the end of April, I was invited out to see a gig at a local art gallery by a friend. The two bands were Indigo Wolf and Tom Lark. Tom Lark was spotted by someone through a video on YouTube or Facebook and was signed to a label. Both bands were pretty amazing, and it was such a lovely and chilled evening relaxing in a dimly lit gallery listening to music. Perfect end to the month and another amazing different activity for me.

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