CHRISTHCURCH: As a born-and-bred Londoner, it’s very rare for me to walk into a restaurant, especially in Christchurch, and wonder exactly where I’ve been transported to.
CHRISTCHURCH. Sitting on the banks of the Avon River, new kid on the block Barberra is a sophisticated addition to the phoenixlike eating scene in the garden city.
CHRISTCHURCH. The Birdwood is a beacon in the night while all around is sepia, sleepy and quiet. Enter this food nest through the double doors, however, and the surprise is the captivating buzz, warmth, and heady yeast aromas from the pizza oven.
CHRISTCHURCH. Already seduced during a few visits to the bar at 5th Street for drinks before dinner elsewhere, I was greatly anticipating the full food experience at the recently opened restaurant, an offshoot of Hello Sunday cafe across the road.
CHRISTCHURCH. Warmth and generosity of spirit, Nonna-inspired cooking and cosiness are always my hope for Italian fare but, sadly, not always my experience. So, on venturing into Francesca’s Italian Kitchen my expectations were uncertain, although the buzz of a nearly full restaurant was promising.
CHRISTCHURCH. Dinky New Regent St shops tend to do the Dr Who Tardis thing, seeming much larger than they should be once you get inside.
The Grey Robin goes the other way. The tiny dining area upstairs is even smaller than you expect, with the darkish, plush decor drawing everything in close.