Of New Zealand Dahlias

Not only was I captivated by Hagley Park's begonia display but its dahlia border garden, too. The dahlias occupy a small strip along the periphery of the much larger rose garden, a great attraction in itself. The stunning variety represents the hybridizer's craft. On one end are the single-row specimens from their native Mexico. How they were hybridized... Continue Reading →

Riccarton Farmers Market (Christchurch, NZ)

I'm a sucker for farmers markets. It's not only because they sell fresh local produce, but the fact that the produce may be native to the area and the prepared foods reflective of what the locals eat. Of those I've visited in the U.S., my personal favorite is not my city's Pike Place Market, Seattle's pride and... Continue Reading →

Curry Ramen at Samurai Bowl (Christchurch, NZ)

My daughter and her family dine at Samurai Bowl often. It used to be once a week. I suspect that it's not the parents' decision necessarily but my five-year old grandson's, who seems never to tire of their miso ramen. Today, just my daughter and I had lunch here, while the kids were in school. When served... Continue Reading →

The Burnham at CBD Bar (Christchurch, NZ)

Of the pizzas she's had in Christchurch, my daughter likes best the wood-fired ones served, not at a pizzeria but a brewery out in the borough of Woolston. Known for award-winning beers that they've been crafting since 2010, Cassels & Sons added a gastropub to the brewery. Enter the pizzas. I've eaten there three times on the way back... Continue Reading →

Big Robby at Mr Burger (Christchurch, NZ)

It was a spur of the moment decision. One of those times when your intention suddenly changes as a fleeting thought goes through your mind. I was on my way to Re:START Mall to buy lunch from one of the (shipping) container food businesses until I walked past a food truck stationed just east of the Worcester... Continue Reading →

Double-Flowered Begonias, Townend House (Christchurch, NZ)

In January-March, flower lovers are treated to one of the most spectacular displays of begonias in the world. Townend House, part of the Hagley Park Conservatory, has a seasonal exhibit of double-flowered begonias, many of them hybridized by New Zealand horticulturists. All I could do was gawk—and snap away with my camera.

Redwood + Ivy, Hagley Park (Christchurch, NZ)

Hagley Park in Christchurch has some magnificent sequoia redwood specimens. I happened to be walking past one when I noticed something odd. Seemingly growing right out of the base of the trunk was an ivy, incredibly old by the looks of it, appearing more like tropical vines, a growth that needed to be cut out. It apparently... Continue Reading →

Blue Penguin Colony (Oamaru, NZ)

Oamaru is home to a colony of blue penguins that visitors from all over come to see. They’re endemic to coastal New Zealand and southern Australia, the smallest of 18 species at 43cm (17in) in length and 1kg in weight. Unusual too is the fact that their color is distinctively blue (and white), while all... Continue Reading →

Peri-Peri Chicken at Nando’s (Christchurch, NZ)

In a world awash in chicken restaurants, what makes Nando's, a chain with outlets throughout the world, so different? For one thing, it had its commercial beginning in a Johannesburg mining suburb. But, its uniqueness is not that the chicken preparation is South African, because it isn't, but that the marinade derives from a Mozambican-Portuguese recipe made with... Continue Reading →

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