A global field guide to shopping, style and hidden gems
est. 2007

Archive: Sep 2012

  1. Wee Birdy in New Zealand: a different view of Christchurch

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    For a glimpse of the ‘old’ Christchurch, the one relatively untouched by the devastation of the 2011 earthquake, head to the Botanic Gardens. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic by the Avon River, which puts on a floral spectacle of daffodils, bluebells and snowdrops throughout early spring. We crossed the river to walk along the Hagley Park side, which was a great opportunity to stretch our legs while Harry slept in the pram. It’s amazing how much this part of Christchurch reminded me of England. There are more sculptures to discover along this walk – keep an eye out for the giant daffodil and the hummingbird in mid-flight.

    We headed back to the historic Antigua Boat Sheds for lunch, before taking a punting tour on the Avon river. It was a rather frosty winter’s day in Christchurch and rain clouds were gathering, but we were surprisingly cosy under the complimentary woollen blankets and hot-water bottles. Harry promptly fell asleep, cocooned under layers of blankets and lulled by the gentle rocking of the boat.

    It’s a relaxing, peaceful journey and offered another view of Christchurch from the river: one teaming with water wildlife, flowers and blossoming trees. I can only imagine how different it would look in summer, with the green of the weeping willows reflected in the water. Our friendly punter was also extremely knowledgeable about the local wildlife and history of the area. And I highly recommend his services as a baby whisperer. The man has magic powers.


    Punting on the Avon at Antigua Boat Sheds
    2 Cambridge Terrace
    Christchurch, NZ
    Tel. +64 3 366 0337

    Wee Birdy travelled to Christchurch courtesy of the good folks at Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand. Head to www.newzealand.com for more information about visiting New Zealand.

    Click here to read my post about Re:Start in Christchurch, including my top six shops.
    Click here to read about The General Store at Re:Start in Christchurch.

    Click here to read about HAPA at Re:Start in Christchurch.
    Click here to read about Johnson’s Grocers at Re:Start in Christchurch.
    Click here to read about Primo Cafe in Methven.

  2. A Wee Birdy week – in pictures

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    According to Instagram, this is what the past week in my life looked like:

    • I found the world’s prettiest babycinno at Flood Street Carousel in Leichhardt, a superb toddler-friendly cafe in Sydney. Books, toys, a magnetic alphabet wall and a retro Space Invaders arcade table – fun for kids big and small.
    • I attended the launch of Iconic Kids at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo and discovered the sweetest Spring collection by Bebe by Minihaha (shirring, ruffles and vintage-inspired floral prints for baby girls), as well a very cute mum-and-bub gorilla. So pleased to find that many of the zoo’s original buildings and structures are still around, including the heritage-listed Indian elephant temple, which was built in 1916.
    • I loved Napoleon Perdis‘ new collection of hand-poured candles, available exclusively from his Life.Style homewares store in Sydney’s Woollahra. That’s the limited-edition Fig candle on my bathroom window sill.
    • I spent Sunday morning making miniature play-dough hats for Harry’s animal figurines. How awesome is play-dough, and having an excuse to play with it as an adult? I’m going to make my own batch of play-dough this week using this awesome no-cook recipe.

    What have you been up to? Do you love Instagram? I’m addicted – I love scrolling through the lives of Wee Birdy readers around the world. Find me on Instagram – I’m @WeeBirdy.

  3. What to buy right now: Brights

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    Boring old beige begone: brights are back. And they’re easier than ever to work into your wardrobe or home, no matter how safe and neutral they may be. Here are my favourite bits and pieces for clothes, accessories, furniture and home decor, starting at $10.

    Clockwise from top left:
    Stripe tank dress, AU$129 from Country Road.
    IKEA PS 2012 blue stool, AU$49.99 from IKEA.
    IKEA PS 2012 green easy chair, AU$199 from IKEA.
    Colour-pop metal bed in yellow, AU$620 from Lark.
    Emerald bella wallet, AU$34.95 from Sussan.
    Jonathan Adler giant erasers, £12 from Heal’s.
    Pink marcie bag, AU$59.95 from Sussan.
    Citrus floral necklace, AU$29.95 from Sussan.
    Linen peg leg pant
    , AU$69.95 from Sussan.
    IKEA PS 2012 cushion cover, AU$10 from IKEA.
    Weekender occasional chair in yellow, AU$229 from Freedom.
    Flamingo all over cushion, AU$29.95 from Freedom.

  4. A week in the life of Wee Birdy – in pictures

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    According to Instagram, this is what the past week in my life looked like.

    I went to the annual Dinosaur Designs garage sale in Sydney and snapped up this amazing coral resin bangle. I’ve wanted a wide DD bangle for ages and I love the coral-like texture as well as the amazing colour. It POPS and it looks fab with my ever-growing collection of Breton stripes.

    Amanda Talbot mentioned that she’s a Wee Birdy follower on Twitter in Sunday Life magazine, along with some other brilliant bloggers including @Will_UK, @decor8, @citysage and fellow Aussie @interiorsaddict. Check out Amanda’s excellent design and interiors blog, Snoop.

    This delicious New Zealand rainbow trout with horseradish cream on toasted rye was just one of the canapes I feasted on at a Tourism New Zealand reception at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal. There was also an incredible performance of the Haka. Afterwards, I watched the sun go down over Sydney harbour and showed off my new Country Road booties.

    I also met Swedish glassmaker Göran Wärff at David Jones, where he is currently exhibiting some of his stunning limited edition pieces for Kosta Boda. His use of colour throughout his work is legendary, and these purple and orange vases were two of my favourites.

    I was also invited by Nuffnang to secret squirrel launch about a brand-new blogging product. Follow NuffnangX to find out more.

    And we had one of those rare evenings out with our 18-month-old toddler who happily accompanied us out to an early dinner in Darlinghurst. We headed to Gelato Messina for dessert, arguably Sydney’s best ice-cream. We shared a tasting plate of ‘Schmeckel’ (peanut butter and white chocolate-coated pretzels); salted caramel and white chocolate; dulce de leche (milk caramel); milk chocolate and peanut butter fudge and chocolate fondant ice-cream. Oh boy.

    What have you been up to? Do you love Instagram? I’m addicted – I love scrolling through the lives of Wee Birdy readers around the world. Find me on Instagram – I’m @WeeBirdy.

  5. Frock on Friday

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    Some of you have asked for some plus-sized options for Frock on Friday, so I’ve turned to Clements Ribeiro‘s clever new collection for UK plus-sized label Evans for inspiration. This is the London-based designers’ second collection for Evans, after their triumphant Spring/Summer collection earlier this year which sought to slash accepted fashion cliches for plus-sized women. Clearly, they’re on to a winner.

    Clements Ribeiro’s (northern hemisphere) autumn/winter collection for Evans sees a return to their signature prints (traditionally a no-no for curvy shapes) with a line-up of some cracking frocks. If you’re after a classic LBD that works between seasons, look no further than this crepe LBD (above). The supremely flattering cut features a v-neckline and a bang-on-trend peplum. It’s available in sizes 14 to 32. Swan by Clements Ribeiro Debra dress, £75 from Evans.

    However, it’s impossible to ignore the fabulous prints from this collection, including (below, from left to right) Swan By Clements Ribeiro Placement Print Salome Dress, £95; Swan By Clements Ribeiro Pansy Print Betty Dress, £75; and Swan By Clements Ribeiro Lace Grace Dress, £95. Clements Ribeiro for Evans.

  6. Wee Birdy in New Zealand: Primo Cafe in Methven

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    I would never expect to find much in the way of (a) quirky cafes, (b) vintage clothes and (c) the kind of shopping that gets my heart racing in a small ski resort town. So I was surprised to discover that Primo Cafe in Methven delightfully ticks all three boxes.

    Methven is a small town in the Canterbury region of New Zealand and is the base for nearby Mt Hutt during the ski season.

    Part-cafe and part-junk-shop, Primo is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of retro Kiwiana, bric-a-brac, vintage clothes, jewellery, accessories, tablewear, books, prints, paintings, toys, magazines and furniture. Every available surface is crammed with the kind of trinkets you’d be thrilled to uncover in a country carboot sale.

    The back wall is stacked with an impressive collection of vintage blankets, sheets and fabric, while the front window houses an assortment of glassware and crystal.

    The kitchen counter is stacked with just-baked slices, muffins, biscuits and cakes, and the menu offers an assortment of delicious old-fashioned breakfast and lunch time options. Primo’s legendary bacon and egg toasted sandwich is not to be missed, but we also liked the avocado and tomato on toast. There was an adorable vintage enamel highchair for Harry, the kind which has a seat that slides out to reveal an in-built potty. He was happy with his avocado toast and a “little Fluffy” – Kiwi for babycinno.

    There is no rush to leave – in fact, lingering is encouraged with the wood-burning stove in the corner, cosy crocheted cushions on the chairs and various vintage chess sets scattered around the tables. I was tempted to curl up in an old armchair by the fire for the day, but we had to get going to Mt Hutt. Still, it was a rather charming and unexpected way to start our day at the snow.

    Primo Cafe
    38 McMillan Street
    Methven, New Zealand
    Tel. 03 302 9309

    And if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Methven, the Brinkley Resort was superb in every way possible. We had an apartment on the ground-floor so we didn’t have to worry about lugging suitcases, child and pram up stairs, and we also had two bedrooms, a laundry and a kitchen, so we could easily adapt to Harry’s familiar home routines. The accommodation itself was modern, clean and stylish, and it provided the perfect base for our adventures on Mt Hutt.

    Wee Birdy travelled to Christchurch courtesy of the good folks at Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand. Head to www.newzealand.com for more information about visiting New Zealand.

    Click here to read my post about Re:Start in Christchurch, including my top six shops.
    Click here to read about The General Store at Re:Start in Christchurch.

    Click here to read about HAPA at Re:Start in Christchurch.
    Click here to read about Johnson’s Grocers at Re:Start in Christchurch.