Another Vinnies Art Box dinner takes place Wednesday, April 6 with the opportunity to hear artist Lester Hall share stories about his career and new works Ngati Pakeha Inks, while you enjoy cocktails, canapes and a three-course dinner with matching wines. An always interesting and popular night hosted by chef Geoff Scott. $130 per person, ph (09) 376 5597.
Hold it all
We love the retro feel of these simple cotton string bags, perfect for holding books, fruit, or any other supermarket shopping - a far chicer option than most other supermarket reusable bags. They're made from 100 per cent cotton, and come in a set of three for $15. From foxes.co.nz.
Indulge your naughty side with Evil Child hot chocolate. Made in the Netherlands, from high-grade, West African ethically sourced cocoa, we bet this will become your favourite winter treat. $12.45 a tin from cafes around town or ph 0508 EVILCHILD.
New York, New York
It's amazing the different ways people around the world have reached out to help Christchurch. One such person is Brad Farmerie, head chef and owner of New York's Public restaurant. Farmerie first worked for Peter Gordon at The Sugar Club in London, and later joined Kiwi Anna Hansen in opening, also in London, the Providores and Tapa Room. He has also visited here many times and has many New Zealanders on his staff. Farmerie sourced New Zealand wine and produce in the Big Apple, and held a silent auction of New Zealand-themed items. Most of the 250 guests were Kiwis who live in New York and they generously raised $18,000.
A little closer to home, Tony Forsyth from Waiheke's Te Whau Vineyard, who went to school and university in Christchurch, is raiding his cellar to contribute top NZ wines for a six-course degustation dinner this Friday, 1 April, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross Earthquake appeal. Alongside the cuisine of chef Marco Edwardes, Tony is donating wines he has reserved over the years from vineyards such as Dry River, Herzog, Fromm and, of course, Te Whau. With suppliers donating food and Te Whau staff donating their time, the entire proceeds will go towards the appeal. Tickets are $175 per person. Ph (09) 372 7191 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The mushroom and mozzarella arancini risotto balls. Scrummy with a glass of tempranillo at the bar Liquid Molten in Mt Eden.
* The baked ricotta, goat's curd, baby beets, horseradish, walnut brown butter at K Rd's Coco's Cantina. Mouth-wateringly delicious on a wet, windy night.
* The melt-in-your-mouth lamb and fig tagine at Casita Miro vineyard restaurant, Onetangi. Delicious and addictive, this is also set to be a winter staple.