My happy place: Colin Mathura-Jeffree

By Bronwyn Sell

Model and TV host, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, shares his happy place with us.

Colin Mathura-Jeffree says one of his happiest places is at amazing long lunches with friends and family. Photo / Janna Dixon
Colin Mathura-Jeffree says one of his happiest places is at amazing long lunches with friends and family. Photo / Janna Dixon

I'm the kind of guy who has many happy places. I'm just sort of wired that way. I'm a Taurus, and apparently one of the traits of being a Taurus is to be quite hedonistic, and look for things that are luxurious and pleasure-seeking. So I do have a lot of happy places, such as being in the middle of a massage or a facial, or in the middle of a great book (I'm reading about three books at the moment).

But the place I think I'm happiest is at amazing long lunches, with all your friends and your family, when it's big and boozy and foodie.

The ideal long lunch must be always at a new location and it must always be different. It's part of human nature to have new experiences, new conversations, new people to chat to. I'll never sit by the same person; I'll sit by someone new - and then you learn things. It's having the familiarity of your regulars around you, and also all these new characters, with new opinions. And people don't have to agree with you: debate is wonderful.

Then there's food, which is the other wonderful aspect - having new tastes and new varieties and new opportunities to experience all these things in one sitting.

I think it started when I was growing up. We would always have a long brunch on a Sunday with the family. It's just a real family trait. Over the weekend we had lunch at my sister's place and we had the whole family there, and a couple of friends, and there was a lot of food - delicious spiced chops - and margaritas and wine (we drink as well as we eat).

When I was at university we would do it as well. I made this real eclectic bunch of crazy, intellectual friends in 1991, my first year of university. And we would go for these beautiful picnics in Albert Park. I'd bring in a big Tupperware of curry. It was always that kind of madness.

It's wonderful, because I've lived the party scene. Boy, I've been to every single wild party you could imagine, done everything. But doing something like this during the day opens your mind. There's a sense of wonderment in everything.

And then you can go home and be relaxed. When you have a lunch like that you really appreciate the moment.

- as told to Bronwyn Sell

* Colin Mathura-Jeffree hosts New Zealand's Hottest Home Baker, Thursdays at 7.30pm on TV3.

- Herald on Sunday

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