Lynley Bilby

Lynley Bilby is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Festive excess keeps eateries and spas busy

Ostro Restaurant is packed every day for lunch and dinner. Photo / Jason Dorday
Ostro Restaurant is packed every day for lunch and dinner. Photo / Jason Dorday

Business lunches are the order of the day this summer, as the corporate world celebrates Christmas in style - and a new luxury spa is getting ready for high-end customers who overdo it.

One of Auckland's hottest new harbourside eateries, Ostro Brasserie and Bar, is solidly booked for lunch and dinner until Christmas.

Elsewhere, private dining rooms are booked out for functions in upmarket eateries in Federal St and SkyCity, including its new contemporary Japanese restaurant, Masu.

Those who overindulge can turn to a new $30million luxury detox centre opening near Queenstown next month.

For just under $5000 you can book into the Aro Ha Wellness Retreat's five-day Enrich and Invigorate programme, which will provide yoga at sunrise, three-hour hikes, therapeutic massage, strength training and Finnish saunas.

Guests are fed a calorie-restricted vegetarian diet of sprouted avocado benedict with cucumber lime juice and carrot tacos with living green corn chowder.

Alcohol is strictly off-limits.

Managing partner Damian Chaparro said guests would simply "arrive, unplug and experience the shift from the daily rollercoaster of modern diet and lifestyle towards the natural high that fully delivers the feeling of being ecstatically alive and centred".

Back in the city, Ostro in the Seafarers Building flanking the hip Britomart Square, features the menu of Masterchef judge Josh Emett.

Restaurant manager Timothee Lepoutre said the venue opened five weeks ago and was almost booked solid for dinner and lunch for the rest of the year. But there was still room for people to walk up and eat at tables outside or at the bar, especially on Sunday and Monday.

Across town at SkyCity's Masu, host Miranda Wallwork said the bookings were strong.

The 18-seat private dining area was "pretty much booked for the rest of the month".

Euro general manager Jeff Bull said corporate Christmas functions were now in full swing, having started with the Melbourne Cup.

"It's all day, every day," he said. "I've even had to pop out to buy some more tables and chairs to keep us moving."

Bull expected the restaurant to be catering to groups of corporate diners at least until the Friday before Christmas.

- Herald on Sunday

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