My Weekend: Simon James

By Anna Lee

Interior detail of Bistro and Brasserie Ostro in Britomart. Photo / Babiche Martens.
Interior detail of Bistro and Brasserie Ostro in Britomart. Photo / Babiche Martens.
Simon James. Photo / Supplied.
Simon James. Photo / Supplied.


Simon James established his namesake design company in 1998, and it has grown to include a popular Auckland showroom and concept store.

Both offer a curated selected of Simon's work alongside furniture and lighting from leading local and international design brands, like Established and Sons, Barber Osgerby, Jamie McLell and David Moreland.

He also co-runs Resident, a design company that works with local designers and artists to develop products for export.

Time away from work can include everything from fishing to films - here, Simon shares some of his favourite weekend spots.


Buying... The String Lights by Michael Anastassiades, such a clean simple form that will dominate any open space.

Trying... Landing a marlin from my tinny, this takes a fair bit of planning and some favourable weather, I attempted it three years ago off Te Kaha on the East Cape with no luck, so plan to give this another shot next summer north of the Poor Knights.

Discovering... The Ariki Store, hands-down best coffee in Grey Lynn.

Drinking... I tend to keep things local in the winter, so head to Freida Margolis or Gypsy Tea Rooms for a beer or gin and tonic.

Dining... Ostro recently for lunch, the sea views are amazing and so was the smoked kahawai omelette, I also recently returned to The Sugar Club where the five-spiced duck is a must.

Planning... I'll always keep an eye on what's exhibiting at Hopkinson Mossman, and then I'm looking forward to seeing the new Wes Anderson film The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Going... I enjoy getting out of the city whenever I can, Bethells Beach is great for walking the dog in the morning or if I have a little more time head north of Whangarei with the family for a surf or fish.

Favourite place... North Head, Devonport. I spent my youth running around and exploring that place - there was this urban myth that two planes were buried in there somewhere, which we never found. Still a great place for a walk or fish and chips from Bema Takeaways in the evening.


- VIVA

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