When not in his restaurant, Chris Upton is chilling at home or exploring the Hauraki Gulf.

Chris Upton of Auckland restaurant icon O'Connell St Bistro rates resting as a favoured activity when it comes to his weekends. "Sundays are usually spent recovering from the week and relaxing at home - it's my chance to get into the kitchen and reward myself with a good bottle of wine from the cellar," says the busy restaurateur. When Upton's not taking ten, he can be found out on the water exploring the Hauraki Gulf. Take a look at some of his top spots about town.

Mornings ... If I'm working during the week, it's often a quick coffee and bite at Giles in Shortland St.

On the weekends we often head to Tasca in Newmarket for their Turkish street pizza [Lahmajun]. It brings back great memories of the street food in Istanbul. Serious Espresso in Cross St for great Millers Coffee.
Loving ... The islands of the Hauraki Gulf as boating is something we love to do during our time off. If you can sneak away in the middle of the week on a fine day, you'll find you have the bays and beaches pretty much to yourself.

Drinking ... Galbraith's Alehouse for a great British-style bitter by the fire and Molten, Mt Eden, to immerse ourselves in Sven's eclectic wine list.


Dining ... Monsoon Poon - great atmosphere and always great service. I'm loving their new eggplant dish at the moment. Oh Calcutta for great Indian, especially their goat curry.

Enjoying ... I don't get the chance to get out much, but when I do, we enjoy a bottle of wine in the back row of the Lido cinema while watching the latest releases.

Going ... A great day is to head up to Tiritiri Matangi and enjoy the crystal clear water with a barbecue and a spot of fishing on the way. In the winter we jump in the car and head for the Waitakeres and West Coast beaches with our dog Koko, stopping off at the Refreshment Room for a spot of late lunch.

Discovering ... Raven & Cook cafe in Greenwoods Corner.

Anticipating ... I am co-hosting a private cruise charter in April next year [in Turkey] with Leighton Smith to commemorate the centenary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli - which should be a great trip - details can be found here.