Cafe Chat: The festive season is upon us

22:22, Nov 19 2013
LET THEM: Eat a figgy pudding cake for Christmas.

The festive season is all but on us and there's plenty of eating, drinking, and good times to be scheduled between now and Christmas. ABBIE NAPIER looks to the weeks ahead.


This is the time for staff parties, family gatherings, and general get-togethers. It's not too late to book your event as there are still few options left around town.

Now Rydges Latimer (30 Latimer Square) is open , the hotel is hosting Giant Christmas Parties (a night out, you do none of the organising). Parties are held in the Savoy ballroom and include drinks, dinner, and entertainment for the evening. Available December weekends, $99pp, ph 03 379 6760.

Passengers & Co is hosting dinners and private functions at 92 Russley Rd. Bookings are piling in so this is best organised now, or 03 342 9490.

Addington Raceway also has hassle-free packages starting November 29. Variety of options and prices available, call 03 338 2572 or visit


For a pub-style function, Pomeroy's is offering set menu Christmas options in December with options to hire a whole room or just use the restaurant, ph 03 365 1523.


If you're having Christmas at home this year or need to organise that special something for a holiday, now is the time to be ordering things like the Christmas ham.

Cattermoles Butchery in Kaiapoi won the 100 per cent New Zealand Pork Ham of the Year 2013, and would be a good choice. Call 03 327 8219.

Peter Timbs Butchery offers you the chance to either collect a glazed ham all ready to go, or pick up a ham to finish off yourself. Call 03 366 1780.

Euro Deli Meats on Westminster St and at its Elmwood shop Normans Rd offers Cressy Farm free-farmed ham on the bone. Call 03 385 3644.

Rare Fare Papanui is offering ham, and is also a good choice for fresh Cantervalley turkey. Call 03 352 9047.


The traditional Christmas fruitcake is all well and good but this year is the time to mix it up and try a creative take on classic flavours. This is where homespun caker Anna Worthington of Cakes By Anna steps in. Her festive cake menu includes Boozy Figgy Pudding Cake (figs, dates, spices, roasted plums and caramel sauce), Summer Trifle Cake (lemon, mascarpone, berries and limoncello curd), and Chocolate Cheery Cake. All are seasonal must-eats this season. Anna's cakes are by order (last orders December 18, collect by December 24), and come in different sizes for gifts, treats for staff, or for yourself. Order your cake by emailing


Retro, homemade, and vintage are all very much on-trend and there is a wealth of opportunities for you to impress with your gift giving this Christmas. Markets are stacked up from now until December 20.

Every Saturday night from now on there is a night market held at Bush Inn in Riccarton complete with food, clothes, gifts and more, 5.30pm to 11pm.

On December 7 Encraftment Markets are holding a Bambino Market where you can stock up on all things babies and children - perfect for Christmas gifts, 10am to 3pm at Rangi Ruru Girls' School.

On December 14 and 15, Encraftment's Christmas Market is open in Cathedral Square from 10am to 3pm with gift-wrapping, stalls, food and coffee.

A vintage market is being held at 280 Hasketts Rd in Yaldhurst on December 15 with linens, glassware, coffee, and retro homewares from 10am to 2pm.

Christchurch Farmers Market is also open December 16 to 20 from 4pm to 7pm at Riccarton Bush.


If you are not going to be cooking the festive meal this year there will be some Christchurch restaurants open for Christmas Day meals.

Bloody Mary's at Rydges is offering a six-course set menu lunch ($149pp) from 12.30pm onwards. Call 379 6760.

The Rendezvous Hotel is offering lunch or dinner, five- course set menu, ($65pp). Call 943 3888.

Caesar's Family Restaurant, in Northwood, is offering two-course meals for $48.90pp. Call 03 323 5420.

Saggio Di Vino (the winning restaurant in the Zest Food Awards) is open on Christmas Day. The menu will not be posted until December 1 but owner Lisa Scholz says it will feature three courses with five options for each course. It will cost $120pp. Open from 5pm on Christmas Day. Reservations online at

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