Wednesday4:00 pm – 12:30 am.

Thursday4:00 pm – 12:30 am.

Friday4:00 pm – 12:30 am.

Saturday4:00 pm – 12:30 am.


5/2 Papanui Road, Merivale, Christchurch

0210 293 5641

There’s no doubting food is better when it’s eaten together, and when you’re tucked in the 25 seat restaurant that is Gatherings, eating some of the most beautifully made food around, it’s hard not to agree. After a year spent working on an organic farm in Swannanoa, Alex Davies, the savvy chef-come-restaurant owner, used his furthered passion, skills and knowledge of what was truly local and how brilliantly accessible it all was, to start his own eatery.

The menu is very much plant based, a philosophy that relates to Alex’s desire to look after the planet and be mindful of what we take from it. Open Wednesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, the menu changes frequently depending on what their small scale produce makers can supply (so much so that your favourite dish may be here today and gone tomorrow). But rather than disappointing, the transience of the menu adds to the quiet excitement of eating out. A $60 tasting menu will see you delivered five courses of some of the freshest produce of the day, and a snack menu caters to those hungry at the bar.

Wines are from vineyards all over the country and are of the ‘living’ variety – meaning they are made with minimal technological and zero chemical intervention. The team also has their own wine label created by Theo Coles which specifically ties in with the seasons. Sundays see the space become the stage for live music events each month.

The space is beautifully Canterbury-esque with recycled wooden furniture by a local carpenter, small jars of grasses and tussocks adorning tables and warm lighting to ensure it feels cosy enough to stay for an hour or two. Artwork is beautifully simple and crockery comes from New Zealand artisan makers.

With nothing pretentious about the restaurant, Gatherings is more about celebrating Canterbury food sources together, and introducing another way of thinking about food that isn’t overwhelming to consumers. It’s an invitation to eat something as exotic and simple as organic onions with goats cheese and hazelnuts, and not feel like you have to go to a high-brow restaurant to do so.

Words by Tahlia Vogel & Photography by Nancy Zhou

5/2 Papanui Road, Merivale, Christchurch

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