Fill your Christmas Table with Christchurch’s Best

A hand holding a glass of champagne over a Christmas table setting.

If the thought of planning your Christmas Day menu sends you into a more frazzled than festive state, we’re here to let you know that you needn’t go it alone. We’ve rounded up Christchurch’s very best grocers, florists, bakers, butchers and more to help you spend less time in the kitchen and more time at the table.

Words by: Maggie Worthington

Photos by: Nancy Zhou, Ashleigh Vermaak and Supplied

Set the table

A day for your best plates to be served, your candles lit, vases filled and those vintage coupe glasses clinked. If you’re looking for a few extra special pieces to make your table setting pop, here’s where you should be looking.

Frances Nation Home

The Arts Centre 28 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

Housed in the historic Christchurch Arts Centre, you’ll find a beautiful range of Aotearoa-made goods at Frances Nation Home, including a well-stocked tableware selection. Unique ceramic dinner sets, handmade rimu utensils and beeswax candles are just a few items that will add a thoughtful and elegant touch to your setup. 

A woman preparing bouquets in a store.

Flowers

We’re big believers that a floral centerpiece has the power to transform a table from ho-hum to ho ho ho… If you know where to go. For those who’ve had enough decision-making for one year, Alicia from Bunch Floral simplifies the order process with just one option – highlighting whatever beauty is popping out of the ground at the time. Over by the seashore, Harakeke Florist has a whole array of Christmas-inspired bouquets featuring bright ruby hues, lillies and dried foliage wreaths, as well as a well-stocked inventory of candles, vases and tableware.

Baked goods

Whether it’s waking up to fresh pastries or tucking into heavily buttered bread while waiting for the oven timer to go off, baked goods are a Christmas necessity.

Grizzly Baked Goods

33 Buchan Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

Grizzly is no stranger to the carb lovers of Ōtautahi. These bakers are upping the ante once again for Christmas (a.k.a. Grizzmas) with a few festive menu additions. Gingerbread sourdough, ‘take ‘n’ bake’ eggnog croissants, Christmas morning buns and brioche loaf come into play, with all the classics you know and love still available.

Bohemian Bakery

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255 Saint Asaph Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

Taking a more traditional approach with their signature Eastern European flair, Bohemian’s seasonal offering features zesty mince pies, Christmas cookies, 12 or 24 croissant family packs (with vegan options available) and more.

Bellbird Bakery

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The Tannery, 3 Garlands Road, Woolston, Christchurch

The artisan bakers at Bellbird are sprinkling extra cheer into their dough this year, with Christmas specialties available to order up until Christmas Eve. On top of their bestsellers like almond croissants and trusty sourdough, Bellbird has also introduced a Christmas gift box made up of traditional Stollen, croissants, fruit mince tarts and a gingerbread person.

Fill your glass

Bubbly or natural, hoppy or botanical, keep your glass half full on Christmas Day with these delicious local tipples.

Frances Nation Grocer

The Arts Centre 28 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

The fridge at Frances Nation Grocer brings the best wines from North Canterbury into the Central City – meaning you needn’t go far for your favourite drop from Black Estate, Greystone Wines, Lilli Cider, Vita Wines and more. You’ll find a few other notable bottles from wineries further afield as well as New Zealand-made spirits. Pop into the grocer or order online for door-to-door delivery.

Three Boys Brewery

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592 Ferry Road, Woolston, Christchurch

There are few things that represent the start of summer better than the crack of a cold can. And when it’s the finest brew from Three Boys? That’s a peak moment. Head into their cellar door and fillery on Ferry Road for a rigger (BYO vessel welcome), a mixed box of your favourite cans or something non-alcoholic from their zingy kombucha range. Online delivery is also available for bottles and cans.

The Juniper Collective

112 Cashel Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

If negronis, G&Ts or Pimm’s cups are a Christmas tradition in your household, then you’ll be in your element at New Zealand’s one and only gin boutique. The Juniper Collective is a welcome respite from the crowds of mainstream liquor stores, with a minimal design and carefully curated display to instantly calm the senses. Shop a wide range of Aotearoa-made gins, mixers and dried fruit garnishes. There’s even a 12 day ‘ginmas’ advent calendar to keep you in high spirits leading up to the day.

The main event

The heart of the table, Christmas roasts often get a bad rap for being the instigator of every kitchen drama. Here’s who we look to for turning down the pressure…

Butchers

Only an award-winning selection of meat from local, ethical farms will do on a day like this. Whether it’s ham on the bone, elevated sausages for the BBQ or a hefty cut destined for the roasting tray, head to Cashmere Cuisine or Edgeware Road’s Peter Timbs for the good stuff. Make the most of the expertise you can’t find at a supermarket and pick up some top cooking tips while you’re there. This year, Peter Timbs has also made menu planning a breeze with Christmas Packs available to order for 2-4 or 6-10 people.

Grater Goods

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105 Orbell Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

Succulent plant-based roasts were perhaps considered an oxymoron before Grater Goods came to town. Laden your Christmas table with a delicious array of meat alternatives, such as Roast Furkey, Beet Wellington, BBQ Banger Packs, chorizo and more premium products. Vegans really can have it all.

A tin foil tray of cooked lamb and mashed potatoes.

Pedro's House of Lamb

Possibly our best idea to date, this requires zero cooking and zero stress. Pre-order a perfectly slow roasted New Zealand lamb shoulder from Pedro’s for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day pickup. Coated in an aromatic rosemary and garlic mix with a hefty helping of their iconic scalloped potatoes on the side, you’ll be glad you didn’t turn on your own oven.

Pantry and produce

Ditch the supermarket chaos this month for the chill vibes of Ōtautahi’s locally-owned specialty stores – guaranteed to take your salads, side dishes and cheese platters to the next level.
Italian food items on display on shelves inside Mediterranean Food Company..

Pantry Staples

Grab your suitcase (ahem, grocery bag) and be whisked away to Europe’s sunniest destinations at the Mediterranean Food Company. The shelves here are lined with only the very best, direct from the source. Stock up on true Italian pasta and grains, quality canned tomatoes, Spanish cured meats, specialty herbs and spices, deli cheeses, olives and much more. Land back home at Frances Nation Grocer, where New Zealand-made products such as hot sauces, lemon curds, pickles, chocolates, tea and coffee add a good oomph to your banquet.

A woman looking in a fridge surrounded by fresh fruit and vegetables.

Fresh produce

Amongst the buttery treats, meats and bread loading, you’ll no doubt be craving a mouthful of greens. General Post in Tai Tapu and Lyttelton’s Harbour Co-op are both excellent go-tos for fresh, organic produce from local gardens. For a convenient yet conscious option, get the Christmas Vege Box from Streamside Organics delivered to your door, filled with new potatoes, carrots, peas, strawberries and much more.

Dessert

At no point in the day should your table be deprived of something sweet. That’s just the Christmas rules. For an all-day sugar high, these bakers and pâtissiers have you sorted.

BUTTER

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472 Tuam Street, Phillipstown, Christchurch

Corentin Esquenet, the pastry chef behind Christchurch’s beloved petit fours, intricate tarts and decadent cakes, isn’t holding back this festive season. Meet the Cherry and Dark Chocolate Bûche de Noël: an entremet featuring dark chocolate and seasalt crumble, dark chocolate cremeux, cherry chocolate sponge and a rich cherry confit insert encased in a dark chocolate mousse and topped with Chantilly cream and cherries. All we can say is good luck to all the other desserts competing with this on the table.

Sweet Soul Patisserie

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1/79 Cashel Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

One look at the festive collection from Sweet Soul Patisserie and we knew some serious Christmas magic was at play. Disguised as more ornamental than edible (although our taste buds can assure you otherwise), the range includes Baileys Baubles, Black Forest Yule Logs, Santa Hats filled with a cocoa nib mousse, cherries, coconut marshmallow, and more wonderful creations.

Cakes by Anna

Christmas at CBA sees an old favourite return to the festive menu, joined by a couple of decadent newcomers. The pimped gingerbread is back, topped with brandy butterscotch caramel, toasted nuts, freeze dried berries, herbs and petals. For a crowd-pleaser, hit the box of chocolate rye brownies, or let the strawberry, bay custard and caramelised Swiss meringue buttercream cake steal the show.

J'aime les Macarons

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Merivale Mall Shop 6C/189 Papanui Road, Merivale, Christchurch

Nothing says joyeux noël like a festive box of macarons from J'aime les Macarons' iconic Merivale flagship store. Pick from a range of classic boxes to add a sweet touch to your much-needed coffee and tea breaks, or create a statement dessert centerpiece with the Christmas Macaron Wreath Kit.