Nathan Ingram from Fiksate shares his guide to Ōtautahi

Nathan and Jen Ingram standing in front of an artwork in their gallery, Fiksate.

Christchurch gallery owners, Nathan and Jen Ingram, have invigorated the urban art scene with their stylish gallery space, Fiksate. We caught up with Nathan who told us how the couple like to spend time in Ōtautahi with their son, Frank. It's a mix of their favourite places to eat, drink and relax in the city as well an unexpected art discovery.  

Explore North Beach

North New Brighton

We live in North Beach and love walking along the beach here, it's our favourite spot to walk with our son, Frank. On a Saturday morning, we’ll often head to North Beach Coffee Shed, a hole in the wall joint to grab a coffee (and a hot choccie for Frank) and sit up on the dunes and watch the waves roll in.

Kids walking with their surfboards into the ocean at New Brighton beach.

Coffee Fix at Black Betty

158 Madras Street, Christchurch

Black Betty is my number one spot in the city. Great coffee, great menu, great staff. We love it a lot because our friend Hamish owns it, but also it's just awesome. Over the years, I’ve got to know the staff really well and well, it’s cool to have that camaraderie that you get with having a local favourite. It is also right next door to Gordon Harris, so I can pick up spray cans and coffee all at the same time. The cheese and onion bagel and halloumi sandwich are our picks. We like cheese.

Interior view of Black Betty cafe in Christchurch.

Street Art Adventures with Watch This Space

Christchurch Central City

Recently I went on a street art walking tour with Watch This Space, and would highly recommend it. Although I spend a lot of time in this scene, it was fascinating to do a tour and have the guide, Reuben Woods, share the stories behind the art. Reuben has a PhD in Art History, so highly knowledgeable and thorough (he’ll point out the tiniest thing you’ve never even seen and certainly never expected). He can tailor the tour to the size of the group or area of the city you want to focus on too, a unique way to spend the morning walking around the city.

Kophie's mural in Christchurch.

Japanese on Colombo

448 Colombo Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

MoriMori on Colombo Street is a must-visit. It’s walking distance from our gallery so every time we have an opening at Fiksate, we take about 15 to 20 people down to MoriMori for a big Japanese meal. The staff are really cool, they’ll always welcome us with open arms and have a good sense of humour. When we’re not in a big group, I usually order the Terakayi salmon and Jen orders the crispy prawn spicy mayo sushi roll and we try to share. Everything on the menu is very good but those two dishes are our favourites.

Interior view of MoriMori in Christchurch.

Catch a gig at Fluxx

BOXed Quarter, 270 Saint Asaph Street, Christchurch

When we can get the night off, we’ll try and catch a gig at Fluxx Capacitor, tucked inside a little outdoor courtyard at BOXed Quarter complete with astroturf lawn. We’re stoked they are re-open after what has been a challenging time for them. I went down recently for the night and just loved the energy. The acts are a bit more out of the ordinary, not too mainstream and the place just goes off.

Gig at Fluxx at BOXed Quarter in Christchurch.

Take a drive out to Ashburton Art Gallery

327 West Street, Ashburton

We recently took a drive out to Ashburton Art Gallery on the spur of the moment and were pleasantly surprised by the place. There was an exhibition on Contemporary Female New Zealand Artists that Jen wanted to see and we both thought the whole thing was very well curated. It is a new building and has been thoughtfully designed with a range of small and large exhibition spaces. It also had a decent gift shop which is always a plus.

Ashburton Art Gallery exterior.

Family Pizza Night at Level One

Level 1/217 Marine Parade, New Brighton

Living in North New Brighton, we will often head to Level One for a big family pizza night. Jen’s mum usually joins us and we’ll order a bunch of different pizzas to devour. We like that it is affordable and family-friendly. They have Southpaw’s Uncle Charlie's beer which is win in our books. Frank loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the moment so he’s all about the pizza, a visit to Level One gives us a bit of cred too.

Pizza and salad from Level One in New Brighton.

Unwind at He Puna Taimoana

195 Marine Parade, New Brighton, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

We feel very lucky to have these amazing hot pools on our doorstep, and we’ve been as a family, but Jen loves the whole thing. Jen will head off on her own and get some time to unwind and get away from the boys and come back revitalized.

Don’t miss Cheesy-mite scrolls from Grizzly

33 Buchan Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

We are frequent visitors to the Grizzly Baked Goods on Buchan Street. It’s close to the gallery so we will venture out for a coffee and cheesy-mite scroll run. These delicious scrolls sell out so you have to get in quick. I always get an extra one so I can eat one on the walk back to the gallery!

Rainy Days at Tūranga

60 Cathedral Square, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

On a rainy day, we’ll head into the city and make a b-line for Tūranga. Frank adores the Lego pit and will spend ages building creations. We try and get him to focus on getting books to take home but for him, it's all about the Lego. The library is a good excuse to get out of the house and do something free.