From a banking boardroom in London to the fresh mountain air of Central Otago, account director at Publicity PR, Kristen Allison, takes us on a tour of her new home, magnificent Queenstown.
What is the best thing about living in Queenstown?
The Vista. I feel like we’re living in a 3-Dimensional painting. It’s a beauty you can’t escape. We’ve only been living here for three months, yet I feel like we’ll never tire of the striking landscape that surrounds us.
What is the best season to visit?
We're not snow bunnies. So while most would presume winter is the best season, summer is it for us. Hot, dry and consistently sunny; a welcomed change from Auckland’s often-unpredictable weather.
What is your best advice for visitors?
Hire a car and escape the tourist hub and explore the surrounds: Wanaka, Gibbston Valley, Bannockburn, Jacks Point, and Skippers Canyon. Also, the alpine climate is as dry as a bone, have plenty of hand cream at the ready, trivial, but necessary.
Where do you get the best coffee?
I’ve found this gem on my morning commute between Arrowtown and Queenstown: Peak Espresso it's a small hut that sits on the back road out of Queenstown. A one-man band, who specialises in just coffee, and he makes a dammed good one every time.
Indulge in the best breakfast?
The Chop Shop Food Merchants in Arrowtown wins, hands down, it’s considered a local secret. The menu is limited, and that’s what I like about it, fewer dishes, all done incredibly well.
Where is the best bar for pre-and-post dinner drinks?
A little bar right down the end of the waterfront called Little Blackwood live music, outdoor seating and a fine selection of whisky aperitifs, and local wines.
The best winery?
We’ve just bought land in Bannockburn, so our home will soon be surrounded by vineyards. But until we settle in, our standing favourite is Amisfield, the restaurant is beautiful, and in my opinion, they make the holy grail of Pinot Noir.
The best restaurant?
My picks to date: Caribe is a Latin American kitchen that serves an assortment of Latin-inspired fusion street food. The homemade cornmeal bread stuffed with assorted fillings – is a hit. Madamwoo is a must. You can't go past the Hawker Rolls or Nasi Lemak, you can either enjoy a romantic meal, or a lively evening with friends. And La Rumbla in Arrowtown, I’m a sucker for Spanish food and their menu of tapas and tamarillo & chilli martini are incredible.
The best hair salon/spa?
The Collective hair salon or a tranquil and luxurious spa experience, The Spa at Millbrook.
The best fashion store?
Angel Devine, tucked away on Searle Lane, is where I go for a designer fix: Juliette Hogan, Marle, Kate Sylvester, Commoners, Deadly Ponies. Following a close second is Seletti Concept Store, which has an international fashion offering.
Best kept secret?
If you’re in Queenstown on a Wednesday night, head into Arrowtown to a small bar called Blue Door. Every Wednesday night, musicians from around the area come to Blue Door for an open jam. Sit back and enjoy with a whisky or red in hand. Such a great ambience and a fun night mid-week.