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EAT, DRINK + BE MERRY CHRISTMAS CHEERS AT CHAPEL Christmas is a time for indulgence, so before I let you in on what we have planned for the festive season here at Chapel, I thought I’d allow myself a look-back on what has been a crazy, highlightpacked year. 2010 has been the year in which what we’ve all known for ages was finally made official … that Chapel is the best bar in New Zealand! The venue was named Best Bar at this year’s Hospitality Association of NZ Awards, beating off competition from all around the country. The award provided the perfect early birthday present before Chapel turned five in October … no I can barely believe it either, but it’s five years since I poured the first pint!


Some great times and unforgettable parties have been had over these last five years, so while I’m allowing myself this spot of indulgence, I’d like to raise a glass to all of you who have helped to make the bar the success it has been – and promise that like a fine wine, Chapel will only get better with age!

matched to wines from some of this country’s finest vineyards. And to celebrate the beginning of summer, the legendary Ponsonby Long Lunch has just made a welcome return in November: four gourmet courses matched by the award-winning King series wines. Quite simply, mmmmmmmmm!

Talking of unforgettable parties, this year saw us bring glitz, glamour and even unexpected weather patterns to the Ponsonby Road strip.

It’s been an incredible year so far, however 2010 is far from over, and with our fantastic drinks selection and summer menu, I can’t think of anywhere better to enjoy the summer weather on Ponsonby Road than here at Chapel.

Back in March, as the evenings began to cool down everywhere else, we ensured that Chapel remained hot hot hot with our annual LBD party. For those of you that don’t know, at Chapel LBD stands for Little Black Dress, which one lucky party-goer got to ultra-accessorize by winning a $3000 diamond necklace. In April, I turned match-maker and hosted Chapel’s Lock n Key party, and while I won’t take too much of the credit, it’s fair to say that there were more lock-ins than lock-outs by the end of the night! The following month saw yet more glamour as we celebrated the release of the Sex And The City 2 movie with our own SATC party, complete with cosmopolitans, high fashion and fabulous prizes. And then in July, Ponsonby Road was dusted in a fine white powder – legally I hasten to add – as we even made snow fall outside Chapel for our Winter Party! But of course, Chapel was not just about the partying over the cold winter months – I’m far too much of a foody to let that happen! Seasonal meat, barbecue, seafood, cheese and wild boar tastings were all held to warm the cockles – with all foods perfectly

Coming up on Thursday, 9 December we have our festively saucy Mistletoe Party, where a buff young Santa and a hot Miss Clause will both be on hand for photos, last minute present requests and maybe even a quick cuddle under the mistletoe. Then we’ll be seeing out the year on a Spartacus theme with our New Years Eveacus party. While we’ll try not to make “Auckland tremble”, we’ll definitely ensure that Ponsonby Road rocks. So if you’re staying in Auckland this New Years, put your Glad(iatorial) rags on and come down to party like it’s 73BC! From myself and all my staff at Chapel, thanks for your continued patronage and support … and Merry Christmas! If you’ve got any suggestions or feedback from your visits, please feel free to contact me on CHAPEL, 147 Ponsonby Road, T: 09 360 4528

WHEN IT’S TIME FOR LUNCH IT’S TIME TO CALL RIPE THERE’S ALWAYS A FRANTIC EFFORT MADE COME DECEMBER TO DO A BIT of entertaining before the year is out. An anonymous hostess, who has featured in an earlier issue of Ponsonby News, was aware she owed a number of gal pals return hospitality and the month being a busy one, decided to have them to lunch and order in food rather than cook it herself. Who better to approach than Angie at Ripe and let her take control, even as far as making the irksome decision on what to serve? The invitees were quite an exclusive bunch; a well known actress of stage and screen, a high profile PR personality, a local body politician, and a popular columnist. The hostess was very aware they were a discriminating lot but she trusted Ange implicitly and was not let down by any manner of means! The menu comprised of a choice of Asian styled salmon or Moroccan Chicken accompanied by a large platter of four different salads. Then followed a selection of strawberry custard tarts and gingernut cheesecake.

better word to describe the way the guests fell upon them, all thoughts of moderate ingestion put aside. The strawberry decorated tarts filled with crème anglaise had the perfect balance of light consistency and sweetness. There was almost a battle over the last portion of gingernut cheesecake which also won on points for its delicate texture and whipped cream topping. The lunch lingered on until late afternoon and the triumphant hostess decided then and there the time was ripe to re-ignite her cooking skills. The next day she spied a copy of Ripe Recipes on display in the deli when returning the platters. Back at home she sat in front of her computer, went online, typed in and learned she could pre-order and pick up her own copy from Ripe. Nothing was going to prevent her from concocting buckets of the Raw Energy salad to have on hand whenever family or friends needed feeding. (AN ANONYMOUS FOODIE)

The salmon was declared a winner; moist with a velvety texture and a delicious crust. The chicken was equally well received and a guessing game over what mysterious spices flavoured the salads provoked lively discussion. To put their curiosity at rest the hostess was able to inform them the cauliflower salad contained dukkah, basil pesto and a yoghurt dressing. Coriander and sesame oil enhanced the brown rice salad and plenty of basil and feta enlivened the Greek salad no end. These dishes were all received with great acclaim but the raw energy salad won on several points. Nobody guessed the indefinable flavour of pomegranate molasses in the combination of grated beetroot, carrot, raisins, toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and roughly chopped mint. Add balsamic vinegar, orange juice and honey to the mix and the munchers declared the resulting taste experience was tops. After a timely rest and much discussion on a wide range of subjects including the latest weight reduction craze, Zumba, it was time to sample the sweet treats. Scoffing is a

The World Belongs to the Dissatisfied



DECEMBER/JANUARY '10/ '11 Ponsonby News  
DECEMBER/JANUARY '10/ '11 Ponsonby News  

Christmas issue - covering December and January - news/views and all that is happening in and around Ponsonby