Christchurch, New Zealand: Best places to eat - resort owner Hall Cannon's picks

THE EXPERT

HALL CANNON

Originally from the US, Cannon has lived in Christchurch for the past 13 years. He owns and operates Otahuna Lodge, a magnificent 1895 homestead turned Relais & Chateaux hotel. Otahuna is the largest private historic residence in New Zealand and set in a secluded valley in the Port Hills just outside the city. See otahuna.co.nz; relaischateaux.com

COFFEE

Start the day with a fantastic coffee in the rapidly changing city centre. Miro is housed in a well-preserved architectural treasure overlooking the gentle Avon River. I like to read the morning papers while sandwiched between the two wood-burning fireplaces and sometimes find myself guilty of enjoying what's quite possibly the best eggs benedict in town – complemented by smoked salmon and potato and leek cakes – while I am at it. See miro.nz

BRUNCH

Afterwards, it's a short stroll down the banks of the Avon and along the Terrace – Christchurch's new $140 million hospitality precinct, which has many restaurants and bars – to the just-opened Riverside Market. It's an indoor farmers market that brings together some of Canterbury's best artisan food suppliers. For brunch, plan to make it a walking tour with visits to particular foodie standouts including Cluck Cluck Slurp, Le Creperie and The Mediterranean Food Company. See riverside.nz

LUNCH

Make the 45-minute drive north of Christchurch to New Zealand's buzziest wine region, North Canterbury. There, visit Black Estate, the Naish family's paean to brilliant food and wine. The winery serves organic and biodynamic drops from the region's hot soils, while the two-hatted restaurant offers accomplished cooking across a host of delicious, shareable plates – think venison tartare with fermented peach and whole-wheat pasta with smoked beetroot. See blackestate.co.nz

TASTING

With all that eating, it's important to pay a visit to Whisky Galore. While not a bar per se, no trip to Christchurch would be complete without calling in to New Zealand's best supplier of single malts and Scotch blended whiskies. The Milne family delivers a one-of-a-kind experience for whisky fanciers, and you'll most certainly find the "dram of your dreams" there. They host tasting events – book early. See whiskygalore.co.nz

DINNER

At the end of a day exploring the best of the area, I can't – while, of course, a bit biased – imagine a better spot for dinner than in one of Otahuna's private dining locations. Whether in the octagonal turret overlooking the property's century-old gardens or snugly next to the fire in the library, you'll enjoy executive chef Jimmy McIntyre's "potager-to-plate" signature dishes, such as a tian of salmon tartare with avocado, lime and tomato, or his estate-harvested porcini mushroom risotto, washed down with some of New Zealand's finest vintages. See otahuna.co.nz

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