Gatherings was just a few months old when it took out Best New Metropolitan Restaurant in the 2017 Cuisine Good Food Awards.
Chef and owner Alex Davies has enjoyed the spotlight on his restaurant and the Christchurch food scene in general.
“To be recognized at such a high level so early on in the restaurant’s life was epic.”
Sustainability is behind everything Gatherings does – from sourcing food from organic farms to its plant-based menu and “living wine” list.
Alex describes his style of cooking as “a pure expression of now”, making the most of seasonal produce grown locally.
“We hope to inspire more innovative ways of being sustainable and to break the cliché of a vegetarian restaurant as ‘alternative’, by considering where things come from and how they were made but still offering something very considered.
“We also offer a very informal, relaxed style of service as we feel this style of hospitality is more a reflection of New Zealand culture.”
Gatherings is on the fringes of the CBD in a building made in 1931 that miraculously survived the city’s 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.
Alex commutes to the restaurant from Lyttelton, where he lives with singer-songwriter Bryony Matthews.
“There’s something special about living on the rim of an extinct volcano. Looking out across the peninsula every day helps me get up in the morning.”
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Alex Davies' top five things to do in Canterbury
- Swim in the sea at Magazine Bay to cool off in the summer months; it has a great little wharf which is fun to jump off.
- Go to Nostalgia Festival – an annual festival celebrating local independent food from all over the city, craft beer and an epic music line up; set in a 1900s township in Ferrymead, it is always such a good time.
- Hang out at Black Estate, drink wine and enjoy some of the amazing food on offer while taking in the incredible scenery and the warm microclimate of the Waipara region.
- Walk in the Port Hills for views all over Christchurch and Banks Peninsula – also a good foraging opportunity!
- Visit Canterbury Cheesemongers for incredible baked goods and the most beautiful spread of cheeses from all over the country.