The New Brighton Good Life Guide: Samantha Fay
Meet another inspiring New Brighton local, Samantha Fay, a textile and fibre artist who calls New Brighton, Christchurch home. Here is her guide to the beachside suburb, which she compiled with our pals over at Neat Places.
Samantha has lived in the New Brighton coastal community for over 20 years but grew up in a small seaside village in Dunedin, much like New Brighton.
I love living here and consider it my forever home. I can hear the waves from my house and have learned the rhythms of the wind, so I know to plan my beach adventures before lunchtime."
“The people are amazing; the sense of community I feel here is almost like a family. I have managed to build a life that means I rarely need to cross the river, and I like it that way. New Brighton is filled with artists and creatives, so I’m with my people.”
68 Hawke Street, Surfside Mall, New Brighton
New Brighton Stitch-O-Mat is Samantha’s home away from home. She’s a textile and fibre artist by trade, and this community project is her shared baby with Bridget Allen, another local. Stitch-O-Mat is a fantastic, accessible, and welcoming community space where visitors can try their hand at sewing, learn new skills and access methods to live more sustainably.
Best Of Brighton Eats And Drinks
New Brighton is blessed with the best when it comes to food and drink options with an array of excellent cafes and bars. The newly opened Dune at The Bridge Hub has a lovely, relaxed atmosphere. Samantha’s go-to spot for Sunday date nights with Bridget is The Burger Joint, where you can get yourself a great beer from Southpaw Brewing Company, burgers, and a shared plate of cheesy gravy fries – how good!
Cnr Bridge Street & Estuary Road, South Brighton
Common Ground is where it’s at on a Friday night with local food trucks parking up in the area to satisfy all your food and drink cravings! Here you will find a fantastic community vibe, a book fridge, community gardens, a seed exchange and even a crop swap.
The New Brighton Pedestrian Mall
The Saturday Seaside Markets run by The New Brighton Project are one of Samantha’s top picks. The markets are a great spot to bump into friends, grab some lunch (usually the seafood noodles from Adams Noodles, in her case) and stock up on snacks. The pretzels from Angie’s German Baking are divine with cheese, and a bee-sting from Jerry & George, is a must in her eyes. Be it plants or pounamu, there is something to tickle everyone’s fancy.
Bridge For Community
51 Bridge Street, South New Brighton
We love a collab – especially one that gets the community involved. The Bridge Hub is an outstanding collaboration by the community for the community. As part of this kaupapa, the community lobbied to purchase the earthquake-damaged building and has worked for years voluntarily, to create a first-class facility with a café, hall, bookable meeting or practitioner spaces and an art gallery where locals can display and sell their work. The team also works to provide the community with a range of activities to enjoy in the space.
Explore The Local Art
Shop 4/78 Brighton Mall, New Brighton, Christchurch
This one is for the art lovers! You can find some incredibly affordable and stunning pieces at Recreate, The New Brighton Art Gallery. Recreate was an initiative that grew out of The Old School Project, a space for local creatives at the old Central New Brighton School site. It has an amazing range of stunning pieces and is open alongside the Seaside Market every Saturday.
Ride a whale like the best of them at one of New Brighton’s top-class playgrounds. Be it the whale pool between the hot pools and library or the Beatty Street Playground, this beautiful suburb has you covered on all bases when it comes to playgrounds.
Heritage And Community Minded
The newly refurbished St Faiths Church on Hawke Street is one heritage building worth a visit. Here, there is a freshly established visitors’ desk where residents and locals alike can learn about what’s available to them in the community.