Britomart highlights this week – Thursday 21 February to Thursday 28 February

Live art and performances, free meditation, how to help a Kiwi kid, plus book a table at Cafe Hanoi and drink bubbles gratis!


It’s no wonder Tana Mitchell is smiling. Studio Akin, the graphic design practice she founded with Emma Kanuik is just celebrating its fourth birthday, and things are going pretty well in their airy loft office in the Sofrana House Building at Britomart. Working with clients as diverse as Auckland Art Gallery, Show Me Shorts Film Festival, Skinsmith Skincare and GIB wallboards, the studio has earned an awards haul that belies its boutique size. We talked to Tana about theme songs, heroics, and her idea of a good time. Photo and interview by Florence Noble. Click here to read.

You can probably spot a Dick Frizzell work at 20 paces – his pop-art mash-ups of kitsch, Kiwiana and culture, like the ubiquitous Mickey to Tiki are instantly recognisable. Much less recognisable are his landscapes, which consider natural features under the hand of human influence. Works from one of his recent series are now on display in our streetside Customs St East Projectspace Gallery.

Starting tomorrow, there’s a week-long art project sponsored by Samsung happening in Takutai Square. Ten New Zealand artists (including Charles and Janine Williams, whose work is pictured) will be painting their take on “The Impossible” on a new 14m-long mural daily. Samsung is challenging people to snap the full mural on a phone. Get down there to meet the artists at work.

Securing a table for an evening meal out with friends or family just got easier, with our favourite modern Vietnamese restaurant, Cafe Hanoi, now taking dinner bookings from Monday 25 February. To celebrate, the first 50 tables to book will receive a free glass of Quartz Reef Methode Champenoise for each guest. Our tip: that’ll pair well with a starter of Te Matuku Bay oysters with cucumber sorbet and chilli vinegar, or the unmissable tiger prawns coated in crispy puffed young green rice.

Tequila has a reputation as the go-to spirit when you’re ready for your night to careen wildly off the rails. But there’s another side to the agave nectar – a sophisticated, nuanced side that few are aware of. You can be among that rarefied few when you book the Herradura Experience, an evening of premium tequila tasting and cocktails at Mexico, paired with a menu of tasty favourites from the kitchen. Book here for the session on March 8.

For the last two weeks, the good people from Eat My Lunch have been helping you to help Kiwi kids in need through their pop-up ‘car boot’ stall in Takutai Square. Next Monday and Wednesday will be the last dates for you to give a free lunch to a school kid who wouldn’t otherwise have one, just by buying your own delicious box from the Eat My Lunch Mini. For our money, we reckon $12.95 is a bargain price to fill two bellies with a healthy meal.

Starting from Wednesday, we’re delighted to support the Auckland Fringe Festival by hosting the Mistranslation Laboratory. Based out of a container in Takutai Square, the laboratory is a curiosity-driven art project; kooky, fun, inclusive and unexpected, with performances from the cast of “choreographic scientists” where small audiences can pick-and-mix their own show from a menu 2-3 times each day, and individual experiences for people keen to get a closer look at the workings of the laboratory. It’ll be on-site until March 3.

When Sebastien Barre’s fellow French expats asked him to create a traditional French barbecue complete with merguez sausages and chipolatas, he rose to the occasion. Today, his talent with ‘les saussices’ has resulted in the hotdog food truck Miam Miam (French for Yum Yum), the newest stall at the weekly Saturday morning La Cigale market in Takutai Square. Grab a string for your weekend BBQ when you’re there.

If the number of people turning up in Takutai Square for our free twice-weekly lunchtime meditation sessions is any indication, offices around Britomart must be pretty chilled-out places to work right now. You can get in on the new-mindset action by joining Nick and Danica from Bikes & Bends Tuesday or Thursday at 12pm or 12.30pm for 20 minutes of mental rejuvenation on the grass.