Christchurch is also known as the Garden City, so it should come as no surprise that it has some simply spiffing beer-gardens. On a fine summer’s day there are few places you’ll want to be than parked up somewhere, with your feet up and a frosted glass clutched in your hand.
Freeman's Dining Room
Bar, Restaurant, European, Italian, $$$
Alright, so it’s a little 10-minute drive out of Christchurch, but it’s near enough that it makes no difference. If you’re visiting the fine city of Christchurch then it’d be a good use of your time to head out to Lyttelton and enjoy the epic views from the deck of Freeman’s. Enjoy one of their famed pizzas and pair it up with an I.P.A. or refreshing lager. If you’re here on a Sunday then you’ll also get to treat the old eardrums to some quality live jazz.
Bar, Restaurant, Mediterranean, Italian, Beer, $$$
Trevino’s courtyard is a lovely place to be when the sun is shining. It has that Mediterranean vibe to it, which you would expect in a restaurant that serves primarily Italian food. Of course you can sit out with a frosty beer and enjoy the sunshine, but in these sorts of settings it’s fantastic to grab a bowl of marinated olives or a salad and kick back with a bottle of Pinot Grigio chilling in the ice bucket.
Located out of the busy city centre, down in the foothills, The Brickworks really capitalises on its location. Sitting under the dappling shadows of the trees with a beer at your elbow is soothing to the soul. If you happen to nod off to the sound of the running river and wake up at dinner time, then avail yourself one of their top-notch burgers or a refreshing, crisp salad. Being out of the main hub also means that you’re not going to be paying through the nose, which always aids the digestion.
The courtyard at Clink is a green and verdant place. It’s also mostly covered, with the potted plants climbing up poles and beams. It can get a little hot under the cover of the glass in the summertime, but you can escape to the uncovered part if you’re lucky and quick enough to get a table out there. Clink is almost at its best in the winter, when the rain is lashing down against the glass, but you’re dry and snug inside and tucking into something seasonal and spectacular.
Who doesn’t love a brazier/fiery warming device whilst sitting out at night and enjoying a glass of wine, or maybe a cheeky Peroni or three? This is another beer garden on our list that transports the customer to the Mediterranean with very little imagination necessary, thanks mostly to its lovely tiled courtyard and its rich terracotta colour. Sitting out here and enjoying an authentic chicken or vegetarian pesto pappardelle in the evening, with the fires going and a bottle of wine at hand, you can see why the Italians are such advocates of the four-hour dinner.
The Valley Inn Tavern is famed around the Christchurch region for its legendary hospitality and delicious pub grub. It’s your classic, friendly Kiwi local and puts on your typical daily meal specials, such as the $20 Beef or Chicken Schnitzel, which comes with free tap beer or a glass of house wine. It’s deals like this that make a visit worthwhile, as well as the fact that you might bump into the Canterbury Crusaders – the local professional rugby team who are known to pop in from time to time. Old pepper trees provide much-needed shade for the courtyard in the summer months.
This is a great Christchurch eating experience. This restaurant used to be called Revival, but has since undergone some renovations. However, it was originally built after the catastrophic earthquake in 2011, constructed out of the shipping containers and up-cycled materials. It invites a bit of philosophical thought and introspection when you’re sitting out out in the busy courtyard, chowing into some chicken wings and surrounded by all this architecture that’s come as a product of such disaster. Still, there’s always a silver lining, and if the beer, atmosphere and food at Little Neighbourhood Garden Bar and Eatery are anything to go by, it could be here.