Flora + Foto

OMG guys, we have come a loooong way from the awkward family photos of the 80’s. Look at the masterpieces you can have now!

When I spotted the work of young New Zealand women Katie Barclay and Hannah Whitehead on the gram, I just had to share it with you. Together as Flora + Foto, they style the most INCRED natural backdrops and installations, and capture candid, special moments in life. I want a re-do of my wedding. I want to birth a baby.

Hannah and Katie are  childhood friends who lost touch then reconnected a couple of years ago, finding their lives were taking similar direction with marrying and having babies quite young, and both working in the creative field. Hannah has a background in graphic design and has been a photographer since the age of 15, developing it into a full-time job with loved NZ brand Jamie Kay over the last couple of years. Katie is a qualified event planner and stylist, who fell in love with florals, and now owns floral styling business Little Leaf Florals. I feel like I’ve said Florals too many times now.

They started Flora & Foto with the intention of it being just a hobby – something to keep the creative synapses firing while they were both off work on maternity leave; a chance to collaborate together. They’re making such magic – and having such an awesome time together in the process – that it’s now thriving as a business.

Flora + Foto are available to travel all over New Zealand, and offer editorial and product styling and photography.  You should most definitely book them.

Flora + Foto Instagram   /  Facebook

Oh my sweet lord, this arch/arbour

what is life though

Woodland magic

*Starts dreaming up an event to host just to get Katie to style it and Hannah to shoot it *

Always wear your wildflower crown

LOVE this Toi Toi backdrop. Flora + Foto run mini shoot days – creating a backdrop and shooting multiple people throughout the day – an affordable way for families/couples to get styled photos.

Product launch imagery created for Little Co – Images © Flora + Foto and Little Co



Caffeine Chemistry


This Brutalist babe is the newest cafe from NZ coffee roasters eighthirty.
(If you haven’t seen it yet – their High St cafe is one of our most popular blog features – see that here).

Located in the iconic 1920’s Tasman Building (Anzac Ave, Auckland), the space is actually eighthirty’s wholesale production facility. They just happen to also be open cafe hours, so you and I can grab a brew and a bite. It’s been designed with the same meticulous attention to craft and care that eighthirty take with their coffee, and is a collaboration between architect Dominic Glamuzina and eighthirty founder Glenn Bell, who set out to create a modern coffee laboratory.

The state-of-the-art tech here includes a stainless steel Loring roaster (there’s only one other in New Zealand) that lets eighthirty triple their output, with impeccable consistency of roast. There’s also precision coffee scales, a reverse osmosis water filter which guarantees the proper water mineral content for your coffee, and New Zealand’s very first Modbar pour-over system – an intelligent tap that pours water at the perfect temp and perfect speed for Chemex and V60 brews. Cool Science.

Details you would have spotted but that I still want to mention: white La Marzoccos with matching matte white milk jugs (I want this at home!), that hulking faceted concrete counter, black timber stools designed by Ben Glass, and steel wire furniture custom built by eighthirty engineer and co-owner Tim Solomon.

Don’t ask for a trim bowl latte here. (Not that you would.)






I’ve been wanting to show you around this spot since its opening. Of course, it was that ultramarine blue (Pantone 072, perhaps?) that first caught my eye. The name’s on point, too – perfect name for a place where the blue is royal and the food and design are both big wins.

Champ is run by the two brothers behind Mt Eden’s loved RAD cafe, with interior design by Material Creative.

The interior is clean and contemporary, but also serves you a little 80’s American diner vibe, with some nostalgic nods to my New Zealand childhood – especially the plastic food trays, and the special menu of Toasties cooked in the classic triangle toastie machine. These ain’t your mums toasties, though. ‘Spaghetti & Sausage’ is really Pokeno Toulouse pork sausage, with a housemade pasta swimming in rich tomato sauce spiked with loads of fresh herbs, and the humble cheese toastie is an oozy 15-month gruyere with truffled butter, mustard, onion and chives. Maybe chase with one of the vanilla bean donuts they bake fresh every morning. Uber Eats to Mount Maunganui pls?

Champ offers espresso blends from Rocket that are created especially for them, and they also serve their current favourite single-origin filter brew.

Things noticed and loved: mint green staff shirts (love the choice of a slightly clashing colour); pieces of flair (shout out to Office Space) including a Champ coffee pin; herringbone subway tiles; those nostalgic tea room plastic trays and Champ diner mugs; gorgeous black King Dome pendant lights by Dowel Jones; the epic blue Marzocco; Benjamin Franklin’s famous morning mantra as a neon sign; and the takeaway cups which say FANTASTIC on one side (we love little surprising touches like that).

Check Champ out on instagram for seasonal speshs (and more little design details not shown here).



Imagery by NZ freelance photographer Rachel Soh (follow her on insta, too)



Honey Bones

Love the perfectly imperfect ceramic water jugs and teeny milk jugs

Custom linen aprons

Takeaway coffee window – love this idea


Hugo Baird (we introduced you to Hugo and his first cafe here) has done it again with this sweet and sophisticated little eatery in Auckland’s Grey Lynn.

Honey Bones (best. name.) was designed by Hugo himself – he sourced every last thing, installed it all… even built the front counter one late Friday night.

Design elements noticed and loved:  dark oak alongside brass (a refreshing change from the blonde timber we see everywhere now), your table water coming in a handmade ceramic jug (by NZ maker Vicki Fanning) that epic wooden menu, the custom-made brass lighting, the very clean, simple graphic design by Lucy Jamieson Design, the takeaway coffee window.

You might also like to know that leading the Honey Bones kitchen team is Reginaldo Richard of Odettes Eatery fame. And if you’re a menu pre-planner like me (hey, it’s kinda like eating somewhere twice, doncha think?) you can see the current menu here.


Imagery by NZ freelance photographer Rachel Soh (follow her on insta, too)




© The New