WTF – it’s Christmas already! Check out express’ guide to everything you want to find under your tree this Christmas.
Pink Ball tickets
$495 for two people
After the roaring success that was the 2011 Pink Ball, the Bayview Chateau Tongariro Hotel, Mt Ruapehu is throwing its doors open to the GLBT community again on 19 May 2012 for another stunning event. Set against the stunning backdrop of majestic Mount Ruapehu, the Chateau is the perfect getaway for you and your loved one at any time of year – it’s a large, luxurious heritage hotel at the base of Mount Ruapehu, and close to the majestic Tongariro National Park – one of the country’s most beautiful natural playgrounds. Now the team at Chateau Tongariro are injecting the full rainbow into their green and white paradise for the second time with the second annual Pink Ball, a night that promises to be a unique experience you won’t want to forget. The Pink Ball package includes accommodation (double or twin share), a full buffet dinner, wine with dinner, entertainment at the ball and breakfast the day after.
Gather a group together and book five ball packages now – or come and make new friends. For more information on the Pink Ball, visit www.chateau.co.nz/Pink-Ball-2012 or phone 0800 CHATEAU (0800 242 832).
From $55 to $395
Feeling frazzled this festive season? Is there one last name on your gift list that leaves you fretting long into the night? Then let Zarbo take the stress out of present shopping with their fabulous range of Christmas hampers! Simply choose one from their website or brochure or pop into Zarbo to customize your own, then get back to focusing on the things that really matter about the holidays: family, friends, fun and frivolity! Each hamper is simply bursting with goodies, from cookies to conserves, mini tarts to marinades and oatcakes to olive oils. And if there’s something else you’d like to include, the helpful deli staff will work with you to create the hamper that you think is truly perfect. Now you can spend the 25th lazing in the sun, safe in the knowledge that all of your nearest and dearest will simply love their gifts!
To order a Christmas hamper visit www.zarbo.co.nz or call into Zarbo, 24 Morrow St, Newmarket (phone 09 520 2721) or Zarbo Everyday, 116 Parnell Rd, Parnell (phone 09 377 5550).
Reserve the perfect Christmas present this year with a glamorous gift from one of Auckland’s most stunning live acts – the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO). Purchase one or more vouchers and use them separately – or together – for any concerts in the 2012 calendar. With 2012 performances of favourite classics and great orchestral works, a feast of tango music, Bach’s B Minor Mass and Verdi’s Nabucco as APO’s Westpac Opera In Concert, there’s something for everyone. We’re looking forward to the perfectly-titled Fantastique, conducted by John Nelson. This tailor-made concert includes Berlioz’s ground-breaking orchestral showpiece and Mozart’s “Coronation” piano concerto, known for its compelling beauty and rococo style. Also look out for Remix the Orchestra, which is as avant guarde as it sounds. 2012 marks five years since APO musicians began working with hip-hop artists and musicians at OMAC (Otara Music Arts Centre) in South Auckland to compose and perform new works that blend elements of classical with urban music styles.
Share the gift of music with APO Gift Vouchers by getting in touch with APO now – phone 6231052 or visit www.apo.co.nz to purchase.
If what they say is true, and the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, we’ve got just the ticket – something silky, smooth and delightful that will melt in his mouth (and then melt in your hands). The folks over at Devonport Chocolates make simply the most delightful chocolates in the country and are now putting Christmas packages together at a range of prices. For those of you looking for something dinky for a Secret Santa present (or perhaps something small for those watching their figure), try a Devonport Chocolate assortment from just $14.90 – an assortment of delightful truffles and chocolates. Devonport can make up your own special assortments from their extensive range of chocolates, truffles, chocolate cups and honey bonbons. What about the gorgeous Christmas Star Collection? It’s filled with chocolate truffles and berrilicious star cups accented with edible nine carat gold – that’s right, edible gold! And for the discerning big spender, pick a gift box from $39.90 – $129.80. These gift boxes are 100% tailored to your need and contain a selection of Christmas treats as well as items from the classic collection.
See www.devonportchocolates.co.nz for more information.
We are living in a material world, and all of a sudden, that means being an iPhone girl – everyone seems to have one surgically strapped to their hand! If your loved one can’t tear themselves away from Facebook long enough to plug their iPhone into the stereo dock, grab them one of these fancy Soundlink speakers this Christmas and help them provide a soundtrack to their surfing! The Soundlink works wirelessly with your smartphone (that’s right, Android and Blackberry users, you’re not left out on this one!), as well as any other Bluetooth device – there’s nothing to hook up or dock! You can play music files or stream other Internet stations and the rechargeable battery keeps the music playing for hours. From a last-minute lunch date to an impromptu trip to the beach, any day can bring an unexpected occasion. The SoundLink speaker adds your personal soundtrack to the event. Small and portable, the speaker fits in your hand, bag or backpack.
Check out www.bose.com for more information.
We all like a bit of bare flesh around the New Year period. There’s nothing quite like being in a hot club or on a scorching shoreline and seeing legs, chests and the odd flash of bum wiggling its way around. Where can you be guaranteed to see a bunch of sun-kissed skin this summer? Look no further than sunny Gisborne, where tens of thousands of young New Zealanders are headed for the annual Rhythm and Vines New Year’s festival. Gisborne is the first place in the world to bring in the first sunrise of the year, so if you want to check out the last January 01 of the Mayan calendar, Rhythm and Vines is the place for you. Now in its ninth year, the winning festival at last year’s NZ Tourism Awards is heading back to the lush green hills of the Waiohika Estate as a new year dawns. Featuring over 100 acts on four different stages, there is something for everyone! The lineup this year includes Australian dance rockers Pendulum, hipster DJ Calvin Harris, the legendary Grandmaster Flash and local cuties Kids of 88.
The 2010 R&V festival sold out, hosting more than 25,000 people, and with tickets flying out the door, get in quick to avoid missing out! See www.1-night.co.nz for tickets.
Natural and organic skin care
When it comes to our Christmas guide, we usually recommend presents for you to give other people on 25 December, but when a big box of Sávar cosmetics slid across the editorial desk, we decided that this is the sort of gift you want to buy yourself. Sávar is a range of high performance, New Zealand made, natural and organic skincare products. New Zealand is really getting into the clean, green and organic image – sustainability is sexy! The Sávar Skin Care range is made in New Zealand and includes products such as a 100% biodegradable energising body wash, wonder lift eye cream and fabulous gift sets that are enriched with over 80 exotic extracts and oils such as NZ blackcurrant oil, organic fig and lemon balm. Pair this with the insanely gorgeous and ecologically friendly packaging, beautiful gift wrapping service, the fact that all products are 99% natural and the knowledge that 10% of the profit the company makes goes to charity makes this the gift that keeps on giving.
Visit www.savaronline.com to view the full Sávar range and enjoy fuss free shopping in the comfort of your own home.
The first lady of rock is headed to New Zealand in 2012 and tickets are on sale now. If you haven’t already snaffled up tickets, there has never been a more perfect way to wow your favourite woman this Christmas. Melissa Etheridge – singer, songwriter and an out-and-out rockstar – hits the stage in Auckland and Wellington next July. Fans will experience an intimate evening of over two hours of powerful performances from Melissa’s extensive catalogue of hits when she returns to our shores for the first time in years. Fan favourites such as “Bring Me Some Water” and “Ain’t It Heavy” –songs that make Etheridge one of rock music’s most exciting performers – are among the songs you’ll hear on the night. Etheridge’s 1993 album Yes I Am contained the massive hits “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window”, a scorching song of desire that delivered her second Best Female Rock Grammy. Fans can rejoice at the news that the one and only Melissa Etheridge is returning to our shores for a series of electric and inspirational shows.
Don’t miss a chance to see Melissa in Auckland or Wellington – for more details and tickets see www.frontiertouring.com.
Tickets to Men in Tutus
Tickets from $64.90
Men. In. Tutus. If there was ever a show perfect for you drag-loving people, this is it! And next year, Les Ballets Eloelle is bringing a new production of Men In Tutus – the most spectacular, talented and hilarious all-male comedy ballet ever – back to New Zealand. From the thrilling pirouettes of the male dancers (in male and female costumes) with brilliant choreography to the side-splitting humour, Men In Tutus is a show designed for the young and old. The show features over 50 ballets in its repertoire and an array of the best international professional male ballet dancers from 13 nations. You’ll find incredibly proficient and elegant dancing, hilarious banter, dance misadventures and naturally outrageous hissy fits. What looks like your average black swan will really be a buff, furry chested adult male with flapcake make-up, stylish tights and of course, a fine tutu. And yes, they all dance on pointe!
Men In Tutus is a night of bang-up amusement and laugh out loud comedy (well, the company is called “Eloelle”!) for you to be entertained and amazed. See www.meninpinktights.com for more information.
Skin caviar? You heard it here first folks. Everyone knows that caviar is synonymous with luxury. Less well-known is that caviar is a potent source of energising nutrients. La Prairie has built on this elegance and efficacy to create The Caviar Collection: complementary skincare products whose luxury is soundly based on spectacular performance. This Christmas, La Prairie has compiled a value set from its Skin Caviar range, perfect for a loved one who enjoys a bit of high campery with their pampering. Whether he or she is already a Caviar devotee, or has yet to discover the unique age-arresting benefits of La Prairie’s famous Caviar Collection, they will be thrilled to receive this gleaming silver case of Caviar essentials. Skin Caviar Luxe Cream, skin Caviar Luxe Eye Lift Cream and Skin Caviar Crystalline Concentrate combine skin-transforming efficacy with unsurpassed luxury. Then, to add a note of pure pleasure, a silver raindrop of La Prairie’s “signature” scent, Silver Rain.
See www.shoplaprairie.com for more information.
Calling all Little Monsters! Mother Monster, the multi-platinum and Grammy Award-winning Lady Gaga, is coming to DVD and Blu-ray this Christmas with The Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden. Gaga belts out a whole host of gay club anthems throughout the show – everything from “Boys Boys Boys” and “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich” to her cracking hits “Poker Face”, “Bad Romance”, and “You and I”, a track that would later storm up the charts. If you went to the stunning Monster Ball concerts when Gaga was last in town, you could be forgiven for thinking this DVD is just a repeat of what you saw in the flesh, but Gaga does not disappoint with the release of this DVD – a number of gorgeous black and white scenes frame the concert that take us through pre and post-show activities. From ordering a coffee to cranking an acapella version of “Born This Way” backstage, The Monster Ball Tour is something a little special that will no doubt add to the memories had at the live show.
Like Christina Aguilera’s call to arms, sometimes we all get a little bit dirty. But we’re pretty sure if push came to shove, Miss Xtina wouldn’t want to get down and dirty with someone whose face was in dire need of a scrub! Perhaps the pintsize diva should think about getting a skin smoother pack for her latest beau this Christmas… and so should you! Clarins has put together this lovely little man-pack so you don’t even have to head to the counter and round the items up. In the pack you’ll find five serious smoothers, all ready to make your man silky to the touch. First up there’s the active face wash, which washes away dirt, pollution and excess oil whilst being pretty darn refreshing. It detoxifies, softens and brightens without drying the skin. Pick up the smooth shave for a rich, creamy foaming gel, or chuck on some aftershave splash for an energising post-shave pamper. Last but not least is the all important fatigue fighter, which gives every face it touches a much-needed boost. Immediately skin looks fresher, healthier, firmed and rested.
Go to www.clarins.com for more details.