We all know that attending Conference comes with a price.

And I know that I am the resident “‘tail-alcoholic” on these pages (socialising in SOL Square), but for once I’m not talking about the cost of panadol, water and vitamin C.

No I refer to the customary “feedback session” that you agree to speak at when you receive Conference sponsorship.  Of course this is a negligible cost if you like giving presentations…RM12221~Hangover-Shelter-Posters

But if like me you avoid them like the plague, you may find it useful to find out how other people report back from conferences.  Who knows what tips you could steal from them?

And guess what  – though I expect you might have suspected this all along – there just happens to be one such session being held in the near future. 

On Tuesday 15 September,  Kevin Adams, Gail Pattie and Lynsey Ainsworth, will be talking at CPIT about the conferences that they have attended recently.  Everybody is welcome to attend and the event begins at 6.15pm.  Please RSVP to erin.kimber@canterbury.ac.nz

Though I still suspect that like me, come the end of Conference, you will still be desperately thinking of ways to get out of it.  Maybe a bad headache would work??




Okay, so I know we’ve talked a lot about alcohol on these pages.  But I love my cocktails and ‘unfortunately’ I was given the very difficult task of checking out two of the cocktail joints in SOL Square.

With my blog writer hat firmly on my head I boldly ventured forth to Minx.  The first stop on this very special research trip.


You enter Minx from SOL square and walk straight into the bar.  It’s open to the lane, and you can see the bartenders working away whenever you walk past.  It must be horrible for them in winter, though there are plenty of cosy little nooks for patrons to sit in while they hang out.

The bar itself has a feature wall behind it of, you guessed it, alcohol.  And what they don’t have you don’t want.  The shapes and colours of all of the different bottles are fairly dizzying.  Although that could also be the lighting scheme, which combines a mixture of  dimly lit areas, with feature walls of bright, loud and colourful illumination.

Cocktails are fairly priced, and pretty much what you would expect from central Christchurch.  Though be careful that you don’t order the most expensive mixers for your drink.  Elib made the mistake of ordering the top drawer vodka for her dirty martini, and paid the price.  Though she did say it was delicious.

The toilets were very clean, even late in the evening.  And I personally recommend their sidecar.  They make em lethal, but very tasty.

Apparently they also do food at Minx, but I can’t tell you much about that…

Second stop on the very special research trip is La Petite Croix.


The name is a very French twist on it’s big brother, Yellowcross, which sits warily on La Petite’s tail, watching out for it from behind.

I’d often walked past it, wishing I was cool enough to go inside.  But I have research to do.  So along with Elib and Mo-Mo I boldly ventured forth (again).

Inside Edith Piaf is on the radio, the lights are low and sexy, the vibe is Parisian, and the maitre ‘d assures me that he makes the best Cosmopolitan in town.

Never having been a Cosmo fan, I plump for the Vesper Martini, whilst Elib has a Manhattan and Mo-Mo a sidecar.  I’m slurring after the first sip of my Vesper (thanks Ian Fleming), and Elib and Mo-Mo (who are both more sensible) praise their choices equally highly.  Looking up at the bar later I see the maitre ‘d making a Cosmo and wish I had given it a try.  Next research trip… sidecar

Whilst drinking our ‘tails we take the time to look at the classy menu.  It comes bound in an old book cover from the Royal Academy (tres chic) and all of the French staples are there.  I try daring Mo-Mo to order the steak tartare just to see what the classic dish looks like.  Sadly she declines.  Being a vegetarian I’m not going there myself…

But hey, we’re here to study cocktails not food.

La Petite’s drinks are reasonably priced, and you don’t have to worry about ordering the most expensive vodka here.  Just be sure you have money for the bus ride home.

So that you get an idea of the different venues at SOL Square, we’ll be bringing you information and photos to highlight the various places in this cool space, to get you enthusiastic about the Tuesday night social scene. This time round I’m going to share my experiences of Fat Eddie’s and I’ll share a friend’s experience of Toast with you.

Apparently Fat Eddie is a real person … it’s the nickname of Edward J. Schwartz. I’ve not yet had the pleasure of meeting Fat Eddie, but I have had a great time just hanging out with friends recently at Fat Eddie’s instead.

We mooched in after work, we found a booth, we ordered some cocktails (there’s a great array of alcoholic and not-even-alcoholic drinks to choose from, I can recommend the Down Home Punch and the Mango Tango), we listened to a local jazz band, and eventually I convinced my friends to join me on the dance floor. There’s plenty of food to choose from, and good to have a platter or three to share with folks, there’s lots of space to sit and talk, as well as dance if you are that way inclined (and since it’s a library conference, it’s very likely to happen that we’ll be dancing late into the night).

While I haven’t yet been to Toast, I asked around and found a friend who has (after all, isn’t that what friends are for – giving you the low-down on the places you haven’t yet discovered!) Apparently, it’s a very chilled out space, with good cocktails and a good wine list. Hanging out in the space outside was a great people watching spot, so it’s a mellower space than upstairs at Fat Eddie’s me thinks.

I’d love to hear of anyone else’s experiences and what cocktails they can recommend!