The February issue

Our clean eating issue is out now, packed with super lunch bowls, gluten-free desserts and more - including our cruising special, covering all luxury on the seas.

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Recipes by Christine Manfield
21.02.2017

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

Cirrus, Sydney review
20.02.2017

Cirrus moves the Bentley team down to the water and into more lighthearted territory without sacrificing polish, writes Pat Nourse.

How to grow rocket
20.02.2017

A vegetable patch without rocket lacks a great staple, according to Mat Pember. The perennial performer is a leaf for all seasons.

50BestTalks brings World’s best chefs to Sydney and Melbourne
16.02.2017

Massimo Bottura and more are coming to the Sydney Opera House.

Toby Wilson, Sean McManus and Jon Kennedy to open Bad Hombres
16.02.2017

Expect Mexican-Asian flavours and an all-natural wine list from two of Sydney’s edgier operators.

Local Knowledge: Moscow
16.02.2017

Director of Shakespeare theatre company Cheek by Jowl Declan Donnellan walks us through the essential sights and his favourite cafes and restaurants of his hometown.

On the Pass: Danielle Rensonnet
16.02.2017

Bellota chef Danielle Rensonnet talks us through the current menu at the restaurant and her favourite summer ingredients.

Melbourne's Tomato Festival is back in 2017
15.02.2017

Returning for another year, Melbourne’s Tomato Festival is ripe with cooking demonstrations, talks, and produce stalls dedicated to plump produce.

Air New Zealand's new Business Premier class

There's no question Air New Zealand is winning the branding wars in true Kiwi style, claiming the mantle of "the fun airline" for both wit and innovation. Left-of-centre ideas like their economy "skycouch" (in which three seats in coach convert to a flatbed), and the recent Tolkien-themed safety video (replete with hobbits, wizards and cameos from Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson) have scored the airline plenty of press and even more buzz on social media. Now, though, it's also making a push on the comfort and service side, especially in the pointy end of the plane.

The airline's new Business Premier class, currently on show in its Dreamliner 787-9 aircraft plying the Auckland to Perth route, has upped the stakes considerably. The leather-upholstered seats are angled diagonally down the cabin, each of them with a little footstool that can be used for an in-flight tête-à-tête with a fellow passenger. They fold fully flat, and are equipped with a memory-foam mattress and good bedding.

The menus, designed in part by expat New Zealand chef Peter Gordon, lean towards the likes of chicken with grilled pineapple, and chicory salad with a mango-yoghurt dressing. The entertainment system, meanwhile, is one of the best in the sky right now. In terms of look and feel, it's fast and responsive, and the selection is both large and smart. There are eight Batmans, eight Harry Potters, five X-Men and, bizarrely, three Blades, but also several Coen productions and plenty in the way of Gone with the Wind, Empire of the Sun and the latest seasons of True Blood, The Knick and Penny Dreadful. Oh, and naturally, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, plus Once Were Warriors and the Footrot Flats movie. (One bum note: sections labelled Chick Flicks and Man Cave. Groan.)

The crew are a delight, right down to, on one leg, the pilot closing his landing spiel with "What a cracker of a day! We recommend you get down to the beach". They're also loving the new cabins. "Yes, we love working on the Dreamliners because our passengers are so enthusiastic about them," said Deb, the in-flight manager on our trip. Count us among them.

Air New Zealand's Dreamliner started servicing the airline's Auckland-Shanghai route this month and will start the Auckland-Tokyo route from December 2014. 

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