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09.12.19
CHCH Central Unwrapped: Mel Ling

From Oxford Terrace, heading down the Oxford Lane between Terrace Tavern and Amazonita, a bright red building appears - ‘a venue to restore all faith in true Irish culture’. The Little Fiddle is run by husband and wife duo Craig and Mel Ling. They serve their famous Irish rolls and poutine every day as well as Irish stew, platters with scotch eggs, and of course - beer that you can sink your teeth into.

From Oxford Terrace, heading down the Oxford Lane between Terrace Tavern and Amazonita, a bright red building appears - ‘a venue to restore all faith in true Irish culture’. The Little Fiddle is run by husband and wife duo Craig and Mel Ling. They serve their famous Irish rolls and poutine every day as well as Irish stew, platters with scotch eggs, and of course - beer that you can sink your teeth into. Craig has been in hospitality for probably 30 years, 15 of them spent overseas in Las Vegas and then the Cayman Islands. Their daughter decided for them that they would return to Christchurch - she came back for summer vacation and enrolled herself in high school here. With bars being what they know, they decided to be part of the rebuild and what was the old Strip - now The Terrace. Having been open for a year, the couple have had a live-action view of how the city is rebuilding and the people are returning.


We asked Mel about some of her favourites:


Food and drink:

We all support each other down here on the Terrace, eating at each others places. I love the teppanyaki upstairs at Amaterrace, that’s fabulous.


Amaterrace Teppanyaki


Shopping:

Ballantynes is my one stop shop for Christmas presents. I can get everything there.


Clothing:

I say that Decjuba is like the big sister of Glassons, it’s really good for an everyday wardrobe.


Place to hang out:

We love Victoria Square with Ice Cream Charlie, we can take the dog and lay in the park, and it feels like when we were kids.


Vanilla Ices


Secret spots:

Little Fiddle is a secret spot. And I love sitting down by the river with a book and a cup of coffee. 


Christmas movie: 

Love Actually. How can you not love it? Airport scenes, the whole thing.


Christmas day tradition: 

My favourite part is when we wake up with the kids. We keep it simple and do breakfast, drink mimosas, and get to spend time together in the quiet part of the day with just us before the extended family turn up. 


Worst Christmas present: 

Craig gave me a voucher with XXX amount of money to spend at Decjuba, and I was so excited for Boxing Day to spend it - then he told me to look at the back of the card, it was only valid for Christmas Day, basically a fake gift voucher! He hand wrote it. It’s why I call him my current husband - there’s room for more!


Events you’re looking forward to:

The South Island Wine and Food Festival - that’s always good. Love the Arts Centre Outdoor Cinema.


Mel at Little Fiddle


Christmas wish for the Central City:

For more people to come in and explore it. I spent a Sunday in here recently being tourists with my sister-in-law, wandering around Riverside Market, having coffees and things, and it was phenomenal - really nice. For more people to have days wandering around here would be great. It is getting busier and busier in town which is so good.