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CHCH Central Unwrapped: Tamsin Martin

Tamsin Martin is the Events Manager, Marketing Coordinator and Assistant Buyer at the Christchurch institution that is Scorpio Books. She tells us why she loves it, and what else she loves about working in the CBD:

David Cameron, Scorpio Books’ owner, has been in books since leaving school to work at UBS Dunedin in 1965. Ten years later he bought the Christchurch business, then Pisces Books. In 1979 there was a change of astrological name to become Scorpio. 40 years on and the store is still fiercely independent, priding itself on range, recommendations, service and ordering hard to find books - they say: “if we don’t have it, and it’s still in print, we’ll get it for you!”

Tamsin Martin started working on the floor at Scorpio books a couple of years ago. Originally from Australia, she grew up in Tasmania and thinks that Christchurch has a similar feel to Hobart. She is now the Events Manager, Marketing Coordinator and Assistant Buyer. Managing various events like authors speaking and signing books instore, she enjoys working with the diverse mix of nationalities on the staff at Scorpio Books.


Where will you be eating and drinking this December in the CBD?

Francesca’s Italian Kitchen on Gloucester St is always a favourite, the beef cheeks are amazing. I regularly drag friends down to the new Riverside Market to try different cuisines. For a quick bite I love The Sushi Company outside Scorpio, and you can’t go past the coffee at Little Brews. I like taking people to Whisky Galore and I can’t wait to try Sweet Soul Patisserie - I keep being told to go there!

The Sushi Company

Where would you shop for a Christmas outfit?

H&M, some gorgeous summer frocks at some great prices.


Favourite quiet spots around the city?

I’ll take my lunch down to the steps by the river off The Terrace, it’s a great place to see the eels and people watch. I’m also a big fan of going to Foundation, the cafe in Tūranga. It’s open early and stays open quite late, it’s really peaceful and I always have a nice chat with the staff and a coffee there. 

Any events you’re looking forward to in December?

I’ll be going to the carol singing in the Transitional Cathedral. Also watching Star Wars at ENTX/Hoyts, and I’m thinking of giving the outdoor cinema at the Arts Centre a whirl!

Where do you go Christmas shopping?

Obviously Scorpio Books for friends and family, which I’m sure you’re not shocked about! Sometimes Mecca, which is great for girly gifts. I love the chocolate selection at Ballantynes. Cosmic is great for little ethically made gifts. 

Tamsin at Scorpio

Favourite part of the Christmas meal?

Definitely dessert. I’m thinking of recreating a Heston Blumenthal lemon tart I once made, which I pulled off quite well.

Favourite Christmas movie?

Love Actually, I wish I had something more creative!

How do you travel around the CBD?

I walk to work from Addington, it only takes 25 minutes. Sometimes I take the bus, which is really excellent to use. 

What is your Christmas wish for the city?

I hope people slow down and really enjoy the city, take time to smile at each other, connect, and have a chat. Also take a different route and uncover something different, as you may be pleasantly surprised.