If you are looking for a great escape but don't want to travel too far out of Christchurch, why not head over to Sumner Beach. Located in its own little sanctuary, just over the bend from Ferrymead and Redcliffs, it is a bustling little beach strip of foreigners on surfboards, ladies brunching and kids climbing their way to the top of the rock cave.
Among all the action is the most idyllic placed bar, Beach Bar, home to what I can confirm, are the best fish and chips I have had in Christchurch.
Beach Bar is a thriving venue for tourists and locals alike. The restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast (served 8am - 2pm) lunch and dinner. I do enjoy when venues extend their breakfast hours past 11am, as it allows that little bit of flexibility for those who want eggs whilst others want fish and chips. There is also a selection of light bites and starters that commence at 11am and run till late.
On a sunny day, it can be quite difficult to get a table outside, but there is ample seating inside with gorgeous views of the ocean. I had the pleasure of dining at the Beach Bar many a time during my stay in Christchurch, and it never failed to deliver on service and good food. The portions ensure that diners truly are getting more bang for their buck.
Poached eggs and Bacon @ Beach Bar Sumner (Photo by Praneel Lal)
Heading over to Beach Bar at midday allowed me to get my fix of their delicious eggs benedict (pictured above) while a friend ordered the fish and chips. Looking around the verandah, it was easy to see that the fish and chips were a popular option. Served in a paper cone with a side of ketchup and/or aioli.
The fish was cooked perfectly and the chips crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The accompanying condiment was quite garlic-y, but as a lover of garlic, was an absolute dream.
Exterior View @ Beach Bar Sumner (photo by Grab One NZ)
One thing to note as you enjoy your fish and chips, you will have to watch out for the seagulls who are lurking on the beach and on the roof of the bar. They are quick to grab any dropped chips in a split second.
I do highly recommend sharing the fish and chips if you are not too hungry as they can be quite heavy. The breakfast option of the eggs benedict with bacon was also a large serving with two crusty ciabatta pieces of bread, poached eggs, bacon and rich hollandaise. Definitely an indulgent breakfast.
If you are after something lighter, the seasonal breakfast menu provides simple toast and jam, pancakes, and muesli options also.
If you are after more of a relaxed vibe, why not head to Beach Bar on a Sunday afternoon, a selection of local beers and wines are a perfect way to wind down at the end of a weekend.
Local wine @ Beach Bar Sumner (Photo Instagram @neelsmcgee)