Meet the culinary duo making their mark on K Road

Auckland’s hottest culinary duo jumped into the local hospitality scene with their pop-up diner La Pêche, before opening the sleek Bar Celeste. Folksy East Street Hall was hot on its heels, followed by organic wine store, Star Superette. And there’s more to come.

In the space of a year and a half, Emma Ogilvie and Nick Landsman have built somewhat of a hospitality empire in the bustling neighbourhood of Auckland’s Karangahape Road. Off the back of their sell-out La Péche pop-up dining events, the couple opened their first permanent restaurant, Bar Céleste in late 2019. Last year, they transformed an old Samoan church into East Street Hall, a canteen-style bar, restaurant and event space.

Soon after, they branched out into retail, opening their own boutique liquor store, Star Superette. Achieving that much in such a short space of time is impressive to say the least. But for Ogilvie, who grew up with a Tongan mum who was famous for her generosity and huge dinner parties, hospitality is a natural inclination. “It runs in my veins. Island culture is extremely hospitable — it’s about over-catering and being overly generous. That’s the style of hospitality we have within our restaurants.”

East Street Hall. Photography: Kristian Frires.

Ogilvie got her start in the restaurant business early, helping the chefs plate dishes and working front of house in her family’s restaurant. After finishing her university studies, she left New Zealand to live and work in France. It’s there where she met Landsman and the couple soon fell in love with the French way of life. While Ogilvie was working in marketing and communications, they would spend most of their free time going out to eat, visiting the local markets and hosting dinner parties in their Paris apartment.

She soon realised that she enjoyed the dinner parties more than her career, and decided to return to New Zealand and her hospitality roots. Inspired by their time in Paris, the couple set out to bring an element of French ‘joie de vivre’ to the heart of Auckland.

Emma Ogilvie, who grew up with a Tongan mum famous for massive dinner parties, is carrying that mentality into her business ventures. Photography: Kristian Frires.

“For us, it’s the better way of enjoying food and wine, integrating it into your everyday life and not making a big deal out of the fact that you want to eat oysters on a Tuesday night or drink champagne,” she says.

“For Kiwis, I think that it can sometimes be overwhelming, the idea of fancy wine or cheeses. But the idea of better living is really just taking the time to have a proper meal, sit down with a glass of wine, spend time talking to people and enjoying the little things.

This enjoyment of everyday life through good food and wine is a common thread throughout the couple’s three establishments. Bar Céleste sees a rotating menu of fresh seafood, cured meats, artisan cheeses and natural, organic wine. Around the corner at East Street Hall, diners can enjoy Mediterranean fare inspired by Landsman’s Jewish roots in a casual canteen setting.

East Street Hall. Photography: Kristian Frires.

Along with good food and wine, community plays a big role in their businesses. A collaboration with friend and fellow restaurateur Henry Temple, the team were inspired by the history of the space when dreaming up the concept for East Street Hall. “It already had that feel to it, having been a community hall. It made sense for us to continue its legacy,” says Ogilvie.

Like many Auckland suburbs, K Road has not been immune to gentrification in recent decades, with apartment blocks, offices and boutique shops transforming the landscape of the vibrant and diverse central city neighbourhood. Mindful of their place in the community, Ogilvie and the team wanted to hold on to the community-feel and ‘city grit’ that first attracted them to the neighbourhood.

During the day, relax in East Street’s sunny courtyard with a glass of natural wine and Israeli flatbreads. Stay long enough and you’ll see the space transform into a dance floor with late-night DJs playing to revellers into the wee hours. “We felt there was a real need for more spaces where people feel comfortable to come and dance, eat and drink,” says Ogilvie. “It felt really important that East Street Hall was within that same vein of thinking, in that it wasn’t exclusive at all.”

Emma Ogilvie and Nick Landsman at their organic wine store, Star Superette. Photography: Kristian Frires.

Built in the space of an old dairy, just around the corner from East Street, Star Superette is Ogilvie and Landsman’s latest venture, one that was born out of the COVID-19 lockdown. When people couldn’t go out to eat or drink, they decided to create an at-home offering. “We wanted to grow our brand beyond the walls of a restaurant and reach people at home to continue that mission of getting people to drink better,” she says.

With a curated selection of natural, organic wines and a monthly wine club subscription with tasting notes, Star Superette is part retail shop, part wine tasting guide, offering a way into the world of natural wine without the fuss and pretension. “I always found it hard to get into wine in the first place,” says Ogilvie. “The wine industry is notoriously elitist and masculine, so we wanted to make it feel more approachable and even a bit feminine sometimes and really open it up. Through Star Superette, our thinking was that we could help people in their own time get into wine, realise what an amazing thing it is and build on their own cultural knowledge at home.”

After running on adrenaline for the past year and a half, Ogilvie says they are now hoping to settle and focus on building what they have started with their three ventures. Does this mean there won’t be another new eatery, bar or store popping up around the corner? “We’ve still got a million ideas as well,” she laughs. “I don’t think the ideas are going to stop.”

The best facials for relaxation and complexion perfection

Maximise your me time with these effective rituals guaranteed to ensure you step out of the spa with the complexion of your dreams.

You’ve likely heard of high-end luxury skincare brand Augustinus Bader and its equally high end prices. Beloved by celebrities, the skincare brand centres on TFC8 technology, or Trigger Factor Complex, a patented combination of skin renewing ingredients developed by stem-cell expert Professor Bader. Now Spring Spa has created a facial so you get to trial the skin-boosting products during a 60 minute facial that involves deep cleanse, LED light treatment, relaxing facial fascia massage, a hydrating treatment accompanied with warm Gua Sha. Its the kind of nourishing, comforting heaven that you deserve after weeks of freezing cold weather! It makes a great gift too. If you are subsequently convinced, Bader’s sinkcare range can be purchased at the spa too.
Spring x Augustinus Bader Methode Facial ($220 for 60mins) available as Spring Spa Ponsonby and Wellington,

Luxury and results can go hand in hand as the sumptuous Babor HSR Lifting Facial from Forme Spa proves. This luxurious facial caters for those looking to take some time out to unwind while targeting specific concerns that arise as we age – uneven tone and texture, dullness, and lack of elasticity. The deluxe youth-restoring facial harnesses various innovative skincare complexes designed to improve the skin’s resilience.
Babor HSR Lifting Facial, ($219 for 90 minutes) available at all Forme Spa & Wellbeing locations,

While offering world-class treatments that are tailored to meet individual skincare needs is nothing new for Caci, their skin experts are always on the hunt for new and revolutionary ways to deliver results. Sonophoresis can be used to reduce an array of skin problems including redness, congestion, breakouts and dehydration. The non-invasive, pain-free device uses sound waves to deliver a bespoke cocktail of skincare that your Caci therapist has hand-picked to address your skincare concerns. Active ingredients are able to penetrate deeper into the skin so you notice immediate results.
Sonophoresis Infusion available at all Caci clinics,

No two complexions are the same; that’s part of the reason that award-winning East Day Spa begins each of their 302 Clinical treatments with a thorough skincare assessment with one of their senior skincare specialists. Before creating a skin treatment plan that won’t just help you achieve the skin of your dreams but is also customised to suit your lifestyle, your skincare specialist will talk through your current beauty regimen and the issues you want to target. The hydrating and brightening 302 Enzyme Peel will often be included as part of your skincare plan; a strong-acting enzyme formula infused with vitamin A and C exfoliates skin, improving texture, tone and hydration.
302 Skin Assessment ($50 for 30 minutes) and 302 Enzyme Peel ($110 for 45 minutes) available at East Day Spa Auckland and Wellington,

The iconic Sothys seasonal facial is updated twice yearly and returns for winter, this time calling on extracts of passionfruit for its antioxidant and protective properties and acai berry known for its energising and nourishing properties. With a dose of oxygen associated with with a cocktail of minerals to boost the skins defence system during winter it’s the perfect option to resore your skin to its former glory before the cold dry and taxed it of its moisture. You can also add on the body treatment, also with the passionfruit and acai berry benefits.
Sothys Yellow Passionfruit and Acai Seasonal Facial available at most Sothys spas, www.sothys

Touted as About Face’s most potent facial, the Power of Three facial leaves no skincare concern untreated. The signature facial entails a combination of three technologies: skin peel or microdermabrasion depending on your skin type, Omnilux light therapy and sonophoresis. Dead skin cells are sloughed off before Omnilux bolsters collagen production and skin renewal. A serious hit of active vitamins are then delivered deep into the skin using sonophoresis.
Power of Three Facial ($259 for 75 minutes) available at all About Face locations,