Tom Worthington's sibling to his “small, sunny, very blue sandwich shop”, Tom’s, Estelle is only 50 metres away on Ōtautahi Christchurch’s Southwark Street.
It's named after Worthington’s niece, his parents’ only grandchild, and you can find the 36-seat cafe on the ground floor of shared workspace QB Studios, inside an old flour mill (part of the old, bright red gantry still stretches across the space’s high ceilings). Artworks by Billie Culy and Emma Fitts add gentle colour; as do round, hand-felted New Zealand wool cushions by Misery Guts; and a matte-navy Synesso espresso machine courtesy of Prima Roastery, which also provides the beans.
Worthington created the Estelle concept with his good friend (and the cafe’s head chef) Will Lyons-Bowman, who is also the winemaker behind Vita Wines.
While Tom's is known and loved for its sandwiches and sweet treats courtesy of Cakes by Anna (founder Anna Worthington is his sister), Estelle’s daytime menu is inspired in part by the food Lyons-Bowman grew up eating – it’s a celebration of quality and simplicity.
You can see this in nostalgic dishes like rice pudding with seasonal fruit, and toast with toppings (no sandwiches here). The smoked fish, pickled currants and rhubarb toast has already proved popular, as has the white bean, salsa verde and za’atar version.
There’s also a farmer’s plate with rye bread, a boiled egg, cheddar, pickled beetroot, watercress and butter. Specials rotate – you might have sage fried egg in a hole, or bread and butter pudding with custard.
One of the most beloved staples at Tom’s is the house-made pink iced bun. At Estelle, customers are staking out a different kind of bun – the maritozzi, a fluffy Italian brioche roll filled generously with fresh cream. It's become an accidental signature.
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