I do not normally frequent pubs or breweries. Firstly, I don’t drink – yeah, I know: freaky in today’s binge-drinking society. Secondly, I don’t like a lot of loud noise – people talking, music blaring blah blah. And loud noise is what you usually get in pubs or breweries.

I’m doing a silversmith course every Tuesday night with El Hubs. Quality time together! We drop Zeph and Zsa Zsa off to their breeder’s and they enjoy a catch-up overnight with their dog family. We then head into Christchurch and find a place to have dinner before our course starts at 7.00pm.

And we’ve hit the jackpot. There’s a brewery right around the corner from the silversmith guild premises. At first, I was a bit wary. A brewery? But it’s conveniently located and we get there at around 5.45pm. I would think this is way too early for the loud crowd. The brewery is Cassels & Sons Brewery in Woolston, Christchurch.

The interior is spacious and a bit like a warehouse. Plenty of seating for small or large groups plus seating at the bright and shiny bar. And now to the really important bit – the food. One word. Wow.

This week, I had the Cassels burger with smoked chilli mayo & fries. I always judge an establishment based on how well they do a burger. I just can’t ignore a juicy burger. One that isn’t burnt or greasy. First thing to say is that the serving isn’t too big. You know how some burgers come out and they are whoppers? Or there are more fries on the plate than burger? Not so in this case. The fries were just enough and weren’t greasy. The meat patty was on the smaller side but thick and well-cooked. The smoked chilli mayo gave the burger a zingy taste along with the pickles. All in all – a great burger that gets a 10 out of 10.

El Hubs chose a woodfired pizza. It was new on the menu and dubbed St Martins. Stuffed full of mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil. The crust was thin and fluffy. I know this because I sneaked a piece of his pizza. Sensational.

But the dessert. I’m going back next week just for the dessert, which was tiramisu. Another delicacy I can never ignore. I sampled many a tiramisu in Rome and the one at Cassels rivals the best of the Italian ones I sampled. My only criticism is that the serving is actually too large. Can’t believe I’m saying that because I’m known for my ability to scoff desserts.

The mascarpone and cream was delicate and velvety. I’m not sure what the liqueur was – could have been Tia Maria – but it really enhanced the espresso coffee flavour. Rather than a dusting of cocoa powder, this tiramisu boasted flakes of chocolate. Awesome dessert that I was so engrossed with, I forgot to ask what El Hubs selected. I think it was a chocolate tart.

All food is made on the Cassels & Sons premises and service was prompt and friendly. You can check out the menu here. They also have free nightly cinema at 8.45pm, which I presume is only held outside during the Summer months as I didn’t see an indoor cinema screen.

I do have one gripe though – I’ve ordered two Chai Lattes there now. Both times, it’s been lukewarm and I can barely taste the chai flavour. Aside from this, Cassels & Sons is a favourite.

The woodfired pizza.

The Cassels burger – yummo!

Spacious interior.

El Hubs’ dessert. I think it was chocolate tart.

OMG! The most fabulous tiramisu.

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