The Christchurch earthquake of 2011 brought the nation to a halt and threatened to bring the city of Christchurch to its knees. In a testament to Cantabrian courage and tenacity, the citizens of Christchurch pulled together to support one another through the disaster; to survive, grow, and eventually to rebuild.
One shining example of this can-do, inventive spirit is the Riverside Market in the heart of the CBD overlooking the Avon River. It began as an innovative assemblage of shipping containers, a practical but temporary solution to the need for a shopping centre. It served a genuine need well and became a valued part of Christchurch city life, growing into a permanent, beautiful, high-end indoor farmers market, and a fantastic must-see destination for visitors to Christchurch as well as Cantabrian locals.
Vendors of local fare such as produce, meat, baked goods, coffee, sweets and more sell from market-style stalls and boutique shops, alongside supplies related to the cooking, serving and enjoyment of food. And of course, front and centre, ensuring visitors have every opportunity to sample and celebrate local food day or night, is the tempting array of Riverside Market coffee shops, cafés, bistros, bars, and restaurants.
Many of these eateries offer outdoor dining, with extensive seating arranged across balconies and courtyards. With our typical New Zealand four seasons in one day weather, sheltering patrons from both sun and rain is essential.
Canterbury often experiences hot dry summers where the sun is fierce, but the shade is cool, so outdoor umbrellas are the perfect solution for areas without all-day overhead protection. Similarly, on rainy days when the wind isn’t blowing sideways or the temperatures freezing, Cantabrians and international visitors still brave the wonderful offerings of the Riverside market. Premium water-resistant outdoor umbrellas keep dry those who still love to sit outside within view of trees and the Avon River to enjoy their refreshments in the open air. And the benefits of the versatility of outdoor umbrellas is that when the clouds part and the winter sun shows its face, outdoor umbrellas can be closed to let the welcome warmth in without having to gather everything up and move to an unsheltered area.
Shade7, specialists in commercial outdoor umbrellas, is the umbrella supplier of choice for the Riverside Market, and numerous commercial venues nationwide. Shade7 umbrellas can be found everywhere at the Riverside Market, including the smart black Coke umbrellas, Shade7’s virtually bulletproof Venice sun umbrella. But arguably the most striking of the Shade7 market umbrellas are the gorgeous, generous-sized 3.5m octagonal Milan umbrellas that feature the Riverside Market branding.
The Ecru canopies are a perfect ‘canvas’ for the forest green Riverside Market brand name, as well as four heritage-style individually printed logos: sheep, cow, rooster, and carrots, each representing a pillar of any farmer’s market: meat, dairy, poultry and produce. While Ecru, being off-white, does require more maintenance than charcoal in terms of keeping the canopy clean, the striking colour scheme and designs, together with the scale and volume of these large umbrellas, make a fantastic visual impact, as well as providing endless hours of shelter from both sun and rain, greatly extending, and enhancing, patrons’ enjoyment. For anyone choosing Ecru or another pale coloured canopy, closing umbrellas when not in use, and covering them with a cover bag, will significantly reduce maintenance.
Outdoor umbrellas are sometimes left outside for weeks or even months at a time at commercial venues. So the ability to close umbrellas without having to remove them from tables is essential. And at many private residences, clambering on tables and chairs to remove umbrellas on a windy day isn’t a welcome, or sometimes even a possible, prospect.
Shade7 outdoor umbrellas are among the strongest umbrellas available, designed and engineered for New Zealand coastal conditions. With their premium acrylic canvas canopies and marine grade anodised aluminium poles, in windy conditions they can essentially become a sail. To prevent damage to the umbrellas or to property, it is sensible to close outdoor umbrellas when not in use. For anyone wanting to put an outdoor umbrella through a table, particularly commercial venues with outside dining, table clearance must be considered, not just size.
Fortunately, table clearance doesn’t mean small umbrellas. Small umbrellas have their place, but for big gatherings or groups of more than a few, small canopies can have everyone huddling together to avoid sunburn or a drenching from a sudden downpour. The arms of a 3.5 octagonal umbrella hold a canopy that can provide a huge 8.7m2 of shade yet will still clear the tabletop when closed. With table clearance being so important, Shade7 not only supply the ground clearance height of their umbrella arms, but also a handy ‘table compatible’ guide with a simple ‘yes/no’ for each centre pole umbrella offered in Shade7’s range.
Shade7 feature fibreglass arms across almost their entire range. The beauty of fibreglass is its durability. Fine fibreglass arms give a lightweight yet extremely durable performance in the Venice centre pole umbrella, and heavy-duty fibreglass arms feature in the Milan, and in the Riviera cantilever umbrella providing solid yet flexible, durable arms. Shade7 umbrellas are extremely stable, without the kind of movement often seen in more lightweight models. But the wind is a force to be reckoned with, increasingly so as the weather changes and becomes more unpredictable. Umbrella arms that flex under pressure and bounce back, remove the problem of bent umbrella arms, something that can also happen from rough handling (common in commercial situations), or umbrellas falling over and striking the ground.
The choice of the 3.5m2 octagonal Milan umbrellas at the Riverside Market ticks multiple boxes. Not only do they cast maximum shade while easily closing over tables when required, they make a significant visual impact, while the Milan fibreglass frames offer maximum strength.
If you get the chance to visit the Christchurch Riverside Market, take it; you won’t be disappointed, and you will add your support to the ongoing rebuilding of Christchurch City. And if you are wondering where to begin with choosing the best commercial or residential outdoor umbrella for your needs, the best place to begin is with a call or visit to the friendly and knowledgeable team at Shade7.