Lyttelton’s big night out

WINTER WARMER: Volcano's Sue Curtin is ready with supplies for her mulled wine stall at Lyttelton's Festival of Lights street party.

Volcano owner Sue Curtin’s first Festival of Lights was “quite a few years ago.”

Employed as a chef at Volcano by then owners, Lois Ogilvie and Peter Llewellyn Evans, she helped at the street party, selling mulled wine in front of the restaurant. And has carried on the tradition since then.

She remembers those early years being “hugely, hugely busy – we couldn’t pour the wine faster enough.”

The street party has always been popular, she says, except for last year when numbers were down a bit with the rain. But it was still a good night out.

“It’s a really fun, social occasion,” she said.

“People do say that our mulled wine is the best on the street, we pride ourselves on it. It’s a special recipe we used when the Volcano was still around: Lots of really good red wine, nice orange juice, a good splosh of port, some cloves, cinnamon and honey.”

The festival has gotten bigger and better organised over the years, she said.

“Project Lyttelton does a great job.”

Her favourite part of the night is the Port Lyttelton fireworks display “and there’s some amazing food on the street as well.”