Louise Gray and Stephen Robinson will be chilling out with friends and family this Christmas.
When VERVE visited them at their funky inner-city warehouse apartment the couple were just deciding what was on the Christmas list. The decorations are subtle. There aren’t many, just enough to give a festive flavour, but not take away from the art gracing the walls. “We always give presents, I love presents!” says the effervescent Louise. “We give hints as to what we would like!”
Louise is the owner of the multi-award-winning Louise Gray Skin Health in Mission Bay, and a regular on these pages. Her expertise in skin care comes from a career that began in nursing and her medical knowledge of anatomy and physiology complements her beauty therapy career. It gives her a valuable point of difference as she’s seen first-hand how skin responds to trauma, which is often the case (though far minor than in a hospital situation) with some skin conditions.
Her partner Stephen is a photographer. His illustrious career began assisting many of Rolling Stone magazine’s top photographers, and he’s photographed many international and local legends. He also met David Bowie when he was in New Zealand making the movie Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence and later had dinner with him in New York. And not too many people can say they’ve had lunch with Rolling Stones’ drummer Charlie Watts and not known who he was, but Stephen can! With more than 18 books to his name (you can read about the latest on page 138) Stephen and Louise met at one of his book launches more than 14 years ago.
Christmas Day will see them having family friends over to the apartment for drinks and nibbles after which they’ll head off to a nice hotel for dinner and a night away. Then they’ll be off to their tiny bach on Kawau Island. “It’s such an escape for us,” says Louise of the two-bedroom 70s bach in the bush. “We live in the central city so it’s the perfect getaway. We just relax, go for walks, swimming, and drinks with friends. We have friends over there but we also have family and friends come to stay so it’s a lovely balance.”