[Photographs: David Straight]
If we have a favourite man about town, it’s Byron Henry. The owner of the Revolution Wine Co. has brought wine – good wine – on tap to Auckland, and we like it a lot: back in September we had a keg of sauvignon blanc at our oyster party and it went down a treat. Who better to tell you where to drink this silly season?
I love everything about this place. The snacks are great and the wine list is superb and reasonably priced. Manuel and Pascal are great hosts and make me feel right at home. I live downtown and the fact that the 50c Red Bus stops across the road from Beresford Square is more than enough reason for me to get myself uptown more often. 6 Beresford Square, Newton, ph 368-4281.
The greenery sets it apart from anything else in central Auckland – it’s an oasis in the city. The staff are super friendly and knowledgeable – they still offer table service when super busy. Great on a sunny Sunday afternoon with a few friends, a wine cooler jug and a serious attempt to master petanque. 31 Galway Street, Britomart, ph 303-2541.
Quite possibly the best pub in Auckland. I say pub, because it is just that – a licensed venue serving light meals. But this is a pub like no other. The food is oddly amazing –you can order a plethora of delicious snacks that are served in a heart beat. I’ve had the best cheese on toast in my life at this joint, I’ve heard a lot about the pulled pork roll. Golden Dawn also offers great table service. “Crossroads of Ponsonby and Richmond Road”, Ponsonby, ph 376-9929.
On a recent trip to Wellington I discovered the Hawthorne Lounge, up a set of stairs on a quiet street. When I was a kid I used to dream of owning an underground jazz and blues bar that served only the finest cocktails: although this place is above ground, it’s pretty much what I had imagined, although it’s more of a speakeasy and you can toast marshmallows over the open fire. I look forward to another nightcap at Hawthorne. 82 Tory Street, Te Aro, Wellington, ph (04) 890 3724.
IKTO was built for customers waiting for a table at Mexico next door, but has quickly become my cosy local. It’s tiny and fits only a handful of people and is literally an old loading dock. What I love most about this place is its simplicity: bar, bench, stools, speakers. A few beers, a couple of wines and some tasty tequilas. Mexico itself has the full tequila list and if you’re after something special the bartender will sort you out. Galway Street, Britomart.