When in Ponsonby, you either shop, eat or drink. Home of New Zealand’s finest boutiques and restaurants we wanted to see what all the fuss was about. After a full day of browsing designer boutiques, I went bar hopping with the well-traveled Vanessa Ortynsky.
There are so many bars you can choose in Ponsonby but three of them had a distinct vibe about them that we wanted to check out. Mea Culpa, Fhloston Paradise, and Revelry. The three of them also turned out making sense in terms transitioning through the evening.
A well-established name on Ponsonby Road, Mea Culpa is an intimate narrow “blink and you miss” bar. Treasured by locals, it’s obvious that this cocktail bar is Ponsonbys jewel. Stop in after work for a debrief or sit at the bar and enjoy one of the many cocktails their award-winning mixologists can put in front of you. We decided to sit outside in the rustic Mediterranean style setting and soak up the atmosphere whilst enjoying a cheese board and my very first negroni. If you’re like me and prefer something drier, ask their friendly staff to surprise you. They ask you a series of questions about what you like. The drink they come back to me with was an amazing Hemingway daiquiri which was absolutely on point. You’ll see all sorts of people here, most people the staff know by name and then the first timers not so subtly pretending like they know what they are ordering (me) and then the boozy enthusiasts who can taste every hint of whats in the cocktail.
Something that this notable bar doesn’t boast about enough is their sustainability efforts, the limes they squeeze are all used for hand soaps and they try their best to source all fruits and products within 100km of the bar.
We took an uber further up Ponsonby road to Fhlotson Paradise. the nineties inspired bar is everything for a good night out. 90’s bangers and an extensive drinks menu will see you and your friends a good night! From the moment you walk in you see a pink haze muted by dim lighting bouncing off brickwork. As you step inside the pink neon Fhloston lights up the room and the cocktail list is calling. When I think back to this bar I think Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Espresso Martinis.
The outdoor courtyard with the heaters adds for a fun environment and head on inside to cut some shapes and have a boozy night.
Finishing at Revelry we got there earlier on so familiarised ourselves with the bar. It was obvious that the quirky decorated bar would fill up as the night progressed so we sat at the bar and got to know the staff’s talents. There was a familiarity between all three bars and that was the exceptional service from the staff, the sense of a family unit and damn they could make a drink! We had the most amazing shots (the banana my fav). Your cocktail and drinks options available here are endless as their collection is HUGE. After the assortment of drinks I had had I ended up with a glass of Little Creatures Pilsner – turned around and the place was packed.
These bars are a must for drinking in Ponsonby!