Contrary to what my kids think, 40 is not old! In fact we’re embracing our first years in our 40’s as quite possibly our best years yet! We have 3 kids we love to pieces, jobs we love, family and friends that we see often and in the last year we’ve got engaged, clocked up over 20,000km driving to amazing places around NZ and we’ve even bought a Harley! Yep, our 40’s are awesome.
However one thing that is different is finding a good spot to get a drink. There are some places that I used to love that I just feel old when I walk in now. It’s loud, the floor is sticky and everyone seems to be closer to my kids ages than mine. Now don’t get me wrong, I have been known to frequent Danny Doolans at the end of a big night, singing my heart out to Sweet Caroline so I’m no bar snob but here is mine and James take on the best places to grab a drink in NZ when you are in your 40’s….
#1 – Caretaker
It’s actually starting to get embarrassing how many words we have dedicated to this place but we are seriously in love. It’s a hidden underground speak easy bar in central Auckland that plays awesome music and has amazing cocktails – everything to love! We wrote even more words about it (including how to find it) over here…
#2 – The Ernest Kemp Cocktail Cruise
It’s been almost a year since our legendary sailing on The Ernest Kemp and we are still telling people about this one! $40pp for a cruise out over Lake Taupo with pretty much endless supply of food and wine/beer. It was laid back, beautiful scenery and just a whole lot of fun. Our tip – definitely pace yourself (no one likes to see drunken 40 year olds like us stumbling through Taupo!!). You can read a bit more about our adventure and a few other things to do in Taupo here.
#3 – Stafford Road Wine Bar
This is a recent find for us and we love it! Situated in Northcote Point in Auckland this cool little wine bar even managed to get the Denizen over to the shore for a try (and we all know that’s a hard ask). It’s full of, well grown ups, has a small but perfectly formed wine list, the most delicious meals (the duck is to die for!) and out the back has a brilliant wine shop.
#4 – BYO
We love our wine so we tend to take it most places with us and nothing improves a good drop like having an amazing place to drink it in.
For me, my favourite BYO occasions have to be sipping Moet on the balcony of our own private yurt at The Round Tent.
Relaxing with a bottle of Moet
Or driving between Cardrona and Queenstown in the campervan, sipping wine while James drove and the kids sang in the back.
#5 – The Thistle Inn
It’s New Zealand’s oldest pub so that alone makes her worthy of a visit. Add to this super friendly staff who will fill you in on all the history of this Wellington landmark – from the desk that Katherine Mansfield used to write poetry to the portrait of Maori chief Te Rauparaha who used to pull his waka up outside the bar in the early 1840’s and wander inside and order a whisky (the legend goes that in the bar staff were so scared of him that they were too scared to charge him for his drinks so he drank there for free). You can read a bit more about our visit here.
Like I said, we love our wine so if you’ve got some great spots for grown up drinks let us know – maybe we can come and join you.