Wellington & Wairarapa Watering Holes – Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

4. Shooters Bar/The Grand, Courtenay Place

Courtenay Place, Wellington

After quite a few beers at the various bubs/bars/restaurants mentioned in Part 1, we ventured towards Courtenay Place for even more refreshing beverages and the prospect of somewhere where the girls could shake their booties and the guys could drink/talk crap/play pool. We ended up at this multi-level bar where all drinking-related activities are catered for! Woop woop.

It was because of the number of preceding drinks that I’m still unsure what the actual name of the bar was… and (after 5 minutes of boy-looking on Google) can’t seem to confirm whether it is Shooters or The Grand. Either way, it has a big staircase leading up through 3 (or 4?) floors and bars on all levels. We found it was a great idea to leave the girls to their ‘doof doof’ music and cruise up to the next level where there were more pool tables than you could shake a drunkenly-raised pool cue at. And beer.

The next day (with wary heads, and after struggling through a Powerade) we made our way from Wellington, up through the winding Rimutakas, stopped at Featherston for a Venison Pie, then on to the Martinborough Camping Ground to set up camp for the next couple nights.

5. The White Swan, Greytown

We went here for some quiet beers and dinner the Saturday night before Toast Martinborough. Situated on the main drag in Greytown it is an historic old NZ Railways administration building that was originally situated in Lower Hutt. The building was trucked over the Rimutakas in 2002 and, apparently, one of the six ‘pieces’ of the building fell of its truck and was almost lost down the valley! Now it’s a cool hotel/pub/restaurant that packs out every weekend. It has great central Heineken Bar with separate dining area and very nice accommodation. Worth a visit if you’re in the area. Just watch out for rowdy wealthy locals playing pool and middle-aged drunkenness.

6. Mac’s Brewery Bar, Shed 22

Mac's Brewery Bar, Shed 22

On the Monday after Toast Martinborough we had a few hours to kill in Wellington before our flight back to Jafaland. What better place to have a beer than the Mac’s Brewery Bar near King’s Wharf? Just a stone’s throw from Te Papa, this place is… OK.

As eluded to in a previous post about Union Post, I met Frowny McFrown Frown here. From the look of it she was the duty manager so I can only assume she was teaching other barstaff how to alienate oneself from customers and deter them from repeat patronage. I even asked how her day was going – resisting the urge to comment on the fact it was an awesome day outside (so she didn’t feel sh*t about having to work inside). I said my day was going great and that I was “smiling lots”. I don’t think she got the hint…

Overall, this place has good beer, but over-priced bar food, and crappy service which spoilt the otherwise good vibe of the layout. They do, however, have a great selection of old-school board games to play at your table which provided some novelty factor and also helped kill time.

There’s no Part 3 sorry… The End.

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