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Eat, Drink, Play Is The Brand New Festival Coming To Wellington This May

By Catherine Reisima

Ray jumping over the bar counter with a drink in his hand

From 6-16 May, the capital’s fave eateries and bars will be putting food and entertainment at centre stage as part of a brand new festival that celebrates food and fun. Eat, Drink, Play will be dishing up more than 100 delectable events and there’s something for everyone on the menu.

Solve a murder mystery during dinner, play bingo with a drag queen, fire up your tastebuds with a hot wings challenge, or learn to mix cocktails like a pro. Special hotel packages are also up for grabs, so you can stay right amongst the action. 

Here’s five events we recommend sinking your teeth into.

Rum with Ray

Brush up on your mixology skills with a masterclass hosted by award-winning cocktail maestro Ray Letoa at CoCo at the Roxy. Learn to shake and stir like a pro as Ray works his magic crafting a trio of rum-based cocktails for you to imbibe. Throughout the class, graze on delicious nibbles from CoCo’s kitchen, cleverly paired with each taster cocktail. If all this cocktail slinging whets your appetite, you can indulge in some extra tipples from the Roxy bar afterwards, or sink your teeth into something tasty from the CoCo menu. To make a booking, click here. 

When: 13 May, 6.30pm
Price: $39.50 + booking fee

A person performing an act with fire

Wellington Firebenders 

For a flaming good time, head along to The Tasting Room and catch a mesmerizing fire show by local performers the Wellington Firebenders. Held daily in the garden bar, this free performance is guaranteed to make you feel toasty on those cool autumn nights. If you really like it hot, set your tastebuds alight with the Wings of Fire—five hot wings, five hot sauces—each with a different level of heat. After you’ve downed your wings, cool off with icy brews from local beer purveyors, Panhead.

When: Daily at 6.30pm
Price: Free

Bootleggers Murder Mystery 

Dust off your flapper dress or tux and charleston your way back to the roaring 20s, where the jazz is smooth, the bootleg booze is flowing, and murder is a form of entertainment. Settle in at Dillinger’s for a three-course meal and watch an intriguing mystery unfold. In this immersive theatre experience, everyone is a suspect, even you. Tickets include the meal, show and a speakeasy-themed cocktail. Only those with the secret password will be granted entry, so make sure you’re armed with this on arrival. For more info, click here.

When: 8 May & 15 May, 6.30pm
Price: $89

A graffiti wall inside Dirty Little Secret

Dirty Little Drag Bingo

Think bingo is just for grannies? Think again. Grab your pals and book your spot for a night of games, giggles and cocktails at rooftop bar Dirty Little Secret. Hosted by fabulous local drag queen, Felicity Frockaccino, this bingo night will be a lively affair, with plenty of naughty jokes and some fierce competition. Entry is free and there’s $200 in prizes up for grabs, so it’s worth brushing up on your bingo lingo for this one. Click here for deets. 

When: 13 May, 7.30pm
Price: Free

A person juggling hoops in a carnival

The Greatest Showman’s Dinner

Step right up, step right up for a spectacular evening of dining and entertainment when waterfront eatery Coene’s transforms into a spellbinding circus. Tuck into a delicious feast as hula hoopers, magicians, poi spinners, and other performers surprise and delight you with their weird and wonderful acts. Ever seen a bearded lady sing? Now’s your chance. Tickets include a set menu and a drink on arrival. To reserve your spot, book here. 

When: 14 and 15 May, 6.00pm
Price: $89


What: Eat, Drink, Play
When: 6 - 16 May
Where: Various venues, Wellington

Love game nights? Check out the best escape rooms in Wellington for you to freak out at.

Image credit: Eat Drink Play, Dirty Little Secret, Ryan Wallace

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