Hidden away at the back of the currently under-restoration Cadbury’s building on Dixon street, this brand new bar has heaps of atmosphere, great drinks and hidden at the end of an inconspicuous corridor, it has a top-secret vibe.
The Puffin is brought to us by Sean Golding of Golding’s Free Dive and business partner Hannah Wells, who describe it as a “wine pub” and by that they mean a laid back new hangout to bring wine to the masses. Puffin is all about placing pride in serving the best wines available without the snootiness—no snobbery allowed, just great wine that every one can enjoy with something for all tastes and preferences. Sit at the bar or in a booth and enjoy a tasty glass of wine, and beer lovers won’t be left out either with several great Wellington beers on tap.
A great snack bar menu (worth heading down for alone, to be honest) complements the wine perfectly. Take the edge off with the delicious soft pretzel and beer cheese, Mortadella sandwich or a selection of Kingsmeade cheeses. It would be a crime to pass up the beetroot tartare with creme fraiche and caviar too. Into something sweeter, take a bite of their the pistachio gelato in warm brioche and you're onto a winner.
Currently there are about 60 wines available at Puffin and counting, the list will continue to change and adapt. On offer are world wines as well as local, natural and biodynamic drops. Not a connoisseur? No need to worry, the bartenders at Puffin are so friendly and helpful and they will make sure you find something you will enjoy. Takeaway is available too, so if you find a tipple you love you can take a bottle away with you—how's that for service.
Puffin keeps their cocktails classic but does them outstandingly well. You will find all the classic cocktails available as well as their three signatures—a Negroni, a Martini and an Amaretto Sour. The bar is situated on the ground floor of a 1908 building, which used to be the old Cadbury Offices and the gorgeous original features are well highlighted. The space is stripped back to bare walls with plush green velvet scallop booth seating, gold metal work and a simple but stunning features like a grand peacock ornament (not to be confused with a puffin).
Have you been wondering why the bar is named, Puffin? Well we were too, and the scoop is... no reason—Sean and Hannah just wanted to choose a name that wasn’t all about wine. We are sure to be spending lots of time at Wellington’s newest ‘wine-pub’. The food, wine and cocktails are delicious, it’s elegant, laid-back, and in a super location, what more could you want for a secret date, some cocktails with friends or pit stop from shopping on Cuba? Puffin does it all and we know you're going to love it.
What: Puffin Wine Bar
Where: 60 Ghuznee Street, Wellington
When: Sunday-Thursday 5pm-2am, Friday-Saturday 3pm-2am
Image credit: The Puffin, Josie McCrickard, Wono Kim