Wednesday5:00 pm – 1:00 am.
Thursday5:00 pm – 1:00 am.
Friday5:00 pm – 1:00 am.
Saturday5:00 pm – 1:00 am.
82 Tory Street, Te Aro
Cocktails have drawn their inspiration not only from the need to mask the sting of illicit homebrew, but also famous marriages, birthdays, and funerals. Maybe that’s what makes them so ideally-suited for celebration and commiseration alike. Wellington’s Hawthorn Lounge would be suited to any of the above – it’s a place where you’d expect to find well-dressed individuals congregating to discuss the social circuit or their latest manuscripts over a tense game of bridge.
Head bartender Peter Lowry is your guide to the original crafted beverage, and an art form that's been crafted for at least one hundred years. Spirits have come a long way since then, and yours will too after some sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters. From the deceptively-delicate gin fizz to something gutsy like rye whisky fortified with Madeira, all tastes are accounted for on their drinks list. Even if yours isn’t, the bar staff are only too happy to venture off-piste and mix you something to taste, and will happily whip something to whet your appetite should it make itself known.
Mixed liquor is not the only forgotten art that's well-practiced here. The service at Hawthorn Lounge is impeccable, in the sense that they're attentive without being overbearing. It's novel enough to make you realise that most places have forgotten the hospitable out of hospitality. There's no clamour at Hawthorn's well-polished oak bar, just the clatter of cocktail shakers and the reassuring rhythm of good banter.
Harking back to the elegant decadence of the 1920s, the lounge itself is set in rich red velvet and well-suited to all showings of Wellington's inclement weather, with low hanging lamps casting a welcome light over baize-topped tables and a stacked slate-stone fireplace that crackles in cooler weather. Once upon a time it would have been swathed in cigar smoke, these days the air is just thick with swanky trumpets and suave piano rolls. All said and done, whether you're starting things fresh with a round of gin twists' or nursing them along with a Corpse Reviver, there’s not a better lounge in town in which to idle the night away.
Words by Matt Paterson & Photography by Alyssa Boobyer
82 Tory Street, Te Aro
Near Hawthorn Lounge
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