Monday4:00 pm – 2:00 am.
Tuesday4:00 pm – 2:00 am.
Wednesday4:00 pm – 2:00 am.
Thursday4:00 pm – 2:00 am.
Friday4:00 pm – 2:00 am.
Saturday2:00 pm – 2:00 am.
Sunday4:00 pm – 2:00 am.
60 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro
Welcome to Puffin, a “wine bar with a focus on organic and minimal intervention wines”. Located in the former Cadbury Brothers building, the name was chosen for being memorable and having absolutely nothing to do with wine. Walk down the beautifully tiled entryway and you’ll come upon a glass-panelled door adorned with the unmissable hand-painted ‘BAR’ in gold and black lettering. First impressions are everything, and this sets the tone for what is sure to become one of your more memorable visits of the Wellington hospitality scene.
Once inside, the noise of the street is shut away and a sensation of warmth descends around you. Take in the rustic speakeasy-style interior complete with stuffed puffins and exposed brick walls, and find a seat at any one of the plush velvet booths around the perimeter. The overall fit out deserves a mention here—put together by the owners themselves there is a focus on quality materials with a touch of elegance. Think marble, brass and dark wood, matching well with dried florals, a mirrored wall and elaborate chandelier hanging in the corner. If that isn't enough for you, the array of taxidermy adds eclectic intrigue to the space, not least of all in the form of the peacock which guards the water station.
The knowledgeable staff are attentive and friendly—more than happy to point you in the right direction if you need some help choosing from the extensive wine list. As a specialty wine bar, there are myriad options for everyone from casual vino enthusiasts to the most experienced wine connoisseur, and if wine isn’t your thing you can choose one of their classic cocktails or from a selection of local beers.
Head out back to the enclosed courtyard for a more pared-back experience, the sheltered and heated space features a long bench seat with intimate two-person tables where you can enjoy relaxed conversation over a platter or two. Food options come in the form of salty, small plates and the usual cured meats and cheeses, done very well and with a definite touch of class.
With the capacity to comfortably seat 60 patrons and a soundtrack that adds to the atmosphere without interrupting conversation you’re bound to have a blast. Puffin doesn’t take bookings, nor are they necessary—and there is always somewhere to hang your coat.
Words by Zack Holmes & Photography by Anna Briggs
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