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5 OConnell Street,
Auckland Central

(09) 369 5639

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byBrett Atkinson18/08/2008

4 out of 5 stars

One of Auckland’s more sophisticated cocktail bars, Honey provides a handy Saturday night refuge from yet another burst of wintry Auckland weather. The classy bar crafted from oak and marble and dotted with plush couches used to be the lavish and spacious head offices of Alliance Insurance almost a century ago. Insurance companies obviously had money to burn in the 1920s, a fact Auckland’s cocktail fans can now celebrate. This being Auckland, we should probably also celebrate that the building hasn’t been knocked over by a property developer. Maybe they’ve been too busy drinking at the Viaduct.

The bars at the Viaduct can be a little ostentatious, but further uptown in O’Connell St, Honey keeps it deliciously low-key with elegant old-school standard lamps and a roaring fireplace. Heritage ceilings and vintage posters reinforce a feel that’s a bit like a gentleman’s club. That’s if its members were more interested in great cocktails and champagne than hunting and fishing.

Honey’s official title is Honey Champagne Cocktail Bar, a wordy designation that addresses the list of around 60 cocktails and a wide array of champagne. It’s been a pretty successful night for the Kiwis at the Beijing Olympics apparently, so it only seems right to celebrate with an Apple Crumble cocktail featuring cinnamon infused 42 Below vodka, apple juice and fresh lime. I usually don’t order dessert at a restaurant, but this zingy liquid Apple Crumble would be an automatic choice. Carol’s Vanilla Mojito combines Havana Club Anejo rum with vanilla infused vodka from 42 Below.

There’s an international array of beers on offer, and the wine list is a celebration of the best of New Zealand vineyards. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Waipara Valley Riesling, Hawkes Bay Chardonnay, and Central Otago Pinot Noir. All look like pretty valid reasons to return and celebrate Kiwi success on another occasion.

Maybe it’s the midtown location, but Honey never really seems too busy. That’s a good thing if you’re after a low-key way to start or end a night, but compared to other busier and inferior bars at the Viaduct or in Ponsonby, it’s almost a crime.

Honey has been reviewed by 4 users

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