Albion Hotel

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2 reviews
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119 Hobson Street,
Auckland Central

(09) 379 4900

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byBrett Atkinson5/12/2006

Sometimes all you need are the simple things in life.

To paraphrase the iconic Kiwi ad campaign for Whittaker's Chocolate: 'A good honest pub.'

The Albion Pub has been around in various guises for over a century now, and when I last visited it was swathed in red velvet with a ridiculously low ceiling cris-crossed with wooden beams.

That was also when smoking was allowed in bars, so the ambience was a tad claustrophobic.

Since then one of the CBD's heritage pubs has had a makeover, and the interior is now bright and breezy with leather armchairs and potted plants.

The building's heritage vibe is proudly maintained with the original pressed steel ceiling that was lurking beneath those ugly wooden beams for all those years.

You're in the CBD now Toto, so expect the usual cast of punters.

Seated at the bar is a grizzled regular carefully nursing a single pint of Speights.

An Irish backpacker is killing an hour before his bus departs to the Bay of Islands, and there are a couple of late Friday afternoon impromptu business meetings that are threatening to rapidly descend into end of the week drinks.

Later on a Friday night there's live music with the opportunity to sing along with songs you're slightly ashamed to know the words to.

And if a guitar-toting singer doesn't know your request, chances are you'll find it on the 1980s-heavy video jukebox.

Behind the bar, the friendly bartender has big hair circa 1983, and even calls me 'love' as she takes my order for a well-priced chicken burger that would be twice as much down the road at the Viaduct.

Lion Red, Oranjeboom and Macs are also on tap, and there's plenty of RTDs and good value chardonnays to go with the bar snacks that are made for sharing with large groups.

Echoes of the pub's previous incarnations linger with four plasma screens pumping out a collage of J2 and Sky Sports, and there is a pool table, a TAB, and a separate room for pokies.

If you're easily offended by real life, then maybe the Albion's not for you.

But if you're a hardworking desk jockey who's looking for an unpretentious spot to have end of the day—or end of the week—drinks with your workmates, then the good honest vibe of the Albion Pub hits the spot.

Sometimes the simple things in life really are all you need.

Albion Hotel has been reviewed by 2 users

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