Gypsy Tea Room

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3 reviews
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455 Richmond Road,
Grey Lynn

(09) 361 6970

The ViewAuckland Review

Review byBrett Atkinson7/01/2008

5 out of 5 stars

Is there a better time to be in Auckland than the days between Christmas and New Year? The mad rush leading to Christmas Day is a memory buried under a couple of glasses of champagne and a few too many scorched almonds. Auckland's roads are quiet, there's parking aplenty, and your favourite art house cinema is subdued as rowdy groups of families head to the latest Hollywood blockbuster at Sylvia Park.

Think of it as living in Wanganui, but with the attractions of a big city close at hand.

Auckland's inner suburbs used to be a wasteland of interesting places to have a drink, but now great local bars are popping up regularly (see also the Ivy in Kingsland and Mt Eden's Eden Cloak Room). Early on a sultry Auckland evening, West Lynn's Gypsy Tea Room is the ideal place to catch up with a few friends. It's a sentiment obviously shared by a few, and the bar's busier than expected. Summer in Auckland means being able to wear shorts and a T-shirt to one of your favourite bars, and most punters are taking advantage of the Gypsy Tea Room's relaxed and easygoing ambience.

It's only been open a few years, but the Gypsy Tea Room already looks wonderfully old. That's old in a back streets of Sicily kind of way. The painted walls look authentically aged, and the weathered floors are full of character. It's like a scene straight from a yet to be made sequel to The Godfather.

More than 30 wines are available by the glass, and the small but eclectic beer list features goodies like Czech Budvar, and Little Creatures Pale Ale from Fremantle. The best of Kiwi micro-breweries is represented by Emerson's Organic Pilsner and Founder's Tall Blonde. A few locals drift in and out on first name terms with the barman. An equally local dog lazing outside in the setting sun is probably just as well known with the team behind the bar.

We're meant to be kicking on for dinner at the Food Hall up on Ponsonby Rd, but the attractions of the Gypsy Tea Room's eclectic array of bar snacks sees us staying for risotto balls, plates of paella, and the eventual, but unavoidable transition to warm-weather cocktails like mojitos and capirihinas.

Here's to a long hot summer. See you in West Lynn's best little bar.

Gypsy Tea Room has been reviewed by 3 users

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