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Cosy spots for a winter drink

There's nothing like finding the perfect cosy bar for a drink on a wild, winter's night or a chilly winter's afternoon. We've rounded up our favourite Wellington bars to head for a glass of local Martinborough pinot noir, a locally-brewed craft beer or a perfectly mixed cocktail.

Noble Rot

Noble Rot is an award-winning wine bar, founded by a group of talented sommeliers and restaurateurs who saw a need for a specialist wine bar in a city nestled between two of the country’s great wine regions of Marlborough and Martinborough. Tucked away down Swan Lane, Noble Rot has a lovely, intimate atmosphere and is the kind of place where one glass of wine can easily turn into two and then into dinner. 


A long-standing Cuba Street institution serving seasonal French- and Italian-inspired menus in a rustic-chic space. Decorated with industrial French meets country farmhouse chic, elegant Olive is a lovely place for a glass of wine and some warmed olives. 

The Library

Hidden away above the bustle of Courtenay Place is The Library, a cosy bar where the walls are lined with books and crafty cocktails reign supreme. Share a cheese platter or get stuck into some dessert - often with live jazz - at this excellent bar, which is especially popular on Tuesdays for 2-for-1 dessert.

Hawthorn Lounge

Tucked away on Tory Street, Hawthorn is the definition of a hidden gem. Sit at the bar as their nattily-attired staff entertain you with a potted history lesson on your favourite cocktail, or nab a leather couch by the open fire and relax as your own bespoke drink is concocted and brought to you.  


Climb the flight of stairs from Courtenay Place and you’ll immediately be transported to an exotic world where there’s a scent of spice in the air, lush green vines grow wildly up the walls, and fans spin languidly above. C G R is know for their creative house infusions - cosy up with a pumpkin pie rum or one of their famous salted caramel rums. 

Le Samourai

A wine bar featuring French imported and French-inspired culinary delight, Le Samourai is a lovely spot for an afternoon glass of wine. To pair with your drink, Le Samourai offer an assorted selection of cheese, charcuterie and a few traditional French delights. Grab a window seat, choose a glass of something French and watch the people go by.


What's cosier than a crumpet with butter? A cocktail bar called Crumpet that serves crumpets with butter (and cocktails)! Perfectly located for people watching, this old-school bar serves excellent cocktails in a charming atmosphere. Consult with Crumpet's staff to find a cocktail based on your preferred flavour profile, your mood or the weather, or take a flick through their rolodex of cocktails to find something that tickles your fancy

Night Flower

Night Flower takes old-fashioned cocktails and reworks them with a botanical flair: possets, syllabubs, Rumfustians, fizzes, fixes and flips. If you don't know what we're talking about, you will soon. Settle into one of the plush red velvet booths and enjoy the richly sumptuous botanical vibes as you imbibe. 

Many of Wellington's best cocktail bars are hidden down side streets or tucked away unnoticed. Half the fun is finding them, but finding them often eats into precious tipple time. So in the interests of saving time, we've rounded up some of our favourite cocktail bars for you.