Drinking @

If you’re in need of a drink, you’ve come to the right place. There’s a superb selection of Christchurch drinking spots to seek out, whether you’re in the mood for a sophisticated cocktail bar or an atmospheric pub.

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It’s an air of urban sophistication that awaits you at Mish Mash, the new central city eatery and bar that’s opened its doors at the corner of Manchester and St Asaph. Head in under the yellow sign and you’ll find yourself in a slick, relaxed lounge atmosphere, flanked on either side by post-quake Christchurch cool – on one wall a vibrant street art-style mural, and on the other an stylish arrangement of wooden pallets. The name’s not just random – Mish Mash blends a variety of influences from around the world in a unique, heady mix. The menu is an international smorgasbord, and the tempting cocktail list follows suit; keep it Snoop-Dogg-simple with Gin & Juice, a sharp combo of fresh orange, grapefruit cordial and Martin Millers gin snazzed up with Cloudy Bay Pelorus sparkling, go troppo with Loco For The Coco and its blend of Matusalem White rum, pressed...
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Basking in the sun with a cooling sea breeze and stunning views out across the port – Freemans' celebrated deck is one of Christchurch’s top spots for a summer tipple. Literally minutes from the city but miles from care in portside town Lyttelton, this Italian institution combines hearty home-made fare (their zucchini fries and gnocchi with pan-fried chorizo are worth walking over the Bridle Path for!) with lush house-made sodas, fine Nelson wines and perfectly chilled beers dispensed from their funky new bar. A brightly coloured mural courtesy of local artist Wongi brings the port action right up on the deck, while on Sundays, live music from local jazz legend Carmel Courtney and friends from 3.30pm ends the weekend on the perfect note – just get their early as the tables are gobbled up as quickly as the exquisite fare. www.freemansdiningroom.co.nz...
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Dappled sunlight dances across our table, bouncing off our cutlery and strobing in our frosted glasses of beer as a welcome breeze bothers the leaves of the ancient pepper trees above. It’s one of those own-the-moment carefree lazy Sunday afternoons where impromptu catch-ups with friends over a few beers in the sun forge on into the early – and then late – evening.The sun-drenched courtyard of Heathcote institution Valley Inn Tavern is humming with the casual, laidback vibe that, try as many might, cannot be contrived; you’re equally as likely to find yourself rubbing shoulders with the silver-haired Harley riding set, long since moved-away former locals returning to the watering hole of their youth, or occasionally, the Crusaders.Dating back to 1877 and re-calibrated/reborn under husband and wife team Dean and Genaea Calvert following the earthquakes, the Tavern maintains roots with its strong history by way of its time-tunnel type restaurant entrance...
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Expect the return of languorous, sunny summer arvo sessions in the city following the opening of Dux Central on the 16th of September. Reborn on the old Twisted Hop site in Poplar Lane, Dux De Lux redux Dux Central combines the elements of its much-missed predecessor with a few new aces it has up its sleeve. The four-bar venue comprises Dux De Lux replacement Brew Bar, an earthy, London-esque craft beer-topia that features a sunny courtyard and timber bar where you’ll find old favourites like Black Shag and Ginger Tom on tap – and they’re just part of a bodacious selection (175 to be exact) of craft beers stocking an expansive, three-storied beer fridge (some top shelf entries crack the $70 mark!).  Next door, swank sophistication reigns supreme at the Emerald Room, where jewel tones, black and gold and slick feature wallpapering all ups the city’s overall wine-bar-glam levels –...
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Image: Andre Glynn Photography Flanked by a towering cigar chomping, steel-eyed possible dictator or cartel runner mural on one wall and a stunning, tangerine "April Sun in Cuba"-style panorama on the opposite one, it’s clear we’re not in Christchurch anymore.With the aim of bringing a slice of Havana to the central city, the team behind Baretta have not only hit one out of the park with their spanking new cabana of cool that is The Cuban, but also seriously upped St Asaph Street’s swag in the process.The next level transformation of the now unrecognisable former St Asaph Street Kitchen & Stray Dog Bar features an epic covered courtyard studded with stand-around gas fire-cum-bar leaners for brisk winter arvos and evenings, with the option of raising the roof (or retracting, if we’re being technically correct) for hot spring/summer nights.Nailing effortless hip, a chunky ol’ skool wooden bar that could be straight...
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There's an air of sophisticated Hong Kong cool about the Dragon's Den Social Lounge, the new venue from Andrew Brown now open at 367 Colombo Street, right next door to his iconic Burgers & Beer store down SOMO way. The Cityscape crew sashayed along to opening night, and were suitably impressed! Clean lines and moody after-dark cool are emphasised by the lighting system, which has a few tricks up its sleeve. The dark furnishings and fittings are all set off by some striking art pieces: It's all very swanky indeed. Furthermore, notable Chch mixologist James Andrew Lawton is slinging the drinks (including the likes of the Figural Effect cocktail featured in the Winter issue of Cityscape) and there are eats on offer that will be a cut-well-above your standard pub food fried basket (honey-roasted figs with soft feta, toasted macadamia and Serrano ham, anyone?). Check out the Den's Facebook page for more, or better...
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The SOMO district continues to blossom with the arrival of Town Tonic, the latest offering from the folks behind Passengers & Co and Taste Events / The Christchurch Farmers’ Market. Slotted neatly into the bottom floor of the new Moore Stephens Markhams building on the corner of Lincoln Road and Bernard Street, Town Tonic paints a picture of sleek modern cool and meticulous precision with its clean lines and dark wood and fabrics, gleaming black tiles, and a splash of lime to set things off. If you’re peckish you can tuck into some of their sophisticated, elegantly-constructed sharing plates (the Grecian charms of their braised lamb shoulder with green olive, pistachio, tabbouleh and yoghurt is the Cityscape favourite), but the bar is reason enough to visit on its own. You’ll find a choice range of boutique beers (and cider) on tap (and in bottles), as well as an excellent selection...
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Anyone serious about their dining and drinking will have already spent some major time trawling Christchurch’s über nightlife hotspot, putting in some quality hours at the likes of Smash Palace, Carlton (not technically in Victoria St, but well within range), Cruz Bar, King of Snake, Mexicano’s, Tequila Mockingbird, Harlequin Public House (just out of the Victoria St line on the corner of Salisbury and Montreal Streets), and Mashina Lounge. Bar and restaurant owners aren't content to rest on their laurels, though – the options for your night out along Vic Street just keep increasing. The reborn The Bog is now back on the scene (after its quake-imposed hiatus) bigger and better than ever, joining the cocktail-cool of The Dirty Land from Tony Astle. Mr Astle is also set to re-open his pre-quake Thai favourite Chinwag, again down – you guessed it – Victoria Street. Getting from one end of this inner-city hospitality highway to the other in just one evening is...
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Christchurch’s little slice of Italy, Baretta bar and restaurant, is all set to go troppo when it moonlights as the Havana Club Embassy Bar over two coming weekends. From Thursday 27 March, and then again the following weekend from Thursday 3 April, Baretta party goers are set to experience a little Latin fever with an offering that Fidel himself would be proud of. Things kick off with the launch party on Thursday (27 March) at 6pm featuring a feisty mix of Latin music from the Doc Sanchez Trio, Cuban canapés, and (of course) lashings of Mojitos and other Havana Club cocktail specials. (Mmm, we love us some Mojitos.) The Embassy Bar will continue to rock out over the rest of the weekend, so bust out that white linen suit or slinky cocktail dress and head down to stand coolly by the bar and live out your James Bond or Bond Girl...
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Christchurch bar-tsar Tony Astle’s latest offering along the city’s hottest party scene that is Victoria Street fuses a dark, broody aesthetic with an industrial edge and the effortless flair of another meticulously-crafted den of cool. You’ll find The Dirty Land’s interior awash with heavy red curtains, exposed brick walls, tactile wallpaper and moody lighting, care of guttering candles and some seriously covetable fixtures hanging under a gnarly, pressed ceiling. It’s like walking on the set of a David Lynch movie, only better – because you're there, and perusing a swanky cocktail list that rounds out an impressive and imaginative drinks menu.It goes without saying the drinks are killer; those with a taste for the bittersweet should tap the twist-on-a-classic that is the TDL Negroni, while the Blood Passion’s lacing of Belvedere vodka with passionfruit and blood orange makes for some primo drinking. Feeling adventurous? Check out the Guest Cocktail, a weekly...