Whether it's a long overdue catch up or you just want to get out and have some fun with your best group of girlfriends, the heart of the city is your playground. From live music, to pamper sessions, new experiences, incredible cocktails and fabulous shopping destinations, the city centre will make for an unforgettable girls weekend.
Catch up over brunch
There’s nothing better than a brunch with your girlfriends to catch up. For the most colourful and Instagram-able dishes, Major Sprout on Graham Street is a must-try. Each dish is a work of art, with the buttermilk pancakes being a standout for us. These fluffy pancakes are topped with almond mascarpone, butterscotch & toasted marshmallows.
Look out over the water as you sip on mimosas and tuck in to a classic eggs benedict or brûlée banana bread at the The Lula Inn. We recommend booking a table for brunch at Lula’s as it’s a very popular choice.
Wynyard Pavillion and Feriza’s on North Wharf are also popular options for a weekend brunch by the water. Wynyard Pavillion offers a delicious and classic brunch menu while Feriza’s offers traditional Turkish dishes such as Menemen (baked eggs in a tomato and capsicum sauce) and Gozleme (traditional Turkish hand rolled yufka dough filled with spinach, feta & mozzarella or beef mince, onion & cheese).
Shop 'til you drop | Commercial Bay, Britomart, High Street and Queen Street
Who better to shop with than your closest group of girls? The city centre is filled with stunning fashion retailers from right here in New Zealand to all across the world. Start your shopping spree at the fabulous new Commercial Bay that stands glamorously on Lower Queen Street. In this new shopping precinct, you’ll find New Zealand fashion designers Yu Mei, Elle + Riley Cashmere, Nicole Rebstock, and twenty-seven names (just to name a few) amongst a raft of exciting international retailers such as Aje, Sandro, Cos, Kate Spade New York and Maje.
Head the next block over and experience the incredible retail offering at Britomart. Here you'll find more New Zealand designers like Trelise Cooper, Karen Walker, WORLD, Allbirds, Deadly Ponies and Kate Sylvester, as well as the Adidas Orginals concept store and Tiffany & Co.
The next stop on your shopping tour needs to be the High Street and Queen Street scenes which provide cool open air experiences with quirky laneway retailers and great homeware stores like Shut The Front Door, limited edition garment stores like Prior, not to mention everyone's favourite department store Smith & Caughey's. These areas are also a great place to stop for a mid-shop coffee or cocktail break. For coffee, we suggest Chuffed or eighthirty on High Street, while John & May’s on Vulcan Lane is our go-to for exciting cocktails.
Celebrate your friendship with a round (or two) of gram-worthy $10 margaritas from 5-7pm at Frida Cocina Mexicana & Tequila Bar. Although situated by the water in the Viaduct Harbour, the smells, tastes, and fit-out of the restaurant will transport you right to Mexico City - hometown of world-famous Mexican artist, Frida Khalo. Stick to what you know with the Classica margarita or try something exciting like the mango & coconut or jalapeño flavours.
Huami Bar are your must-try gin cocktail specialists. Huami doesn't skimp on their selection of gins, where excellence and quality is the top priority. The menu features over 40 gins ranging from the most premium to the latest release. For an awesome happy hour deal, join the Huami Gin Club to get $10 gins all day, every day.
What's better than a rosé with the girls? Rose cocktails, that's what! At Viaduct Harbour favourite, SOUL Bar & Bistro, enjoy rosé themed cocktails from just $15. We suggest heading to SOUL just as the sun is setting and grabbing a seat at one of their outdoor tables to be treated to some stellar sunset colours over the water.
Enjoy live jazz music | Caretaker
For a Jazz night, head down to the 'secret' Caretaker bar on Sunday's and Monday's from 9pm. Sip on personalised cocktails and get up for a boogie as the live bands take you away with their smooth jazz tunes.
Roaring 20's High Tea | Hotel DeBrett | Saturday's & Sunday's from 1:00pm
Feel like royalty and sit down to a three-tiered High Tea with all the most delicious treats both savoury and sweet. Get dressed up for an afternoon of glamour and glitz and join Hotel DeBrett for a fun ‘Roaring 20’s’ themed high tea. Be delighted by the tasty bites ranging from deviled eggs with crispy prosciutto to smoked salmon pinwheels, gin & tonic cup cakes, pink pavlova and lemonade scones with cream & jam.
Learn an exotic dance | Swing360
Get your adventurous girls together for a night of exotic dancing! Have a laugh and learn the basics of pole dancing at Swing360. The beginners classes are perfect for people who are looking to have fun and learn some moves.
Have a pamper session | Formé Spa
What better way to spend the day with the girls than treating yourselves to an afternoon of luxury? Indulge in the Recover Me Package at Formé Spa, where you will be treated to a specialised facial that gives back radiance to your skin while putting you in a state of un-capped relaxation. And as if that isn’t enough, the Recover Me Package also includes a second treatment of your choice - the bliss me back massage, Brazilian wax, lush pedicure or a Lumiere LED treatment.
Learn the art of cocktail making | Bellini Bar
Become a master mixologist with a cocktail class at Bellini Bar. Learn a range of cocktail making techniques and get behind the bar to make your very own. With either a cocktail class or a mixology masterclass to choose from, you’ll be introduced to the art of cocktail making with shaking, straining and garnishing techniques.
Become a chocolatier | New Zealand School of Food & Wine
Fulfil your childhood dreams of working in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and get involved with the chocolate essentials workshop at the New Zealand School of Food & Wine. This workshop will see you and your friends making delicious chocolate creations to take home and indulge in. Learn all the skills in successful chocolate work while impressing your friends with inventive shapes and designs.