It can be hard in the winter months to make that extra effort on date night – we can all be guilty of defaulting to staying in, on the couch with a takeaway and a streaming service! But on nights when you do feel like doing something special or a bit different we’ve got a great range of date night ideas in the city centre.
Viaduct and Wynyard Quarter
Sip on a winter warmer in Captain’s Bar | 99 Halsey St
Nestled inside the impressive Park Hyatt Hotel is Captain’s Bar, a cosy wood panelled bar complete with a roaring fire. Escape the cold winter night with your date and make yourself comfortable inside the bar, where there are some special winter warmers on offer. Why not order the smoked hot chocolate, complete with tequila, Fernet Branca, and a smoked milk foam. Or the spiced wine, with spiced pinot noir, compare, Crème de Mûre and orange foam. There are also delicious nibbles on offer too, like baked brie and panko crumbed halloumi fries.
Go to the test kitchen at Gochu | 1 Queen St
Gochu opened in June of 2020, and has been a hit ever since. Featuring modern Korean food, natural wine, and unique cocktails, Gochu is an experience you won’t forget. To make it even more memorable, try out the test kitchen which runs on the first Tuesday of every month. For $55 a head, watch executive chef Jason Kim work his magic and whip up new and inventive recipes to try and enjoy, that aren't on the normal menu.
High Street District and Aotea Arts Quarter
Try the cheese and wine flight at Housebar | 2 High Street
The signature cheese and wine flight at HouseBar inside Hotel DeBrett offers people a taste of award-winning local cheeses lovingly paired with a selection of hand picked New Zealand tipples. It's $35 for 3 cheeses and 3 glasses of red or white wine - a bargain - and is sure to get the conversation started of what your favourites are. Try this activity for something different on your next date night and enjoy it by candlelight under the glass roofed soaring atrium.
Go to a concert by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra | 301-303 Queen St
Here’s a unique winter date idea; head down to the Auckland Town Hall and enjoy a concert put on by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. There’s an amazing variety of events which will be sure to suit a mix of tastes. Upcoming shows this winter include Wonderfully Wicked, Aretha, and How To Train Your Dragon live in concert. It’s not something you do every date night, so it will be sure to add some excitement into the dreary winter months.
Go skating at the Aotea Square Ice Rink | 291-297 Queen St
A winter favourite for so many in the heart of the city is the ice-skating pop up rink in Aotea Square. Bundle up and have a blast skating around the rink with your partner hand in hand. It only comes around once a year so don’t hesitate to make a trip to the square and get your ice-skates on!
Try the Tokusen menu at Masu by Nic Watt | 90 Federal St
Masu is an internationally acclaimed restaurant by Nic Watt, specialising in a robata style of cooking over an open charcoal grill. A very special option at Masu is the Tokusen menu, which showcases the finest ingredients available and allows the diner to experience Masu to the fullest. The tasting menu is $140 per person, and there is an option to add on a beverage match. Start with aonori bread with whipped wagyu sake kasu butter, then onto tuna nigiri, smoked kingfish, and crispy scampi. The heavy hitters on the menu include baked king crab with a tofu mayo and daikon salad, as well as the robata grilled lamb loin. The dessert platter rounds out the menu, and is a generous and delicious conclusion.
Britomart and Fort Street Area
Try something new with dinner at Ghost Street | Basement Floor, 27 Galway Street
Plan a dinner date to check out Ghost Street, a brand new restaurant by the team at Cafe Hanoi, sequestered in the old 1885 basement in the Stanbeth building, a 130-year-old warehouse situated in Britomart. The restaurant is a reimagining of the heady hole-in-the-wall eateries that run along Beijing's famous food street of the same name and offers flavoursome dishes perfect for sharing, as well as great cocktails inspired by the herbs and spices famous in Chinese food, including Sichuan Pepper Negroni, Lichee Martini and the Ghost Street Ice tea. They also have a unique way of placing orders - check it out for yourself!
Order some late-night treats at Miann | 57 Fort St
Miann is a go-to dessert spot for many locals in the city. All of their sweet treats are made in house directly, and their chocolate is sourced from their chocolate factory located in Morningside. A perfect way to end a date night is with something sweet, and Miann is the answer. Order off the menu or choose from the delectable treats in the cabinet - from lemon meringue tarts to mouth-watering chocolate delicacies.
Go on a Silent Disco Citywalk | Victoria Park Market
For a very different date night this winter, head along to the glow in the dark Silent Disco Citywalk. Put on by the Papaya Stories team as a part of Elemental AKL, this glow in the dark adventure will take you on a journey throughout the city, all while you’re having a boogie to some tunes. No dancing skills are needed, just some good walking shoes and being in the mood to have a fun time with your special someone.
Show off your newfound board game talents at Dice & Fork | 201 Victoria St W
Did you fine tune your board games skills during last year's lockdowns? Verse your date at Dice & Fork, a cosy board game cafe located right next to Victoria Park. With a vast array of exciting games to choose from, a delicious good menu and an apetising selection of drinks, Dice & Fork is a unique date idea that is both fun and relaxing. Cuddle up next to the fireplace and enjoy playing your choice of game, from Settler of Catan to Scrabble, and everything in between.