It's important to make time for you and your special someone to spend quality time together, and our city centre is the perfect place to plan a romantic get-away. Whether it be an intimate dinner, learning a new skill together, seeing a show or simply taking a stroll along the waterfront, the time spent together in the heart of the city will create special memories for you to cherish throughout the years.
Have a laugh | The Classic Comedy & Bar
Laugh the night away with some of New Zealand’s top comedians at The Great Classic Comedy Come-Back show. Book in for a private table of two and go on a hilarious journey of comedic genius. Expect a stellar line-up of fresh comedy from comedians Michele A’Court (Female Comedian of the Decade, 2010), Ray O’Leary (2020 Billy T Comedy Award Nominee), Jarred Fell (award winning comedian magician), Jono Roberts, Simon McKinney (NZ’s leading stand-up impressionist), and Los Angeles based kiwi comedian Jamie Bowen. It sure to be a night of top-notch comedy.
Take a cooking class | Auckland Fish Market Seafood School
What better way to bond with your partner than by learning a new skill together? The Auckland Fish Market Seafood School offers a host of different cooking classes in a range of international cuisines. Learn a new set of cooking techniques and understand how ingredients work together.
With classes taking place most days there are plenty of options for you and your partner to take part in. During July, our top picks are the Seafood Sessions class where you'll be taught by a local celebrity chef, and the Mexican Seafood Street Kitchen class where you'll learn to make chipotle prawn and ricotta quesadillas and a Smoked seafood burrito - yum!
Enjoy a waterfront stroll | Matariki Festival 2020
Take an evening stroll along the waterfront and enjoy a light display on the Harbour Bridge for Matariki Festival. From June 24-28 and the two weekends following, Vector Lights will dance across the Harbour Bridge telling a striking new narrative of Matariki. The light show will be accompanied by an audio track which you can listen to live and synced with the visual display from the Vector Lights website.
Continue along the waterfront and head toward Britomart to see a beautiful display of lightboxes exhibiting vibrant images of kapa haka action.
An intimate night of fragrant cocktails in a cosy bar is a great way to unwind and spend some time with your special someone. Head to XuXu Dumpling Bar for exceptional cocktails and an extensive dumpling menu. XuXu’s elegant décor brings about a feeling of old-world romance with the rich peacock-design drapes, stained glass lampshades, bamboo patterned wallpaper and an intricate turquoise and white mosaic.
Step down in to the dimly lit and ever-so charming Caretaker, an underground gem focusing on classic cocktails made specifically to your tastes. The skilled bartenders will ask you a few questions to determine what you’re in the mood for and will mix up a custom cocktail based off of your specific preferences.
A new tequila bar, Ghost Donkey will also make for an unforgettable date night. Walk in and be dazzled by the red fairy lights that are strung up to cover the entire ceiling, you’ll feel like you have just walked into a fairytale dream! Ghost Donkey specialise in mezcal and tequila based drinks, each one inventive and delicious. We recommend trying out one of their signature paletitas which see a popsicle of house-made sorbet sitting in a cocktail made from Mexican-inspired flavours + bubbles.
Book an intimate table for two
Treat yourselves to an evening of fine dining at the O’Connell Street Bistro. This modern European bistro has won multiple awards for their high-class food and wine, winning 1 Hat in the Cuisine Good Food Awards in 2019 as well as being awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the past 17 years. With an intimate dining room of just 12 tables, be sure to expect impeccable service. Our choice for a romantic dinner would be opting for the ever-changing tasting menu where you’ll be treated to 6 gourmet dishes and matching wines.
The Grove is another perfect location for a romantic date night. The Grove is known for their outstanding specialised dégustation dining. With a brand new chef already getting rave reviews, the menu frequently changes with the seasonal availability of ingredients so you can always expect the freshest and highest quality meals. Choose either four, five, or seven courses for your dégustation and expect dishes featuring New Zealand raised beef, lamb and seafood all paired perfectly with seasonal local produce.
Take a moment for yourselves to recharge and ease any stress from the week just been with a couples massage at one of the city centre's leading spas. Enjoy an indulgent back massage side by side at East Day Spa, one of New Zealand’s largest premiere luxury day spas. Or book in at Bliss Reflexology for a couples reflexology. This treatment is based on traditional Chinese reflexology, where your therapist will use a combination of strokes and reflexology techniques to increase the supply of fresh oxygen and nutrients to nourish the body.
Experience a thought provoking exhibition
The heart of the city is home to many wonderful art galleries, and a visit to one of these makes for a great date day activity. Breath Holder is an exhibition currently on display at the Gow Langsford Gallery and it is the debut exhibition for New Zealand artist Virginia Leonard. This exhibition looks at the 'breath holding' phenomenon that is familiar to those with chronic pain. Virginia Leonard is a breath holder following a motorcycle accident in the 1980's. Leonard's ceramic work encapsulates this breath holding. "The oozing clay, resin, and glaze forms are fired precariously mid drip, as if the ceramic, too, is breath holding, bracing itself against the physically charged pummelling and massaging actions she inflicts on the clay".
Civilisation, Photography, Now is another exhibition worth a visit at Auckland Art Gallery, featuring the work of 100 of the world’s finest photographers. More timely than ever, it illustrates our increasingly global, connected society and encourages viewers to consider where we live, how we consume, what we make, and how we travel, learn, explore and control.
Turntable Paintings by Philip Kelly is now on display at the Visions art gallery on Lorne Street too, with the works displayed in this exhibition having been created using a vinyl turntable the same as a lathe turns wood or metal and as a potter's wheel is used to throw clay. The paintings are rendered at the speed a recorded single would be lathe cut and played – 45 revolutions per minute.