A little town called Ponsonby

With the disappointment of the morning passed (click here to find out why) it was time to make the most out of the afternoon. I didn’t let the troubles effect my mood and my enjoyment of Auckland.

Auckland is a city that has been growing on me day by day. I am discovering that it’s the places that are outside of Queen St that have the pulling effect of this tourist right here. There are some decent shops down Queen St and some nice bars, but the area just reminds me too much of the crappy boozy parts of London.

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I spent the afternoon in a little town known as Ponsonby. The town boasted charismatic, multicultural eating and drinking establishments with myriad wine bars and sassy restaurants. Ponsonby Road offered food such as pizza to Uruguayan, Argentinian, Thai and Japanese with loads of flavour-filled restaurants and cafes filled the upmarket laneway collection of eateries and gourmet food shops.

These were mixed in with cute independent clothes stores which reminded me of old-skool (am I cool for spelling it that way?) British high streets before the time capitalism ruled our tiny island. There was a slight Shoreditch feel to Ponsonby, as it seemed like a place London hipsters would gather in their numbers.

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The shops were a little too pricey for me, but it was a pleasure to meet the locals that owned them. Ponsonby was a very long road, which made choosing where to stuff my belly a difficult choice. After doing the trip down one side of the road, crossing over walking back on the other, and then staring the walk again back on the side I started, I finally chose where to eat.

Gourmet pizza?

*licks lips*

Yes please!

The place was called Freeman & Grey. The minute I entered I was welcomed with a big smile by a very nice barmaid. She informed me that the kitchen wasn’t open until 4.30pm, 20 minutes from the time I entered, so I was shown to a seat in the area in front of the place with had its own glass roof.

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To pass the time before I could make my order, I settled in my seat with an apple cider on the table in front of me and taking advantage of the free wifi. There seems to be wifi everywhere you go in Auckland which is pretty cool for us travellers.

I had a quick look at the menu and once I saw the two words pepperoni and pizza next to each other, I was sold on my choice.

(side note: the past 20 minutes I have spent writing this in Auckland library, I’ve just realised I was wearing sun glasses. And there I was wondering why the library was so dark…)

The pizza tickled my taste buds in a very satisfying way and the apple cider was a great way to wash it all down. I was time to pay the bill and head back off out into the pouring rain that had arrived. Ponsonby is more like Shoreditch that I first thought.

Once I got back to my dorm the fellow two Brits that were in my room suggested about going out for a drink, which is an idea that I approved of very much. We decided to check out the rooftop bar that was on the 6th floor. When they say rooftop bar,they’re using those two words very generously. Even when they said they had pear cider, again the white liquid that filled my glass was more like water-down apple juice.

After a few beverages it was time to go to the next place.

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After grabbing a slice of pizza on our travels, we went to a place known as cassette 9 which was only a few minutes walk from our hostel. Inside the place was real nice. The room was lit up by several illuminous lights and a giant disco ball in the middle of the venue. We got our drinks and then stepped outside to take a seat on the balcony.

As it got a little cold we went back inside where the “best DJ’s in Auckland were performing.” The only thing I would say is that if you’re into your house music, then Auckland may not be your place to visit if these guys were the best to offer.

It was a great night. George and Lauren were a laugh and it was nice to explore some of the night life Auckland has on offer.

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