Eat, drink, dance: 11 ways to spend a Sunday in Auckland

10 March 2017
By Fashion Quarterly

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When Sunday rolls around you have two choices.

You can wallow in self-pity, woefully attending to your laundry, or you can cast Monday morning to the back of your mind, get off the couch, and get out there to eat, drink and live a little.

Take a waterside holiday

Overlooking the heritage vessels moored outside the Maritime Museum, The Culpeper on Princes Wharf possesses one of the more charming views of the waterfront. The breezy holiday feels of the palm-studded patio make it an idyllic spot to sit back on a Sunday, even more so with the recent addition of DJs from 2pm – the likes of Frank Booker and Nathan Haines. The food is suited to an afternoon of grazing, with plenty of seafood. Keep it light with snacks such as the adorable pork belly corn dogs, or something from the raw bar. Or go for a full-on Sunday comfort blowout with a board of slow-cooked, smoky barbecue meats accompanied by mac n’ cheese, slaw, and pickles. 22 Princes Wharf, Quay


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High times

If you fancy a spot of high tea, you can’t get one with a better view than at Ostro overlooking the more industrial side of the harbour. A three-tiered tower of sweets and savouries, all given a modern update, is served between 3pm and 5pm on weekends. And if tea isn’t your bag, there’s plenty of Veuve going around. 52 Tyler St 


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Day tripping

The calming effects of a day trip to Waiheke Island can be felt as soon as you set foot on the ferry – crack open a beer from the onboard bar and watch the city disappear for the day. When you reach the island, you’ll have to travel a fair distance to get to Poderi Crisci, a family-owned winery where they serve a long Italian lunch on Sundays. Once you’ve arrived and settled in among the vegetable gardens and rolling hills, you can relax into a four-hour lunch where you’ll be served a simple and seasonal menu of antipasto, fresh baked bread and the winery’s own olive oil; followed by pasta, a meat course, a tableful of garden-fresh vegetable side dishes, and dessert. 205 Awaawaroa Rd


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Music and oysters

By the time you finish, you’ll be right on time to swing past The Oyster Inn. Every Sunday there’s live music from 4pm – it’s normally busy, so find a spot at the bar or on the terrace if you’re lucky, and make some room for a round of local Te Matuku oysters, or the crispiest of fish and chips. Finally, get an ice cream from Island Gelato next door before rolling down to the ferry.  124 Oceanview Rd


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Sunday special

At The Blue Breeze Inn Sundays have a relaxed and celebratory atmosphere – the restaurant offers a special Sunday menu that encourages you to lay back, take your time and treat yourself. To really get in to a Sunday state of mind, sink into a low, cushioned cane chair on the terrace and kick things off with a few bamboo baskets of dumplings, before moving on to the Sunday special: Peking duck three ways. First you’ll get pancakes to wrap around crisp-skinned duck, served with pickled cucumber, spring onion kimchi and hoisin sauce; next the meat is chopped and given a kung pao treatment with lap chong sausage, pickled shitake, Sichuan pepper and dried chillies; and finally, what’s left of the meat and bones is tossed with five spice and fried to a crisp. 146 Ponsonby Rd


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Wine and dine

Across town at Woodpecker Hill there’s also an ode to Sunday in the form of their Smokey Sundays menu. It has a Southern soul food feeling, with dishes you won’t find during the week such as grilled sourdough with burnt ends marmalade, smoked cheese and charred pickled onions; braised then grilled half duck with tamarind, chilli and wild ginger; nine-hour smoked beef rib with cumin and piquillo pepper; and wedge salad with buttermilk and crispy onion rings. To slide in to Monday feeling like you really gave it your all, don’t leave without having at least one Sunday Silence – the restaurant’s rendition of an old fashioned with overproof bourbon, maple and old fashioned aromatic bitters.  196 Parnell Rd


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Music and picnics

The lush lawns of The Riverhead Tavern are home to ‘Sunday at The Boat House’, with live music playing from 1pm to 5pm. Bring your own blanket and lounge on the grass, or sit on the deck, admire the water views and order something from the outdoor barbecue. 68 Queen St, Riverhead


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Frosties and friends

Going for a Sunday drive is made all the more appealing when there is the promise of a frosty pint waiting at the end, and you’ll find a fine selection to choose from at the Hallertau beer garden, where every Sunday between 1.30pm and 5pm they have a live jazz band. The expansive concrete space is seamlessly divided into different areas to suit your mood – it’s quiet and cosy in the restaurant; lively surrounding the outdoor woodfired oven; or you can even pull up a bar stool and look in to the workings of the brewery. Order a tasting paddle to try a few different beers and take the time to peruse the extensive menu, sampling as many dishes as you can. The food here is generous and big on bold flavours – perfect Sunday beer food. If you’ve got the kids in tow, there is a playground cleverly concealed down the far end – close enough that you won’t have to worry, but far enough that you can enjoy your afternoon uninterrupted. 1171 Coatesville-Riverhead Hwy


This article originally appeared in Paperboy magazine.
For more Sunday fundays, follow Paperboy on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and sign up to the weekly e-mail

Words: Leisha Jones

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