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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Part SIX -Pub-crawling around the world: The Establishment, Wellington, New Zealand

I arrived in Wellington in the very early hours of Waitangi Day, which is New Zealand's National Holiday but it doesn't inspire the same celebrations as St. Patrick's Day or Australia Day for some reason. Kiwi's are pretty laid-back, maybe that's why?
Windy, but lovely, Wellington

Anyhow, after exploring the windy city of Wellington on this beautiful summers' day in February, joining in the modest celebrations down at the harbour for an hour or two, I decided to find a bar and sample some of the local wine, which I'm told is very similar to the Marlborough region wines.

After a little wander down the street, the Establishment looked promising and were doing $5 glasses of beer and wine for the occasion. It was also the beginning of the Wellington 7's weekends so there was much merriment and rugby-related paraphernalia strewn around the bar.

I settled in at a table with my glass of wine and was immediately pounced upon by some members of "Jay and Flynny's quiet couple." I quickly discovered that Jay and Flynny are local celebrity DJ's (I use the term celebrity loosely here) and participants had won the right do join this big 'ol Waitangi/7's/bank holiday party getting free and special drinks in many of the bars around town. A giant pub-crawl no less :) Each member was sporting a t-shirt with the tag-line (as mentioned above) emblazoned across their chest, which apparently made inebriated members of the party find each-other more attractive. I saw people launch themselves across the bar at each-other, pointing at the t-shirt like it made them part of this great club where they had free access to each-other for random snogs and couplings. I'd wager Jay and Flynny may have been inadvertently responsible for an unplanned pregnancy or two.

Still, I was enjoying the tunes and met some other new friends - the friendliest Frenchman I've ever met (and his girlfriend, so no, that wasn't why he was friendly) who had lived in Wellington for three years and had spotted me on my own (after Jay and Flynny's lot moved on for 'quiet' ones elsewhere). The resident DJ, Shaun, was amping everyone for the rugby 7's with chart tunes and anthems, he even played 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' which proved surprisingly popular and I joined in with the crowd, shamelessly twerking with the rest of them.

A short while later I was back at my table with a fresh glass of wine. A group of lads entered and asked if they could sit at the other side of the table. I agreed and shortly afterward one of them, Danny, started chatting to me. I was beginning to think that Wellington people were just the friendliest in the world when Danny stuttered:
"Er, can I ask you something? It's my stag do and the lads have dares for me and I have to give a girl a lap-dance, would you mind?"
Well, what's a girl to do? I played my part  and even tried to tuck a dollar into his belt. He was mortified, it was all caught on smartphones for posterity and the stags high-fived me and bought me a vino before they left. All in all, I think I did very well out of it. Danny was very grateful and said if I was ever back in Wellington, he and his wife would be happy to accomodate me at theirs. I wasn't quite sure but it certainly reinforced my belief that Wellington people are super-friendly.

After I'd finished my wine, I figured that was quite enough excitement for one night, especially given I had a lovely single room to myself tonight and those are hard to come by whilst back-packing. I also had an early start for the ferry to Picton the next day. I reckon if I was with Jay and Flynny's lot, I'd definitely be still going. Still, it was a very happy and pocket-friendly Waitangi Day for me.

Ambience: 9/10 - The Establishment has a great vibe and the crowd ranged from 20 - 50, definitely a party place.
Price: $5 for wine and beer every day until 8pm - bargain!
Food: Food is available, and the prices were very reasonable ($10 upwards) but I didn't see anyone eating.
Location: Courtenay Place, very easy to find in Wellington.
Toilets: Clean and checked regularly. 
Overall: I had a great night here, I should award bonus points for all the friendly people that approached me! 9.5/10

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