So, you’ve scored yourself a date – woohoo, go you! But now what? What to do, where to go? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with three different date ideas at some of the best rainbow owned/friendly places in Auckland.
1. The classic dinner and cocktail
In short; Ice breaker at The Longroom onto dinner The Blue Breeze Inn then cocktails at Shanghai Lil’s
Alright – nothing beats great food paired with great company, so when it comes to first dates a good meal is a shoe-in for success. But why settle for one venue when you can have three.
Your night starts at Longroom (LGBT+ friendly), in the heart of Ponsonby for a quick drink to break the ice – get to know each other a bit more. Once you’re satisfied his picture isn’t a fake and he isn’t a total psycho, it’s time for dinner.
Just short stroll away and you’ll be dining at the amazing LGBT+ owned Blue Breeze Inn (arguably some of the best Thai in Auckland and LGBT+ owned) where you’ll be treated to some exciting and innovative twists on traditional flavours. We recommend… everything.
That’s the date, right? No. You’ve had such an amazing time, you just don’t want it to end. Plus, you’re going to need to walk off all the food, right? Then head on over to your final destination, Shanghai Lil’s (LGBT+ owned).
The extensive and delicious cocktail menu is a sure-fire way to cement a great night, and make you a shoe-in for some follow up date action – unless of course you’ve realised he’s actually not that great, and in that case, sample your way through the cocktails until you’re contempt you haven’t wasted your night.
Notable alternatives include (if Thai, or Ponsonby isn’t your thing); S.P.Q.R (LGBT+ owned), The Ponsonby Road Bistro (LGBT+ friendly), Augustus Bistro (LGBT+ owned), Carmen Jones (LGBT+ friendly), Madame George (LGBT+ friendly), and Sri Pinang (LGBT+ friendly)
But hold on a minute, you can rinse and repeat this with some great downtown places too. Try this. Brew on Quay, while the sun’s still up to soak up that rooftop bar realness, onto Headquarters for some of the best views the viaduct has to offer (not to mention Champaign specials before sun-down), wrapped up with Roxy – the former theatre turned cocktail heaven with great DJs and a rooftop bar. All of which are tried and tested LGBT+ friendly.
2. Everything looks better in natural light
In short: Brunch at Café 28 before hitting Victoria Park, or day drinking at La Zeppa (or both)
Now, dinner might be a bit much for you, and you look much better in the sun anyway. Well try this one on for size.
Pick a nice day and head on over to Café 28 – the previously named Marcello’s Café. While it may be new ownership, it’s still a great LGBT+ friendly spot to sit down for some brunch (and who doesn’t love brunch). Granted the conversation hasn’t gone stale, you’ll be able to take a short walk to Victoria park, take a seat and discuss the intricacies of the world – unless you’re more like me and would prefer to watch from a distance, i.e. the rooftop bar La Zeppa. Or do both *shock*.
Notable alternatives include the La Cigale French Market and Parnell Rose Garden combination, or High Tea at the Winter Garden Café with a walk through the domain.
3. I changed my mind, nightlife is when I’m more alive
In short: Low-key bar hopping along Krd starting at Archo’s to Whammy to The Eagle to Family to Ink (and probably McDonalds afterwards, don’t lie to yourself).
That’s okay, we totally understand. And let’s be honest, if he can’t dance, is he really the guy for you?
It goes a little something like this. Meet up in Archo’s in St Kevin’s arcade for some Japanese Tapas (you’ll need the energy to dance later). Then starts the series of pit-stops leading to the pinnacle of dancing on Krd (in my opinion anyway).
Here’s the recommended approach, with suggested timings of course;
Archo’s (7.00 – 8.30) > Whammy Bar, some of the best live music on Krd (8.30 – 10.00) > The Eagle, this is your mixed dance and social time before the real show begins (10.00 – 12.00), Family Bar, get ready to sweat (12.00 – 1.30) > Ink Bar, where you’ll find arguably the best house music in Auckland – correct me if I’m wrong (1.30 onwards, or until 4.00 when you’ll be kicked out).
It may not seem like the most romantic date night, and don’t get me wrong – it’s not. But it is a hell of a lot of fun, and if he can keep up with your moves then he’s definitely got something going for him. And there you have it, three sure fire ways to have a great first date – unless of course you hate all of these, so by all means feel free to ignore this and carry on going to the cinema, sitting in silence wondering if he’s ever going to reach over and gently caress your hand.