Postcard Series |Spend a day in Auckland like a local
Fancy a trip to Auckland City, or perhaps you're a local wanting a little bit of inspiration for how to spend your Saturday?
We think you may want to check out this list of things to do in one day; especially if you're in our backyard for a short time but want to see and do everything! Compiled together is a list of dining, shopping and outing ideas and experiences recommended by the Sauce team.
9am: Wake up at Grand Mercure Hotel
Whether you’ll be hotel-hopping throughout your trip or just looking for somewhere to stay the night, we’re pretty sure the Grand Mercure Hotel should be on your list.
Located midst Auckland’s waterfront, it’s earned Sauce’s stamp of approval for the lovely roof-top dining (cocktails for breakfast anyone?) friendly staff and top city views. Even if you’re not a sucker for marble bathrooms and quiet, comforting bedroom suites (but whose not?) you may still find yourself having a relaxing morning bath with a wine glass in hand. Oops!
Feel like getting some fresh air? The hotel’s close proximity to cafes and designer boutiques means you can easily explore and can quickly pop back in without hassle.
PS : They also have super cute city bicycles you can borrow to cruise around the city.
Aasha & Zeenat in Grand Mercure's Devonport Suite
10am: Switch up your coffee run and dine out for breakfast
Let’s talk the first meal of the day. Some of the best places to get your morning fix include Ortolana, a convenient 2 minute walk from the Mercure into the heart of Britomart. They start serving at 7am for the early birds and Ortolana’s coffees are well recommended along with their European style breakfast menu- plus we’ve heard the free range omelet with truffle and mushroom is heart eyes.
If your schedule’s a tight one, walk up to eight thirty on High Street to order a straight, no-nonsense coffee; or hide out at Chuffed, a secret brewery and kitchen hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the morning.
11:15am: Take a ferry across to Devonport or Waiheke
Ask anyone about taking the ferry and they’ll say its something locals do to skip traffic and what visitors do to explore a little; and that’s exactly what you should do- considering it’s a lovely way to get away from the busy city.
If you only have 2 hours to get cracking, we suggest getting to Devonport- a pretty little seaside town with cafes, waterfront views and poodle dogs galore. Want to go a further? Try out Waiheke Island (If you got 4+ hours to spare) and book a wine tasting tour to Mudbrick.
1:30pm: Lunch time at Amano
Head back over to Amano, situated within the habour historic buildings and get a table at its popular restaurant setting, or have a bite at their artisanal bakery counter. Amano’s rustic, Italian-inspired service in combination with their values of providing seasonal and sustainable New Zealand produce means this one’s a Sauce must.
2:30pm: Retail therapy 101
Here's where the real fun begins (but shh!) Auckland City has a huge array of designer brand and boutique fashion stores right under your nose- like *deep breath* Jo Malone London, World, Zambesi, Kate Sylvester, Made, Fabric and Deadly Ponies- which is not all!
Want to save a bit of coin and find some more affordable brands? We recommend you try out High street with store such as Parlour, Ruby and my personal favourite, the Unity book shop.
4:00pm: stroll down the viaduct to Silo Park
To wind down for the day a little bit, get some fresh air and take a walk down to the viaduct and witness our gorgeous Auckland Waitemata Habour views. Several award-winning restaurants and cafes situate the area if you feeling snackish- or even Movenpick if you feel like something sweet. Carry on down to Silo Park and enjoy a more quieter part of our city.
7:00pm: explore our night life
Want to be entertained other than the hotel TV or Netflix? Check out what's happening in the City that night. Love yourself some musical theatre? Book tickets online to see Chicago the Musical here, which is playing at The Civic Theatre from the 25th of August to the 9th Sep. Depot Eatery is one of favourite spots for a casual dining out experience (especially if you love oysters!). Or perhaps you want to see what goes on at K Rd, a street famous for it's vibrant, diverse culture. Coco's Cantina is a definite must if you felt like spag-bowel for dinner!
10:00pm: END THE DAY WITH a cocktail in hand
If you're keen for a bit of wine o'clock (who isn't?) we recommend you end the night with a cocktail in hand at Dr Rudi's Rooftop Brewing Co, a roof top bar with free bowling and the best caesar cruton salad around.
Looking for something a little offbeat? Lula Inn's playful menu, chill atmosphere and fantastic live music might be more suited to you. Britomart's newest bar has got the crowds talking too, with its 1950's inspired tiki bar aesthetic - Talulah's motto being 'fun is mandatory,' lives up to just that- just order any one of their pina coladas with a mini umbrella and palm tree and see for yourself. Or if you're looking for something more relaxed, pop over to Grand Mercure's rooftop bar Attica and have a cocktail or two.
Aasha at Grand Mercure's Attica rooftop restaurant and bar
Words | Aasha Nimo
Photography | Wono Kim
TRAVELING TO AUCKLAND? sauce loves CATHAY PACIFIC
Words | Aasha Nimo
Photography | Wono Kim