Pub spy: Charley Farley's

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Address: 21 The Strand, Onetangi, Waiheke
Ph: (09) 372 4106
Open: Tuesday-Sunday 9am-late
Website: charleyfarleys.co.nz

The pub's deck overlooks the beach. Photo / Janna Dixon
The pub's deck overlooks the beach. Photo / Janna Dixon

It's always a funny experience going into a bar that doubles as a cafe. Although there will be beer taps, spirit bottles and a wine list, there will also be the cavernous echo that you get in cafes, and Charley Farley's in Onetangi is no different.

It's not as unappealing as it might sound, though, especially since Charley Farley's attracts a good crowd and the sheer number of people tends to soak up much of the noise.

Outside, though, it's a different story. The deck overlooks the beach, literally. You can see the waves breaking on the sand a few yards away as you sit and enjoy the sun.

I was impressed with the menu here. Not mere pub food, or anywhere near it, CF offers a full cafe menu and it's an impressive list. Which is more than can be said for the wine list, however, which tends towards the small. Tiny might be a better descriptor, but at least it is thoughtfully chosen to go with the menu.

The spirit selection is fine and the beers are good, being a selection of Monteith's beers and three local ales from the Waiheke Brewery on tap.

The service was excellent, pleasant, friendly, efficient and fast, as was the food service. There would appear to be plenty of staff in the kitchen, so you don't wait an age for a meal.

But any small quibbles about CF are just that - small. Really, there are few experiences better than sitting on the deck watching swimmers bob in the surf, with a bottle of Hay Paddock Silk Rose on the table in front of you and a packed cheeseboard to nibble on - heaven.

And who couldn't love a bar named after a character from The Two Ronnies?

- Herald on Sunday

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