Pub spy: Carrington's Pump House, Mt Albert

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The Pump House is a decent size. Photo / Michael Craig
The Pump House is a decent size. Photo / Michael Craig

Address: Unitec Campus, Carrington Rd, Mt Albert
Phone: (09) 849 5068
Web: www.carringtons.co.nz

I've been to stranger places for a drink, but I have to say not many. I was heading to the Pump House to help celebrate a birthday and promptly got lost in the sprawling mini-city that is the Unitec campus on Carrington Rd. For an educational establishment, they don't tell you much on their signs; it took a few U-turns and some very inventive swearing before I managed to find it.

Still, it meant I was in the humour for a drink when I arrived. A bar opened to an outdoor courtyard with leaners and table. Under the canopy it was packed with people.

The bar was a decent size and the taps supplied by the Boundary Road brewery meant Flying Fortress and Bouncing Czech lager were there alongside a few less-than-interesting looking beers labelled "draught" and "lager".

There were some interesting bottled beers but I was happy enough with the Flying Fortress, which was inexpensive enough.

The building is the old pump house (obviously) and the Victorian character has survived mostly intact, featuring exposed brick and kauri beams. It's a little cavernous, but cosy once there are a few people.

The food was fine, too - a decent selection of pub-friendly meals and a few more exotic extras. The most expensive thing was $22, so it's a bit of a bargain. The quality was fine, too, if not exactly haute cuisine.

Service was friendly if a little sporadic and it was clear that the kitchen was having a few issues getting out the meals, but once we realised we would be eating in shifts, we were fine.

Signs announce that they close at sunset, but then it's as much a function venue as it is a bar. It does a good quiz on a Tuesday, and on Sundays it has live music in the afternoon, so it's worth a trip.

Service: 3.5
Menu: 3.5
Drink: 3.5
Atmosphere: 3.5
Overall: 3.5

- Herald on Sunday

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