On these cold winter nights, is there anything more romantic than dining in front of an open fire? Here are our picks for the best of fireside dining in our city...
Andiamo (Ph (09) 378 7811), the enduringly stylish neighbourhood bistro and bar on Jervois Rd, not only has one of the best front-of-house teams, fabulous cocktails, an award-winning wine list and a menu that consistently delivers but their dining room with its open log fire is pure magic for creating intimacy and cosiness.
Vivace (Ph (09) 302 2303), upstairs on High St, creates a magnificent ambience with its enormous fire that sits smack bang and crackling in the middle of the bar and dining room. A menu of sensational Spanish tapas and Italian-inspired dishes makes for a perfect winter evening.
Imagine a dining room that manages to be both rustic and opulent, where two huge wood fires blaze at either end of the dining room, the pleasant scent of wood smoke hanging in the air, and diners enjoying authentic Italian cuisine dinner while opera singers fill the air with their majestic voices. This is Toto (Ph (09) 302 2665) restaurant on a Saturday night - the night when they have live opera in the dining room. Truly splendid.
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And just because it's fake doesn't mean it's bad. At Fish Restaurant (Ph (09) 978 2020) at the Hilton Auckland they have one of those cool sleek modern gas fireplaces that means you can enjoy their outdoor deck, which has some of Auckland's most spectacular harbour views, year round while dining on talented chef Shane Yardley's seafood-focused cuisine.