March 8, 2014

Wellington: a walk through Cuba Street

Wellington’s bohemian Cuba Street is where I’m spending my weekend and I’m delighted to find plenty to do within cooee of the door of the Quality Hotel.

Here’s my walk about today:

Cuba St sign

Named after a ship called Cuba that docked here in 1840, today you’ll be forgiven for being sucked into thinking Fidel Castro must have visited leaving an indelible impression. Bars and restaurants are named Fidel, El Floriditas, Havana. All just having a laugh.

Fidels Wellington

But new cafes, bars and retailers have popped up in the last few years, so if you haven’t darkened upper Cuba for a while, you will be spoilt for choice.

Havana bar Wellington

Tucked behind Cuba through the Quality Inn, this new restaurant and bar is a hit with the locals

Small plates and a great little bar for a quiet drink as it’s kind of off-the-beaten track.

Ombra Cubs Street

Ombra is housed in a former sex shop with a peaches and cream cocktail as a nod to its past

Laundry Cuba Street

Laundry is stacked with old suitcases and retro furniture

I asked for their signature cocktail at Laundry, and owner Matt Rutledge whipped me up “sunshine in a glass” which he said was made for him on Johnny Depp’s boat. I couldn’t get any more detail out of him on that matter, but the drink was a combination of squeezed lemon juice, a dash of lime cordial, ginger beer, Mt Gay rum, more ginger beer and more lemons. Swizzle and serve. $9.

Cuba Street Wellington
Frutti Cuba St

Check out clothes and accessories from kiwi designers at Frutti

Abstract Cuba Street

And quirky home decor at Abstract Design

Carly Harris Wellington

Vintage lamp shades and frocks at Carly Harris

Tempest Cuba Street

The most iconic image of all is this bucket water sculpture. Originally designed to be a zen-like water feature, when it was installed the splashes went everywhere and when the wind caught it chaos ensured. It was due to be fixed but by then the locals had fallen in love with it, so the crazy splashing buckets outside Farmers are an accidental hero.Cuba street bucket sculpture When did you last visit Cuba Street?

If you want any info about this neighbourhood or what to do, check out New Zealand’s coolest street on WellingtonNZ.com>>>

About Megan Singleton

Megan

Megan Singleton is a travel writer, blogger and radio correspondent. She's been gallivanting around the world telling stories for the last 16 years and has her suitcase always half packed (or half un-packed!) Follow along on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for monthly newsletters if you want to keep up with the journey!

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