Winter Wonderland at St. John’s Bar and Eatery

When you imagine winter, you think of scarves, hats, hot chocolate, chilly weather – and maybe even a sprinkling of snow. Unfortunately, in Wellington, it doesn’t snow, and the chilly wind is too strong to wear even the thickest hats and scarves. So, you could say our winters in Wellington are pretty bleak. However, this year, our friends at St John said enough is enough – the people of wellington deserve a slice of a winter wonderland – and they brought us a wining and dining experience the Inuits would be proud of: An Igloo, of course.

We all know wellington is famous for day drinking on the lagoon grass outside St Johns since its birthplace, however, once the sun sets before 6 and the chill keeps us inside our barely insulated flats – where is there to go? The Igloo’s are St Johns answer to this question, and quite frankly, I think they’ve cracked the case. Once tickets for these igloos popped up on Eventfinda, they were hard to get my hands on – apparently word spread fast about the wanderlust of wining and dining inside a snug little abode. Luckily, my partner managed to book whole igloo for us and his family – which wasn’t easy. Hands up if you too have gone to book one of these inviting little igloos, and only been met with a terribly glitchy booking platform that doesn’t even let you put in your card details?? After 2 attempts with 2 different emails, we finally got through – and let’s just say, all that effort was definitely worth it.

We rocked up on a chilly Tuesday evening to a little village of igloos popped right outside the doors of St John Bar. Each igloo had its own unique look & design touch – from blue neon strobe lights, to a mini chandelier of fairy lights. I was thinking it might get a little chilly being outside with only a bit of plastic to break the wind, but the igloos were decked out with fluffy pillows, furry blankets and woolen throws that made it super snug and warm inside. Once we sat down, we were instantly greeted by a lovely waitress who somehow managed to remember 8 peoples drinks orders. With it being winter, I of course got myself a steaming glass of mulled wine – which had the BEST spice and fruit ratio and warmed me to my core!

Soon after, our first platters of the evening arrived – a cheese and charcuterie board. They were super accommodating of vegetarians and made sure to split the meat and cheese, so we didn’t accidentally get a slither of salami! The little additions of figs, apricots, almonds and grapes were delish. If you love cheese, you’ll love this platter, because there was HEAPS! Unfortunately, for me, the cracker to cheese/meat ratio was terribly off – and we sadly had to leave a couple of brie wedges uneaten. Next came the flatbread platter – dressed in an olive tapenade, artichoke hearts and big chunks of feta. My cracker-disappointment immediately vanished when I sunk my teeth into these fabulous flatbreads, the Mediterranean flavours were strong and savoury, and I couldn’t help but go back for more and more. I could barely move after going hard on both these platters – I don’t think I’ve eaten more cheese in one sitting before – but as soon as I locked eyes with the petite ice cream sandwiches on the last platter, my appetite came right back. These badboys looked small, but they packed a punch. The 2 biscuits were a good level of hard and were packed full of chocolate chunks. Squashed in between was a blob of velvety smooth vanilla ice cream, that didn’t melt too fast and didn’t make the biscuits go squishy at all!

You bet I lay in a little food coma after this mountain of food and drink! But with my hand on my heart, I can say it was 100% worth it. For $45 a head, you get 2 beautiful grazing platters, a sweet treat, 2 complimentary drinks, and the chance to wine and dine with friends and family in a cute and VERY Instagram-able igloo for 2 hours. What’s not to love? If you’re reading this and have a group of mates who would love this sort of thing, go online to https://www.stjohnsbar.co.nz/igloovillage/ and get yourself a reservation – you’ve only got until the end of July, so get to booking before it’s too late!

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