THE SCENE: Books, books, everywhere. From JD Salinger’s Franny & Zooey to JaneFonda’s Ultimate Workout, this is a word-loving, paper-hoarder’s dream. The only thing that makes this better than a real library (which are the ultimate in cool) is that in here you are legitimately allowed to get plastered.

BEHIND THE BAR: There is a nod to the local scene with all the beers being New Zealand craft beers, starting at $9 for the Nelson-brewed Stoke on tap. The wine list is more global, and the Californian red Zinfandel at $14 a glass a highlight.There are some awesome cocktails too. Try Ms Peacock – a simple blend of blueberries soaked in gin and raspberry liqueur and topped up with sparkling wine – a Sea Salt & Caramel Fudge Martini, which is a sweet and creamy vodka based short drink, and the dangerous Don Ho’s Ho-waiian Hula Juice.

THE GRUB: The menu starts how I like to see it, with the important stuff: pudding.The pistachio dacquoise with apricots pan-seared in a honey and amoretti liqueur and wrapped in creamy pastry, and the petite orange blossom doughnuts served with lashings of chocolate and hazelnut sauce are drool-worthy. Visit on a Tuesdaynight when you can get both for the price of one.

BILL PLEASE: Not budget, but not excessive for a cool, niche bar in a capital city.If you’re popping in for one, beer starts at $9, wine at $11 and cocktails at $13.

VERDICT: Already sold simply due to the books, I was further wowed by an innovative but unpretentious menu and friendly staff.

Level 1/53 Courtenay Pl

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