The Sugar Club. Picture / Supplied.

Inner City Luxury to Love

From fine-dining to high-fashion, here are some of the best city indulgences

As the Heart of the City launches its new Heartmarks campaign to celebrate the best of inner-city Auckland, the Viva team shares its favourite places to indulge.

1. The Sugar Club
The elegant Sugar Club, up the Sky Tower, is a no-brainer when it comes to impressing overseas visitors. We took our Aussie foodie friends on a clear summer evening, the sunlight shimmering on the Waitemata, the world’s biggest ice cube cooling my Negroni. Peter Gordon has designed the menu so you can order several plates without breaking the lift on the way down. Best of all, the fusion of European and Asian flavours still showcases New Zealand cuisine. Knock-outs include the crayfish and Otago saffron linguine with pinenuts, creamed paua brioche and capers and venison rendang with coconut broth. The view ain’t bad either.
— Rebecca Barry Hill, writer

2. Prada
As a longtime Prada devotee, walking up the stone staircase to the light and airy first level of the Queen St boutique is a little like transcending to heaven for me. Dedicated to women’s ready-to-wear with plush white carpet and floor-to-ceiling windows, the fit-out is almost as luxurious as the clothes. I’ve visited Prada stores overseas, but there’s nothing like shopping in your home city.
— Zoe Walker, associate editor

3. Clooney
It was an intimate group, gathered for an evening of pure luxury — a five-course degustation dinner of fine food, matched with Perrier-Jouet Champagne. The setting? The dark, mysterious private Belle Epoque dining room at Clooney restaurant. Each dish prepared by chef Des Harris was as exquisite as the Champagne, the company and conversation as elegant as our surrounds. At the end of the evening, as effervescent as the bubbles in our flutes of Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Rose 2006, we floated out the door into the Auckland night.
— Amanda Linnell, managing editor

4. East Day Spa
About this time of year it’s hard not to think about heading somewhere warm to luxuriate. Much as I’d love to organise a tropical escape, I’ve just remembered an easier getaway in the Auckland CBD. Be transported by Balinese-inspired massage at East Day Spa at SkyCity Grand. The treatments are consistently good and I fondly recall once making a day of it by wafting from tranquil spa up to The Sugar Club for lunch.
— Janetta Mackay, beauty editor

5. DeBretts
We gathered here for drinks and fresh oysters before heading out to see the opera La Cenerentola at the Aotea Centre. The bar is a cosy place in winter to have a quiet drink after work with friends and colleagues and the fireplace in the restaurant provides great ambience. Probably one of the most well lit places in town and, after a long day or week of work, it’s a comfortable place to unwind in peace with good food and drinks.
— Dan Ahwa, fashion editor

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