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currently: listening to Benny Tipene's new single, 'Walking on Water' which is AMAZING. Get it from iTunes.

Source: Rekorderlig NZ Facebook Page
So amongst the busiest month of my working life, I turned 22 last Saturday. And as a celebration of my birthday, a couple of university friends and I went to the Rekorderlig Winter Lights. A two weekend event in Auckland's CBD hosted by Rekorderlig cider...well I had to go. I love winter, I love cider, and in particular Rekorderlig cider.

It was only 5pm on a Thursday night and we (Renee from Musical Musings, and Anne-Marie from iammfashion) found ourselves stuck in a line outside this small boxed venue on Shortland Street. We waited behind 20 people, and saw as others decided to jump out of the queue or get into the venue. 'Can't take that long' I thought.

The problem with the Rekorderlig Winter Lights was that because it was a small venue, there were only a limited amount of people allowed in. We stood outside for a good 20-25 minutes before we managed to get into the venue, with much relief. We thought we couldn't wait any longer than that. It turned out to be wrong, as others stood in line for over half an hour waiting to get in.

When you walked into the venue, the welcoming smell of pine trees and (what a Kiwi can expect to be) a winter Christmas filled your nose and head. It was like you walked into a little forest, with fake snow flakes raining down on you. Anne-Marie showed us that we could even wear fake fur jackets if we felt the need to be festive (and extra warm.)

This place was packed. No more benches, no more seats, and you were lucky if you even got a patch of grass to sit on. Because of all the real trees and bush surrounding the space, there was very little sitting room. But for those who did have seats or benches, they were definitely enjoying the venue, and ordering $35 cheese fondue sets.

I'll be honest. Don't expect to find a cheap drink when Rekorderlig is involved. In the liquor stores, one bottle costs approximately $6. In a pub/my old student uni bar one drink is as much as $14. Here at the Winter Lights, a normal Rekorderlig cider was $12 - but at least it came in a nice tall glass with garnishes and fruit.

Cocktails on the other hand - $16. I figured "Hey, it's my birthday. I'm feeling 22, everything will be all right as long as I still have money on my card after tonight." So after much deliberation, I made the decision to get a hot apple winter cider - also known as a Winter Grogg.

I can't remember now what was in that grogg, other than this one slice of apple. But it came in a short glass, and it definitely had more alcohol than a normal cider. Maybe because the drink was hot and my head was tired - but that small glass had enough of an alcoholic buzz for me (I know, lightweight.)

After a while, I started getting a bit hungry. So as Renee and Anne-Marie managed to secure a table, I stood in line and went over the food menu. And waited. And waited. And waited. And then I gave up after 5 minutes. (By the way, this was in a queue of four people.)

Another problem with the Rekorderlig Winter Lights was that if you wanted food, you had to wait behind people who would be ordering numerous cocktails. There wasn't really a food line... But WHEN you did get food, oh it tastes so good. We ordered a side of Swedish meatballs (don't ask me what they're really called because I couldn't even pronounce it) but they did really well in choosing food that complimented the sweet cider drinks. We were pretty much trying to take every drop of gravy that was left for the meatballs.

Across the two hours we were there, the three of us began migrating from our grass patch, to a table, to a bigger table, and then to a bench. But from what I heard the line outside barely moved. One friend of mine, bless her, she waited about half an hour outside before giving up. I think that just proves how popular this venue was.

It's a shame that Winter Lights only lasted two weeks because I feel it could have been profitable for them had it been open for four weekends. I wanted to return to the Winter Lights another night but didn't get the chance to. It really was a unique and novelty sort of bar that had such a great atmosphere. Bring it back next year Rekorderlig! Except next time make it much bigger.

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