Impressive doesn't even begin to describe the Boon brothers.
February 18, 2015
Peer through the thick, slightly ominous-looking wooden slates on 109 Manners Street to find what may well become your new favourite sometimes cocktail bar sometimes cafe.
The Boon Brothers' beloved cafe-bar Crumpet is a welcome respite from the pavement circus that is Courtenay Place. The decor is what you would expect from Edith Piaf's apartment - a checkered black and white tile floor, schoolhouse chairs gathered around small circular tables, a lonely guitar in the corner, an eclectic range pictures hung ad hoc on the walls, and those thick wooden slates hanging behind the windows - a precautionary measure to keep outside happenings well and truly a world away.
By day the beloved Crumpet acts like a regular cafe - serving quality Peoples coffee, Six Barrel Soda and - you guessed it, crumpets. Interestingly, the hybrid joint's name doesn't actually owe itself to the edible treat at all, Crumpet merely being an English slang word for pretty lady. According to Wellingtonian urban lore, the crumpets only followed much after the namesake was established.
Where the Boon joint really shines however, is its after dark persona as a connoisseur's bar. The unique thing about Crumpet is that they don't use a set cocktail menu. Nope, you ask for a menu or order anything comfortable and familiar and instead they'll give you a polite smile.
And then they'll oh-so-gently veer you away from traditional, well-known mixes, by first asking what you like to drink in a broad sense. You mumble a few things. After a few studious expressions and a few more clarifications they'll hustle back to the bar to concoct for you a personalised cocktail using their combined knowledge of over 500 cocktails (yes, 500 - and that includes a contemporary version of a 15th century English posset). It may feel scary, but anything they let your lips touch is guaranteed to be metaphorical gold, we promise.
Impressive doesn't even begin to describe these two.