My Happy Place: Sarah and Otis Frizzell at THE SURREY HOTEL


We are in the Surrey Hotel which is based on Surrey Crescent in Grey Lynn. It is absolutely a must visit place free from wankers and snobbery. It’s also a hotel, hence the name the Surrey Hotel. It’s just a down to earth awesome place that no one really knows about or would come to but we think you should visit.

It’s kind of like an English pub which is why we quite like it because they don’t really exist here. There’s no pretense. You get a cold pint in a pint glass with a handle, there’s a couple of dirty ash trays scattered around which adds to the aesthetic, there’s a cat that comes to sit on your knee, and you can still get a pint for $7.50 which is pretty rad.

I think its  a bit of a nostalgic hangover for me (Sarah). When I was growing up every Sunday we’d go somewhere like this with the family. Then it got to the age when it was the last place I wanted to  be and I hated it. Now I’m 35 years old and I’m on the other side of the world and I’ve eaten the best food and drunk the best wine. I come here and I think it’s so not trying to be anything that it’s actually way cooler than any other place trying to be cool.

Personally (Otis) I like a crisp lager. I’m not a fan of hoppy beers and Mac’s Gold is a perfectly acceptable crisp lager. Also they’ve only got two beers on tap – one of them is Speights and one of them is Mac’s Gold and I don’t really like Speights so its a very easy decision to make.

I’m a bit of a food wanker but not a drink wanker (Sarah), not with beer, I’m a working class English girl who just likes a pint of lager.

When my family (Sarah) came over from the UK when we got married in 2011, half of them stayed here before we drove to Hawke’s Bay. It’s in between our house and everywhere else. It’s pretty hard to miss because a road runs through the Surrey Hotel.

It’s one of those “always meant to go” that finally came and was like, why did it take us so long? We don’t go out to the pub very often so we’re here about once a month. Usually we’re on the couch drinking Chardonnay and watching Netflix. We like plain lager but we like oaky Chardonnays.

Our hood is still quite cool, it has the Pacific Island dairy, the TAB, and the dry cleaner merged with the Grey Lynn Butchers, Video Ezy, and Tiger Burger – it’s becoming trendy but it’s still a bit rough and ready. It’s good in a way but without places like The Surrey everywhere will end up becoming Ponsonby Road. It’s just honest. You can get a roast and you can get a pint. It’s substance without the song and dance.

As told by Sarah and Otis Frizzell, co-founders and owner/operators of The Lucky Taco

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