Welcome to the Welsh bar celebrating Christmas in July


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Pub manager Hannah Williams at The Welsh Dragon Bar in Wellington, New Zealand (Credit: Welsh Dragon Bar)

I wish it could be Christmas every day Wizzard famously sang on their 1973 festive banger, well for one bar in New Zealand, it is Christmas – for this week at least.

The Welsh Dragon Bar in Wellington, the only Welsh bar in the Southern Hemisphere, is celebrating its Mid Winter Christmas, for all those NZ residents and travellers down under who miss celebrating the festive season when the weather mirrors a UK winter.

Currently in Wellington it’s raining and around 10 degrees C, so a perfect facsimile of just what it’s like in Wales on Christmas Day.

Of course, the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere, with temperatures at their highest during December and January.

So instead of having a turkey barbie on the beach, the owners of the Welsh Dragon bar are offering special festive occasions for customers.

With their pub and restaurant decked out in festive decorations complete with a Christmas tree, there are plenty of tinsel and plenty of treats on offer for those who want a traditional Christmas experience.

GALLERY OF IMAGES FROM THE WELSH DRAGON BAR

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The pub’s first Mid Christmas event was yesterday (Sunday, July 24) with the next this Saturday, July 30.

Sunday saw the pub full and a roaring fire welcoming guests to enjoy a Christmas feast of:

  • Mimosa or Mulled Wine on Arrival 🥂
  • Starter – Leek & Potato Soup 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿
  • Christmas Lunch – Roast Turkey with all the Trimmings; Pigs in Blanket, Crispy Roast Potatoes, Glazed Carrots, Glazed Parsnips & our famous Yorkshire Puddings.
  • Dessert – Grandma’s Trifle
  • And a secret Santa for the authentic festive experience.

The event even included a visit from Santa and a Queen’s speech – from one of the regulars.

Andrew and Hannah at the Welsh Dragon Bar (Credit: Welsh Dragon Bar)

The bar is run by general manager Hannah Williams from Wrexham and co-owner Andrew Jones from Tonyrefail.

“I worked for the previous owners for around eight or nine years,” said Andrew. “They were looking to retirement so sold to myself and two of our Welsh regulars. Matt from Cowbridge and Angela from Brecon.

“Hannah is the General Manager and runs the pub amazingly.”

The bar is a real home away from home for the Welsh. There are flags adorning the walls, rugby and football shirts hung around the bar and plenty of Welsh refreshments on tap.

“As well as Brains we also stock a large variety of Penderyn whiskies, gins, vodka and rums. We also have a large shipment of Wrexham lager about to arrive.

“We are always looking for ways to promote Welsh products at the pub, but being on the other side of the world makes the logistics of that a lot harder.

“We are particularly excited to see the return of Welsh tourists to the pub. We have missed the accents, singing and humour over these Covid years.

“There is a Welsh welcome awaiting them in Wellington and jobs for anyone looking to work with us.”

Find out more about the Welsh Dragon Bar via welshdragonbar.co.nz

THE COST OF LIVING BURGER

The Welsh Dragon Bar has recently received much praise and media coverage for an initiative which recognises the cost of living crisis by pioneering their own cost of living burger.

In a statement on their Facebook page they wrote: “For a few reasons we have made the difficult decision not to take part in this year’s Wellington on a Plate (city food festival).

“We do love the wonderful celebration of burgers each August in Wellington though, and so we’ve decided to do something a bit different.

“We’re introducing our ‘Cost of Living Burger’ which will be available throughout August.

“A beef patty with a Welsh Rarebit sauce served on a toasted brioche bun with fresh lettuce and red onion.

“It will be priced at $9.76. This price is exactly how much it costs us to make it, with no profit.

“For those who are able, we are also suggesting a voluntary contribution on top of the price that will go directly to Wellington City Mission. The Wellington City Mission works with the community in a number of ways, whether it be with support with food, housing, financial mentoring, access to social support and advocacy.

“As a small, independent business we are very aware of the rising costs of living in NZ, and how many people are doing it tough.

“We’re incredibly excited to produce a good quality burger at a transparent, honest price, and to help raise awareness of the rising cost of just getting by.

“We especially appreciate the voluntary contributions we will collect and hand over to our friends at the City Mission who do an amazing job at giving a helping hand to those who need it the most.”


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