A subterranean bar and dining room in Queenstown NZ


Queenstown, New Zealand – Ayrburn, one of New Zealand’s most anticipated openings, invites guests to experience the precinct’s latest launch, The Barrel Room; an intimate underground wine cellar, piano bar, and dining room. Heroing a sophisticated offering of locally sourced dishes, and an extensive wine list including Ayrburn’s own curated range of wine, the sultry venue is a place to enjoy wine, dance on the tables, and tell tales long into the night.

Buried underground, guests are invited to follow the candlelight, past the grand piano to the wine cellar lined with 56 barrels, setting the scene for the opulent ambience that follows. With the ability to host 50 guests for an intimate candle-lit soiree through to larger lively late-night gatherings and everything in between, the Barrel Room is perfect for any occasion.


Designers SA Studio and Alexander &CO were briefed to create a secret hideaway for bespoke experiences that deliver both escapism and excellence, reflecting the heritage of the surrounding precinct whilst maintaining the atmosphere of an authentic wine cave reminiscent of those found in France and Italy. Visual Stylist Alexandra Watts and scenic artist Andy King were engaged to ensure the walls and flooring of the new build venue felt genuine, using their set-design experience to create a space that looks as though it could have been an original feature of the 160-year-old property.

Beyond a bespoke steel gate by local metalworkers, hand-forged with a custom designed Ayrburn motif, guests will discover a sanctuary filled with an eclectic mix of modern and vintage furniture, set against a backdrop of exposed brick and solid oak finishings. An intricate hand-painted mural by artist Angelina Drinan depicts Ayrburn’s rich history. Every detail here has been meticulously crafted so that stepping inside feels like entering a hidden world, where time stands still, and the promise of memorable experiences and nights abound.


Chris Meehan, Ayrburn visionary, says, “As part of creating a destination designed for good times, connection, and the enjoyment of world-class food and wine, it was crucial that each individual venue and space would tell its own story, embracing Ayrburn’s history while forging its identity. Taking inspiration from the clandestine meetings that may have graced the farm in its 160-year history, The Barrel Room is a place for out-of-sight get-togethers, celebratory libations, and dancing into the night.”

Headed by Executive Chef Richard Highnam, the culinary team has developed contemporary share plate and feast-style menus designed to inspire reveling late into the night. This is complemented with Ayrburn’s expertly crafted wines, which Master of Wine, Sophie Parker-Thomson, and Winemaker Jody Pagey have carefully curated to build on the heritage of Ayrburn Farm, savor the moment, and continue the story.

Opened in December, Ayrburn is a world-class food and wine destination located just outside Queenstown, in New Zealand’s South Island. The Barrel Room is open daily from 11 am until late seven days a week and is available for private bookings.

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