We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Wonderful Relaxed Meal”

Cool Change Bar & Eatery
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$6 - US$25
Cuisines: Bar, Wine Bar, New Zealand
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Drinks, Dinner, After-hours, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: Why Cool Change? Cool change came to fruition for a number of reasons. Having frequented this stunning region for some years to escape the hustle & bustle of the city life at every opportunity, we saw a window to taste the Wairarapa life as residents & business owners. Hence why we thought it would be a Cool Change. We stumbled across the chance to convert one of the most ornate, beautiful buildings in the Wairarapa into a warm, comfortable, unique hospitality concept. The name derives from one of our greatest passions - music. Throw in the fact that we are vulnerable to the odd occasional southerly blast & fondness of "The Little River Band" Cool Change was born. Our facility consists of 1 private function room, seats 12 people. Our dining room features booth seating, open fire, period & deco lighting and retro wallpaper. The bar greets you on entry with a warm ambiance; sky TV when required & a wine list to tempt those taste buds. Cool Change cuisine will not disappoint as our Head Chef Rachel Priestley has weaved her magic around the globe - Italy, Switzerland, Austria, United States, France, Finland, Sweden, Taipei, Hong Kong, China - Shanghai. Her cuisine is Italian inspired food, using the freshest ingredients including using her own italian salumi. Food and wine was her life and Rachel worked for 10 years in Italy. She produces all sorts of Italian salumi products from happy pigs in New Zealand, she has opened six Italian restaurants in Italy, taught Tuscan chefs how to cook Tuscan cuisine better, taught male chefs from Puglia in the South of Italy their own cuisine. Rachel ran a truffle shop in Florence, opened a wine bar in Bormio for Amaro Braulio, a restaurant by the sea in Gaeta in a 14th century pharmacy, a restaurant in Naples for the Camorra - the Naples Mafia. And now she is back in New Zealand to supply you with fine Italian food and wine, cooking here at Cool Change Bar & Eatery.
New Zealand
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Wonderful Relaxed Meal”
Reviewed 13 December 2013

My daughter and I recently dined two nights running at Cool Change. The first night is because there is very little open on a Tuesday night in Martinborough in December so we came across from the hotel to see what was on offer. We were so pleased we did.
My daughter had the pork belly which she loved and I had fish. We also had a wonderful strawberry, feta, rocket and balsamic salad - our highlight. We both enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and great Martinborough wine( me) so much that we went again the next night. Again wonderful! Highly recommended for the great food and friendly, low key service. We will be back!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JPLNewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

294 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    155
    78
    32
    10
    19
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Yum”
Reviewed 9 December 2013

Thanks for having us last night and opening on a Monday night for our group! Very yummy and enjoyable!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Tina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“The Whole Package is Great”
Reviewed 7 December 2013

In three days in Martinborough we ate here three times. It's just a wonderful place to hang out, eat, and drink. Starting with the staff - all were engaging, great senses of humor, and most helpful in selecting a good beer or wine to match their food. It was the people above all the made us eager to come back repeatedly. Then the menu. I've seen complaints about limited selection, but I think that's a good thing. The dishes were well selected, made with the freshest local ingredients, and (at least in our experience) done extremely well. Over the course of the three visits we tried a good percentage of the menu and enjoyed everything (particular thumbs up for the mussels and the fish in papillote with minted potatoes). Everything paired really nicely with wines from their ample list - both whites and reds, with a focus on the pinots of the area but also wines from around the country. If you're not a wine drinker, they had a few taps of tasty craft beers. Last, but most definitely not least, the decor. We absolutely loved the juxtaposition of the kitschy (but cool) '70s interior - awesome light fixtures - and the staid 1930s post office building in which the place is located. The soundtrack kept us there for several additional glasses after we'd finished our meal - tunes from the 1970s-1980s that were as carefully hand picked as the menu. If you can understand the origins of the restaurant name, you will dig the music. Come in for a glass of wine and a chat and a few songs and you'll end up staying for dinner for sure.

If we make it back to Martinborough, we'll definitely make our first stop the comfortable easy chairs out front of Cool Change!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Ben W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Awesome”
Reviewed 7 December 2013

I found this great friendly bar the other night and enjoyed a couple of glasses of lovely wines, well selected to suit my taste and thoroughly enjoyable in large healthy portions. I went back the following night and had some dinner along with a beer or two and a wine with dinner. The fish was superb, the vegetable stack perfect and overall a thoroughly enjoyable dinner. Reasonably priced for the quality, the service and atmosphere was more than welcoming and showcases the lovely township, area, lifestyle and produce very very well. After these 2 nights at cool change I now want to move to martinborough so I can frequent it on a regular basis. The locals call this place they're local and it's easy to see why - top notch 5/5

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Retropolis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“limited menu”
Reviewed 29 November 2013

We had booked a table for a group of 4 on the Saturday night of the Toast Martinborough weekend. The menu was very disappointing with very limited options. Cheese fondue, duck, beef wellington, goats cheese soufflé and fish, the latter of which was sold out as was the asparagus. So if you're not into cheese you've 2 choices. No pasta, no chicken dishes. I was amazed that this was all that was on offer on what was obviously going to be an extremely busy weekend. Poor planning. Also extortionate prices, I think the goats cheese soufflé was around $32, which I think is over priced for a vegetarian dish. We ended up leaving and heading over the road to the Martinborough Hotel and eating in their bar which had heaps more options from their bar menu alone. We've had an average meal here previously also, though had been prepared to give it another shot. We will not be going there again. On the upside they didn't charge us for our drinks which we'd already ordered on arrival, which was appreciated.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kirsty J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarinaHailwood, Owner at Cool Change Bar & Eatery, responded to this review, 11 December 2013
Thanks and we appreciate your feedback.

You and your guests were one of our late bookings – around 8:30pm, and we had such a great turnout of people on the Friday and the Saturday night, as it was TOAST weekend, that these options were all that were available. We did apologise and like Kirsty said we did not charge them for their drinks when they decided to leave…
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Cool Change Bar & Eatery also viewed

Martinborough, Wairarapa
Martinborough, Wairarapa
 
Martinborough, Wairarapa
Martinborough, Wairarapa
 

Been to Cool Change Bar & Eatery? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing