The charming cocktail bar, Penny Black, is one of the latest additions to the Cromwell Heritage Precinct. This delightful establishment is owned and operated by husband and wife team Wayne and Sandra Noble. They are passionate about serving up delicious drinks and tapas-style cuisine in a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Penny Black is situated in the old Post Office building at the start of the Precinct, and it's this unique location that gave inspiration to the establishment's name.
"We wanted our name to give a nod to the building we occupy," says Wayne. "In our search, we came upon the Penny Black – the world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system – and everything just clicked."
While the original Penny Black stamp featured Queen Victoria's likeness, our cover lady is a bit closer to home.
"While I am more of a behind-the-scenes person, Sandra can chat up a storm with anyone," says Wayne. "Essentially, Sandra is Penny Black, so it only made sense to put her on our stamp."
As is to be expected, Penny Black specialises in cocktails. But these are not just your run-of-the-mill cocktails. Each creation is unique to Penny Black in some way or another. Not only are these cocktails beautifully presented, but they are also incredibly tasty, making them the perfect accompaniment to the delicious small plates on offer.
Also included in their small but mighty crew is their talented chef, Liam, the mastermind behind all the tapas on offer. Sadly, they recently lost their wonderful bar supervisor, Lauren, but they continue to press forward with the same dedication and enthusiasm that they started with.
Wayne and Sandra moved to Cromwell from South Africa over 20 years ago and have fallen in love with the sense of community and tranquility that this charming town has to offer.
"We didn't choose Cromwell. It chose us"
"We came from a large city, and moving to small-town New Zealand was something we never would have considered," says Sandra. "Looking back now, we wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Cromwell was a great place to raise our two children, the beauty of this town is unbelievable, and I love how we experience four distinct seasons. It's like you get to live four different lives every year!"
When not working, Wayne and Sandra enjoy their time off by exploring the town and spending quality time together. However, at the moment, Penny Black and their other business – Benjer Drinks – occupy most of their time.
If you haven't yet, stop by and experience the magic of Penny Black for yourself. The cosy atmosphere and friendly staff make it the ideal spot to enjoy a relaxing evening out with friends or a romantic date night.