Pints and paint at the pub launches with Kiwi startup in London

New Zealanders have long loved London's pub scene - which is now proving the perfect place for one Kiwi business to blossom. 

Paintvine has just launched in the UK after operating in New Zealand for the last three years. Its idea is simple: have a pint, learn how to paint, and have a whole lot of fun doing it. 

Paintvine's inaugural UK venue was upstairs at the Snooty Fox Pub in Canonbury, London. Nothing flash - just an otherwise disused old room that's probably seen a lot in its time. 

Co-founder Euan Lockie has moved to London to spearhead Paintvine's expansion, and was more than welcoming when Newshub asked to tag along. He even brought cameraman Dan and I a beer each. 

Lockie laid out all the kits, with each station getting an easel, a canvas, two paintbrushes, a pencil, some paints, a cup of water for the brushes, and an apron emblazoned with the Painvine logo. 

There's also a photo of what we'll be painting, which is a take on Katsushika Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa. 

The punters started rolling in, each with their complimentary drink, and before long Lockie's upfront holding up his pre-prepared Hokusai canvas and the class begins. 

"Hi everyone welcome to Paintvine at the Snooty Fox. This is our first event here so we're stoked to have you all. You'll leave with something that slightly resembles this," he says. 

The class is mostly expat Kiwis but there's five Brits and one Italian there too. 

"We're going to start with the pencil and we're going to lightly draw the main outlines," Lockie says. 

The pencil outlines start to take shape, and after 30 mins, the paint is on the canvas. Everyone is hilariously comparing their masterpieces with their neighbours. 

"It gets your creative juices flowing, have a couple of drinks, have a laugh with mates," says one Kiwi attendee.

"It's taking me back to high school and I'm loving it," says another. "It's very therapeutic, surprisingly. Although it's testing my ability to focus that's for sure". 

Lockie does circuits around the room, checking how everyone is going and giving advice where necessary. 

"It's all about having fun, doing a painting, having a few drinks with friends," he says. 

Lockie has always been interested in art, and has had a number of exhibitions of his sculptures and paintings, including a submerged DoC hut as part of Sculpture on The Gulf on Waiheke Island. 

"I'm stoked to be on the other side of the world doing something I love," he says. 

"The UK is a huge market, so much bigger than Auckland. We've got plans to move to Manchester, plans to move all around the UK."

After 90 minutes, most of the canvases are done, and everyone roams around checking out what other people have done. 

Lloyd's artwork.
Lloyd's artwork. Photo credit: Newshub.

We all get together with our artwork for a group photo - and that's Lockie's UK debut done and dusted, with punters getting to take home a bit of New Zealand with them. 

Lloyd Burr is Newshub's Europe Correspondent based in London.

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