Sydney’s bar scene has undergone a serious
upgrade, and a gaggle of new hotel bars are changing the way the city grooves.
From swanky spaces with splendid views to lavish waterholes steeped in history
– the hotel bar is back in vogue.
Title for the most opulent goes to Hilton Sydney’s Marble Bar, located on
busy George Street in the CBD. With brilliant
stained glass windows, elaborate sculpted woodwork and 35 varieties of Italian,
African and Belgian marble used throughout the interior (think grand pillars
and a colourful marble floor), this is the place to take someone you want to
impress. Try one of the many cocktails on offer, such as the Marble Bar Martini
(red wine shaken with fresh raspberries, orange bitters and Smirnoff vodka, laced
with a dash of crème de cassis).
Sydney's Rocks precinct has become
an even more desirable meeting place with the addition of Grain, a stylish bar in the Four Seasons Hotel
Sit back and debonairly sip your choice of beverage from the extensive drinks
menu, made up of creative cocktails, local specialist beers and a largely
organic and biodynamic wine list. The Aussie-influenced bar food is spot on:
try deep-fried saltbush (a native
Australian edible plant) with creamy aioli; yabbies (freshwater crustaceans) flown in from Queensland; and
Another newcomer fast gaining a
stellar reputation is the funky, retro-styled Gilt Lounge. Located in the boutique QT Sydney hotel on Market Street, the kitsch,
quirky-cool bar is filled with colourful customised furniture and eclectic
digital art – a visually stimulating space that becomes even more interesting
after indulging in a barrel-aged cocktail or two. Drinks (usually based on
brown spirits and bitters) are mixed and poured into a wooden barrel, allowing
the flavours to fuse.
Jaws routinely drop at Shangri-La Hotel
Sydney’s Blu Bar on 36 in the Rocks precinct. The dazzling view is at its best
at sunset, when a golden glow spreads across the harbour, and the talented mixologists
create exquisite cocktails that will keep you going well into the night. Try
the 12/12/12 (Cazadores tequila, plum Pisco, Aperol, grapefruit
juice, agave nectar and lime), or book in for a cocktail making class and create your
from Circular Quay on the ground level at the InterContinental Sydney, The Cortile is a lounge bar surrounded by three
storeys of 19th-century sandstone archways propping up a heritage glass
atrium. Their new “high coffee experience” is a feast of savouries and sweets
complemented by a variety of Piazza D’Oro coffee creations. Available daily
from 11 am to 7 pm, the experience begins with an Espresso di Manfredi Spice
Martini – a coffee-based cocktail made with chilled
espresso and shaken with spiced syrup and vanilla-infused Belvedere vodka. It's
a perfect treat for those who like a caffeinated alcoholic hit.
Leonov is the Sydney Localite for BBC Travel