Words by Carlie Tucker
Any frequent business traveller knows the importance of a good watering hole. Whether it’s time to impress clients, you’re finalising negotiations away from the office, or you just want to blow off some steam with colleagues, a list of great bars will always come in handy. And for any Sydney-bound corporate travellers, we’re taking the guesswork out of where to grab a drink. Here are some of the city’s top establishments, with an option for every occasion:
For business meetings that require a touch of sophistication, you can’t go past a good wine bar. Luckily, it’s a growing trend in the city, with options popping up all over the place. You can’t go wrong with the Bambini Wine Room on Elizabeth Street. An extension of the Bambini Trust, it features an Italian-inspired list in a moody heritage setting. Should the occasion call for it, there’s also a decent selection of bar snacks.
Out the Woollahra way, the Wine Library opened as something of an extension of Italian eatery Buzo. It has since developed into a reliable bar in which to swirl and sip top tipples from around the world. The list is just extensive enough to pique the interests of even the most seasoned oenophile, with international bottles that range from popular to slightly off-centre. For a perfect pairing, nibbles are also available in the form of small and share plates.
City-centre drops don’t get any better than those found at Devine. It’s another Italian-inspired experience, but many experts agree it happens to boast one of Sydney’s best lists. Bottles hailing from across the world are available along with a lively atmosphere. If you’re in the mood for food, Devine also prides itself on its fine dining experience, offering a hearty menu of tapas, cured meats and more.
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When it comes time to pull out all the stops for your clients, it’s only fitting to head straight to the top. Literally. There are rooftop bars aplenty in Sydney that serve up great drinks and spectacular views. This includes The Glenmore at the Rocks, with 180 degree views of Sydney Harbour and the CBD. The views are million dollar, but the atmosphere is decidedly more laid back, making it a perfect choice for most occasions. Take your pick from a long menu that features everything from champers to cider.
Zeta Bar at the Hilton Sydney has been turning heads on an international scene with acclaimed mixologists making cocktails to die for. It also features a large outdoor terrace overlooking the historic Queen Victoria Building. The drink menu certainly highlights cocktails (classic and contemporary) but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a quality glass of wine or beer on tap. Just be aware, this one is a bit swanky and dress codes do apply.
Business travellers on the lookout for a contemporary venue that’s not a nightclub can choose from the selection of cocktail bars making their mark on the Sydney wining and dining scene. One such establishment is Hemmesphere. Cool and collected in an unpretentious way, this cocktail bar drew its inspiration from the Ottoman Empire. The cocktail menu is created by expert mixologists and dictated by the seasons, which means a new drink every time you go.
Having a drink at the Eau de Vie is like taking a step back in time. The atmosphere can only be described as speakeasy-chic, but the Main Bar menu is much more contemporary. Think drinks chilled by frozen river rocks and glasses topped with flavour filled smoke. There are 500 plus spirits on display here, which means a huge selection of creations to choose from. There’s bar seating and communal tables, or opt for individual table service. Oh yeah, there’s also a Whiskey Room hidden at the back of the bar.
For a drink accompanied by a heavy dose of nostalgia and golden age Hollywood glam, The Roosevelt is your spot. This Potts Point venue was once Australia’s most infamous club. After many reincarnations and rejuvenations, it’s now a bar and diner that tips a hat to its glamorous past. Art deco interiors, leather booths and candle lit tables set the mood for a cocktail or two named after the likes of Elvis, John Wayne and Al Capone.
Images courtesy of Getty