Australia’s best bars for late summer drinking
Toast the change of seasons
Summer is - gasp! - almost over. But before you retreat into a SAD state (as in Seasonal Affective Disorder, the mood-altering malady), remember that we are blessed with temperate weather for a few more months to come. To ensure you make the most of sun-dappled days, we have partnered with Chandon, purveyors of exquisite sparkling wine, to highlight the most appealing bars in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. They all share a light-filled allure and top-notch drinks to help immunise against SAD-ness.
It's easy to be bowled over by Barangaroo House. Sydney's buzziest new venue has water views, multiple levels and menus, and an arresting design that resembles three stacked bowls. Head up to the top floor bar, Smoke, with its outdoor deck expressly made for enjoying sundowners.
Perched atop the Hyatt Regency Sydney, Zephyr Bar also delivers staggering water vistas - in this case over Darling Harbour. The rooftop boite, which opened last year, has an equally entrancing drinks list. The hip sip: a peach and thyme spritz, with Chandon sparkling wine, gin, thyme and fresh peach. Or you could always revisit a classic by stopping by Opera Bar;surrounded by Sydney Harbour, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, it has the most enviable location. Order a round of yuzu bellinis, made with Chandon S, vodka, orange and yuzu and toast the final days of the hot season.
Melbourne is famous for its laneway bars, but the city's rooftop lounges are tempting too. We're partial to Siglo Bar above The Melbourne Supper Club for its chequerboard terrace, Spring Street aspects and intimate, European vibe. Chevap sausage rolls and polenta chips are among the moreish snacks, all of which pair well with a glass of Chandon Brut or Brut Rosé. Or perhaps you'd prefer to gaze upon the Yarra River while you feast on a seafood platter at Waterfront Southgate. For a more raucous affair, head to Hightail, the Docklands watering hole that can host almost 1,000 revellers. Nab a seat by the floor-to-ceiling glass windows or in the plant-filled atrium to soak up the light. The wine list focuses on Australian drops, and the food options extend to Mr Burger, Belles Hot Chicken and Super Taco.
Brisbane's riverfront is the most popular backdrop to wine-filled afternoons and evenings. One of the most recent arrivals on the Brown Snake, as locals affectionately refer to the waterway, is Riverland on Eagle Street. It blends an industrial aesthetic with tropical greenery and jarrah wood furnishings. Three converted shipping containers house a bar and street food vendors.
Swells have long gravitated to the Gatsby-inspired environs of Black Bird. Here you can recline on a gilt-covered sofa, order a honey-coloured drink, and soak up riverfront views. Or, for a more urban vibe with city vistas, head to the rooftop of The Fox Hotel in South Brisbane. Dandy's Rooftop is a patio bar styled like a delirious adult playground, with candy-hued furniture, vibrant birdcages and tasty pizzas.
The revivified Star in Broadbeach has a clutch of seductive bars but we favour Garden Kitchen and Bar, if only for its al fresco ambiance, fizzy drinks and spirited DJ sessions on Friday and Saturday evenings. On Sundays, you can pair your Chandon with wood-smoked ribs and chicken wings. For natty, nautical-themed views of the superyachts moored in Marina Mirage, head to Glass Dining & Lounge Bar. Meanwhile, at Edgewater, the waterfront restaurant at Capri on Via Roma, the Surfers Paradise skyline glitters prettily at night. The 'Liquid Journey' menu offers an array of effervescent tipples, including Chandon Brut, Chandon Vintage and the Chandon S spritz - Chandon Sparkling blended with handcrafted orange bitters.
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