My criteria to select this list was:
- Good food, nice space, good service.
- Well priced
- There is something memorable about it.
Thank goodness we are in post covid times—no check in, no masks, no density limits. Fingers crossed things stay this way.
Now that we all must work from work —a bit of after work socialising is a good thing.
1. Dean and Nancy on 22
Dean and Nancy on 22, on top of the A by Adina hotel high-rise. No water views, it does have views of the surrounding CBD skyscrapers, and is pretty cool at night. The shiny reflective interiors give a los Vegas vibe.
Cocktail list confirms that the bartenders are interesting in your good night out. Interesting cocktails presented elegantly. Staff considerate but not invasive.
There is food to keep things going. The menu is designed for sharing—running from more standard offering to impressive seafood treats.
2 Hunter St, Sydney
Unexpected ingredients (including an extensive range of non-alcoholic drinks so no one left out)
Very cool relaxed interior
Makes for a great evening out.
2/40 King St, Sydney
3. Baxter Inn
The Baxter has been a very hidden cool spot for years. Thankfully it survived Covid intact. Entrance down one back lane, to another, then down some dodgy stairs. Door opens to a party. More an elaborate underground whisky bar than anything else, but there are other spirits and wines on offer.
No food, there are pretzels.
Can be loud, always cool.
152—156 Clarence St, Sydney NSW
4. Frankie’s Pizza
Exactly what it sounds. A pizza by slice place. Beer and Wine. The Cocktail list goes to margaritas. Loud music, loud people, great spots with friends to plot the next step or to settle in.
And right in middle of CBD.
50 Hunter St, Sydney NSW
5. Cantina OK!
Cantina Ok! is a smallish cocktail bar specialising in spirits from Mexico.
Inside, standing only (not so many chairs) but cosy, bottles on the walls, an ice machine. World music soundtrack plays.
The bar created and staffed by people who love Mexico and Mexican Mezcals.
The drinks menu (no food) explains how drinks are made, and how they came to this tiny corner of Sydney.
Great investment of time to get your courage to enter, have a chat and sample some of the good things on offer.
Council Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
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Outdoor furniture is not what it used to be. Long gone are the rickety timber settings and faded plastic chairs. Thanks to innovations in surface development, outdoor furniture and fabrics can now be hard to distinguish from their indoor counterparts. Water, UV and mould resistant, they have been engineered to withstand weather conditions while still maintaining their good looks. With summer almost here, we’ve assembled our best 10 outdoor furniture retailers to ensure that when the sun comes out, you’re ready to enjoy your own great outdoors.
Susan and Gordon Tait started their outdoor furniture business in 1992 with a commitment to Australian designed and made outdoor furniture created to withstand local conditions. Thirty years later, they have an enviable reputation for sustainability, offsetting 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide and diverting almost a tonne of soft plastic from landfill each year, as well as continuing to manufacture out of Melbourne. Oh, and their ranges of steel and timber chairs, tables, benches and accessories have a timeless beauty and durability that makes them incredibly desirable.
Another business committed to sustainable practices, Mamagreen furniture is manufactured using materials that are either recycled or can be recycled. More than 90 percent of the teak Mamagreen uses is sourced from old buildings, with the remaining timber from managed plantations. If you’re looking for that resort feel at home, this is the place to go. In fact, their products can be found in hotels around Australia. We love the circular Begonia lounge, which is perfect for hosting friends while, for shade, you can’t go past the flexible Sombrero shade.
This Australian business headed up by Anthony Spon-Smith has been making great strides with its outdoor furniture ranges in recent years. Perhaps more than any other of the leading brands, the outdoor furniture looks and feels like the indoor equivalent, with upholstered seating (designed to get wet and dry off quickly) and chunky timber or stone-look tables and pedestals. Taking inspo from Mediterranean resorts like the French or Italian Riveras, this is one brand worth staying home for.
Founded in 2008 on an ethos of Live Life Well, Cosh Living offers a comprehensive range of products for outdoor use, from pots, tables and chairs, through to outdoor lighting, rugs, daybeds and more. With leading brands such as Manutti, Tribu, Dedon and Coast at their disposal, the look is one of relaxed sophistication, whether it’s a bean bag poolside or an oversized sofa on the deck. With such an extensive range of products, this is one company where a visit to the showroom is useful, to help coordinate your look.
Equally well known for their range of outdoor building supplies such as pavers, walling and pool surfaces, Eco Outdoor’s selection of outdoor furniture is just as popular, thanks to its focus on European styling and durability. Specifically designed for outdoor living, there’s everything from outdoor dining tables and chairs in teak, wicker or aluminium through to lounges, beanbags and umbrellas. With showrooms in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, you can drop in and assess the quality for yourself.
Whatever you need to furnish your outdoor space, chances are Satara has it. From lounge chairs and barstools to outdoor rugs and pot stands, this retailer has everything you need to create a comfortable and stylish outdoor space. With showrooms in most capital cities, you can experience the quality for yourself before making a final purchase. Designs range from classic Australian style through to contemporary Euro.
If it’s flexible outdoor furniture with modern lines you’re after, check out the range of sofas, coffee tables and dining suites from GlobeWest. Materials range from teak and aluminium to woven resin and ceramic in contemporary styles suited to a variety of architectural styles. Available direct to trade, the website also has an easy stockist search option to locate your nearest retailer.
There’s a reason why this legendary outdoor furniture supplier has been in business for more than 40 years. Known for its classic, durable outdoor furniture, Cotswold has longstanding associations with brands such as Vincent Sheppard and Fast Outdoor Lifestyle, as well as Cotswold Teak. While their loyal client base loves the classics, including Lloyd Loom and teak Adirondack chairs, this company has continued to evolve and innovate with contemporary ranges designed to stand the test of time.
It’s hard to go past Ikea for knockabout, versatile outdoor furniture that retains a sense of style. If you have an outdoor space to fill, chances are Ikea has the chair, lounge, outdoor table or accessories to fill it. We particularly love the classic moulded frame of the Skarpo chair (pictured) but could be persuaded by the highback woven Hogsten chair. For smaller spaces, the Torparo is a great shelf or mini table you can attach to the railing or fence.
This largely online furniture retailer initially sought to provide adaptable, compact furniture for the apartment market in Singapore. As it turns out, it’s a great fit for the Australian market too, as backyards and balcony spaces decrease in size. The range of dining and lounge suites is classic, with slimline armrests and legs. Colours are limited to greys and beiges but could easily be brightened up with accent cushions if that’s your style.
How do I choose the right outdoor dining setting for me?
While many of the same principles apply whether you’re dining indoors or out, the big difference is the weather. Outdoor furniture can take a beating if it is exposed to UV and rain for extended periods of time, so your choice will depend on whether your furniture will at least have some covering or will most likely be completely in the elements. Aluminium furniture can be a great option because it is lightweight and easy to move around, while teak ages to silver grey when left in the sun. If space is a factor, folding or stackable chairs can be useful.
What’s the difference between indoor lounge cushions and the ones on outdoor lounges?
Outdoor cushions are specially designed for the weather conditions, with quick dry foam inserts to allow water to drain away relatively fast. They’re also covered with UV, water and mould resistant fabrics specified for outdoor use. Sunbrella is the market leader for outdoor fabrics in Australia and uses solution dyed acrylic to create fabrics that are almost indiscernible from their indoor equivalents. Interior designers have been known to specify high quality outdoor fabrics for use in high traffic indoor spaces, such as family and rumpus rooms.
I have an outdoor space I want to furnish. Should I choose a lounge suite or a dining setting?
It’s really a lifestyle decision here. If you enjoy entertaining friends regularly, a dining setting might be the most useful option. In some homes, outdoor dining might also provide a bit more room to move, making it a great option for hosting bigger groups. However, if you already have an indoor dining setting facing onto the outdoor space, there’s not much point doubling up. An outdoor lounge can create a flexible space for casual relaxation, or somewhere to sit to enjoy coffee or drinks with friends before or after dinner.
Interior designer Thomas Hamel on where it goes wrong in so many homes.