Fresh from a facelift, The Carrington Hotel not only looks fresh as a daisy, but is packing some great casual dining to boot.
The front bar looks like any well-loved, freshly scrubbed, Aussie watering hole, with decor touch ups that include quirky animal motifs, moody multicoloured lamps lighting and freshly polished, trademark bottle-green pub tiles out front. But hidden out the back of this quintessentially Aussie pub – set in the leafy surrounds of the quieter section of Bourke Street – there’s a new, Spanish tapas-style restaurant addition.
Drawing on influences from Barcelona, think pintxos, dishes braised in sherry and share plates of A-grade jamon. With smallgoods sourced from the likes of La Boqueria, expect the best embutidos (preserved meats), while chef Jamie Thomas turns out Iberian dishes with flare for the new restaurant and still delivers on hearty Spanish inspired pub-food for those at the bar.
The mid-sized, split-level dining room is awash with brightly coloured, patterned tiles, neat little tête-à-tête tables, a bar for those fine Spanish drops and a twisted vine here and there. It’s a cool, welcoming space, with walk-through access to the pub and a view of the busy kitchen on the way.
There’s a festive atmosphere here, helped along by an Iberian-heavy drinks list. Groups happily share bull’s tail empanadas, plates of daily pintxos or spicy Basque wings.
So settle into a comfy red banquette and watch out for the Dionysus martini, complete with blue cheese on the side. Buen provecho!