Madame Brussels is five years old in March. The ‘Rather Fancy’ rooftop bar that has charmed and seduced us will be maturing and with that maturity has come a little work. The Madame has had an extension, just two and a half months ago, which only enhances her already lovely features. In a very clever move, the extension, which is known as the Rather Fancy Upper-Terrace, was built off-site and then craned on to the Bourke Street building allowing the business to stay open while construction happened elsewhere. It sits above Madame Brussels with a breathtaking view and room for about 30 seated.

“We like to say it’s great for down-fronting and up-skirting,” explains Madame Brussels’ part-owner, hostess and self-confessed full-time animal tamer Miss Pearls. “I had to go out and buy shorts to go under the girls’ vintage tennis skirts!”

All elements here are designed to keep the integrity of the Madame Brussels brand, and vintage outfits along with “a mishmash of old and new complement the curly whirly furniture”. Miss Pearls goes on: “We needed a place when it rains and a warm place in winter to extend our trade in an outdoor environment, which is really important to us and our business.”

It also allows a space for private functions separate to the larger lower-terrace. The Sunday Summer barbecue – where, each Sunday, a restaurant cooks on-site in the sunshine from 2pm – is into its fourth year now, and is another reason to pop into the Madame. In the following weeks, expect to see and taste food from Coda, Cumulus Inc, Next Door Diner, Mezzo and Collins Quarter – for just $40.

With all this going on, we get the feeling the Madame is going to be around for a lot longer and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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