It's getting hot. Hell, we don't have to tell you that, you're probably sweating right now. But how to deal with this sticky weather? The answer is obvious in this city. We boast some of the most splendid strips of sand on the planet. And after a long day spent swimming, surfing or beachcombing, you're going to be thirsty. Fortunately, our seaside suburbs now offer a host of excellent bars. Here are some of the best.
Sitting smack-bang opposite the breakers, this Manly outpost from the folks who gave you Gazebo and The Winery consists of a large and airy white-tiled room that is chock-full of pretty pot plants and the odd plastic flamingo. There are 100 types of wine available, thoughtfully divided into understandable groupings like 'unpronounceable whites' or 'mysterious reds'. They also offer jugs of sangria and beers, such as 4 Pines, McLaren Vale and White Rabbit.
4 Pines Brewing Company
Drinking a few beers while surveying the water – if Sydney has a more enjoyable pastime, we don't know what it is. Luckily, the 4 Pines Brewing Company’s bar and microbrewery is just a few steps from the Manly ferry wharf and features a large balcony overlooking the sparkling blue-green sea. Try their greatest hits – the Pale Ale or Kolsch varieties – or be a beer trailblazer by sipping one of the limited-release Keller Door ales. Hearty pub grub, including burgers and steaks, are on the menu if all those suds are getting to you.
Manly's newest kid on the block is already doing a whole heap of things right. Interior designers Luchetti Krelle have gussied up the room (formerly Space Bar) and the result is exposed brick walls, hardwood bench-tops and a dramatic metal spiral staircase. Monteith's is on tap and local brews 4 Pines and Murray's come in bottles. The wine list keeps it local too, and offers snappy drops from some of the state's best vineyards.
Would-be pirates know there is really only one place for them in Bondi. Inside, it's all dark wood, chandeliers and exposed brick, but the nautical theme isn't over the top and the open windows catch the sea breeze. At the bar, they're making Mojitos, Dark and Stormys, and Negronis. If you've run aground for the evening, sip on a Costa Concordia (made with house Rock and Rye, peach bitters and rock candy). Their collection of tequila is also extensive, and worth getting well acquainted with. Ahoy.
The Bucket List
Starting out as a pop-up, The Bucket List has proved too popular to call time on. And that's probably got something to do with the fact that it overlooks one of Australia's most-loved stretches of sand. The attitude is laidback, as is the decor – milk crates, picnic tables and beach umbrellas are all cobbled together out on the pavers. This isn't the place for fancy cocktails; instead punters sip icy-cold bottles of Singha, Pacifico and Stone & Wood. The bar also does a good trade in jugs of sangria and Pimm’s and lemonade.
Old Joe's Set opposite Cronulla Beach, Old Joe's offers a refined yet relaxed experience compared with the neighbouring watering holes. Designer Sibella Court is responsible for the fit-out meaning you'll be met with sorbet colours, reclaimed wood, striped awnings and even a longboard thrown in for good measure. The beer list boasts a 20-strong line-up of craft brews and, playing on the building's former usage (it was an old-school milk bar), there are ice-cream spiders and boozy milkshakes spiked with vodka. For eats, munch on lobster rolls, hotdogs and Southern-style ribs.