The Light Brigade in Woollahra is one of Sydney’s most deceiving pubs. From the exterior, it’s your regular red-brick corner boozer, and the ground-floor interiors match that classic pub feel. But climb the stairs and you’ll find something different on each level: a light and airy bistro, a chic 1920s-inspired lounge, and the show-stealing rooftop bar. Eighty-three metres high, it offers stunning views of the harbour by day, and twinkling city lights at night. It’s one of the most impressive spots in town to have a drink – and after a recent revamp, it’s better than ever.

While it’s always had the wow factor, the new Miami pool club-inspired look amplifies it. The grey furnishings and timber tables have been replaced with pastel peach-coloured tables and lounges – with striped cushions – and panelled beach umbrellas. The bar has been splashed with colour, too. And on the rooftop walls that surround the bar, Sydney artist Edward Woodley has painted an abstract mural that complements the new pink and gold frontage of the bar itself. New mint-green high-top tables and stools offer maximum scenery-viewing pleasure.

Behind the new look is designer Kristy McGregor (Manly Wharf Hotel). She says she took cues from the “pastel pinks, greens and terracotta tones of the pool club at the Goodtime Hotel in Miami”. With the weather getting cooler, the rooftop has us reliving warmer days spent by the water – but it’s still got a cosy and casual pub feel.

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“[I wanted to] respect the historical elements of the iconic art deco red brick and create a cosy yet socially exciting space through contemporary outdoor furniture and finishes that have a texture and a warmth,” McGregor says.

Naturally, there’s a new menu to match the revamp. The team is spicing things up with its cocktail list. Order a round of chilli watermelon Margaritas or Karakuchi Butterflies – a jalapeno-infused gin number that’s mixed with elderflower liqueur, butterfly pea flower syrup and “magic” – then beeline for a cushy seat to make the most of the afternoon sun.

To eat, executive chef Justin Schott (ex-Kitchen by Mike, Rockpool Bar & Grill) has created a woodfire-focused menu, designed to share. Snack on puffy woodfired bread with your choice of antipasti, including whipped buffalo ricotta and LP’s meats; an oozy four-cheese toastie with house-made potato crisps; and a cheesy take on crispy potato gems. For something more substantial, order plates of pasta, including a lamb ragu pappardelle, and a potato and ricotta gnocchi.

You can also get the pub’s menu of crowd-pleasers and specials up here: $15 woodfired pizzas on Mondays, $15 milk-bun burgers on Thursdays, and the signature Brigade parmie and chips at all times.

While sunset is prime time to hit the lively rooftop, don’t sweat if you can’t make it until a little later. One of the boozer’s best specials doesn’t start until 9pm on a Saturday: two hours of $12 cocktails. Cheers to that.

The Light Brigade Rooftop
Corner of Oxford Street and Jersey Street, Woollahra

Hours:
Mon to Thur 10am–midnight
Fri & Sat 10am–1am
Sun 10am–10pm

lightbrigade.com.au
@lightbrigadehotel