Plonk yourself down in the courtyard of the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel and you'll get one of those dreamy views of Sydney they save for the tourism ads. In the foreground, bobbing yachts flank the ferry wharf, while a little further away the jagged city skyline punctuates the horizon, the bridge standing at attention beside it.

A goliath of a boozer, the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel boasts numerous bars, but the action is out back. Colourful umbrellas shade picnic benches, pot plants grow in old wooden barrels and maritime flags flap in the breeze. An adjoining room is home to an impressive mural, plenty of nautical ephemera and a huge bar.

They stock an extensive collection of beers: Coopers, James Squire and Mount Kosciusko on tap; Asahi, Corona, Kirin and plenty more by the bottle. The wine list is full of Australian chardonnays and rieslings, and if you're the designated driver, next to the bar you'll find a coffee and ice cream stand that also serves a mean milkshake.

The Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel can get hectic in the fine weather, and it's usually thick with out-of-towners. But don't let that stop you. It can be yours too. And a few ales out in the sun will wash all of your cares away.

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Updated: October 17th, 2019

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