That’s right guv’nah, on Fridays, you can saunter on down to the hotel in the heart of Sydney’s Central Business District and head up to the fourth-floor bar to spend the evening downing hot toddies and munching on roasted chestnuts and marshmallows. Buskers, or street performers, will serenade and entertain you while you do. Just keep away from the moving statues. If you ask us, they’re just creepy.
Zeta Bar is known for its menu of “experimental cocktails” concocted by mixologist (and part mad scientist) Grant Collins and his crack team of barmen, nattily dressed in shirts, ties and vests, with little armbands to hold up their sleeves.
Some of their “well groomed taste sensations” include the Beer Bellini with homemade peach sorbet, a spicy Sidecar chilled with ice cubes that have been smoked with black pepper, a Bacon-Maple Syrup Manhattan, and a Spiced Agave Margarita with a chili-salt rim. For dessert, there are “deconstructed” cocktails like a Mojito Jelly with candied mint and fizz powder on top for an extra kick.
During the Covent Garden evenings, there are also going to be special twists on traditional winter drinks like a selection of hot toddies, house-mulled wine, “roasted” Bloody Mary’s, and a few chestnut-infused classic cocktails like the Sidecar, and even something called “Nitro Eggnog,” which sounds both dangerous and delicious.
But what really sets the mood is the Hilton’s location just across Sydney’s famous shopping center, the Queen Victoria Building, which was built in the late 19th century, and has an elaborate Romanesque Revival façade with green copper domes that make you feel like you’re right back in the heart of jolly old London town. Throw in some roasting chestnuts, a few itinerant musicians, and a well heeled crowd, and you’ve got the makings of an interesting evening.
Want to try a few of the different cocktails available, or head down to dinner at Chef Luke Mangan’s glass brasserie on the second floor and make a night of it? Rates next Friday for the first winter party start at $205.
Full disclosure: Eric Rosen spent two nights as a guest of the Hilton Sydney.