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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Sydney: Jet Cafe, Marble Bar, Paddington Inn

Boxing Day in the Sydney CBD is madness. So, naturally, I headed straight for it.

I needed to get out of the house and wanted to reacquaint myself with the guts of my hometown. Boxing Day was probably an extremely silly time to do it, but friends were floating around the city and keen to catch up... so it was happening.

Pitt Street Mall, Boxing Day 2012

After fighting for life and limb among the bodies pouring off the footpaths and blocking the flow of traffic, I found my friends at the beautiful Queen Victoria Building, and we headed for the relative quiet and safety of Jet Cafe (G55, QVB Sydney). The crowd-fighting ordeal had left me in dire need of alcohol, and this was one of the few licensed venues open, so we had a glass or two of Stella Bella Sem Sav and relaxed in the air con. Jet Cafe is in a great spot, with curved windows right at the southern end of the building. The staff were hasty and flustered, but who can blame them when they were attacked by grumpy Boxing Day salesgoers?!

Stop #2 was the famed and impressive Marble Bar, in the basement of the Sydney Hilton (488 George Street). I'd never been before but had heard of it, and it was so majestically beautiful, I can't wait to go again. These pictures don't do it justice at all:

Being part of the Hilton though, and in the middle of swanky Sydney, I found the service quite stuffy - very professional, of course, but not at all warm. We had a few glasses of very nice but rather pricey wine, and some good-but-not-amazing wedges. Our experience was also marred by the fact that Marble was, again, one of the only CBD bars open on Boxing Day, which encouraged some rather undesirable co-patrons into the bar. Two scruffily-clad lads sat near us and tried to impress us with loud homophobic antics. Some boys never learn!

I think Marble Bar would be a great place for a pre-dinner cocktail before heading upstairs to the Hilton's Glass Brasserie for a special dinner.

Finally, I left my friends and headed to Paddington to catch up with my sister and her friends. We met at the Paddington Inn (338 Oxford Street, Paddington) - perhaps better known as the Paddo Inn. It seems to be an old-school corner pub, refurbished nicely with a second bar in the back, an open-air courtyard section in the middle, and an upstairs bar/function area. Not bad for a little local.

We sat in the courtyard part and polished off a couple of bottles of sav blanc, whilst flirting with the boys next to us, recounting our Christmases and reversing our festive hangovers with hair-of-the-dog. It was a pleasant evening, and I look forward to going back there next time I'm in town.

Jet Bar Caffe on Urbanspoon

Marble Bar @ Hilton Sydney on Urbanspoon

Paddington Inn on Urbanspoon