Australia's Most Stunning Bars, Eateries and Hotels Have Been Revealed at 2021's Eat Drink Design Awards

2021's most stylish hospitality spaces include a St Kilda wine bar, Parramatta restaurant and Fortitude Valley coffee haven.
Sarah Ward
Published on December 09, 2021

Heading out of the house for a drink, meal, coffee or night away isn't just about getting away from home. As the past two years have reinforced, it's also about soaking in gorgeous surroundings. You can get sipping and snacking anywhere, but when you're doing so in a spot that truly stands out (and not just because it isn't your own kitchen or dining room), it makes the experience all the more special.

The Eat Drink Design Awards clearly agree, devoting its annual hospitality design accolades to Australia's most stunning spots — places where chefs, signature dishes, creative cocktails, stellar coffee and comfortable beds aren't the only attractions. Surveying the past year's haul of breathtaking places, the 2021 list of winners is characteristically filled with eye-catching charmers, spanning locations all around the country.

Melburnians, your city is now home to the Best Bar Design recipient, with IF Architecture's work on Little Prince Wine earning the nod. The wine bar beneath St Kilda's Prince Hotel off Acland Street scored plaudits for its intimate space, its blend of the old and the new, and its eye for detail — including its fibreglass champagne tub, mirrored specials board and art deco-inspired light fittings.

And, it also picked up the Best Retail Design gong for its cheese, cold cuts, wine and dry goods counter.

Little Prince Wine by Sharyn Cairns

The Best Restaurant Design field was so competitive, two winners were picked — which is great news for Sydneysiders and Brisbanites alike. Parramatta Square's Ciccia Bella, designed by Fiona Lynch Interior Design, got some love for its use of materials — with a particular shout out for its unexpected textures — while Fortitude Valley's Agnes, as designed by Amok, was rewarded for turning a late 19th-century warehouse into a haven for wood-fired food.

Brisbane also emerged victorious in the Best Cafe Design category, thanks to Industry Beans Newstead and its light, airy coffee-slinging space. Designed by Platform by DesignOffice, the judges called it "the quintessential Queensland daytime eatery".

And, if you're looking for a sumptuous place to stay, add Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street to your list. Thanks to its combination of a new 16-storey tower and the heritage Equity Chambers building, as well as its restaurant Luci and cocktail bar The Douglas Club, it's this year's Best Hotel Design winner.

Ciccia Bella Parramatta by Nikki To

The 2021 Eat Drink Design Awards also named the 2020 NGV Triennial's outdoor pavilions by Board Grove Architects the Best Installation Design, and Melbourne restaurant Hazel the winner of this year's Best Identity Design gong.

For its Hall of Fame Award, Bill's Darlinghurst — designed by Brian Kiernan, with later additions by Tyrone Dearing and Meacham Nockles — got the nod.

This year's Eat Drink Design Awards also named commendations in various categories. Among the venues also receiving some praise: Redfern's Atomic Beer Project and Freshwater's Harbord Hotel in Sydney; Richmond's Midi and Piccolina Hardware Lane in Melbourne; and McLaren Vale's Never Never Distillery in South Australia.

NGV Triennial 2020 Outdoor Pavilions by Rory Gardiner


Best Restaurant Design: CicciaBella by Fiona Lynch Interior Design (Parramatta, New South Wales) and Agnes by Amok (Fortitude Valley, Queensland)
Best Cafe Design: Industry Beans Brisbane by Platform by DesignOffice (Newstead, Queensland)
Best Bar Design: Little Prince Wine by IF Architecture (St Kilda, Victoria)
Best Hotel Design: Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street by Bates Smart (Melbourne, Victoria)
Best Installation Design: NGV Triennial 2020 Outdoor Pavilions by BoardGrove Architects (Melbourne, Victoria)
Best Retail Design: Little Prince Wine by IF Architecture (St Kilda, Victoria)
Best Identity Design: Hazel by One&Other (Melbourne, Victoria)
Hall of Fame: Bill's Darlinghurst by Brian Kiernan with later additions by Tyrone Dearing & Meacham Nockles (Darlinghurst New South Wales)

For the full list of winners and commendations, head to the Eat Drink Design website.

Top images: Industry Beans Brisbane by Andy Macpherson, Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street by Sean Fennessy, Agnes by Cathy Schusler and Little Prince Wine by Sharyn Cairns.

Published on December 09, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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