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FOOD & DRINK

Six Sydney Beer Gardens to Check Out in Winter if You're in Denial That Summer's Over

Beat the winter blues with a pint in hand at these glorious green spaces across the city.
By Olivia Gee
June 25, 2021
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By Olivia Gee
June 25, 2021
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in partnership with

Greater Sydney is currently under stay at home orders so, while you can't visit these pubs in person, you can still show your support with takeaway and online orders. You can stay up to date with the developing COVID-19 situation in Sydney, as well as current restrictions, at NSW Health.

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Long nights, crisp cool air, getting warm in front of a fireplace — there's a lot to like about winter. And, whether you're staying at home or enjoying one of Sydney's many cosy beer gardens, it's all too easy to make the most of the cooler months while still enjoying being outside.

This season, we've teamed up with Guinness to put together a list of six excellent beer gardens in Sydney to enjoy this winter — with a pint in hand — and that we can't wait to get to once pubs reopen. Whether you're looking for a quiet evening beverage under lights or a beachside cabana fit for a warming winter feast, these leafy courtyards and pub gardens will sort you out.

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HOTEL STEYNE

Show your true summer colours by frequenting this beachside Manly spot all through winter. Hotel Steyne maintains a sunlit, airy vibe in all weather with its palm frond-adorned dining areas and ocean views. Call dibs on one of the new courtyard cabanas to turn your winter beer garden excursion into a tropical vacay, while you order some warming snacks. On the sharing front there are cheese, charcuterie and seafood platters, as well as house-made pizzas, burgers and more.

Feeling flighty? Head upstairs to the venue's rooftop bar, open from Thursday to Sunday. Here you'll find a wide selection of summer-fresh cocktails, from expertly made negronis and cosmopolitans to a wonderfully tart raspberry gin sour, perfect for washing down a classic reuben on rye, or even a metre-long pizza.

Find Hotel Steyne at 75 The Corso, Manly.

Hotel Steyne's bottle shop is open daily from midday, and the cafe is open daily for takeaway from 6:30am–5:30pm.

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THE ORIENT HOTEL

While The Orient is right in the bustling heart of The Rocks, its courtyard beer garden is tucked away out back, meaning regulars can escape the throngs of tourists and harbourside sightseers. If you do prefer to be among the crowds, though, there's an al fresco area on Argyle Street that offers harbour views. Once inside, kick back with the suitably seafood-led menu featuring the likes of Sydney rock oysters, pan-seared salmon and salt and pepper squid, accompanied by a glass of something bubbly or brewed.

Head up to the first floor of this heritage-listed pub and you'll discover another outdoor area in the form of Mrs Jones. Named for one of the venue's earliest licencees, Jane Jones, this sleek indoor-outdoor dining room and watering hole features a retractable roof and large sliding glass walls, so you can feel like you're outside even if the weather turns.

Find The Orient at 87-89 George Street, The Rocks.

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Arvin Prem Kumar

COACH AND HORSES

This Randwick pub brings the outdoors inside for a perfect pretend-it's-summer excursion. The venue boasts two beer garden areas: one that's closer to being indoors with high-vaulted ceilings and giant skylights, and another one level up that's open to the winter sunshine. Both areas provide ample seating for larger groups, touches of greenery and twinkly lights.

For dinner and lunch, you can tuck into daily specials like fish and chips, curries and a Sunday roast. On the regular menu, you'll find more fill-you-up classics like a hearty beef and Guinness pie topped with creamy mash and cheddar, a plus-size panko-crumbed chicken schnitzel, and an all-day Irish breakfast sizzling with sausages, bacon, eggs, back pudding, beans and soda bread.

Find the Coach and Horses at 147 Avoca Street, Randwick.cp-line

Craig Greenhill, Saltwater Images

CHARING CROSS HOTEL

The leafy beer garden of this buzzy eastside hangout feels like it was made for summer — but we love it just as much in winter. Here, punters are ensconced within high green fences in a cosy outdoor nook which features impressive seven-metre-high letters spelling out 'Charo' and linking the space back to the bar via a hidden-away games room.

After a requisite beer or two, order a plate of hearty slow-cooked beef cheeks on a bed of creamy horseradish mash, pancetta and pearl onions. If you're with a group and feeling sharey, mix and match plates of fried haloumi with fermented chilli; prawn and avocado bruschetta with a bloody mary dressing; and arrabbiata sugo arancini with pepita pesto.

Find the Charing Cross Hotel at 81 Carrington Road, Waverley.

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THE SALISBURY

This schmick Stanmore pub has all the charm you'd expect from an inner west joint, and the pooch-friendly beer garden is no exception — think festoon lights, reclaimed wine barrel tables and a Chinese elm tree growing through a bright red 1926 brewery truck. It's all too easy to while away a lazy afternoon here, with beer taps and fridges that showcase classic and craft beers from local and international breweries.

Wine lovers can pair a natural drop with spicy adobo chicken tacos or roasted sweet potato served with baba ganoush, flatbread and pickled veg. Hearty mains include nachos loaded with smoky house beans, guac and jalapeños, or a warming 12-hour beef brisket ragu with pappardelle. The pies, though, are arguably the star of the menu. The golden parcels are filled to the brim with the likes of chunky beef and Guinness, chicken and mushroom, and curry-tinged cauliflower, potato, pea and lentil.

Find The Salisbury at 118 Percival Road, Stanmore.

The Salisbury's bottle shop is open 12–8pm Sunday–Thursday, and 12 –9pm⁠ Friday and Saturday. Takeaway breakfast, pies and beer are also available daily.

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THE GLEBE HOTEL

Whether you're into classic pub grub or more refined drinks and dining, the leafy beer garden shrouded in fairy lights out the back of The Glebe Hotel will tick a lot of boxes. The Victorian terrace underwent a massive renovation in 2019, so the front bar with exposed brick walls, plush chesterfields and cosy fireplace now sits alongside an elegant dining room leading into the partially covered — and dog-friendly — courtyard.

The same menu runs across all areas, so your troupe can throw back schooners or summer-reminiscent bellinis and mojitos in the colourful beer garden, then move inside if the mood strikes. The all-day menu features classic counter meals like chicken parmies, pies and sandwiches, while the dinner menu features more elevated fare like house-made gnocchi with forest mushrooms, cauliflower purée and truffle oil and twice-cooked pork belly with potato and celeriac gratin, cavolo nero, dutch carrots and baby beets.

Find The Glebe Hotel at 63 Bay Street, Glebe.

The Glebe Hotel is offering takeaway beer from 3–6pm Thursday–Saturday and 1-4pm on Sunday. It's $10 a litre and BYO jar.

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Thirsty? Find your closest place for a pint over at the Guinness Pub Finder.

Top image: Craig Greenhill, Saltwater Images

Published on June 25, 2021 by Olivia Gee

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