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The Cumberland

This Manly cocktail bar is hidden behind a fridge — with 250 different whiskies, creative cocktails and plenty of snacks.
By Marissa Ciampi and Ben Hansen
October 02, 2019
By Marissa Ciampi and Ben Hansen
October 02, 2019

Head through a 1920s-style fridge door and wind down a spiral staircase in order to find Manly's most secretive bar, an underground drink den named The Cumberland. It sits below Cove Deli, a fully functional provisions store that provides antipasto and snacks for its hidden counterpart downstairs.

While the novelty of the hidden speakeasy is a big drawcard for The Cumberland, the welcoming atmosphere and top-notch drinks list are what keep people coming back. You'll find more than 250 different whiskies alongside natural wines, craft beers and plenty of cocktails.

The cocktail list is split into themes such as Foraged and Found, Pre-Temperance Movement Favourites and 19th-Century County Tipples. Under these headings, expect to find classics like the sazerac ($21) and French 75 ($19), alongside specialties like the dandelion espresso martini ($20), the Wild Fennel Calling ($21) which uses locally foraged fennel, and a smoking whisky number simply called the Cumberland ($25).

For eats, antipasto boards ($30–40) packed with cheeses and cured meats are delivered downstairs via a vintage dumbwaiter. A second kitchen within the Cumberland serves up tapas-style snacks such as Sydney rock oysters ($30 for six), pork and fennel meatballs ($22), mussels escabeche ($25) and even caviar ($50 for 10 grams).

In the 75-seat bar, expect ornate and vintage furnishings, upcycled timber and marble bench tops. A leather banquette also wraps around the space. Upstairs, Cove Deli features a white-washed teal facade, penny tiles and a 1920s meat slicer.

The Cumberland is one of our favourite spots for a drink. So much so that it features in our list of the 20 best bars Sydney has to offer. Browse the full list for all of the city's top watering holes.

Images: Dan Gosse.

Updated Tuesday, March 21 2023.

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