The Lord Dudley Hotel is a slice of Old Blighty, a mock Tudor-like building complete with a creeping vine-covered exterior and on lower ground, a resident British Bulldog, Bruce. Situated on Jersey Road, on the corner of a dead end street that leads to the Paddo Bowling Club and the rainforest bowels that rim Trumper Park. Locally known as The Dudders, it is certainly a village drinking hole, located away from the high street bustle of Queen Street and the crisp shirt air of the Woollahra Hotel. And that's not to say you won't find plenty of loafers lined up at the bar of the Dudley, but the point is, it's relaxed. It's the home of the quiet pint. The catch-up. Where conversation is key.
Inside, a rabbit warren of adjoining rooms awaits. The maroon carpeted floors sink in all the right places, historied hollows ploughed by a steady stream of drinkers. A circular bar connects the main bar to two smaller service areas, including a separate nook for darts. At the rear a lamp-lit, timber-paneled lounge is furnished with booth-style tables, each with seating for four (or six skinny types). Australian Modern or English Gastro, the bar fare is somewhere in between. A wide range of light snacks are available together with a choice between three or four mains. The menu changes regularly although one is mostly guaranteed a sirloin, a salmon or a pie. As the food comes direct from the Matt Fosker-cheffed kitchen downstairs the meals are well worth the nudging $30 price tag. Recently, the chicken and ham hock pie with crisp pastry top has been a winner together with the tender sirloin served with peppercorn butter and fries. It's quality food without the fuss and perfect for a hearty Sunday night meal.
With a great selection of Australian wines the picks are the Cork Cutters Pinot Grigio ($9 glass) or the Glenfion Shiraz ($10.50 glass). The wines do easily escalate in price but the house is available at a reasonable $7 per glass. Although, if visiting for the first time, why not step fully onto the moors and order a pint of Guinness ($9.50 pint) or her creamier cousin, Kilkenny ($9.10 pint). During the long pour you might just find yourself leant up against the bar, having a bit of a chat.