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FOOD & DRINK

The Best (and Cosiest) Bars and Pubs with Fireplaces in Sydney

Warm up over fireside beers, whisky cocktails and gravy-covered roasts.
By Concrete Playground
June 08, 2020
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The Best (and Cosiest) Bars and Pubs with Fireplaces in Sydney

Warm up over fireside beers, whisky cocktails and gravy-covered roasts.
By Concrete Playground
June 08, 2020
  shares

THE BEST (AND COSIEST) BARS AND PUBS WITH FIREPLACES IN SYDNEY

Warm up over fireside beers, whisky cocktails and gravy-covered roasts.

As the chill of winter settles in, it's easy to see your enthusiasm for a night on the town being replaced by a deep craving to don your long dachshund-print pyjamas and settle in for a dry and drama-less night watching Netflix (even after two solid months of doing just that).

But there's one thing we know that's worth braving the cold for, and that's cosy beers at one of Sydney's fireplace-equipped pubs and bars. It's your chance to feel like Hemingway with an alcoholic beverage in one hand as you relax in a room filled with that incredible open fire. Here are some of the best.

  • 8

    Located underneath the delightful fine diner Fred’s, Charlie Parker’s is the perfect place to hide away on a cold and wet Sydney evening. Down here it is dim, cosy and, most importantly, warm due to the fire that’s usually burning in the front section of the basement bar. Grab a spot on one of the lounges in front of it — however, if they’re taken, a seat at the bar is still a nice option. You don’t need to be dining at the restaurant, either — in fact, you can just eat down here. Bar snacks include three-cheese kimchi toasties, fried cauliflower with chimichurri and Italian-style sourdough with toasted sourdough.

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  • 7

    In 2019, the 157-year-old Australian Youth Hotel became The Glebe Hotel. It scored a new British pub menu, a lush courtyard and a luxe private space. But, thankfully, it’s retained its fireplaces — both in the public bar and its new-look restaurant, The Stables Bar & Grill. The public bar allows you to get comfy on the chesterfield sofas with a glass of red wine, while the restaurant — fit out with exposed brick walls, cream timber tables and vintage tiling, plus a featured jacaranda mural by Sydney artist Indigo Jo — means you can keep warm while tucking into UK-style pub eats, such as beef and Guinness pie, house-made pumpkin gnocchi and roast pork belly.

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  • 6

    A bootery, a boarding house and an opium den. These are just a few of the past lives of 77–79 George Street, but The Doss House is the latest moniker for this heritage-listed building — and this time round, it’s all about on whisky. The basement bar boasts five distinct spaces that each pay homage to a past tenant. The exposed sandstone walls and renewed original fireplaces are paired with brass fittings, antique mirrors, luxurious orange velvet banquettes and an antique chesterfield sofa. This winter, you can get cocktails such as the Smoking Monk (Laphroaig Triple Wood, Green Chartreuse and absinthe rinse) and a truffle old fashioned (Glenmorangie 10 and truffle oil).

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  • 5

    Named after the fellow who would go on to become King William IV, The Duke of Clarence is a particularly ambitious venture — it’s an 1800s-style British tavern, somewhere Charles Dickens might have penned Great Expectations over a couple of ales and a pork pie. It’s also the perfect place to escape to during the winter months — order one of the 500 spirits off the menu (and, if you head in on Sunday, the super-popular roast) and settle down in front of the fireplace. Stay there long enough and you may be inspired to write a novel of your own.

    Image: Kitti Gould.

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  • 4

    Boasting the warmth and history of an old English pub — all dark woods and shadowy corners — The Lord Dudley is a perfect place to hide away this winter. A mock Tudor building complete with a creeping vine-covered exterior, it has a rabbit warren of adjoining rooms awaiting you inside. The carpeted floors sink in all the right places due to the storied halls being ploughed by a steady stream of drinkers who come seeking solace and warmth. You’ll find the roaring fireplace in the lamp-lit, timber-panelled rear lounge, which is furnished with booth-style tables and doubles as the games corner. You can gather some mates around and while away a winter night with a competitive game of Scrabble or the ever heart-quickening Connect Four.

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  • 3

    A reliable local, the Crix has all the comfort and familiarity you need for a cosy winter’s night. It’s a beautiful old pub, boasting wooden floors and wall tiles, a laidback atmosphere and plenty of character behind the bar. In winter, a fireplace is always lit and surrounded by cosy lounges. Basically, any night of the week is good here. At the moment it’s only open from Thursday–Sunday, but usually (and hopefully again soon) it’s filled with music bingo on Tuesdays, live jazz on Wednesdays, free pool on Thursdays and DJs on weekends.

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  • 2

    The easily missed and almost unmarked Gothic doors on Falcon Street hide a darkened entryway to one of the city’s most exciting hidden playgrounds. Forsake the lovely indoor courtyard for the season and head to the carpeted living room round the fire for a chance to feel the comforts of home with the addition of a luxurious drinks menu. Alongside a solid craft beer selection, there is a creative selection of cocktails including a Not Toddy (bourbon, lemon myrtle and leatherwood honey) and Blackbeard (Starward, blackberry jam and amaro).

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  • 1

    As Sydney’s oldest pub (if we disqualify The Fortune of War for being demolished and rebuilt), this Australian monument is a great place to stare into the flames with a beer in hand and contemplate a long history of Australians taking shelter from the cold. With exceptional views straight across the harbour to watch for oncoming storms, naval prints on the walls and a warm atmosphere, it’s the perfect old English-style pub in which to find sanctuary. The beer selection is particularly special, with six beers brewed on site. We suggest pairing a Victory Bitter (a classic English ale with a touch of caramel) and a beef pie with mushie peas and gravy for maximum winter comfort.

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Top image: Doss House

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