hens party ideas

Naughty Hens Night & Day Party Ideas in Sydney

Are you wanting to put together a hilariously cheeky night out but don't know where to start?

The team at Vogue Ballroom have put together our top tips for Naughty Hens Party Ideas in Sydney.

Magic Men Australia

1300 624 426 - www.magicmen.com.au/
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Without a doubt, you can’t have a memorable hens party without the following ingredients: laughter, drinks, male entertainment and heaps of photos to remind you the next day what a crazy fun night you had with your bestie. So with that in mind, Magic Men Australia has put together the perfect package that will check all your boxes and more.
With an all inclusive dinner and show, drinks and show and limo transfer and show packages you know you’ve planning this party for the group cannot be easier.

Barenights

Hen’s night and party packages Sydney

You might be planning to arrange some surprised hen parties for your friends who decided to get married in Sydney. This is one very exciting thing to do actually. Even when you take the surprise element apart and then take the soon-to-be bride in your confidence then planning hen parties will still be big fun.

Hens Night / Birthday Special package.

The hens night / Birthday special is our most popular package for our live stage show. Very easy to organise and has everything you need to make sure this hens/birthday is full of action and one hell of a night to remember!

Starting from $95pp minimum of 5 guests:

What’s included:

> Silver seating tickets to our Live stage show

> 3-hour beverage package from 6:30pm. (drinks included are basic spirits, wine, champagne and soft drink).

> Topless waiters serving drinks

> Hot finger food served by our hunky topless waiters

> Free entry to the after party

> Stage appearance for the special guest on the night

If you are wanting that little bit more, we have additions to add to the package. (Optional)

> Private strip for your party only. ($250 set price for the whole group). Check out the stripper here

Upgrade your seating to get that little bit closer to the action. Gold = $15 extra and Platinum = $35 extra

male strippers for hens party

Hen’s night and party packages Sydney

You might be planning to arrange some surprised hen parties for your friends who decided to get married in Sydney. This is one very exciting thing to do actually. Even when you take the surprise element apart and then take the soon-to-be bride in your confidence then planning hen parties will still be big fun.

Hens Night / Birthday Special package.

The hens night / Birthday special is our most popular package for our live stage show. Very easy to organise and has everything you need to make sure this hens/birthday is full of action and one hell of a night to remember!

Starting from $95pp minimum of 5 guests:

What’s included:

> Silver seating tickets to our Live stage show

> 3-hour beverage package from 6:30pm. (drinks included are basic spirits, wine, champagne and soft drink).

> Topless waiters serving drinks

> Hot finger food served by our hunky topless waiters

> Free entry to the after party

> Stage appearance for the special guest on the night

If you are wanting that little bit more, we have additions to add to the package. (Optional)

> Private strip for your party only. ($250 set price for the whole group). Check out the stripper here

> Upgrade your seating to get that little bit closer to the action. Gold = $15 extra and Platinum = $35 extra

Dominatrix Lessons

She's getting wed soon, so you may too send her off with a couple of useful suggestions for the bed room! Dominatrix Lessons make sure to get your bride-to-be's heart racing and cheeks flushing.

Go Hen

https://www.gohen.com/activities/dominatrix-lesson.asp

Will the hens truly unleash their inner goddesses or will 50 Shades of Grey give way to 50 shrieks of laughter?

Damiens Party Entertainment

https://www.damiensparty.com.au/

Get ready to take out those whips and cuffs ladies. If you and your girls loved 50 Shades of Grey, then you will surely enjoy and relish this unique activity. Learn the ‘basics’ of BDSM from your instructor. Your instructor, along with a ‘slave’ will show you a spanking good time. Learn the art of role playing, spanking, whipping, and restraints in this session.

Party Boat

Nothing beats getting out on the water, with beautiful views and celebrating your Sydney Hens Party in style on your really own private boat charter! 

Rock Fish

https://www.rockfish.com.au/

Attention all lucky Bridesmaids! Are you in charge of the big Hens Day for your special Bride to Be? Look no further than Rockfish Catamaran Charters. Jump onboard Rockfish and meet our super friendly crew. We will let you know about the boat and head out to check out the awesome views of Sydney Harbour to make sure you get the perfect pic for your Instagram! Our catamarans are perfect for private Hens Parties; featuring spacious cabin areas and fore-decks to fit up to 20-30 people. This is perfect for any fun games you may have planned for the day!

If you would like to add a little entertainment to your party we can organise a your very own Topless Waiter to serve drinks and gives the girls a bit of eye candy 😉  Make sure to lock in your Hens Party with Rockfish and make it a cruise to remember!

5 Star Cruises

https://www.5starcruises.com.au/hens-cruise-sydney/

You’ve been tasked by your best friend to organise the perfect hens party to send her off in to married life with a bang! It’s a true honour, and we know you’re more than up to the task – it’s why you’re here, after all!

There’s no better way to celebrate your Miss becoming a Mrs than onboard one of our incredible party boats.

Exclusively yours for the duration of your cruise, you and your best girls can take to the ocean and admire the iconic Sydney harbour views and the beautiful surrounding bays and beaches.

All you need to do is pick one of our perfect packages (all of which can be customised for a hens party cruise as unique as the bride herself), grab your girls, your bikinis, and your playlist and hop on board; we’ll do the rest!

From round-trip transport, to food and drink, and even where to continue the party afterwards, let us take care of the finer details whilst you relax with a glass of bubbly and focus on snapping that picture-perfect instagram pic with your ladies.

Looking for inspiration and ideas for your Sydney hens party? Look no further. Our team have over twenty years’ experience in the entertainment industry; what we don’t know about organising the best hen party ever, isn’t worth knowing.

Below, you’ll find our most popular hens party cruise packages. Each package can be enjoyed as-is, or customised to suit the needs and wants of the bride-to-be and the bride squad.

Sydney Harbour Escapes

https://www.sydneyharbourescapes.com.au/

Choosing to charter a boat for a Hen's Cruise is a great idea. Sydney Harbour provides the best backdrop for a day of fun and relaxation with the girls.

Small groups up to 20 girls. Enjoy a relaxed day on Sydney Harbour aboard a catamaran, sailing yacht or power cruiser. A catamaran such a s our Seawind selection.

Vegabond

https://www.vagabond.com.au/

Cruise Sydney Harbour & enjoy a delicious meal, beverages and party DJ aboard a private boat! 

Our dedicated events team aims to make your hen's party memorable for all the right reasons - Choose your package and vessel and settle in for a great experience on Sydney Habour. We are equipped with great ideas to host events of all styles and offer a tailored service taking into account your individual requirements and budget to fully realise a successful hen's party!

My Ultimate Hens - Sparkling Hens Sydney Harbour Cruise

https://www.myultimatehens.com.au/

Picture this - You and the girls getting together in the heart of dazzling Sydney to celebrate in true style, as only hens parties can – Combine a 4 hour sensational nightlights Sydney Harbour cruise, a delicious 3 course buffet meal, party DJ, live entertainment, huge dance floor and free flowing bubbly – seriously, what’s not to love! Get Ultimate Hens Night Cruising with your best girls on the glittering waters of Sydney – a city that was made for hens partying!

Treat your hen to a once in a life time Sydney Harbour experience...the excitement begins as you meet your girls just in time to board your boat for the evening! The captain will greet your guests and our fabulous wait staff will show your hens party group to your exclusively reserved table. The cruise sets off and you and your girls will be clinking champers glasses across the table in no time! Keep those bubbles coming - your all inclusive hens party beverage package includes free flowing red, white and sparkling wine, beer and soft drink, so revel in the fact your bubbly won't stop flowing for the next 4 hours! It's an Ultimate Hens Night Cruise on Sydney Harbour with a beverage package to set the mood! Not to mention the awesome tunes, and wicked entertainment on board!

As you cruise past the stunning Opera House and under the bridge...your scrumptious dinner is served! This delicious 3 course buffet meal is a hens gem! Dine in true Sydney style as you start with freshly cut vegetables crudités with traditional guacamole dip and tortilla chips with zesty Mexican style herb & tomato salsa. Next up is mains served buffet style, think chef’s selection with the likes of Spanish herbed roast beef carved hot at the buffet with jus and mustards, tender chicken thigh pieces roasted in fragrant Moroccan herbs and spices, crispy oriental stir fry vegetables with garlic and oyster sauce, creamy penne with mushrooms and a burst of fresh Italian herbs, scrumptious baby potatoes roasted in virgin olive oil oregano and rock salt together with a range of delish salads and crusty Italian dinner rolls! Naturally there are vegetarian options available as well and dietary requirements are happily catered for! Your dessert of assorted cakes and platter of freshly sliced seasonal fruits will go down a treat with your sparkling! Delish food for your stunning Sydney Hens night!

By this stage the dance floor is really pumping – there may even be a cheeky Macarena in there somewhere to really get you in the party girl mood – and keep your eyes out for the live entertainment and salsa dancers to really get the fun hens vibes started! In between dancing and celebrating, take the time to head up to the back deck, for a stunning photo of you and all your girls, wind in your hair, wine in your hand - clink clink! Take in the stunning lights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and make the most of it -  you are living the hens night dream!

Help yourself to another glass of vino, and get your girls together for some much needed dance floor time! The Hens are in the house! Your ultimate hens night of nights includes live entertainment, beautiful views and a huge dance floor! This special hens night cruise truly does add such a sense of occasion to your besties final fling before the ring!

Harbourside Cruises

https://harboursidecruises.com.au/

Looking for a glamorous Hen’s night full of fun and laughter? Then hop aboard the Harbour Spirit for a fabulous 3 hour cruise, with party DJ, free flowing drinks, and high quality buffet all included!

A Sydney Harbour Hen’s night cruise is the perfect night for a hen and her ladies! There is something for everyone to enjoy; a glass of bubbles, delicious buffet with decadent desserts, and a party DJ to get you and the girls up dancing and singing! Our experienced crew will welcome you aboard and ensure that your night is a memorable one, from the time you step aboard, to the time to disembark. The whole evening has everything you need included, so there is no bar tab to manage, or counting out cash and splitting bills at the end of the evening.

Of course a cruise on the harbour is made all the more special with the stunning backdrop of Sydney’s most well known sights and attractions. In between toasts to the hen, you can hop outside to the viewing deck and take some Instagram worthy group shots of you and the girls. The hen will have wonderful photographs of the evening and the whole group will take home memories! Sailing past the Opera House, cruising right underneath the harbour bridge, taking a Sex and the City style shot with the city skyline as your backdrop, not to mention the twinkling fairy lights and iconic smile of Luna Park. It all adds up to a classy, fulfilled Hen’s night cruise!

Once dessert is finished and your glass is topped up, there is only one thing to do. Dance! Hit the dance floor and let loose to your favourite hits, or sit in our comfortable seats and tap your feet while sipping on some bubbles, wines, or our range of soft drinks.

What better way to celebrate this special Sydney hen’s night than with your best friends on a party cruise on the harbour? A Harbourside Sydney hen’s party cruise is where you need to be for good times, great memories, and a hen’s night to remember!

Reserve your table on the Harbour Spirit now by calling our Harbourside Cruises booking team who are waiting to make your Hen night cruise fun!

Sydney Harbour Party Cruises

https://www.sydneyprincesscruises.com.au/

Over the years, our clients have made some pretty wild requests when it came to entertainment, music, food and even themes and we rarely deny them.

You desire the best and we strive to give it to you, nothing more and nothing less. That’s why you only have to pay for what you want. Every hens party we arrange can be tailored to your desires, specification and requests. Whether you want it to be simple or you want to enjoy the biggest hens party Sydney Harbour has ever seen, we can create a package that’s perfect for you.

Champagne Sailing

https://champagnesailing.com.au/

Ladies, listen up! Your friend is getting married soon, and you know what that means. She deserves an amazing hens party cruise!

At Champagne Sailing, we often ask ourselves this: why should boys have all the fun? Everyone knows buck’s parties are notoriously wild, while girls often prefer a chill time going to a few bars and playing some games.

Well, not anymore. With Champagne Sailing’s private hens’ party cruises in Sydney, your friend’s last party as a single woman will be the envy of all, including a couple of the groomsmen! We offer some pretty amazing packages that will guarantee a fantastic day out for the girls.

So, want a night to remember? Then give Champagne Sailing a call today and book yourselves an exclusive hens cruise party.

Brides have a tonne of things to get sorted for their wedding, so organising a hens party for them which is all inclusive can make life so much easier. She’ll be expecting something spectacular, and the best way you can make sure the bride is happy is to take advantage of the great planning services we at Champagne Sailing have to offer.

We understand just how important the hen do is for the bride, and we are totally dedicated to putting out a fantastic event everyone will talk about for years to come.

And, If you think a cruise for a private hens party is too out there, rest assured. It’s not. It’s actually loads of fun, and more likely to make this important occasion out memorable. And with our services, it’ll also be a night of pampering and luxury.

Here’s what we have to offer:

  • A professionally organized event on one of our luxury catamarans, perfect for up to 43 guests;
  • A creative staff ready to transform the party into something legendary;
  • Affordable packages for every budget;
  • Party DJs prepared to make sure the night’s soundtrack is on point;
  • Topless waiters at your service. They’re professional and very friendly to look at;
  • Catered or self-catered party options, depending on what you want.

Good Time Harbour Cruises

https://www.goodtimeharbourcruises.com.au/

Et’s often tough trying to find a concept for a hen’s night that’s different to the usual barhopping. Want a hen’s night with a bit of style and sophistication? Why not consider our hen’s night cruises in Sydney?

We offer fantastic packages that will guarantee a great night out for the girls. We look forward to tailoring a cruise within your budget which can be as simple and stunning as a 3 hour cruise on Sydney Harbour with drinks from our fully stocked bar to an all-inclusive food, drink & special entertainment package to celebrate your hen’s party.We will tailor the layout to suit your function. Our vessel is a purpose built Harbour Cruise Boat which seats up to 300 people comfortably across the lower and upper deck, and can be re-arranged once dining has completed with dance floor and upper deck area. Play your own music on our professional DJ equipment or we can organise a DJ on your request.

Hens’s party cruises in Sydney Harbour are always a girls night out to remember. Private exclusive charters are our only option. Everything you need is included with our standard package. 

Hens Party Cruise

https://www.sydneypearlcruises.com.au/

Sydney Pearl Cruises have a variety of Hens Night Party Harbour Cruise packages to create an all-inclusive hens night harbour cruise for you and the girls.

We can tailor a package to suit any budget from our combined functions for the smaller groups to larger groups on a private function.

If you have 60 guests or more you can charter The Sydney Pearl for your very own exclusive hens party cruise function and have the boat to yourself with the girls.

If you have less than 60 guests, we can cater for you as we have combined functions to help smaller groups still get out and party on the Harbour.

We will help you to organise and plan the night from boarding to dining and entertaining the girls with Disco, Dancing, plenty of drinks, great food and of course, live performers or party theme options if required.

And you only need 60 guests or more to have exclusive and private use of the vessel.

East Coast Sailing

https://eastcoastsailing.com.au/

Make that hens party really special by celebrating on Sydney Harbour. We have a range of Hens Party Boat Hire selections for small events, to large party functions for 50+ guests. Eastcoast Sailing has lovely sailing yachts, luxury motor cruisers, and the ever popular catamarans (for extra stability.) Our events manager will personalize your event to ensure your girls day is unforgettable.

Hens Party Harbour Cruise Options

  • Evening party : Some guests prefer an evening cruise Hens party, with drinks, nibblies, dancing, and music. Eastcoast Sailing can arrange the music and sound system, including DJ and other entertainment. We can even arrange some hunky male wait staff. Our friendly crew and staff will have the drinks flowing, and the party flying.
  • A daytime Sydney Harbour tour or yacht sailing cruise is a popular hens event. We can take you to a beautiful sandy harbour beach, where we can drop anchor, have a swim, and get some sun tanning happening as you laze on the decks. A sumptuous catered lunch and some chilled champagne is a fine way to celebrate the hens.
  • For Formal hens occasions, we have a range of elegant luxury hire boats, that will provide a truly memorable evening. These stunning vessels come with full galley kitchen and private chef, and well as personalized wait staff.

Silver Spirit

http://silverspiritsydney.com.au/

High Tea Hens Party Cruise

Looking for a boutique venue, something with an edge to host a hens party cruise? Silver Spirit’s elegance and vintage charm feel are sure to bewitch even the most disconcerting guest. We’ve created special hen’s party cruise packages, designed to make organising your event a breeze.

High tea food and champagne are included, whether you choose to organise games or just enjoy being onboard your own private cruise, the choice is yours.

Our hens' party cruise packages include the use of our photobooth and karaoke. We have the equipment to display slideshows/videos and iPod connections.

When booking a hen’s party cruise onboard Silver Spirit, you will have your own event co-ordinator before, during and after to ensure your whole experience is perfect. We are here to make your cruise simple and easy to organise, make the most of it!

All private cruises onboard Silver Spirit are tailored to you. If you want to add decorations, flowers, cakes etc let us know and we can organise it all for you. With our years of experience, we know what looks great and how to make the cruise run smoothly. Your role is to enjoy the cruise!

Rhythm Boat

https://www.rhythmboat.com.au/

The “Hens Party” is a classic Australian pre-wedding ritual/custom traditionally billed as the one last outing or party as a single woman for the bride-to-be. There are literally 100’s of suitable hens party venues in Sydney but only ONE of those venues guarantees a billion dollar backdrop and your own private space with NO gatecrashers.

A Sydney Harbour Hens Cruise aboard the Rhythmboat allows you to plan the perfect hens party with your choice of food, entertainment, budget and activities. At Rhythmboat we even have our own party planners with many years of experience to help you plan the perfect hens party.

Spirit Fleet

https://www.spiritfleet.com/

We have created hens party cruise packages to make organising your time on Sydney harbour a breeze.

Bring the girls together and celebrate the bride to be’s special day on with a private Sydney harbour boat charter. Onboard your own boat cruise, it is just you and your party. Choose from one of our hens party cruise packages to enjoy your cruise the way you want. Push the boat out and be the favourite hen ever and organise a Sydney harbour hens party cruise with Spirit Fleet…

Embark Boat Hire

https://www.embarkboathire.com.au/occasions/party-boat-hire/hens-cruise-sydney/

When it comes to a hens party cruise in Sydney harbour, there are few locations better suited to the occasion than the waters around Sydney harbour. So if you are decided to get married or you’re arranging things on behalf of someone who has. Then you’ll likely want to commemorate the end of those years of single life.

With stunning views, beautiful weather all year round and privacy, you can’t find anywhere else. Our luxury boat charters are the perfect way to mark the occasion in an unforgettable style.

Do A Hens Party Cruise With UCruise Sydney

https://www.ucruisesydney.com.au/cruise-partners/?boat=the-floating-lounge

If you are looking to host a hen’s party on Cruise, consider hiring their ‘The Floating Lounge’ pontoon boat. With a capacity of 12 guests, it is one of the best choices to experience all the benefits of a luxurious lounge on the water and a favourite for hens parties. The Floating Lounge is super stable and will cruise right up on the beaches due to its low clearance; fancy a brief stop off at Watson’s Bay?

The facilities on board include fridge, Esky, BBQ and a sound system with speakers all around. There is also easy water access off the boat should you all want to cool off and have a dip.

Real Escapes Sydney Hens 4 Hour Private BYO Boat Charter

https://gorealescapes.com/product/sydney-hens-party-4-hour-private-byo-boat-charter/

This is the ultimate Sydney Hens party celebration out on the water, this is what Sydney is all about! Cruise around for 4 hours on your own private Catamaran to places of your choice or leave it up to the skipper. You can bring your own food and drinks, there are eskies provided on board, there is also a BBQ that someone will cook for you and the girls if you bring the food along! Laze around on the large deck area, catch a tan or dance the day/night away. Includes a sound system, indoor and outdoor entertaining areas, undercover seated areas, toilet, kitchen area and kitchen items, large fridge and swim ladder so you can jump in for a swim!

Sydney Hens

https://www.sydneyhen.com.au/party-cruise/

Cruise Sydney Harbour in style on your very own private party cruise! Your hen’s night is all about letting your hair down. Let go of your inhibitions, spoil yourself and enjoy the company of your closest friends. Here at Sydney Hen, we are committed to ensuring your special night is memorable for all the right reasons. We know how to throw a celebration befitting of a hen’s night, without compromising class and style – let our Sydney Harbour party cruises add the perfect blend of sophistication, fun and excitement to your Hens night.

Hens Party Cruises

https://henspartycruisesydney.com.au/

Tasked with organising a Sydney hens party cruise? Keep it simple with our hens party packages. Enjoy private boat hire; it is just you and your friends onboard your own luxury yacht. Soak in the sun, sea and sophistication with our hens party cruises. Our cruises are designed to be smooth sailing. They are simple to organise, with a choice of all inclusive packages where everything is included or BYO boat hire. Our cruises are enjoyed by everyone and all ages. Our hand picked selection of boats ensures your group enjoy a private hens party cruise like no other. We only work with the best, meaning you do to.

 

Bar Hopping

The cosy and familiar appeal of the store bar has been permanently immortalised in tunes, motion pictures and obviously television classics like Cheers. 

PS40

http://www.ps-soda.com/

These fearless innovators have shifted the way we think about drinking – and Sydney is all the better for it

In the middle of 2019, PS40 co-owners Michael Chiem and Thor Bergquist nixed their cocktail list and formulated an entirely new menu inspired by their favourite festivals around the world. They even gave that menu a name: Festivus. If that sounds a little silly to you, remember that no bar commits to reinvention with more conviction than PS40, and that any idea or theme is just an excuse to let these gifted imaginations run totally free.

Thanksgiving isn’t even a festival, it’s a holiday. It’s also what they’ve called their delicious riff on a Rye Whisky Sour, spiked with sweet potato and sage, because why the hell not? Hanami, named after Japan’s cherry blossom festival, takes a slightly more literal approach by drawing deep red colour and ripe perfume from clarified beetroot juice before layering it with dark rum, vermouth and orange bitters. It’s a winner.

The ride only gets wilder from there. Order the Harvest, and you’ll get a pearly solution of fermented rice served in a metal pan with a chunk of honeycomb, aromatised with peaches and Manzanilla sherry so it takes on the distinct dairy-sweet tang of a cloudy sake. A similarly dizzying degree of complexity unravels in a Lunar New Year, where red beans and pandan leaf lead whisky and Cognac down a path of nutty twists and turns.

Creativity has been the watchword here since they switched on the lights in 2016, but that’s always had as much to do with the soft drinks as the hard ones. This also happens to be a soda factory we’re talking about, and as non-alcoholic alternatives become a bigger part of the conversation, it’s important to remember that PS40’s been moving the needle from day one. The $15 soda flight that lets you sample each one of the housemade creations is one of the most exciting ways to exercise your palate in town. 

For these guys, waking up in the morning is another opportunity to continue redefining our perception of what a drink can be – and you don’t even need to be seated at the bar to appreciate their efforts. Walk into Newtown’s P&V Merchants and you’ll find the aquavit they made in partnership with South Australia’s Never Never Distilling Co for sale on the shelf. Sit down to lunch at Single O in Surry Hills and order a bottle of Smoked Lemonade (made with the help of the mammoth smoker at LP’s Quality Meats) to go with your sanga. Heck, you can even pull up a pew at Old Mate’s Place to see what those clever cocktail specialists do with the sodas, which is a tick of approval if ever there was one.

In a mere three years, PS40 has managed to leave an indelible stamp on this city’s drinking scene. So much so, in fact, that demand has outweighed supply and forced them to move soda production off-site. That leaves a lot of space for new ideas to take flight on Skittle Lane – and enough room for Time Out’s 2020 Bar of the Year trophy, too.

Double Deuce Lounge

https://www.facebook.com/Double-Deuce-Lounge-266128031007962

The ‘porno chic’ sophomore effort from the Ramblin’ Rascals is a standard-bearer in the Sydney bar scene. A cocktail joint named after a dive bar in a cult Patrick Swayze flick with a ’70s aesthetic inspired by the Golden Age of Porn. It sounds like a cockeyed concept that, in most hands, would go terribly, painfully, catastrophically awry. But “Cosmo” Soto, Dardan Shervashidze and Charlie Lehmann are not most hands – they’re Baxter Inn alumni, the rabble-rousers who glorified “shit tins” and shirtless overalls at the Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern and two-time winners of the Time Out Bar Award for Best Bar Team. These are the right guys for the job.

Things are thoroughly cheeky at their second venture, down in a booze-stocked, retro-panelled bunker straight from Boogie Nights, with a soundtrack to match. The crew, too, look every bit the part – rocking bowling shirts, booty shorts, tennis socks and slick quiffs, all too eager to hand you a VHS case with a risqué cover that turns out to be the drinks menu. Elsewhere you might find yourself flipping through pages of punny names, garish descriptions and outlandish illustrations before landing on something you’d consider knocking back, but not here.

There are just ten cocktails on the tariff, all $20, and much like the vibe, they’re designed with no-nonsense good times in mind. Lean into the theme with a thoughtfully updated Cosmopolitan, punched up with pomegranate, apricot and rosella for extra pucker. Or perhaps kick things off with a BabyCham, a fizzy number modelled after the daggy sparkling perry of the same name, bolstered by Calvados and Manzanilla sherry. A couple into the wind and you, too, will be shimmying and spelling out ‘respect’ letter by letter in tune with Aretha.

Fun is the key ingredient, without a doubt, but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost sight of the fundamentals that make a good bar great: a sprightly greeting, comfy booths, even comfier stools (with cushioned backs!) and sharp-witted service that’s equally watchful. It’s an A-team-only affair, regardless of whether it’s a quiet Monday after-work knockoff or a slammer of a Saturday night, and your request for anything off the list will be met with nothing but vim and vigour.

Striking the balance between a serious cocktail bar and a bar serving serious cocktails that doesn’t take itself too seriously is no mean feat, but that’s Double Deuce Lounge in a nutshell. And that’s exactly why it’s taking home the gong for Best Cocktail Bar in 2020.

Bulletin Place

http://www.bulletinplace.com/

If you’re going to drink cocktails in this town, this is where you do it

Consistency doesn’t sound sexy – it’s not the descriptor designed to get you a super like. But when you change your cocktail list more often than people change their sheets, a guarantee that those five drinks are going to be creative, delicious, exciting, and worth every last dollar is starting to sound very attractive, isn’t it?

That’s why people still love Bulletin Place. This 45-person capacity bar hidden down near the harbour has proved without a shadow of a doubt that time does not have to erode the quality or consistency of your product. If anything, the team here are going harder than ever. Not quite imbibing the way you used to? They’re making their own kombucha in-house and their mango edition is a punked-up soft drink that manages to be equal parts complex and tropical fun. 

Can a drink be both fruity and dry? It can if it’s the Roses are Red, combining the gentle astringency of blood plums, hibiscus and Campari with fruit-infused wines. Upstairs they get up to all sorts of fermenting wizardry when not behind the bar, like making their own wine out of pears and camomile. They’re also mixing fresh peaches in with riesling and skin-contact whites to create something extra fresh and juicy. Add a glug of gin and a spritz of fennel flower, and you’ve got a summer garden party riff on a Negroni.

Bourbon, blackberry and sherry, shaken and served up, digs deep for the kind of rich, Southern velvetiness that you’d expect on a Mississippi steamliner. We don’t drink a dud all night – in all honesty, we never have here.

Being an early adopter can be challenging. Back in 2013 Bulletin Place was a lonely island of undiluted cocktail excellence in the north of the CBD. Fast forward six years and the likes of Bistecca, Doss House, Maybe Sammy, and the Mary’s and Ramblin’ Rascals crews have joined the party down near Circular Quay. But Bulletin still holds our number-one dance card for cocktail creativity in Sydney.

The Baxter Inn

http://thebaxterinn.com/

Sydney loves this underground whisky cellar as fiercely now as the day it opened,

When Shady Pines Saloon opened in 2010, we thought we’d met the bar we wanted to spend the rest of our lives in. Then we met its little brother, the Baxter Inn, and there was a serious challenger for our eternal affections. Of course, we weren’t the only ones enamoured with the backlit wall of whisky, accessible only by scrolling library ladders or by having your well-coiffed bartender climb along the counters like some sort of arborial gentleman. The lines of admirers stretched from outside the tatty door in an old loading dock in the city and almost back out onto Clarence Street.

This is the kind of whisky collection that would make a strong man weak at the knees. The menu board starts at the ceiling and the three-column list eventually sneaks down under the counter and out of sight. Every Islay, Speyside, Highlands, Lowlands and Campbelltown distillery you can’t pronounce – and the small collection you’re confident with – is there, including rare bottlings and unusual releases. What room is left goes to Japanese and Australian spirits, and blends. The liquid assets in this bar could probably buy you property in Sydney.

It’s easy to go amber blind in here and forget that you are sitting in front of some of the best bartenders in the city – but not ordering a cocktail is a squandered opportunity. They have confidence and swagger behind the bar, but it’s been hard earned. They’ve mastered the classics for people who know what they like (Old Pals and Trinidad Sours all round!), but they also have a knack for finding the right match for an indecisive palate. And it doesn’t have to be whisky – a Tommy’s Margarita is always a good idea.

Just because it’s the classy upstart to the hard-wearing Shady Pines and heavy-rock loving Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice, doesn’t mean the Baxter Inn has ideas above its station. It holds true to the ‘no bookings, no functions, no door list – everyone welcome’ policy in place across all Swillhouse venues. The Baxter Inn is for great booze, mad skills and big nights, and Sydney is for Baxter Inn. Always.

Old Mate’s Place

https://www.oldmates.sydney/

This old mate is our new favourite thanks to the complete package: drinks, service, style and a rooftop

One hundred and two steps. Rooftop bars are not for the faint of quad. But all that thigh-burning just primes you for the reveal: swing open the door at the top and there you are, in a lushly planted oasis in the Sydney skyline. A smiling bartender hands you a VB throwdown while you flip through the menu. A bowtie is slung around their neck unknotted, Rat Pack-style. It might only be a quarter past six down on street level, but up here, it’s always time to take it easy. 

Flip through the list: there’s smarts enough behind the smiles to handle whatever classics you might fancy. And where bars on rooftops in other parts of the world might call to mind sun-bleached bottles of Bombora and lychee liqueur, the back bar at Old Mate’s is quite a different matter – the arrangement of malts, Caribbean rums and fine tequilas is nearly as luxuriant as what’s in the planter boxes. Don’t let the VB palate-cleanser fool you: while this is a place where a person can drink a beer in peace (or indeed a glass of wine), Old Mate is all about the cocktails. 

Dre Walters (an alumnus of Kittyhawk and Lobo Plantation) and Daniel “Noble” Noble (a friendly face to anyone who has clocked flying hours at Ramblin’ Rascal) have put together a list that marches to the beat of its own drummer, throwing curveballs of toasted poppyseed (the Predecessor), pistachio (the Pistacia) and dehydrated basil (the Retox). They roast peaches to enliven the gin Sour they call Corky’s Lady Killer #2, and do a Strawberry Bloody Maria (tasting note: “tastes exactly as it sounds”). 

The Melody, a long tall glass of sake, gin, watermelon, fino sherry and lemon is the answer to the question “what would happen if we just poured everything that’s super-refreshing over ice?” The Fog Tai, meanwhile, joins the hitherto discrete worlds of the Mai Tai and the Fog Cutter in a potent tumbler of rum, Cognac, Laphroaig and whoa-nelly.

Is that a little chill in the air? Some weather? Maybe the rooftop is at capacity (the open-air bar is many things, but large is not one of them). Time to nip downstairs. Here Old Mate seems to have indulged his love of dark timber, potted palms and knickknacks. The booths are comfortable, and the toilets are proper (note the botanical body wash on the basin, the framed print from Hogarth’s engravings of The Rake’s Progress by the mirror).

Over the bar hangs the menu: short and sweet, it lists a smart edit of meats and cheeses (jamon Iberico, finely sliced hot cantimpalo chorizo, oozy Delice de Bourgogne), and a handful of Philly cheese-steaks – try the classic, a squishy roll stuffed with thin slices of beef, onions and a whole lot of melted cheese.

Old Mate’s Place: it might just be your 102-step stairway to heaven, Sydney. And hey – you can always take the lift.

Earl’s Juke Joint

https://m.facebook.com/earlsjukejoint/

Newtown’s little slice of New Orleans still has us under its spell

Bartending is in many ways the study of party alchemy – mixing drinks to lift you up, cool you out and caress your soul if it’s in need of a little TLC. A well-made Singapore Sling can send your tongue on an exotic getaway, even if the rest of you has to stay right here and pay the bills; a Daiquiri has the power to convince your hips you’ve got the rhythm in you; and an Old Pal can be your best friend after a long day in the salt mines. And there’s nowhere we prefer to pull up a stool and bend the elbow in the Inner West than at the long, sturdy, timber bar at Earl’s Juke Joint.

Before your dreams of playlist domination get out of hand, we should tell you there are no jukeboxes here. But you don’t need one when owner Pasan Wijesena has programmed a specialty mix of ’90s hip hop, swampy rock and blues for your listening pleasure.

The bar team here is one of the best. You’ve got veterans of the trade passing on their skills to a clutch of up-and-comers who’ve earned their stripes over long, hard shifts at one of Newtown’s favourite cocktail haunts. There is no rockstar shift – your drinks are in safe hands on a Tuesday or a Friday.

This is a bar you want to be a regular at – they even have merch so you can declare your allegiance to the world – but be warned if you’re hungry that nuts are all they’ve got. Given you won’t want to relinquish that big table up the back, or the coveted window seat, cocktails can often become dinner here. We’re OK with it. Our livers maybe not so much.

We want to give a gold star to the bar designer – someone put in a lot of time in booze dens before planning the layout, because it all works perfectly – there’s plenty of space for sitting and ordering along the long, dark bar and there’s space to move amongst the tables. We appreciate a little room to booze.

Somehow Earl’s manages to maintain that magic worn-in feel of a Louisiana soul saloon. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s inside a former butcher shop on South King, and they kept the lace curtains and metal grille on the door. Maybe it’s the faces of the famed jazz greats looking down on proceedings under the rusted corrugated iron ceiling. Or maybe it’s just that when you mix talented and friendly staff in a cool bar it creates something magical that you want to be a part of until last drinks are called. It gets us every time.

Cantina Ok

http://www.cantinaok.com.au/

Sydney’s tiniest bar is a micro version of a honky-tonk down in Mexico

At the end of a service alley, a step back from the CBD bustle, gold light spills out onto the asphalt. There’s a scent of lime in the air, the sound of Boston shakers, and somewhere behind it, just a hint of danger. This is Cantina OK, the standing-room-only bar that since February of 2019 has plied Sydney with good, clean, sort-of illicit fun fuelled by mezcal and backed up by one of the sharpest bar teams in the city. Pick a day – any day – and the Cantina will be rocking it, two or three tenders ably servicing the 20 or so drinkers who cram in at any one time from when the roller door opens till close at 2am.

In times where so many venues can stock their backbars with rare and obscure spirits, Cantina makes a niche out mezcal, a spirit for which the phrase ‘rare and obscure’ could have been invented. Cantina OK is owners Alex Dowd and Jeremy Blackmore and group operations manager Alex “Happy” Gilmour’s follow-up to Tio’s Cerveceria. Here, the focus – and dimensions – are tighter, and Gilmour has licence to sate his insatiable thirst for agave-based liquor with frequent buying trips to the far reaches of Mexico.

This is a bar that takes you straight to the grindstones and the pit ovens, in everything from the striking travel-book-style menu to staff who’ve been schooled by Gilmour then consolidated the knowledge by going straight to the source. There’s no preaching, but if you ask, the team will run you through the multifarious species of agave, like papalome or vicuishe, and how they’re aged in glass or cowhide, then regale you with tales of Oaxacan mezcaleros harvesting under full moons, bulls hauling tahonas and suitcases of bottles smuggled through customs.

They’ll pour shot glasses (for sipping, mind) of the wicked, wild and beautiful stuff – some grassy, some floral, some burning, most smoky – and temper it with plates of mango or dragonfruit, perhaps, cut to order, sprinkled with spicy salt and served with a lime cheek. 

Staff can go deep, sure, but they’ll also shake a mean Margarita. Made with a 50-50 mix of tequila and mezcal poured into a coupe kissed with flaked salt over ice shaved by a hand-cranked Nepalese ice machine, it’s bracingly sour, ultra-refreshing and dangerously drinkable, the texture peerless. So, yeah, they do the basics, too. 

Apart from the Margarita OK, the other three cocktails include a sour based on chamomile and pineapple, and the Fizz OK, a horchata-like drink made with añejo tequila and rice syrup. A daily special, meanwhile, brings a little improv to proceedings. Add a roster of craft beers and natural wines, and this is a bar at once niche and inclusive. One to settle into for a mezcal schooling, or to visit at the start of the night and again at the end, to jostle for elbow room, trade quips with the bartenders and feel a little risk creep back into a city that could use it.

Maybe Sammy

http://www.maybesammy.com/

Retro seldom feels so right, and almost never so right-now as this vintage-styled, Italian cocktail bar in the Rocks

More bartenders should sport double-breasted dinner jackets. More cocktail bars should play jazz hits and lounge covers at conversation-enhancing volume. And more hosts should welcome guests as eagerly as owner Stefano Catino does at Maybe Sammy.

The first impressions come hard and fast at the latest outing from the team behind Maybe Frank, tucked away on the fringe of the Rocks. It’s a polished affair bathed in Golden Age glamour — blond wood, white marble, grey-green leather stools, plush rosy banquettes — but there’s plenty of substance to back up the style. Creative director Andrea Gualdi has assembled one of Sydney’s most pedigreed squads of shakers and stirrers, and their commitment to quality is apparent in almost every glass.

Start with a Mini. At ten bucks, the pre-batched, half-sized cocktails are a clever primer. Opt for the Frank, a convincing riff on a Boulevardier that's bitter and subtly sweet, or a clean and classic Martini (either vodka or gin) that’s just the right level of wet. 

Most of the crowd seems to spring for creations from the 'Signature Selection'. Named after bygone Vegas casinos, they’re a fruit-forward bunch of people-pleasers. The Bonanza delicately balances Bacardi 8 with peach wine, pear and yuzu, while green apple freshness emerges from the mix of tequila, mezcal and sherry in the New Frontier.

From there, it’s anyone’s game: big-ticket bottles of Champagne kick off a concise and considered choice of wines; Brooklyn Lager comes from the tap; the house-made kombucha flavour rotates weekly. There’s even a page devoted to coffee, which the team selects and roasts themselves at Condesa in Alexandria. Whether you prefer your single-origin Ethiopian beans in a straight-up short black or a Campari-spiked Shakerato is up to you.

The vibe here is decidedly more destination than drop-in-for-a-drink, thanks in no small part to some smarter-than-average bar snacks. Zippy white anchovies splayed on paper-thin slices of toast with tangy goat’s curd get our tick of approval. Ditto half a Smoking Gun bagel topped with crème fraîche and salty shreds of Wagyu pastrami. 

Whether we really need an all-male bar team (albeit rather classily) paying homage to the womanisers, gambling haunts and halcyon days of the ‘roaring fifties’ is up for debate. But drinking well and drinking late remain an ongoing itch in this town, and Maybe Sammy scratches it with swagger.

Lobo Plantation

http://thelobo.com.au/

A drink here, beneath the mean CBD streets, is as good as a holiday to Old Havana

This underground rum bar below Clarence Street is named after Cuban sugar baron Julio Lobo. A cluttered but cohesive mix of flamingo tiles, rattan chairs, banana palms and crumbling patina surfaces provide weathered Cuban charm. But the real visual focus is the bartenders. They create with precision. And fire, if you order the Old Grogram.

Slip into the Chesterfield booth seating and prepare for a fabulous tiki mini-break for your mouth (the kitsch cocktail illustrations on the menu will help you decide on a destination). The White Negroni Daiquiri is tart, puckered perfection, made with white rum, Lillet Blanc, Suze (a herbal, bitter spirit from France that’s gaining popularity in Sydney bars), lemon juice, simple syrup and bitters. Coco’s Old Fashioned is a creamy pick for rum heads with a sweet tooth, as is the Rum and Rye Old Fashioned, especially if you choose the Fiji-spiced rum as the starring booze. And the Bajan Julep – a Bramble-Mojito lovechild with practically a whole mint tree pressed in – is very refreshing.

The bar snacks are hella good, too. The empanadas are spicy little pillows of deliciousness and the three-cheese papas rellenas are smoky and soft. If you need something big and filling, order the house take on a Cuban sandwich that is packed with ham and pulled pork, cheese, mustard and pickles. There’s a whole lot of talent behind the bar here, and they take pride in a job well done. The bottom line? Make tracks to this plantation paradise, stat.

Shady Pines Saloon

http://www.shadypinessaloon.com/

In it’s sixth year this Darlo saloon is still going strong. Now that’s stamina.

The party never stops at Shady Pines. Open the unmarked door off a dark lane in Darlinghurst. Open the second door (sound proofing proved necessary once it became clear just how popular this bar was going to remain) and descend into a sunken saloon where at any moment you could find yourself in the middle of a wobbly sing-a-long to American Pie cranked right up – and that’s on a Wednesday.

 

This is the place where Sydney got its taste for booze and fresh apple juice. You somehow never feel like you’re really hitting the sauce if your drink is this fresh and foamy. Surely it’s repairing whatever damage you might be doing as you go along?

Other thing to love about this place, and the list is extensive, is that if you squeeze up to the jam packed bar and order a beer and a shot they won’t ask any questions, just line up a nip of George Dickel Old No. 8 Tennessee whiskey and a tinnie of Coopers lager and send you on your way to join the impromptu dance circle that’s formed in front of the door to the bathrooms.

Mostly this is a quick fire bar, but being the original Swillhouse venue, you might recognise staff from the Pine’s whisky-soaked little brother, the Baxter Inn. This means you can exchange your hard earned for a five star cocktail. Seems fair.

They haven’t changed much over the last five years – they didn’t need to. This was a thoroughly realised bar from day dot and the taxidermy, mounted fish heads and novelty beer trays (they did it first) are all exactly where you left them last time you visited – your wallet and dignity, on the other hand, could be anywhere.

There is never a night we don’t want to be drinking at Shady Pines. They know the joy of a shit tinnie and the importance of a well-made cocktail. And they both live in harmony inside this American-style saloon with the vintage rock up loud and more whisky where that came from.

Also see Frankie's Pizza by the Slice, from the same team.

Jacoby’s

http://www.jacobys-tiki-bar.com/

Put your annual leave in (for the day after) and take a staycation at this party bar in Enmore

There used to be a time when everyone was happy drinking sugary shots with suggestive names and average beers. Then small bars hit and profoundly changed Sydney’s tastes. Now we scan wine lists for skin-contact whites and funky pet nats; seek out digestives so bitter you feel like you’ve been turned inside out; and confidently go three rounds with a barrel-aged cocktail. But, somewhere in among all the positive growth and taste development, we lost some of the fun.

And then, a swift antidote to every serious wine bar and tonic water menu was delivered in the form of Jacoby’s, an Inner West Tiki bar decked out in glowing fishing floats, dried puffer fish, and flocked banana palm wallpaper. They’re also sporting some of the city’s most ridiculous cocktails, and a whole lot of Twin Peaks references for die-hard fans.

We’re not kidding about those cocktails. If you order a Shark Bait, you better strap in for a big, white plastic shell full of crushed ice at sea in a mix of rums, Yellow Chartreuse, absinthe and bitters, with that age-old tropical medley of lime juice, falernum and grenadine in there so you can surf a sugar wave all night long. And did we mention that it’s on fire?

But here’s the rub: all the lychee foam, lurid blue liqueurs, flaming lime cheeks and impressive Tiki mugs are just tinsel. This bar is built on the back of a killer team. Pasan Wijesena brought Adrian Sanchez and James Fury with him over from Earl’s Juke Joint, and then recruited a new generation of bartenders to join the party fray. It’s a motley crew of people who are there to have a good time, a solid chat, and will remember your name while still shaking up a perfect Daiquiri. Of course, if you’re all limed out (it happens to even the most devoted Tiki enthusiast), ask them to stir down a riff on a Negroni that pairs rum and red vermouth and Campari that has been infused with cacao to smooth off the hard, bitter edges and plump up the mouthfeel.

It’s very easy to have a good time here, and even easier to leave them in possession of all your money, because with a smashable wine list that leans natural, juicy and exciting you won’t be able to stop at just one glass. And neither can anyone else, which is why the whole bar will end up singing along to George Michael’s ‘Faith’ or clearing space for someone to go all hair metal on ‘Killing in the Name of’. You might not have realised you were going to a party on your way in through the red velvet drapes, but once you’re inside this tropical cabana, you won’t want to leave.

Papa Gede’s

http://www.papagedes.com/

Maybe drinking at this laneway voodoo bar is good luck? We’ll keep doing it just in case

They’re not afraid to serve the Bitter Truth at Sydney’s hidden voodoo bar, and that’s because it’s an excellent cocktail, and not your friend telling you how badly you disgraced yourself the night before. A bracingly sour mix of lime juice, Averna and tiki bitters is balanced by sloe gin, and it’ll soothe ruffled feathers and stop a shame spiral in its tracks.

Want something gutsier to fortify your spirit? Old Fashioneds and barrel-aged cocktails might be a dime a dozen in Sydney, but the fig and walnut version they serve at Papa Gede’s is the one we want to drink most. It’s rich, mysterious and pricks at your childhood nostalgia with a flavour reminiscent of squashed fly biscuits.

You’d be hard pressed to find a crew of friendlier or more welcoming bar peeps than the team here. Good chat, solid guidance, and their pro-dog agenda gets major bonus points. Not only does part-owner Josh Ng bring his rescue staffie Bella in on Thursday and Friday nights, but regulars also bring their faithful hounds for hang times.

Their dog-friendly status is because they don’t serve hot food, but salty snacks come in the form of cheeses and meats, and crunchy things like pretzels and pork crackling that they jazz up with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and some Tabasco to get you ready for round two.

Forget clean eating and try clean drinking with the Summer Saint, a virtuous mix of pear and cucumber juice, a mint and thyme syrup and vodka. It produces that same smug feeling you get when you have a bowl of local farmers’ markets produce in your house.

Papa Gede’s somehow managed to create a neighbourhood bar vibe in the very heart of the city. It could’ve been black magic, but we’re betting the good juju at this bar stems from a nice crew making ace drinks.

Continental Deli Bar Bistro Newtown

http://www.continentaldelicatessen.com.au/

If this bar was a person, we’d marry it.

If you were going to spend the rest of your life at one bar and restaurant you’d need it to be the complete package. We’re talking amazing drinks, great service and cheese enough to kill a man. An ace steak wouldn’t hurt and if they could also have an impressive canned goods store that would last you through an apocalypse, that’d cap it off. In short, at Continental you’re looking at your future life partner, in venue form. And we’re sure that you and this deli-bar-bistro are going to be very happy together. How could you not? It’s an offshoot of the Porteño family, and now that Gardel’s has shut up shop in Redfern you’ve got Michael Nicolian running the bar here in Newtown, which means there are only delicious things going into the glasses. Or cans.

This is where you can get a perfectly chilled Martini in a tin, as well as a Manhattan and a Cosmopolitan – they’re bringing it back. Order a Bloody Mary if you’re struggling. They jazz it up with a little sherry, leave out all the gritty bits that get stuck in your teeth and garnish it with a lemon-and-pepper stuffed olive and an anchovy. Wines here don’t bother with the path well travelled – they cut a new flavour trail with local, biodynamic drops that will steal your heart away.

Yes, you’re here for the drinks, but if you can enter this Aladdin’s cave of treats that are the very opposite of clean eating, your willpower is superhuman. In the fridges are triple-cream Bries, melty washed rinds and sharp blues plus cured meats in every shape and size that pork comes in. They also tin their own seafood in-house for mixed plates of octopus, sardines and garfish, but if you’re in it for the sweet stuff, you need to order the tin of Neapolitan ice cream. The only people who don’t like this place are your wallet and your waistline. But that’s the price of true love, and it’s one we’re more than happy to keep paying so long as they keep the drinks coming.

Jangling Jack's

https://www.instagram.com/jangling.jacks

This Potts Point nightspot is not a party bar, which is exactly why we like it

It’s about damn time we got a good news story out of Kings Cross. All the closures and silent nights have been a downer, but maybe 2016 can be the year our original party district gets back in the game. Certainly the addition of a cosy, timber lined cocktail bar that keeps the kitchen open late is a positive sign of things to come.

Is the awkwardly narrow entrance to Jangling Jacks giving you flashbacks? It’s because the space used to house Bootleg Bar. But now you’ll be shimmying down along the bar to snake one of the tables up the back for rounds of fragrant, spicy Trinidad Sours and a burger, not brunch.

Or maybe you prefer to post up at the bar – they’re the first seats to go once doors open – and treat your tastebuds to a Nielsen, which is designed to emulate the flavours of a cheeseboard. It sounds weird, but with tequila and sherry providing a smoky, oaky flavour base; pear juice, lemon juice and orange bitters covering the fruit; and a cracker and a little cube of luxuriously creamy blue cheese as a garnish, you do kind of feel like you’ve had the Willy Wonka wallpaper, 18+ version of a cheeseboard. Or you could just order the real thing, which on our visit includes a cheddar and a Manchego.

If that sense of déjà vu is persisting, it’s probably because Jon Ruttan, who owns the bar with his partner, Orlan Erin Raleigh, was previously the owner of Mojo Record Bar. That’s why all the Miles Davis, Muddy Waters and Television memorabilia on the walls and the playlist of Van Morrison, Sam Cooke and the Coasters is making you feel so at home.

We are all for the mega bitters and cinnamon hit in the Trinidad Sour, but for something less complex but just as flavoursome, order up a Mary Pickford – white rum, Maraschino liqueur, pineapple juice and grenadine. It's as rich and smooth as a velvet-clad tycoon.

In spite of its location in the heart of the backpacker district, this place has a locals-only feel. Head here after a show at the Stables Theatre to discuss the performance over steak frites and a Sidecar – Jangling Jacks gets a double high-five for being a dinner option after 10pm that isn’t Mr Crackles (we still love you, buddy).

We've seen some great neighbourhood bars open in Summer Hill, Enmore and Freshwater, and we’re sure as heck hoping the trend continues. There’s no space for the dickheads who are ruining our bar scene in little haunts like Jangling Jacks, and that’s exactly how we like it.

Where's Nick

https://www.facebook.com/wheresnicksydney

Marrickville’s first and only wine bar is the intimate, inviting and easygoing hangout every suburb hopes for

Every now and then, a bar comes along so righteously in tune with its neighbourhood that you wonder how locals ever functioned without it. Where’s Nick is one such watering hole, housed in an unassuming open shopfront on a buzzy strip of Marrickville Road that, despite the lingering signage, is clearly no longer Marrickville Quality Cakes. Picture what Central Perk would look like if Friends were a sitcom about woke millennial sharehousers in the Inner West, and you’ve pretty much got the idea. 

There might not be a straight-up sauv blanc or pinot gris on the ever-changing chalkboard of wines by the glass, but don’t panic. You will find that a chalice of txakoli from the Basque Country more than fits the bill for something dry and acid-driven, while an obscure fragrant Italian garganega might satisfy even the staunchest of grigio fans. Yes, this is a place that showcases the natural and avant garde, but brothers and co-owners Julian and Dominic Abouzeid aren’t on a mission to push you out of your comfort zone. Julian served as the head buyer at respected CBD bottle-o the Oak Barrel for five years, so pleasing all palates and pockets is something he knows how to do.

That’s not to say you can’t go all-in on a rare and racy zibibbo from Sicilian visionary Gabrio Bini that spends 19 months (!) on skins, but even still, nothing stretches far beyond $150, and the markups are remarkably slim. These guys want you to drink well, more than anything else, and it’s that endearing and egalitarian spirit – so often missing in wine world – that makes what they’ve created so easy to fall head over heels for. Pop in, grab a seat on the well-loved Chesterfield lounge, and it’s pretty much a guarantee that a glass will become a bottle, minutes will turn to hours, and all will feel right in the world. And as for Nick – we’re still not sure where he is, but he is really missing out.

The Duke of Clarence

http://www.thedukeofclarence.com/

Things are getting very British in Sydney’s den of bar excellence

We've all heard the lowing from our UK expatriate friends about the state of Sydney’s pubs. They're never old enough, cosy enough, or British enough for their liking (the Lord Dudley and the Lord Nelson get close). So what's a former Liverpool boy to do? Open a venue, that’s what, which is why Mikey Enright, gin maestro and owner of the Barber Shop, has extended his booze empire about 10 metres to the right with a proper British establishment named the Duke of Clarence.

Yes, it is the door directly opposite the one that leads you down to the whisky-powered Baxter Inn – things are getting very olde worlde in this neck of the woods. The Duke of Clarence feels like it was designed to bring George Orwell’s famous fantasy pub, the Moon under Water, to life. It boasts all the trappings of a 19th Century tavern, right down to the potted red geraniums above the door. They can pull you a perfect pint of Guinness, but really, this is a bar in pub’s clothing: a slender, licensed slice of the city designed to transport you to a different time and place. The sincerity (and decorating budget) elevates it above a themed bar – everything looks, feels and smells expensive, from the floorboards imported from the UK to the bubbled glass dividers, framed lithographs and the gin-scented handwash in the bathrooms.

In happy news for anyone who manages to squeeze in and find a seat, they do table service so that you don’t have to shoehorn yourself in and out every time you need a fresh, burnt caramel hit from a half pint of Speckled Hen ale.

For something as stiff and clean as ceremonial naval whites order the Clarence House Gibson. It tastes like a Martini made for Davy Jones’ locker, spiked with dry sherry, rosemary smoked salt and extra brine for that real Cliffs of Dover taste. They’re also not letting standards drop with the Bittered Rum Sling, which reins in the sweetness of Bacardi rum with the deft application of two kinds of bitters, a grapefruit tincture and a herbal lug of yellow Chartreuse.

The accent doesn’t stop at the vast list of British spirits: the food menu is enough to make Dad’s Army break into a stirring rendition of ‘Rule, Britannia’. A serve of chipolatas delivers no less than five smooth pork sausages spiked with fennel, ready to be swiped through a mild mustard. You could order the fried pork rinds if you want to do something with your hands without any nutritional merit, but the complimentary smoked almonds on your table do a better job. Save yourself for a plate of three dark, golden brown fish fingers with a glut of creamy tartare and a spring of cress under a blanket of compressed white bread with the crusts cut off. Now that’s how you do a fish butty.

Put down those visa applications, because we finally have the best bits of British drinking culture right here, including UB40 and the Stranglers on the stereo and gin in pretty much everything. Wotcha.

Little Felix

https://merivale.com/littlefelix

Merivale brings the 1920s Parisian hotel bar of your dreams to life in the Ivy precinct

At first pass, Little Felix asks more questions than it answers. Isn’t Merivale doing practically the same thing, just across the laneway at Ash St Cellar? Doesn’t a bigger version of the concept already exist at Felix in the space right next door? Scepticism is justified, but we can assure you this petite cocktail parlour is doing something different – and doing it quite well.

If you’re planning a hen’s party or plotting pit stops for a CBD bar crawl, stop reading now. When we say ‘petite’, we mean it. You could definitely jam a dozen or so more bodies in the 60-seat space, but this is a civilised place, a table-service-only zone with very limited standing room. Save for the glass frontage, there are no windows inside, which lets the moody, monochromatic forest-green colour scheme cast a very seductive spell. When you settle into a sturdy chair or a bouncy stretched leather banquette, a member of the very attentive, waistcoated waitstaff will place a dainty ramekin of devilishly addictive spiced nuts on your little table and ask you what kind of water you’d like. 

Water is a wise idea, because the revivers that come your way are heavy hitting. The Paris Meridian, a variation on the immortal French 75, takes top billing on the list, and rightfully so. It’s a masterclass in how to whet the palate, a tonic-like, desert-dry citrusy Champagne cocktail. Farigoule, a provincial thyme liqueur, imparts a whisper of the sweetness you find in aniseed or mint. You might have other plans, but don’t let them get in the way of a second round.

Pick-me-ups on the menu’s first page are neatly divided into pre- and post-dinner refreshers, with so-called ‘House Drinks' in between. Keep the motor running with a gin-heavy Raconteur, a riff on the World War I-era Alaska that features yellow Chartreuse and Macvin du Jura, a rich fortified wine. It’s like a bundle of fresh herbs with a boozy roar, evened out by the zesty brightness of orange bitters. 

Tinkering with classic cocktails can lead to disaster, but the bar team has a clear respect for the archives, and their tweaks are subtle, smart and sophisticated. Turn to page two if you fancy time-honoured recipes that haven’t been toyed with – Gimlets, Gibsons, Sazeracs and the like – but know that whatever’s called for will be stiff, balanced and colder than a witch’s you-know-what.

Food is no afterthought, but it’s a shame that both a spectacular pork, chicken and pistachio terrine and a smoky eggplant caviar that plays like black-tie baba ghanoush arrive fridge-cold. Radiant slices of smoked salmon from Mount Cook and smoothed buffalo curd on sourdough toasted to a gratifying crackle is more like it. Oh, and that dramatically lit display of top-shelf French cheeses you’ve been eyeing off since you walked in is not, in fact, a 3D printout of a still-life painting. It’s very real. Don’t hold back.

Little Felix

https://merivale.com/littlefelix

Merivale brings the 1920s Parisian hotel bar of your dreams to life in the Ivy precinct

At first pass, Little Felix asks more questions than it answers. Isn’t Merivale doing practically the same thing, just across the laneway at Ash St Cellar? Doesn’t a bigger version of the concept already exist at Felix in the space right next door? Scepticism is justified, but we can assure you this petite cocktail parlour is doing something different – and doing it quite well.

If you’re planning a hen’s party or plotting pit stops for a CBD bar crawl, stop reading now. When we say ‘petite’, we mean it. You could definitely jam a dozen or so more bodies in the 60-seat space, but this is a civilised place, a table-service-only zone with very limited standing room. Save for the glass frontage, there are no windows inside, which lets the moody, monochromatic forest-green colour scheme cast a very seductive spell. When you settle into a sturdy chair or a bouncy stretched leather banquette, a member of the very attentive, waistcoated waitstaff will place a dainty ramekin of devilishly addictive spiced nuts on your little table and ask you what kind of water you’d like. 

Water is a wise idea, because the revivers that come your way are heavy hitting. The Paris Meridian, a variation on the immortal French 75, takes top billing on the list, and rightfully so. It’s a masterclass in how to whet the palate, a tonic-like, desert-dry citrusy Champagne cocktail. Farigoule, a provincial thyme liqueur, imparts a whisper of the sweetness you find in aniseed or mint. You might have other plans, but don’t let them get in the way of a second round.

Pick-me-ups on the menu’s first page are neatly divided into pre- and post-dinner refreshers, with so-called ‘House Drinks' in between. Keep the motor running with a gin-heavy Raconteur, a riff on the World War I-era Alaska that features yellow Chartreuse and Macvin du Jura, a rich fortified wine. It’s like a bundle of fresh herbs with a boozy roar, evened out by the zesty brightness of orange bitters. 

Tinkering with classic cocktails can lead to disaster, but the bar team has a clear respect for the archives, and their tweaks are subtle, smart and sophisticated. Turn to page two if you fancy time-honoured recipes that haven’t been toyed with – Gimlets, Gibsons, Sazeracs and the like – but know that whatever’s called for will be stiff, balanced and colder than a witch’s you-know-what.

Food is no afterthought, but it’s a shame that both a spectacular pork, chicken and pistachio terrine and a smoky eggplant caviar that plays like black-tie baba ghanoush arrive fridge-cold. Radiant slices of smoked salmon from Mount Cook and smoothed buffalo curd on sourdough toasted to a gratifying crackle is more like it. Oh, and that dramatically lit display of top-shelf French cheeses you’ve been eyeing off since you walked in is not, in fact, a 3D printout of a still-life painting. It’s very real. Don’t hold back.

Frankie's Pizza by the Slice

http://frankiespizzabytheslice.com/

The rock’n’roll gods are hiding out and eating pizza in this underground bar

The heart of the business district is not where you’d expect to find an underground heavy metal pizza party, but Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice doesn’t much go in for the expected. The front room feels like a pizza parlour from a movie set, but it’s more Ninja Turtles than Sopranos. There are postcards and old photos tacked to the walls; red and white tablecloths and candles in bottles; and they sure can bake the heck out of a pepperoni pizza. They’ll also sell you a slice of whatever is hot for $6 – a night here is one you should prime for.

Through the looking glass, or rather through the saloon doors, is Frankie’s dark side – no trace of the good Italian boy making red sauce just like nonna used to. The bar and band room is where the spirit of rock has holed up since being ousted from the likes of the Annandale and the Sandringham (Vale, old friends).

The walls are plastered in gig bills, there’s a row of pinball machines up the back and it’s the kind of bar where it’s only safe to serve drinks in plastic glasses – moshing and cut feet do not go well together.

They’re open until 3am, seven nights a week, which means Mondays can redeem themselves with a set from the famous house band, a frozen Margarita and a tin of Pistonhead lager. Tuesdays is for karaoke, which is followed by two nights of live gigs at the heart of the working week. Fridays and Saturdays hit peak party, but there’s no rest for the wicked on Sundays – just more live bands.

If you’ve come for the mixology, your Google Maps is broken – try further down the street. This is the place to sink beers – tinnies over plastic – or if you want to stoke the inner fires with the demon drink, try squeezing into the concealed whisky room past the stage after 9pm. They’ll even do you a rum and fresh apple juice if you fear sudden-onset scurvy, but that’s not very rock’n’roll now, is it?

Dear Sainte Éloise

http://www.dearsainteeloise.com/

Ask and ye shall receive a laneway wine bar packed full of delicious drops at prices that won’t make you wince

Wine can quickly become an expensive hobby. You may start out with cleanskins, but pretty soon a $15-a-bottle sauv blanc is your standard pour. From there the stakes only rise with every sip of creamy semillon or peppery shiraz. It’s all over: you’ll only want the good stuff from here on in.

Luckily, Matt Swieboda, Nathanial Hatwell and Tristan Blair, who own Dear Sainte Éloise, want to share the love, not hoard it. That’s why there are more than half a dozen wines by the bottle for under $60 at this all-class European-inflected wine bar on Llankelly Place. In a city where it’s easy to find single glasses well over the $20 mark, it’s astonishing to find a range at such an affordable price point. You’ve got a Gippsland rosé, a cabernet from the Margaret River, and a Canberran shiraz, and if you keep your eyes peeled there’s even a few that slide in under $50 – unheard of outside of frightening pub chardonnay.

But if you subscribe to the variety show method of drinking you won’t be disappointed with the by-the-glass options. The Dumarcher Zin Zin tastes of hot clay and dark cherries; the Rebholz Vom Rotliegenden riesling, grown in red soil, is a fandango of fruit and minerality; and the sparkling made especially for the bar by legendary natural winemakers, Jauma, is acidic and exciting, and only $55 for the whole bottle if you fall in love at first sip.

They just really love wine (which is why there is a written treatise in their menu on why riesling rules), but they also have a pro-food agenda. The menu changes on the reg, but there are always fat briny oysters, something pasta adjacent, a nice cut of meat and some veg-heavy snacks in between. And if they ever take the smoked mussels on charred bread in a savoury broth off the menu, we’ll have to write to the authorities.

Many people have tried to import the wine bars of Europe to Sydney, but Dear Sainte Éloise succeeded. Just try walking down this buzzy pocket of Kings Cross and resisting taking a seat at the laneway tables alongside designer pooches and their high-fashion humans. The fact that you don’t have to brace for financial impact only sweetens the deal. You know who to address your prayers of thanks to.

Employees Only

http://www.employeesonlysyd.com/

How does the Sydney outpost of the famous New York speakeasy stack up?

“Excuse me sir, is this where the psychic is? “Nah mate, this is a bar called Employees Only.” So much for speakeasy subterfuge. Back in New York in 2004, when Employees Only opened, the neo-Prohibition aesthetic was getting a head of steam. Drinks were strong, waistcoats were big, moustaches were waxed. Opening behind a clairvoyant shopfront on Hudson Street, it was an essential part of the craft cocktail revolution, and joined the dots between the spareness of Milk & Honey (set behind a blank door on a residential block) and the richer production values to come with the likes of PDT (accessed via a phone booth in a hotdog shop).

Fourteen years later and even without the help of an indiscreet bouncer it’s safe to say the secret is out. The bar has outposts in Singapore, Miami, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Walk down the stairs off Barrack Street in the Sydney CBD into the first Australian branch, and chances are you’ll find the place pumping, the bar thronged, the larger dining area packed and the tarot-reader by the door plenty busy.

Fortune teller there may be, but in many ways EO is less about looking into the future and more a love-letter to the heyday of mid-oughts bartending. The stock on the back-bar isn’t wildly extensive or deep (at least not by the standards set by near neighbours the Baxter Inn and Lobo Plantation), and the drinks under the EO Classics section of the list read fresh and fruity: the vodka, elderflower liqueur and blackberry purée of the Amelia, say, or the strawberries and vanilla with gin and Champagne in the Fraise Sauvage.

Elsewhere on the list, avocado makes an appearance with pisco in the Down Payment, a drink that comes with a dollar sign stencilled on its surface in coffee, just in case the name (a reference, presumably, to millennial mortgage woes) doesn’t drive the point home. The avocado is inoffensive, and deployed along with aquafaba, the froth from chickpea-cooking water used as a vegan substitution for eggwhite, gives the drink a velvet luxury.

The bar itself is brass and gleaming, the garnishes laid out on it in heavy tumblers. The music is ’80s pop, and the bartenders wear chef’s jackets with the word “Bartender” embroidered where a person’s name might go. Framed artworks underline the ’20s connection with images of zeppelins and flappers.

The quality of the service generally seems to lean more towards the well-meaning than the rigorous. Better crowd control, especially with regard to welcoming customers, and working out how to put the drinks into the hands of the punters a bit quicker would make for a more pleasing ride, but the party vibe is easy to like.

Food is by no means a mere cheese-plate-and-olives affair (though both those things are on offer). If capsicum gel with the roasted eggplant and pesto, or serving the chicken liver pâté as brûlée makes you think the kitchen might be trying a little too hard, or if the addition of truffle oil to an otherwise handsome grilled mozzarella sandwich puts you off, take consolation in the choice of Brickfields for the bread and Pepe Saya for the butter and in the offer of Bloody Mary mix as a dressing for the oysters. Crisp saltbush leaves, meanwhile, make a winning complement to fried Clarence River calamari.

The full menu runs from five to 11pm, the bar menu runs to three in the morning and, as with all Employees Only bars, complimentary chicken soup is doled out to the faithful at closing time.

And what of the psychic? Nardine, the tarot reader on duty when we slipped into the booth, was great company, rocking an Osho Zen-tarot deck. Our first card? Adventure.

Ramblin' Rascal Tavern

http://www.ramblinrascaltavern.com/

For a good time, visit the three ringmasters of this perpetual party circus

If, god forbid, anyone ever flipped on the grown-up lights at the Ramblin’ Rascal, what might it look like under the cold, sober light of fluoro? A barely renovated former comedy club in the basement of a nondescript city office block full of dentists, orthodontists and maxillofacial surgeons. The booths are vinyl and the carpet is – well, the less said about the carpet the better. Eyes front, people. 

But show us another bar team in the state that can so readily be recognised by their skull logos alone. The rascals who make up the core team at the Rascal are so clearly delineated in look, roles and manner they might as well have their own trading cards.

Here’s Sebastian “Cosmo” Soto, he of the bold quiff and bolder moustache, a man whose run-in with an unsecured shaker of a popular cranberry-flavoured cocktail and some unsuspecting patrons when he was first starting out behind the bar was so spectacular that it has stuck with him as a nickname to this day. There’s Dardan Shervashidze, chiselled of attitude and shaved of head, a person who might at first strike one as being in the straightedge mould if he weren’t so profoundly enamoured of everything straightedge guys foresake, and someone given to considered discursions on body disposal (dig the hole first) and the philosophy and practicalities of non-monogamy in a post-#metoo world. And then there’s Charlie Lehmann. His signature look – working bar wearing little more than a pair of denim overalls, a long beard and a cheeky grin – has been co-opted all over town (and by several of the apprentice Rascals, male and female alike) but the unfailing vigour and sparkle of his chat puts him in a class of his own.

Whether it’s the six-buck “shit tins” or something a little stiffer, the drinks are good – these boys are Baxter Inn graduates, after all – but you’re not here for the Cognac and corn-nuts. You’re here to be part of a party that flows each and every day from a bar team that’s as humble as it is adventurous, as generous as it is vigorous, and friendly to a fault. Long may they ramble.

The Doss House

http://thedosshouse.com.au/

This whisky specialist delves into its past to emerge as a fully realised crowd favourite

Open a business in the Rocks, and it’s pretty much a guarantee of heritage sandstone and regular tourist trade. The trick at the Doss House has been to tap into the local history (in past lives this bar was a hospital, an opium den and a bootmaker, and they make no secret of it) while bringing something to the area that attracts Sydney natives as well as the travellers. 

That something is whisky – a lot of it. Take a spin through the maze of stone walls and you might spot a couple sinking into a Chesterfield or a velvet booth, one sipping a Sazerac made with Rittenhouse Rye, the other nursing a Dusky Scotchman, where ten-year-old Laphroaig and Branca Menta are complemented by a lick of honey and a dash of salt. 

Step up to the bar, and it’s flights touring the Highlands, Lowlands and Isles of Scotland, exploring Japan or travelling the world with stops in Taiwan, France and India. Stay local, and Melbourne-made Starward Wine Cask Malt kicks off the entry level while Sullivans Cove Small Batch French Oak caps off the top end. It all makes good drinking with some cheese and cured meats, and the House delivers, with boards featuring things both simple (Brie, cheddar) and ambitious (kangaroo prosciutto). 

So what is it about the Doss House that made it the overwhelming favourite for this year’s People’s Choice Award? We reckon it’s about being approachable and niche all at once in a space that complements a storied past with some equally storied drinking. In our eyes, and yours, it’s a full house.

The Bearded Tit

http://www.thebeardedtit.com/

This Redfern bar shows us just how good it can get

If you want to see Sydney at her absolute best, go for a drink at Redfern’s neighbourhood art bar, the Bearded Tit. Inside this cosy establishment you get a glimpse of what it could be like if we all just got along. The weird and wonderful are welcomed here; there is a mix of punters that properly reflects the Sydney rainbow, and nobody gives it a second thought. We’re all too busy having a brilliant time.

If you’re of the pearl-clutchin’ persuasion, perhaps we should warn you that there’s a lot of sexy art here. Their very first window display of crocheted penises ensured everyone knew about the bar with the cuddly cocks. They also have a centerfold in the drinks menu and boobs are everywhere. Conversely the bathroom is packed with framed portraits of Jesus (Avert your eyes, lord).

You can’t have a Sydney small bar without taxidermy – we’re pretty sure that’s a sub-clause in the application process now. Here you’ve got a mounted deer butt, a goat head wearing a collar and tie, a stuffed baby deer in a fetching bonnet, and a warthog with a trumpet. Yep, looks like everything is in its place. The current exhibition features a Roosevelt-era wheelchair with arms that looks like it might try and hug you if you sat down, which is both unsettling and kind of sad.

These guys aren’t playing by your restrictive rules and that goes for the playlist too: Red Hot Chili Peppers are followed by John Lee Hooker, who gets an encore from Kelis. Cocktails here aren’t showstoppers, but they are made well by a bunch of the friendliest bar staff in the city. It’s all smiles while they sling your Old Fashioned over the bar.

You never know what a night here might bring. Perhaps you stopped in for a triple-hot-sauce Bloody Mary and ended up watching a stripping nun pair Iggy Pop lyrics with Liza Minnelli show tunes. Or perhaps a didgeridoo player in gold lamé will accompany your Dark ’n’ Stormy. Just roll with it.

Because you’ll never want to leave, the food will have to come to you. Luckily you can order in basic Chinese fare from Wah Fung up the road (the same guys who furnish Arcadia Liquors with those old school sang choy bow), and Lorentto Pizza also deliver. In house they’ve got pies, cured meats and cheeses, and there’ll be no complaints from this quarter if dinner is a slice of the luxuriously creamy Shadows of Blue from Gippsland.

We love this bar because it’s unequivocally a dickhead-free zone. They’re flying the flag for creative pursuits, good vibes, nice drinks and ace tunes and reminding us how great Sydney can be with a little love and a liquor licence.

Kittyhawk

http://thekittyhawk.com.au/

Why has it taken so long for a cocktail bar this good to open at this end of town?

We’re not surprised that a kickass cocktail bar has opened up in the heart of the legal and financial business district – we’re surprised it has taken this long. But a bar like Kittyhawk is worth waiting for. It’s the latest venture from the crack team you know and love from Lobo Plantation – guests are in very good hands here.

The bar is on the former site of the old Bull and Bear, which was channelling serious Wall Street vibes, but Kittyhawk is from another time and place entirely. Broadly speaking, the design is inspired by Liberation Day in Paris (August 25, 1944), and, more specifically, by the Rum and Rye cocktail that is at the very top of their list. And it deserves its lauded position. We let the bartenders choose the spirit mix and are presented with a cocktail that tastes of soft caramel with a whisper of orange. It’s boozy as hell but you’ll hardly notice over the smooth, dried fruit flavours in both the Pike Creek rye and the Dos Maderas 5+5, both of which have been aged in sherry casks.

The number of dark spirits on the back bar is staggering, and right now they’re sitting on a cool 137 bottles of bitters (including one that tastes like gumbo) but they’re not snobbish about their drinks. For a cocktail bar they pour a shed-load of the Victorian pale ale from Bastard Son, and they don’t miss a beat when your order is ‘Bacardi and Coke’. We consider these signs of a good host. Similarly, the three-word descriptors of the cocktails and wines on the list to help people navigate by keyword. 

You’d be a fool not explore the cocktail list while you’re here. If you’re a fan of something sweet and herbal you want the Chest Candy Cobbler made with vermouth, dry sherry, lemon juice and oregano syrup. Order it less sweet for extra refreshment. And don’t leave without a Rye Gram. They’re as fond of an open flame here as they are at Lobo and so cinnamon sticks get a good scorching before being added to a mix of spiced rye, coconut stout, lemon juice and a gomme sugar syrup. It tastes tropical and wintery at the same time and we want to get back on the ride immediately after we finish. 

This isn’t one of those bar-restaurant hybrids, but you can eat here, and since they’ve gone to all the effort of getting hot béchamel inside a flaky, crisp pastry straw, it’d be rude not to. You dip the straw in a beef broth and the result is onion soup in canapé form. Do not skip the steak Swiss. They’re packing some of the most flavoursome skirt steak in town into a dense little torpedo bun lined in melted Swiss cheese with mayo and fried crunchy bits on top. This is bar food at its best.

You’re really going to like Kittyhawk. It’s got that old-world luxury vibe that means you feel right at home in your tailored work wear, and clearly the nearby firms have already gotten the memo – from 5.30 to 7.30 pm the place is rammed. We reckon a space at the bar with no seating might make ordering easier during the rush, but by 8 things settle into a stable rhythm, which is good because once you’re in it’s very hard to leave.

This is exactly the sort of place you want to go when you’re finally liberated from your inbox at the end of the day, and the knowledge that gracious service, ace drinks and a little steak sandwich are waiting for you makes leaving the office on time that much sweeter.

Isabel

https://www.isabelbondi.com/

To call this Bondi cocktail bar fusing Japanese ideas, native Australian ingredients and engineer-like craftsmanship ‘inventive’ would be an understatement

A tiny dish lands on the table, cradling what appears to be a white pill fit for a horse. Then, what looks like water is artfully poured on top and that tablet magically springs to cylindrical life as a hand towel – one that smells like sweet herbs and lemon zest.

“A little something to freshen up,” says the dashing barman, “scented with distilled yuzu juice.” 

Next, he places another small vessel in front of us, bearing a couple of delicate, bite-sized snacks. 

“To get your palate going: a nori crisp with a matcha and yuzu curd.” 

And so begins a round of drinks at Isabel: an ambitious Japanese-ish bar hiding in plain sight on the first floor of Bondi’s Pacific complex, from Kate McGraw and the team behind Panama House next door. It would be unfair to say they’re biting off more than they can chew, but boy, is there a lot to digest here. 

Burnt miso, toasted sesame and quandong are the types of ingredients you can expect – and that’s just in a single cocktail. It’s called ‘Miso’ and like the ‘Wasabi Leaf’ listed directly above it, it focuses on capturing the essence of the title ingredient with a single spirit and a few supporting players. Both are impressive; the former bolstered by cognac to highlight miso’s savoury depths, while tequila’s vegetal undertone unifies the spice of ginger and wasabi in the latter. There’s also a cocktail named ‘Soup Curry’, which, for better or worse, tastes astoundingly like the Hokkaido speciality – only boozy, cold and sans the chicken and stewed vegetables.

Elsewhere, there are highballs with pandan, persimmon, shiso and nori; non-alcoholic concoctions featuring the likes of de-alcoholised Campari, and some wild low-ABV fruit ferments they’re calling ‘Danger Juices’. In other words, simplicity is nowhere to be found. Luckily, the team are all too happy to break down all this wizardry; show even the faintest glimmer of interest in the craft, and out of the fridge might come a sample of something they’re trialling – in a stunner of a Riedel glass, no less.

If you think snacks translates as nuts and olives, you’re sorely mistaken. They’re going for a modern izakaya vibe, and along with that comes a charcoal grill and a kushiyaki menu. Skewers run the gamut from white asparagus to chicken liver, along with octopus and cuts of Wagyu. Cooking can be a little uneven, caramelisation not quite where it needs to be, but each and every stick is garnished with something different – desert lime ponzu, fermented chilli, even dancing katsuobushi flakes – which only adds to the flavour parade. (Remember, these folks do nothing by halves.)

Perhaps the best way to navigate Isabel is to surrender to the whims of the kaiseki, an abridged four- or six-“course” adaptation of the lengthy Japanese degustation that pairs off-menu drinks with small bites. Along the way, you might appreciate a nice and subtle cornflower distillate Sour, frothed up with finger lime juice and Geraldton wax. There might be a vodka and fermented Poorman’s orange Spritz, posing as a pet-nat, that reminds you of a cross between kombucha and Berocca. And you could just be lucky enough to try the clarified juice of what must be the ripest strawberries on the planet, accented with pepper leaf. There’s no experience in Sydney quite like it.

As for the room: it speaks more to a Japan of clean lines, raw materials and sleek minimalism than one of smoke-filled, wood-panelled basements in neon-flooded nightlife districts, and it could do with a bit more warmth. In this case, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The shores of Bondi are sunny enough, and it keeps the focus front and centre on the drinks – which is exactly where it should be.

The Dolphin Wine Room

http://dolphinhotel.com.au/wine-room

They’ve got guaranteed good times in the fridges of this wine bar inside a pub

Venue definitions have gotten very squiggly. Old watering holes are now fine-dining restaurants that still have a public bar with beers on tap; restaurants have opened great bars inside their venues so that you can just pop in for a drink; and bars are installing amazing kitchens so that you’ll stay for dinner. One of the best examples of these shifting boundaries was the redux Dolphin Hotel. Under the watchful eye of Maurice Terzini (Icebergs Dining Room and Bar), it transformed from a league’n’lager pub into a casual fashion party with an Italian dining room and an exciting new wine bar all inside its walls.

The Dolphin Wine Room is a long, narrow slice of the venue and once you tuck yourself into one of the tables along the wall or up at the bar, prepare to go home with an empty wallet and full to bursting with vinous delights. This is the kind of place that can turn your whole understanding of wine upside down by pouring you a Chilean skin-contact muscat that’s as savoury as an antipasto board.

Behind the bar is a wall of fridges with small doors so that it resembles a 16-day advent calendar, but instead of shit chocolate you get a whole lot of crazy, interesting, fun and smashable wine. A glass of the Latta Vino pinot noir looks like mulberry suede and is juicy, fresh and dangerously easy to drink. And you should definitely order the Lucky You French sauv blanc. It’s nothing like those acidic, citrusy New Zealand versions – this one is gentle but made with 20 per cent whole bunch grapes to give it just a little grip. The result is soft, elegant and easy.

At the end of the bar is the salumi cabinet, and no visit is complete without a plate of sweet, nutty salami, spiked with black pepper. The daily bruschetta on our visit is juicy ripe tomatoes that carry the flavour of the summer sun with them, mixed with an airy goats cheese and seaweed sprinkles for a savoury anchor.

Tio's

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tios-Cervecer%C3%ADa/282814901768667

Surry Hills’ never-ending tequila party is still going strong.

Just keep on repressing those teenage memories of the bottle with the red plastic sombrero on it, because crap tequila is the equivalent of Fruity Lexia cask wine – you only drink it when you’re young and dumb. Right now at Tio’s they’ve got around 120 different spirits on their books and some of them are exceptionally difficult to get in this country.

Play your cards right and in a quiet moment the bartenders will walk you through some of the extra special stuff, like the Los Dazantes mezcal that burns like a grass fire and extinguishes as quickly with a mineral, citrus, salty herbal flavour. Or maybe you just want a Parallel cocktail made with mezcal, green mango, lemongrass and lime leaf that lets salty sweet and sour spiral around your tongue. Or just order a Paloma and let the hours fly by to the sound of Mexican surf-rock and the rustle of paper bags that the free spiced popcorn comes in.

Door Knock

https://www.doorknock.com.au/

Knock three times and come on in to this subterranean cocktail lounge

On Pitt Street near Hunter, when you wander down two flights of concrete stairs beside a coffee shop, you don’t find Wonderland or Narnia, but you will discover a cellar cocktail bar that's equal parts timber ship’s hold and fairy bower. Door Knock is the latest addition to the rogue's gallery of Sydney’s hidden bars, conjuring up the illusion that you are in on a secret.

Of course, while we all love a bit of ceremony, a bar that makes it too hard to get in can get tiresome, which is why the initial idea of unlocking the door for everyone who knocked the brass pineapple three times ended up getting traded in for an automatic system that keeps the door unlocked – but by all means, knock away.

Down here you feel utterly detached from the world above, and the room bears all the trappings of modern bar design: fairy lights, fake vines, hanging ropes, little hide rugs under the tables, rough-cut stonework for that rustic vibe, and lights that look like haute couture crab pots. It’s a little bit Song of the Sea, and a little bit timber speakeasy, and the overall effect is a nice, gently moody spot for an after-work drink. 

And on that note, looks can be deceiving, so while the Puritan might appear pure and straight-laced, that clear mix over perfect hand-sawn ice is hiding a potent mix of gin, sherry infused with pineapple skins and Yellow Chartreuse, for a drink that’s equal parts rich, herbal and astringent. They’ve also got a rich and sturdy cocktail on tap made with Maker’s Mark, fruity oloroso, honey and fresh thyme. Efficient and delicious. Or just go for bottles of the Dub Style Tangerine No 1 viognier that has all the juicy uprightness you want for a smashable orange wine. 

There’s a lot going on in the kitchen here, weaving Japanese elements into grown-up party snacks. We’ll skip the two-dimensional salmon ballotine in favour of the carnival kicks to be had in the corndog that comes adorned in Kewpie mayo, sweet soy sauce and a serious oceanic kick from bonito flakes. If you want to snack prettily on something, keep in mind that the mac’n’cheese croquettes are more like Rubik’s Cube-sized parcels of molten cheese and pasta. It’s not dinner, but it will definitely tide you over.

If you need to get away from it all without leaving the city limits, an underground bar hidden where you’d expect to find a building control room is a seriously quick fix.

The Barber Shop

http://thisisthebarbershop.com/

Forget Narnia through the wardrobe – Sydney’s got a gin palace through a barber shop

Historically, gin has had a PR problem. Gin mill’s were places of ill-repute; gin itself was the source of Mother’s Ruin, and one Irish comedian described the juniper-flavoured spirit as mascara thinner for its supposed propensity to make girls cry. But gin wasn’t bad, it was just misunderstood, which is how it has gone from zero to hero of the Sydney bar scene in 2015. And the Barber Shop was one of its earliest cheerleaders.

The city already had Stitch, a bar hidden behind a seamstress, but we love being in on the secret, so a gin palace hidden behind a full functioning barber shop was right up our alley. And they really love gin here. There’s north of 80 bottles on the menu at this low-lit hideaway with a slight terrarium vibe, including a vintage collection for people with money to burn. They also feature Genever, the Dutch spirit from which gin originates.

Maybe Sydney got more gins so people were able to find one they like, or maybe we started to like gin so we got more varieties – either way we got more, better gin. Result! Our newfound tastes have even caused local distilling operations like Archie Rose and Poor Toms to get in on the act and make local spirits.

We’ve been banging on about gin for a while, but you don’t have to drink it – even if there’s no better way to cool down a hot night in the city than with a high-end G & T. Perhaps a Maxwell House is more your speed. Dark rum, chestnut liqueur, cold drip coffee and salted caramel create a short and boozy cocktail that’s somehow sweet, toasty and refreshing all at once. Right about now would be a good time to keep your balance with a cheese board, a little charcuterie or a house made sausage roll.

Any place you can get a cut and a shave followed by a gin and a cheese plate is somewhere we want to get to know better, so if you need us we’ll be propping up the bar seeing how much refreshing ruination we can take.

Bancho Bar

http://www.banchobar.com.au/

Chinatown finally gets the cocktail bar it deserves. Invest your booze budget here

Sydney drinking has left its awkward adolescence behind and is basking in a swan moment where you can now get a half decent Negroni in a pub. But there are many steps to ascend between that three-part aperitif and the degree of cocktail finesse on display at Bancho Bar, a refined Japanese whisky and fine drinking establishment in a Chinatown alley from the people who brought you Tokyo Bird in Surry Hills.

‘Alley’ is a fair term here, given that headlights from cars leaving the garage opposite shine into the bar giving everything a slightly upmarket Blade Runner glow. The space used to be a conference room belonging to the Ultimo Hotel, but it’s far better as a sleek whisky bar in muted tones, where they have installed whisky lockers if you’re fancy enough to spring for a whole bottle that you’ll slowly drink on concurrent visits.

Much like before a shopping spree, it’s good to determine how much you’re willing to spend on whisky before you arrive, otherwise the urge to know what a 44-year-old Speyside sherry cask for $150 may overcome you. You can also dabble in living large with many, many drams more expensive than a house pour but a lot less than what leather shoes cost.

You should also drink cocktails here. They are precise exercises in temporal beauty, like origami. The word ‘sour’ in the name of the Constellation Sour is fundamentally misleading: this drink is far too refined to elicit anything so unbecoming as a pucker face. Instead, white rum’s sweetness is softly enveloped by pear juice, with anise syrup for a heady perfume and enough lime to sharpen the focus on each flavour.

For something that’s as crisp and clean as a freshly ironed shirt, order a Bamboo (touted as Japan’s first cocktail, invented at the Grand Hotel in Yokohama), which mixes dry sherry, dry vermouth and two kinds of bitters. Revivers don’t come more gentle and immediately likeable as the Eastside Maiden, where plum wine is tamed by cucumber, a herbal shiso syrup and lime juice.

While you choose from six pages of cocktails you need crunchy noodles. Imagine something akin to an extra-thin Pocky, but instead of matcha chocolate these long, deep-fried strands are covered in a prawn salt that makes chicken salt look like a slacker. If you need something with more booze-sopping ability, there are nori salted fries, but our vote goes to a pair of soft bao with soft-shell crab and a spicy citrus mayo and lettuce – kind of like a very upmarket fillet-o-fish.

There is also a menu of crumbed fried things on sticks, starting at prawns and running the full crunchy gamut past scallops, pork (imagine high quality nuggets), sweet potato croquettes, lotus root and cherry tomatoes.

They’ve got their priorities right at Bancho: a bankruptcy-inducing whisky collection, killer cocktails and enough snacks on sticks to get you through if you don’t want to break for dinner. It’s the bar Chinatown has always deserved, but had to wait until 2018 to get.

Wyno x Bodega

https://www.instagram.com/wynobarandshop

What’s old is new again as this celebrated Surry Hills tapas legend moves in to a new wine-bar home

Make no mistake: the Bodega you know and love is no more. Shuttered. Closed. Boarded up. Thirteen years, and the lights went out with no fanfare, no shouts of “tapas is dead” from the Surry Hills rooftops. 

And that, of course, is the point. Bodega lives, just at Wyno, a few blocks away from the original. In what they’re calling Wyno x Bodega, the team – who also brought us Porteño, Bodega 1904 and had a helping hand in LP's, Bella Brutta, Stanbuli and the Continental Delis – are combining the best of both for a tapas bar/wine bar double bill. 

The bones of Wyno, a tight bar-bottleshop styled on its wine-focused predecessor 121 BC, remain: the long counter, which seats just 27, encourages sharing and conversation; the bottleshop still trades in takeaway; and staff can talk wine with the best of them. But the place had felt incomplete since the food started being run from neighbouring Porteño rather than its own pokey kitchen. 

Like at Wyno, there’s a short list of snacks and share plates that work equally well post-work or pre-theatre (Belvoir is two blocks away) as they do for a blow-out – but a new open kitchen brings more immediacy. 

The garlicky toasts forming the base for the fish fingers, a Bodega signature, land warm and charred, topped with raw kingfish and a sharp cuttlefish ceviche. Dark Basque-style cheesecake – a crustless thing baked extra-hot to set the shape – sits proudly on the counter, ready to be cut and dressed with sweet, sticky preserved cumquats.

Bodega’s rock‘n’roll sensibilities bring life, too. The music, which throws ’90s rock in with Talking Heads and the Cure, is louder, and everything – that means everything – on the wine list is available by the glass. 

Staff might pour whatever they have open, encourage you to grab a bottle from the shop where Italy, France and Spain are the main stops outside the local stuff, or follow your whims on the 300-plus label list. After a splash of bottle-aged sherry to keep the Spanish theme going? A glass of top-end Barolo between two? A thirst-crushing South African cinsault? Ask and you shall receive.

On the food front, the dark, handsome Wyno focaccia is a good place to start. It’s paired with olive oil, but it’s best kept to swipe through the brown butter on a dish of plump ricotta dumplings, to dab into the tuna sauce shipping grilled ox tongue topped with leek vinaigrette, to scoop up the spicy pepita mole served with charred octopus and roasted tomato or to soak in the sticky pear-cider number coating a brick-coloured coil of spiced pork sausage. It’s all saucy, and it’s all bold. 

The old Bodega sported a mural of a bull with the words “barriga llena corazón contento” (full belly, happy heart) emblazoned on his barrel chest. Here, it’s cut up and rearranged on the wall as a symbol of an institution entering a new era. It may look different, but the sentiment still holds. Full bellies. Happy hearts. Can’t lose.

The Wild Rover

http://thewildrover.com.au/

This hidden whiskey den is probably Sydney’s worst-kept, and best-loved secret spot

Sydney doesn’t downplay its assets. The demand for photos of Bondi Beach is so great that it requires a dedicated gallery; the harbour is the ultimate artists’ muse, and people pay well north of $100 to climb the bridge just for a better view. But Sydney has plenty of secrets too, and one of our favourites is a compact, two-story jungle whiskey bar with an Irish accent hidden in Surry Hills.

The Wild Rover is one of those bars that people like to think of as their personal hideout. A rough day is swiftly mended by a pewter tankard of Guinness, a round of oysters or a juicy, flavoursome lamb sausage roll cooked to order. And that brings us to the end of the snacks menu.

By contrast you’ll run out of cash before you get to the end of the cocktail list, so we recommend starting at the end and working your way backwards, which will allow you to kick things off with an Irish Penicillin. It’s a cold-busting lug of Irish whiskey mixed with fresh lemon juice, honey and ginger, plus a nip of 16-year-old Lagavulin to smoke out any lingering bad vibes. First the cure, then a lift from the carousel of dark, sweet and roasty flavours in the Cold Drip Suburban that blends Tennessee whiskey, dark rum, port, walnut bitters and cold drip coffee.

Lime, mint and apple juice with gin and agave is as fresh as a new day, though we’re not sure about calling it the AA Meeting. If your palate needs a reset, look to the Italians for the bitter wash of an Amaro Montenegro or Campari with soda that will leave your tongue squeaky clean.

Drinking at the Wild Rover is kind of like being a member of a secret society, only without the hazing and awkward robe wearing. You’ll find the door behind a security guard looking like he’s just chilling on Campbell St, and each time you slide it back it’s like entering an Aladdin’s cave full of good times and ace drinks. There's not much space for posturing bullshit – in fact there's not much space generally, especially on a Saturday night when both levels are jam packed with low-key inner city types who know a little about single malts and are keen to know a lot more.

Though the walls sport what look like mural-sized jungle colouring book prints, the tunes swing Celtic and there’s good craic over the bar – they’ve taken the idea of Irish hospitality to heart. Stop by on Tuesdays for Trivia, or clock off early for dollar oysters, or lob in for a whiskey whenever the spirit moves you. Any excuse will do.

The Cumberland

https://www.cumberlandmanly.com.au/

Manly’s bar scene gets a touch of glamour at this underground speakeasy hidden below an old-world delicatessen

If everything was as it seemed, the Cove Deli would be one of the tiniest, most exceptionally finished, most obscurely located smallgoods businesses around. But at this pocket-sized space in a nondescript alley set back from the Corso, the real trick is what lies beneath. Pull at the 1920s fridge door in the corner, slide down the spiral staircase and step into the Cumberland: Manly’s very own underground speakeasy, complete with flickering candlesticks, fluted glass, scalloped banquettes and brass, copper and bentwood for days.  

The mood might be set to European Golden Age, but the city and its history are front of mind on the list from GM Pete Ehemann (ex-Merivale) and creative consultant Petr Dvoracek (ex-Merivale and the Barber Shop). The bar takes its name from the County of Cumberland, the zone encompassing much of central Sydney, and the six cocktails in the section labelled ‘19th Century County Tipples’ are each named for a surrounding county, with the core ingredient relating to that county’s major export. 

Obscure? Sure. But with the Camden (export: wool), it gives the team licence to combine Hartshorn sheep’s whey vodka with an olive-leaf tincture and white vermouth and serve it in a glass with a clip of wool pegged to the stem, Heston Blumenthal style. It doesn’t need the potent drop of truffle oil floated on top, but in this place, with this sort of flair and panache, it seems to make sense. See also the Cumberland (export: wood), which brings together Glenlivet and Pedro Ximénez with honey and puréed cherry and serves it all in a coupe under a cloche pumped full with smoke. The cloche comes off, smoke billows, phones flash, likes follow. 

This could so easily be another cut-and-paste underground dive bar, but the team have clearly thrown everything at the design. The marble bar, sandstone blocks and vintage bar tools catch the eye as much as the turn-of-the-century (last century, that is) copper beer taps fill the imagination with moustachioed gentlemen drinking deep after a long day helming a freshly opened Manly Life Saving Club.

The ‘Foraged and Found’ section draws on local history, too, with drinks built on ingredients said to grow wild around Manly Cove and remain in plentiful supply today. Unless of course it’s the lilly pilly, whose supply has run dry. It’s subbed for mulberry in the Sour, which is shaken with lemon-myrtle tea, and aquafaba in place of eggwhite. Good trick, that. Especially if you like your vegan cocktails with a side of cured meats and cheese, which make up most of the food offer. 

If you aren’t vegan grab a can of Espinaler brand olives stuffed with anchovy, then hit the raclette. The cheese comes melted over new potatoes with an array of cured meats – salami, ham, jamon – cut on the fly-wheel slicer at the Cove, plus cornichons and good toast. Win.

Classics are solid. A Widow’s Kiss, bringing together Calvados and Dom Benedictine with yellow Chartreuse and bitters, shows bite and balance, with hand-cut ice and elderflower adding extra elegance. The wine list covers its bases without breaking the bank, and there’s an admirable range of whiskeys in the eye-catching backbar for those keen to go exploring.

There are a couple of missteps – the chorizo meatballs arrive missing the sauce, service with just one bartender can be slow – but the Manly locals, be they straight off the beach or dressed for a good time, aren’t complaining. And they shouldn’t. This is a destination bar as much as a beaches haunt, bringing an impressive air of glamour and worldliness to the north. Step downstairs, step back in time and step out blinking into the night the better for it.

Golden Gully

http://www.goldengullybar.com.au/

Leichhardt gets a true-blue neighbourhood bar it deserves

“It’s really weird, but pretty exciting”, our chipper waitress tells us. She’s referring to a dish of charred, salt-brined pineapple, dusted with chilli and resting on a ricotta-like macadamia cream. It’s not exactly something you’d expect to see on the menu at your neighbourhood bar. But, then again, Golden Gully isn’t exactly the neighbourhood bar you might expect. 

There’s the neighbourhood, for starters. Leichhardt is not the first suburb that comes to mind for cutting-edge drinking. Glebe might have felt much the same back in 2011, when Dynn Szmulewicz opened the Little Guy. Whether this comparably slender, two-storey small bar – his second venture, and first with longtime Little Guy barman Daniel McBride – sets off a ripple of similar openings in the surrounding area remains to be seen. We’re only two months in, but so far things look promising.

The duo has gone all-out Australiana here, but in a way that doesn’t feel hokey or contrived. Think emerald-green wainscoting and stylish gold light fixtures, dried natives in vases, vintage-looking posters from nearby breweries and framed black-and-white photos of the bush. And with the exception of some backbar essentials and ever-changing ‘guest wines’ from further afield, all the booze is home-grown, too.

Cocktails take that Down Under ethos a step further, incorporating native ingredients into classic recipes. Housemade pepperberry syrup spices up a searingly tart Daiquiri showcasing Brix Distillery’s fruit-forward white rum, and a Poor Tommy Collins finds a new dimension of freshness thanks to lemon myrtle and Regal Rogue’s Lively White vermouth.

It’s that rare, democratic drinks list suited to every palate and pocket without sacrificing its point of view. Tinnies from the likes of Balter, Young Henrys and Hop Nation make up the lion’s share of the beer selection, but there’s Akasha lager and a seasonal Grifter release on tap, and wild ale longies from Marrickville’s Wildflower Brewing & Blending, too. By-the-glass wines play a straighter bat, so seek a bottle should alternative varieties or names like Frederick Stevenson and Yetti & the Kokonut excite you.

The almost entirely vegan menu (by ex-Alibi chef Emma Evans) is a bold move, more in-line with the (still casual) sit-down, table-service experience upstairs than down below. It’s a concept you want to cheer for, brought to life by independent operators you want to get behind. Sure, some more wine bottles and pickle jars on the shelves would make the place feel more lived-in. Yes, the flicker of a few candles might make the far end of the downstairs bar more inviting. Considered as a whole, though, the idea is so strikingly simple and so endearingly executed, it’s weird no one thought of it sooner. Really weird, in fact – but pretty exciting.

Eau de Vie

http://eaudevie.com.au/sydney

They’re talkin’ big game at this Darlinghurst cocktail bar, and they have the dynamite drinks to back it up

There is a dapper gent setting fire to a chopping board in front of our table, and he’s not an arsonist or attempting some sort of Breakfats Club-style fire alarm evacuation – he’s our bartender and the smoke of the cedar board is destined for a glass, following which the rest of our Smoky Rob Rob will be added. The combined forces of Talisker, Lagavulin, rum, vermouth and orange bitters, plus a generous cloud of smoke is like drinking the essence of a really expensive log cabin in the foothills of the Rockies.

Blow torching the serving ware is just the beginning of the dinner entertainment at this theatrical cocktail bar hidden out the back of the Kirketon Hotel in Darlinghurst. A show-stopping Bloody Mary is fresh and light, not weighed down by the heavy pulp in commercial tomato juices. Seasoning is intentionally restrained, otherwise the little piles of salt, black pepper and paprika on your tray would serve no purpose, nor the tiny bottle of Tabasco if you like yours hot.

But nothing tops the creative flair displayed in a Riverstream. Mezcal adds a herbal smokiness to calvados, which is then chilled over a frozen river stone and finished with a cloud of eucalyptus and citrus oil made with liquid nitrogen. It’s the Man from Snowy River reimagined as a cocktail.

Kings Cross might be looking a little neglected of late, but there’s a high old time happening inside Eau De Vie. Newly minted couples canoodle on the black leather lounges, posses of party people crowd out the high central table and in the whisky bar are the locked cabinets reserved for high rollers who buy a bottle of the good stuff at a time. And all that vintage glamour really works up a thirst.

After all these years it’s still surprising that, casually strolling through a hotel lobby, you end up in a high-end cocktail bar, especially one as exceptional as this. Not only do you have a flawless bar team seeing to your drinks, but although it feels expensive, they’re not charging excessive premiums on skill and flair. It’s all part of the package. Wins all round.

Love, Tilly Devine

http://lovetillydevine.com/

A new chef with a flair for elegant invention steps things up at the laneway favourite

Michael West gives good toast. Briny clams on crisp fingers of garlic bread, say. Or shiny fillets of sardine garnished with curry leaves. Or mussels, plump and slathered with spicy rouille. And then there’s the parmesan toasts with Japanese Vegemite – little rounds of bread freighting a blizzard of Reggiano cheese on top of a dark, umami-rich goo that West concocts from tamari and shio kombu. All this needs, you think to yourself, is a bloody good glass of wine. And this being Love, Tilly Devine, one the country’s original and best purveyors of wines from off the beaten track, that is not a problem.

You might say half the battle is won just having Iggy’s bread on hand. But West treats the Iggy's (the best bread in Australia) as the precious resource that it is. Fresh, the bread is offered simply sliced with good olive oil. Beyond that it becomes one of his magical toast products, each of which pass the can-I-eat-this-with-a-glass-in-my-other-hand? test with flying colours. And if there’s any bread left over after that, he finds more inventive uses for it still. One of the tastiest upcycles is his fiori or fusilli (West loves a corkscrew shape, it seems, or else just likes the aesthetic fit with a room full of bottles and corks), the pasta tossed with buttery leeks, a decent hit of chilli, and the crumbs of bread turned into crunchy pangrattato.

The space that passes for a kitchen at LTD is not what you might call large, but from it West produces wonders. He’s an alumnus of Automata, and it’s tempting to connect his love of Japanese accents with his time spent cooking with Clayton Wells. He throws seaweed in with the burrata, spikes the hollandaise for the asparagus with the seven-spice called shichimi togarashi, and uses yuzu-kosho, the chilli-hot citrus paste, to bring sparks to slow-roasted cabbage bejewelled with beads of salmon roe.

Rare is the bar-snack menu where dessert seems like a better idea than another tilt at the wine list. Not so Love, Tilly Devine today. West takes a mousse of dark chocolate, sets it on toasty pumpkin seeds and then – brace yourself – splashes it with Fernet Branca. The perfect bittersweet finish.

Archie Rose

http://www.archierose.com.au/

It’s a beautiful bar inside a distillery in a compound already boasting ace pastries, pizza and designer homewares. Rosebery, please stop hogging all the awesome

We were already prepared to like the Archie Rose bar. Ever since they pulled the dust cloths off the shining copper stills in the distillery back in March and started pumping out gin, vodka and white rye we’ve been singing the praises of this impressive operation located on Rosebery’s most innovative block. But now that the bar is in full swing we can confirm that we’re falling hard for this warehouse haunt with a local liquor ledger.

To start with, they’ve enlisted Harriet Leigh (ex Hazy Rose and Henrietta Supper Club) as the bar manager to make sure they're stirring us a five star house gin Martini with a precise brine balance. You are in very good hands here. Of course our timing can’t always be perfect and we lob in a week shy of a cocktail menu revamp, but the news is nothing but good. They’re turfing out some of the sweeter concoctions like the South Sydney Side that reminds us of the mysterious flavour of 7-Up and a banana whisky Martini that was all sugar and no punch.

In their place will be the Nuclear DaiquiRye, a homage to the creator of the classic Nuclear Daiquiri, Gregor de Gruyther. It combines cask-strength white rye and adds house falernum, yellow chartreuse and lime. This is not a cocktail you’d want to underestimate. Whisky lovers better be prepared to lose their heart to a powerful mix of Talisker 10, Ledaig 10, Aperol and grapefruit juice in the Between the Peats. Tequila more your jam? Hold out for the Thor's Hammer. Crema del Mezcal is set to get shaken with muddled cucumber, mint, agave and lime for a bright and smoky summer cup. We are most definitely going back for round two. Oh, and they’re chucking a dedicated Boilermaker menu in there for good measure so bring a thirst that’s earned kickass craft brews and whisky with guts.

The room is the last word in industrial elegance. It’s separated from the distillery by a heavy-duty metal grille and a wall of spirit barrels: and on the bar side the vibe is a little bit chemistry lab, a little bit workshop and features a whole lot of copper. Curl up in an over-sized barrel booth if you need to kick back, but it’s more fun posting up at the copper bar where every metallic surface gleams in the light refracted through the shelves of oversized beakers. The whole fit-out is an amusement park for light waves.

Kitchen by Mike may have upped stumps for the city, but snack time is sorted with a meats and cheese board that is out to spoil your appetite. Tender slices of rare roast beef, Australian prosciutto and chorizo keep excellent company with a double cream brie and that bitey cheddar from the Isle of Mull, where the cattle are fed on grain from the local distillery. There are pickled Dutch carrots, cornichons, mustard and pesto to balance out the rich flavours and Black Star Pastry bread to bring it all home.

We’re pretty certain that the Cannery has now reached peak awesome with the addition of the Archie Rose bar. Tally it up with Black Star,Da Mario, Koskela and soon, Messina, the real question is why haven’t you moved to Rosebery yet?

Ode

http://odebar.com/

A thoroughly un-Bondi wine bar is bringing Italian romance and natural wine to the beach

Close quarters are helpful when you’re on a date, and sexy Italian wine bars don’t get much cosier than Ode. All that low, flattering light is like a real-world Instagram filter; the little round tables are so small you can interlock knees; and given they quite literally have wine on tap, a night here is a reliable recipe for romance.

We’re so used to the all-white coastal colour scheme of Bondi that the rustic raw brick and solid timber fitout of Ode is almost disorienting, but on a winter’s night it’s actually the perfect antidote to a bone-chilling coastal breeze. And for anyone who says you can’t sell carbs in Bondi, this bar presents a full house doing swift demolition work on an excellent cacio e pepe that is rich but stops short of heart-busting territory. It’s probably all that black pepper giving the dish a flinty, sparky spiciness that keeps the cheese in check, but tender oily pieces of sardine also give this cheesy pasta a surprising sophistication.

Gnocchi with Napoletana and cheese is straight-shooting comfort food that lands a bullseye on the nostalgia button; a salad of orange slices claims a firm foothold in savoury territory with fennel, olives, salt and good olive oil; and everyone loves an orb of burrata – but if you are in fact on a date, tread carefully when it comes to the toast that conceals a lethal dose of garlic.

Do those bouncy smoked mussels with a micro dice of pickled carrot on toast taste familiar? It’s because you’ve had something similar at Dear Sainte Eloise, the Potts Point Wine Bar that Ben Abiad helped set up before heading even further east to open Ode with Benedict Maurice, Jerome Wallcroft and Jeremy Moyle.

A carafe of wine is very good if you’re not sure that this date is going to make it all the way through a bottle. They have two wines on tap – on our visit it’s a smashable Adelaide Hills sauv blanc from Sparrow and Wine, and a likeable Italian barbera. By the glass a Yarra Valley rose from Xavier Goodridge is all soft berries and blushing freshness, but it’s worth scanning the cocktail list because they mix the heck out of Bloody Mary – the tomato juice here is no sweet imposter but thick, vegetal and profoundly umami. Or order the Tobacco Road if you like the sound of a cocktail that tastes like a campfire on the beach, pairing mezcal’s smokiness with Cynar bitterness and a touch of sherry.

There are few suburbs in Sydney as sure of their identity as Bondi, but that’s what makes this thoroughly un-Bondi bar so appealing. There’s no poke bowls, no carb-free alternative and the look ignores the 2026 dress code entirely. It’s just a proper good wine bar with strong European roots that knows that deep down, we all want cheesy pasta for dinner.

Charlie Parker's

http://merivale.com.au/charlieparkers

If you ever wanted to drink a cocktail that tastes like a bushwalk after rain, this is where you can do it

Do you know what Centennial Park tastes like? We’re talking first thing in the morning, not when you stumble and face plant in the dark after a gig/footy game. Turns out it’s a combination of jasmine, nasturtium, bottlebrush, kikuya grass and fusilia flowers. And how do we know that? At Charlie Parker’s, the cocktail bar underneath Merivale's chic country restaurant Fred’s, they send their bartenders out to the park to collect those same botanicals, which they then distil into a vodka used in their Centennial Park cocktail.

They’re very proud of their rotary vacuum distillation machinery at this subterranean bar. They use it to strip the colour and a lot of the flavour out of whisky so that they can mix the muted version with powdered stone, a little moss infusion and some red wood bark to make a drink that tastes like a bushwalk after heavy rain. At this point, you might be wondering if you can get a drink without the poetry, and you can, but we like their enthusiasm for new ideas, even if they get a bit lost in the romance of it all.

Unlike the bright, elegant restaurant above it, Charlie Parker’s is a snug, dark warren of comfy nooks for wooing, with a big imposing bar to sit at if you like some bartender chat with your drinks. You’ve got more fingers than they’ve got wines by the glass, but that’s because this crew loves spirits – there’s tasting notes for everything on the back bar, which might not arouse much interest in a London dry gin drinker, but is quite handy for whisky lovers.

There’s also an open kitchen downstairs pumping out Euro-style bar snacks like chicken liver mousse, salt beef croquettes with mustard and pickles, and cheese boards – but if you want a leg of lamb, you’re simply on the wrong floor.

The nice thing about having pots of money is that it lets you do almost anything you like, which is why Merivale have been able to take over three adjoining venues along Oxford Street and open a high-end pub, a jazzy chicken shop, a refined European restaurant and a basement bar.  The latter is a classy little hideout, but the exposed pipes and beams in the ceiling and the roller door at one end stop it feeling too big for its boots. It’s somewhat incongruous with the gentle elegance of Danielle Alvarez’s restaurant upstairs, but if you’re not ready for the night to end, or can’t afford the whole shebang in the dining room, Charlie Parker’s is a very comfortable port that heralds a new nighttime era for Paddington.

Nick & Nora's

https://nickandnoras.com.au/

This 26th-storey glamorous cocktail bar ushers in a new era of Parramatta drinking

All it took for Parramatta’s bar scene to go from burgeoning to baller was 270-degree views that stretch from the Blue Mountains on one side to a teeny tiny Harbour Bridge on the other horizon. The first Western Sydney enterprise from the Speakeasy Group (Eau De Vie, Mjolner) is a stunner. You need to seek it out on the 26th floor of the shiny new V by Crown building, which houses Skye Hotel Suites, as well as schmick apartments. This context is important, because Nick and Nora’s gives off swanky hotel bar vibes – which is good and proper, given it functions as one.

It makes all the luxury finishes make more sense, like the demijohn of rare cognac on the outdoor bar, the liquid nitrogen tap installed in the garnish table, and the humidor full of cigars you can smoke out on the devoted smokers’ balcony. Don’t worry, the non-smokers get a bigger one, complete with a brass telescope for checking out the moonrise. Plus there’s a third vantage point behind the main bar in a kind of glassed-in galley. There are views to spare at Nick and Noras.

The team did not shy away from the old world glamour that you expect from a bar named after the boozy detectives in a 1934 black-and-white movie, and as you’d expect, bartenders mix a mean Martini here, too. The Dirty Martini, with its briny olive juice, has met its match in the Asta, a sharp, savoury uptown mix in a liquid nitrogen-cooled Nick and Nora glass (naturally). The Texan vodka is infused with straw for a kind of sweet herbalness, the launch pad for dry vermouth and pickled jalapeno juice, which blows the humble olive out of the water on flavour and intrigue. This is the drink we keep thinking about.

A take-no-prisoners riff on a French 75 adds the fragrant mysteries of bay leaf, yuzu’s high-octane citrus power and the quinine-spiked aperitif Cochi Americano to white wine, gin and elderflower. It’s sweet, intense and cleverly balanced by complex flavours.

If the question is dessert or another drink, knock them both off with the Old Fashioned that riches up the mouthfeel of Ron Zacapa with burnt butter, then adds madeira and chocolate bitters before pulling a surprise turn with Benedictine’s menthol freshness.

Rosenbaum and Fuller

https://www.rosenbaumandfuller.com/

This café-bar hybrid in Bondi slings plant-based plates and a true-blue spirit list

Living Coral is the Pantone Colour of the year for 2019, so you can expect to see this vibrant orange-red colour splashed across walls, advertising campaigns and interior mags very soon. But first, try it in liquid-form at Rosenbaum and Fuller, a fresh day-to-night spot in Bondi located near Bondi’s Six Ways just back from Hall Street. Formerly the Cross Eatery, this Bondi café-bar is dishing out vegetarian-focused plates and well-made drinks by Lee Potter Cavanagh, who headed up Victoria Room when it was in its cocktail-shaking heyday.

Back to that tasty Pantone-coloured cocktail – it’s on-trend in colour, but more importantly, delicious to drink. The grapefruit juice-based tipple is stirred down instead of fizzy, bitter rather than sweet (courtesy of a slug of Australian-made Okar amaro) and garnished with pennywort (a round, mustard-flavoured leaf you’ll have spotted growing in coastal areas). In other words, it's best enjoyed to a soundtrack of the Isley Brothers and Bob Marley, perched at one of the sidewalk tables on a Saturday evening, when Six Ways is at its buzziest. 

Order some snacks to go with your people watching. Oysters may trick you into thinking this is a seafood joint ­– in fact it’s mostly plant-based aside from those molluscs. Dive into puffy golden Iggy’s rolls, which come served with butter, whose ‘secret’ ingredient is a hint of Vegemite. It’s a prime brekky-by-night starting point. 

A terrine (which is a compressed, cool veggie slice) takes the layered farmhouse dish and gives it a vegan makeover, but leek’s famed fibrousness means it’s not quite as spreadable as the OG. That’s where sweet cashew butter and seeded mustard step in. Going in blind here might result in some confusion when the core of your schnitty is eggplant – they don’t labour the plant-based ethos from the get-go so it might catch you by surprise until you get into the swing of the menu.

Cocktail bars in Bondi are few and far between – and even though you could mistake Rosenbaum and Fuller for being a restaurant or a café, where it shines brightest is behind the bar, where the drinks are more Aussie than a Weiss bar by the beach.

Monopole

http://monopolesydney.com.au/

Is it a bar? Is it a restaurant? It doesn’t matter when everything is delicious

The line between restaurant and bar has gone from a little fuzzy to indistinct, and nowhere is this more so than at Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt’s Potts Point wine bar and restaurant, Monopole. You could pop in for a cheeky drink and end up eating the full tasting menu. You could opt for a quick supper that turns into rolling home heavy with biodynamic wines and light on cash. It all depends on what you’re in the mood for.

The best place to start is by hitting happy hour from 5-6pm. A $12 Negroni or Bermuda Sour Martini will get you off to a rolling start, especially if you’re backing it up with two little crispbreads topped with fluffy goats curd, a gently grilled skewer of pillowy soft pastrami and the refreshing crunch of lightly pickled cucumber on top.

Loosely speaking, the people at the tables are here to eat and the people lining the gleaming black bar are here to take a swing at the impressive wine list. If you’re unsure about this whole biodynamic caper, a super fresh glass of the Mas d’Espanet Eolienne grenache blanc is the gateway wine that’ll convert you. There’ll be no complaints about the sour cherry lift in a nebbiolo from Piedmont’s Bruno Rocca, either.

There’s no denying you could spend some serious cash here. The menu criss-crosses the globe like a twenty-something student, but one with really excellent taste, and so not much by the glass sneaks under ten dollars ($15 is about the average).

For a more substantial snack, the steak tartare is rich, silky and earthy. Fried sweet potato skins add essential crunch while dehydrated mushroom anchors everything with a deep savoury character.

If you tell us you want wine in Potts Point, this is where we’ll send you. But there’s no shame in ordering up a Nomad Cruisin’ Ale or a Trumer pils and letting the evening float by on an amber sea.

Tokyo Bird

http://www.tokyobird.com.au/

Yakitori! Yamazaki! Yona Yona! Why are you not at this Japanese bar?

Some of the best booze action in Surry Hills is the hardest to find. The Wild Rover keeps a very low profile and 121 BC blends in amongst the neighbouring garages like some sort of urban chameleon. And the new Japanese whisky bar tucked off Commonwealth Street on Belmore Lane is certainly not going out of its way to draw attention to itself – we have to point it out to people who work almost directly across the road. 

Through the sliding glass door the tunes are kept low and chat is animated, so the volume sits at a comfortable hubbub in spite of the black and white tiles, exposed brick and huge glass windows lining the room. Try and annex the booth built on a little raised platform at the far end – it’s the bar equivalent of getting the window seat and extra leg room. If not, grab perches on the tall timber bar that runs the length of the room, which is narrow enough to comfortably talk across.

The bar and kitchen split the counter space evenly, with pride of place given to Japanese whiskeys. You can drop a tenner on the Suntory Kakubin (weirdly it’s $12 to have it as a highball) or invest $45 on a single shot of Ichiro’s Malt Chibidaru. We split the difference and order up an Old Fashioned made with the 12-year-old Yamazaki, which arrives nicely balanced. The house twist on a Moscow Mule mixes Kaukubin with ginger, lemon juice and soda, and it tickles your tongue like sherbet. We like that they answer the tart citrus not with sugar but with a flash of peat from some Laphroaig in the finish. There’s Asahi and Denmark’s Somersby dry cider on tap right now, but they also have fun Japanese beers like the Robot Ninja pale ale and cans of Yona Yona American pale ale. 

Bar snacks are a good time at Tokyo Bird. They keep the yakitori grill behind the counter packed with chicken bits (thigh, wing, liver, hearts, giblets), sausages, scallops, and pork belly. And they’re not afraid to stray from protein – they also chuck zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, cherry tomatoes or eggplant over the coals. 

How much do you love eggplant? If the answer is heaps, order two little skewers of slightly chewy segments glazed in sweet miso sauce. Anyone ambivalent to aubergine should opt for the chicken thigh. Gently charred skewers of fillet run through with flavoursome seams of fat are separated by little girders of green onion and then coated in a sweet, sticky soy sauce (tare). Overcooked chicken hearts can be chewy, but here you get two skewers with five tender little bullets of lean, marinated meat. The hearts have a stronger, gamey flavour so to get a long-time yakitori fan and first-time offal eater on board, ask them to go harder on the tare.

The katsu nuggets here are no ordinary chicken snack. Juicy white meat morsels come crumbed, crunchy and dabbed with tangy katsu sauce. They run out of chopsticks on our visit, but it's worth MacGyvering cutlery out of yakitori sticks to dip them in mayo and eat them while they're hot.

Sydney loves a whisky bar (that Baxter queue isn’t getting any shorter) and we’re also partial to snacks on sticks, so we’re pretty stoked this place is combining the two. And the fact it’s a little off the beaten path just means your drink comes with a sense of achievement for having pinned down yet another bloody good small bar in Surry Hills.

Bart Jr

https://bartjr.com.au/

This neighbourhood bar has raised simple bar snacks to a whole new level

Redfern residents were already pretty happy with George Woodyard thanks to the ace snackage available from the simple and delicious canteen, Scouts Honour. Now that the day trade was conquered, Woodyard, Anne Cooper, AmandaBaxter and Matt Turk decided it was time to rule the night by opening a bar. The new Regent of afterhours eats is Bart Jr. 

In a feat of design wizardry, they’ve managed to make one of those glass-front, new development retail spaces feel warm, welcoming and lived in. It must be all that caramel coloured timber, golden light and flowers arranged about the room. Because this isn’t their first hospo rodeo they know how to manage a crowd – even if you show up at 7pm (foolhardy) they’re adept at predicting table turnover and manage the waitlist with a keen eye.

And it is worth it, because what they’ve successfully done is upload the spirit of a café into a bar. It might have been the promise of a glass of the Somos barbera rosé that got you here – the sweet/tart tug-o-war reminds us of biting into tart plum skins – but it’s the food menu that will keep you in your seat.

The kingfish ceviche is exotically dressed in a ginger coconut cream that inspires thoughts of jungle holidays, and they double down on the refreshment with shards of snowpeas, green onion and yellow capsicum. Chuck some toasted coconut and black sesame in there and you’ll realise other raw fish dishes have been slacking.

There is no greater argument for eating in season than ripe, grilled peaches with perfect tomatoes and an orb of burrata. It could almost be a dessert save for the savoury anchor of pistachios and fresh basil’s sharp, aromatic contribution.

They also work well with carbs, stuffing slightly sweet torpedo rolls with cooked prawns and a creamy, herby sauce, and packing a worryingly delicious calorific payload of multiple cheeses, brisket, mayo and pickles into their ‘hot sandwich’.

It’s not as if you won’t see similar sounding items listed on bar menus across the city, but anywhere they spotted an opportunity to level up, they took it. You always feel like they’re giving you their best at Bart Jr and that’s why we want to give them all our money, as well as the award for Best Bar Food for 2018.

Burrow Bar

http://burrowbar.com.au/

We're thinking they named this inner city hideaway for its proportions

It takes a certain mindset to see the potential for a cosy little bar in an awkward, narrow room off a city laneway, but luckily for us the team at Burrow Bar were able to look past the fluorescent lights and corporate Gyprock walls and imagine something better.

They have transformed what looked like a standard office foyer into a bar you’ll want to make your regular, especially if you work in the CBD. Turns out behind the blank white walls there was beautiful Sydney sandstone waiting to be unearthed, to which they’ve added the warm glow of miners lights, a polished concrete floor and some hard-core sound insulation so you can comfortably chat.

They’ve kept things pared back and simple in this narrow burrow; little native floral bunches adorn the tables, there’s a few club lounges up the back and they’ve wound fake vines around some of the exposed beams and struts. What it all adds up to is the kind of bar you can visit in any mood. Want a quiet drink with a beleaguered colleague? These guys are barrel-aging tall, strong Negronis as an emotional salve. Keen to meet the crew and loosen the collar? That’s when you want something that isn’t taking itself too seriously. Take the Never go the Full Tiki, for example. They’ve taken a Sazerac, whitened the rum and added a Chartreuse rinse, a pineapple and cardamom shrub and orange bitters, and what arrives is essentially a tiki drink wearing an invisibility cloak. It tastes fruity and tropical but is almost clear, like those Archers RTDs that were so popular in the early thousands.

We are powerless to resist those super salty little crunchy corn kernels that they’re selling here for a cheeky three-bucks a pop, but if you’re planning on making dinner out of bar food you might want to take a run at the Reuben sandwich made from bread, corned beef and sauerkraut all of which they make in house. The other substantial eats are rillettes and a 1kg rump cap, which is a fairly random collection of menu items, and for vegetarians you can have all the rillettes accompaniments (pickles, cheese, bread etc) with no meat.

This place is tricky to find – you need to hook down into a loading alley way off George Street and look for the door marked with a B – which probably explains it’s DIY neighbourhood vibe. It’s not crazy busy, the staff are very chatty and it’s a poser-free zone, so if you’ve been looking for a low-key haunt in the CBD, this is a good place to cool your heels.

Mary's

https://instagram.com/marysnewtown

Welcome to the home of Sydney’s most famous bar burger

It’s entirely likely that Mary’s is more famous as a burger place than as a bar. People queue for up to an hour just to get in the front door of this slightly scuzzy boozer with a penchant for Slaytanic font (yes, there is a font inspired by the 1980s thrash metal band). Of course only the uninitiated don’t know that there’s often a secondary queue up the stairs for a table on the mezzanine. People really love Mary’s burgers.

Those five star American-style burgers turned Sydney’s bar scene on its head – now you can’t lob a brick without hitting someone melting cheese over beef patties and packing them in sweet, soft buns – people still devote their evenings to locking down rounds of cheeseburgers, baskets of fried chicken and super silky mash with gravy. The Mary’s T-shirts bearing the command ‘get fat’ are not being sarcastic.

But those who look beyond the burger buns are rewarded with a kickass bar you’ll want to linger in. Painted along the back wall in huge script is the full bar menu. There are ten cocktails, ten wines by the glass, plus a handful of stubbies from crafty crews like Feral, Newstead, Moo Brew and Murray’s. On tap they’re calling their dark ale Slayer Juice, but it tastes more like a Toohey’s Old, not the blood of sacrificed virgins, so there’s no need to be alarmed. There’s also Young Henrys brews, Reschs and Matilda Bay’s amber ale Ruby Tuesday for something less threatening.

Kick back with a Boulevardier (bourbon, Campari, sweet vermouth) and take in your surrounds. You’ve got a flying grim reaper on one wall, a psychedelic ode to the Egyptian god Ra on the stairwell and a skeletal devil keeping watch over the dartboard – although it’s rarely quiet enough to make flinging a sharp missile across the room a good idea. There’s a whole lot of scrawl covering the walls too.

Before there was a bandwagon these guys were doing their own version of an American bar; playing socially acceptable metal (not the Cannibal Corpse kind), mixing up fun cocktails and pumping out burgers like a well-oiled machine. No wonder people keep coming back for more.

Poly

http://www.polysurryhills.com.au./

Make room in your heart for the Ester diffusion line bringing drop-in wine times to Surry Hills

Even though our love for Chippo resto Ester is as strong as the day it opened five years ago, when you’re in a long-term dining relationship you can get a wandering palate. But it’s not cheating if your piece on the side is a wine bar by the very same crew who won your heart in the first place, right?

How fitting that chef Mat Lindsay and sommelier Julien Dromgool’s new walk-in wine bar is called Poly, because it’s going to split your love across two venues. And don’t kid yourself, just because it’s calling itself a bar doesn’t mean you’re not going to drop a chunk of cash grazing your way through the snacks menu.

It’s less a slippery slope and more a delicious slide that starts off with a discus of bread puffed up like a soufflé pancake on the grill so that top and tail are charred. It's fated to be the bronzed chariot for the creamy salt cod dip that accompanies it. Staying on the ‘fun with bread’ theme are batons of cucumber wrapped up like a cigar in soft crust-free white bread, but approach it with extreme caution, because there’s enough hot Japanese mustard in there to destroy your sinuses. Gentler comforts are found in a thick slice of malty bread with lots of butter layered with one brown and one white anchovy.

The famous Ester blood pudding sambo has been remixed into a pie here, with more hot mustard, fresh chervil and a sweet prune purée as a foil to all that earthy, farmhouse funk. It stands in stark contrast to the dish we can’t stop thinking about, ricotta gnudi – pillowy dumplings that carpet bomb your mouth with cheese; a smoked whey sauce that’s lighter than a cheese sauce but creamier than butter; and shiitake mushrooms that have undergone an alchemical transformation in the deep fryer so that you’d swear blind they were bacon rinds.

See? We did it ourselves, spending all this time talking about the food when this is a wine bar...

Stop in any time for an elegant, restrained riff on a Negroni made with blanco tequila or the exceptionally lean chardonnay made for the venue by those natural wine champions Commune of Buttons. If you like the aroma of herbal mountain plains order the Kumpf and Meyer sylvaner auxerrois from Alsace, or just smash nice glasses of Marrickville’s Wildflower international ale on tap. This is the kind of drinks list that will accomodate many return visits before you run out of interesting and delicious things to drink, moving comfortably across global vineyards with a natural bent, but behind the bar there’s no evangelical posturing about it.

Service is knowledgeable, but they don’t go in for the hard sell at Poly. They don’t need to.  Sydney is a town with a lot of love to give when ace snacks and killer drinks are on the cards.

Prince of York

https://www.princeofyork.com.au/

The CBD gets its groove back with a big, booming multipurpose boozer care of some proven hospitality heavyweights

Are you one of those folk who let the dust settle on their dancing shoes post-lockouts? Maybe the only time you’ve cut the rug since 2014 was when you were a little loose at a wedding reception, or in your mate’s lounge room to the beat of a blaring UE Boom. We’re not here to admonish you (even though there’s still been plenty going on), but instead introduce you to the perfect party-transition bar, to warm you up for those inevitable (exciting) lockout rollbacks. Enter the Prince of York, in all its dancing glory.

Calling it nothing more than a ‘party bar’ would be to overlook the slick plates they’re slinging, the extensive natural wine list, the solid service and the talented team behind it all: Paul Schulte (former Keystone Group creative director), Ed Loveday and Andy Emerson (of ACME and Bar Brosé) and Sam Bull (now in the kitchen here, and previously of North Bondi Italian and Icebergs Dining Room and Bar) among them.

Get past the headset-sporting hostess at the door, and you’ll find yourself in a sprawling, low-lit warehouse of a space with metres of exposed brick and geometric prints that at first might seem a little disorienting. Take a lap, and you’ll figure out that upstairs is geared for eating and drinking, while the downstairs cellar and Pamela’s (more on that later) are engineered for late-night hijinks.

One look at the inclusive yet original Mediterranean-leaning menu lets you know this isn’t simply bar food. Start with a precursor for the long haul and order the halloumi, which is like the late-night snack of your dreams. A triangular wodge of oozy buffalo milk cheese comes glazed in honeycomb butter – it almost replicates the devilishly crisp ends of a personal pan pizza, with the cheese all salty and melty, while the honey mimics the dough’s subtle sweetness.

While there’s lots of serviceable charcuterie, cheese and tinned seafood as well, we’re here for the spaghetti in a bag. Yup, a baking paper bag that holds a tangle of al dente housemade pasta slicked in a simple tomato sugo with shreds of tender spanner crab throughout. Add in a bottle of Sicilian catarratto, which is clean, bright and crushable enough that you’ll want to order another bottle. You could dive deeper down the dinner end of the menu (the flank steak does the lean cut absolute justice, and the thick-cut chips are perfect for swiping through butter and jus) or get another bottle of wine, but the soundtrack on a Friday night of Black Box, Stardust and Cameo will lure you down below. 

Here’s where you turn left for Pamela’s – a bar within a bar replete with pink velvet lounges, mirror balls overhead, deep purple neon lights and a rotating roster of DJs. If you want to go all out, you can opt for bottle-service tequila or mezcal. Turn right for the cellar bar, a more subdued cocktail lounge, with houndstooth stools and blown-up party snaps on the walls by photographer Stephen Dupont. Cocktail wise, you can go with Spritzes, bottled options or signatures.

We opt for a signature M.I.A., which brings big smoke on the nose courtesy of Derrumbes mezcal. You’ll detect a savoury and bitter backbone of hops, plus passionfruit and citrus – we just wish there was a hint more fruit or acidity to help us navigate the wham of smokiness upfront. The Peach Leaf Fizz hits the balance better, a tall glass of soda punched up with gin and syrupy sweet peach-leaf orgeat, with frothy aquafaba stepping in to add some texture. As the night progresses, people flock to Pamela’s for a boogie (“The tables are all terrazzo so you can dance on them if you want”), and we’re all about the grown-up yet frivolous feel of the place, one that’s been missing from the CBD for quite some time. 

Prince of York is a place you can eat, drink and dance: a good-times-focused bar and mod brasserie that makes the offer of Friday night after-work drinks more tempting, whether you’re 24 or 44 years old. It may not boast stunning views or the best cocktails in the CBD, but it’s got groove, and it’s the perfect place to reacquaint yourself with the beat of the city.

Arcadia Liquors

http://www.arcadialiquors.com/

The love for Redfern’s honky tonk haunt is an enduring one

One of Redfern’s original small bars is still as loud, fairy-lit and friendly as ever. And cheap. Where else can you get a eminently drinkable semillon sauvignon for six bucks and a grilled ham cheese and tomato sandwich for a fiver, other than student housing?

There is a wonderful reliability to any visit to Arcadia. It’s always full but somehow you can manage to rustle up a bar stool or one of those vintage metal chairs, or find a spot out in the brick courtyard featuring many hanging plants and all the nautical paintings available at Vinnies. Since the smoking laws changed the back is saved for the smokers – if you’re hanging out for a chicken or ham and salami sarnie off the fancy toastie menu, stick to indoor seats.

Early Rolling Stones are on the stereo, but they’re almost drowned out by the hubbub of animated chat ricocheting off the exposed brick walls – this is not the place for a quiet catch-up, it’s where you add a little sparkle to your day.

Arcadia Liquors closes at midnight, but they manage to fit in a whole lot of fun before the clock strikes, and we’re not just talking Friday nights. Unless you’re very strong willed a quick drink can become another whisky, and pretty soon you’ve ordered up some barbecue duck from the no frills Chinese restaurant that delivers to the bar and are happily relinquishing the rest of your time and money to a mid-week knees-up. Good times can snowball like that.

When your local small bar does cheap wines, hot sangas and high spirits you’re onto a very good thing, which makes Redfern a very lucky suburb.

Grandma's Bar

http://www.grandmasbarsydney.com.au/

If only a visit to grandma’s always meant hanging out in a tropical basement and drinking rum

Don’t underestimate this inner-city grandma’s capacity for fun. As much as she loves crochet and knitting patterns, she’s also developed quite a taste for rum cocktails during her time in the basement of an office building.

This is the spot for long, icy drinks with fruit garnishes – and that’s not just because it can get a little warm down in the narrow brick bar under the Guitar Lounge on Clarence Street. You know how sometimes tequila cocktails can taste like regret? Not here they don’t. Park yourself near a fan and order up a Paloma, the perfect slap and kiss combo of bitter and sweet with house made grapefruit soda and lime juice.

These guys have pared their bar back to the essentials – you don’t need a ladder or compendium to choose your booze – but what space they have is reserved for rum. You can get it every which way: stirred down with whisky, vermouth and bitters in the Made Man; shaken up with coconut pineapple and peanut butter for a Peanut Butter Colada; or stretched out into a Carribbean-style iced tea with Cognac and gin; lime, lemon and pineapple juice, almond syrup and sherry. Hope you’re not driving.

Grandma’s gets top marks for taking what was probably once the boiler room and converting it into a tropical nana bar with chipped bricks and parrot print wallpaper.

We don’t know where they fit it but there’s live music on Thursday nights, and the rest of the time you want to aim for the raised platform seats beneath the street-side window. When you get hungry a baked bean and cheese jaffle will take care of business so you can get back to drinking rum and Coca-Cola.

Our grandma was into cake and the military tattoo, which is probably why we visit Grandma’s in the city a lot more often. She’s the one with all the rum and a jaffle iron that’s always hot, and she never asks when we’ll be settling down (never).

Strippers

Forget those memories of The Full Monty, you won't want these people to leave their hat on! 

BareNights

https://barenights.com.au/

Feminism is IN! Grab your girls and bring them along to the hottest Male Revue Show in Australia. Everywhere we look billboards and advertisements display some of the most beautiful women in the city, but what about the male talent? For those in the dark on the subject, a Male Revue show is a lot like a male strip show with added class. Think expert choreography, burlesque and Magic Mike rolled into one. Think Christian Grey combined with delectable naughty Saturday night entertainment. Better yet, if you’re with a bachelorette party then you’re with a big chance of getting on stage for a moment in the spotlight with one of our hunky hotties.  Yes please.

We cater for end of year functions, corporate events, hen parties and big birthday parties. Do you know anybody reaching their flirty fifties or sunshine sixties? What better way to put a smile on their face than to introduce them to the hottest men in Australia.

The Sydney Hotshots Saturday night ladies package includes an authentic rustic Italian meal and pre-fun show with our irresistible topless waiters, fun prizes and giveaways during the show, lots of steamy fun and a free glass of champagne. Our hilarious drag queen and master of ceremony will keep you exceptionally entertained throughout the course of the evening. We will be on board to provide plenty of photo opportunities and capture the flirty fun.

The Sydney Hotshots have have taken Sydney by storm with their high energy, wildly fun and entertaining Male Strip club based in the heart of Sydney’s Kings Cross District. If you’re celebrating a Hen Night, Hen Weekend or Girl’s Night Out then congratulations, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll take extra special care of you.

Organising a Hen Party can prove to be stressful: The pressure is on to organise a highly entertaining and memorable night which can sometimes create difficulties when it comes to pleasing all hen party members and meeting budget restraints. We’ve all been there but the good news is that we can do all of the organising for you!

Our great value Hen Party packages include everything from the basic show to pre-dinner and VIP options: A delicious meal at a reputable quality Italian Restaurant, pre-show champagne fun with some of the hottest male waiters in town and of course entry to the show itself! We’ll ensure your bride to be receives the special attention she deserves and more…

When the bar opens at 8am your Hen Party will have our topless male waiters meet and greet you and shower you with attention before watching the man sprinkled show at the Vegas Hotel & Lounge. Be prepared to drool over the finest in Australia’s man talent! We can promise you a night you’ll never forget.

Why Choose us for your Hen Party?

The Sydney Hotshots is a roaring success that has surged in popularity over the past few years. We take pride in ensuring all of our ladies are able to relax and have fun in a safe environment. Here are some of the reasons we come on top:

  • Sick of being harassed/touched up in clubs? Our venue is creep free so that you can focus on having fun with your girls.
  • We promote a safe and protected environment so you can be 100% comfortable releasing your inner wild side.
  • Our male strip show is classy and elegant with a fun and lighthearted atmosphere.
  • Its affordable. We keep our tickets low so that more of your friends don’t miss out.
  • We bring your fantasies to life.

Special Guest Appearances:

Have you always fantasised about the sexy fireman or handsome policeman? Maybe its been about the rugged army commando or savage Apauche Indian? Anything goes. You may even come across a seductive half naked Count Dracula on your way to the bar! Hello cheeky.

Your Ultimate Hens Party Packages include:

  • You can choose out of the following options: Basic show only, a dinner option, VIP package, and your very own post-show night club with dancing until the early hours!
  • Sexy, chiseled, bronzed, welcoming and attentive topless waiters who set the tone for your Hen’s Night experience and work effortlessly to ensure that your night goes off with a bang and finishes on a high.
  • Champagne, mixed spirits, beers and delicious cocktails made by our creative mixologists behind the bar: From 8pm onwards.
  • We get the your Hens night going at 9pm with dancing, sexy music, fun competitions and of course the Sydney Hotshots – Australia’s most sought after local male revue show in the country ready to make magic that will transform your Hens Night into the most memorable night of all time.

Magic Men

https://www.magicmenlive.com.au/

Get ready to blush, scream, and have an amazing time with sexy Magic Men strippers!

Nestled next to scenic Darling Harbor and 5 minutes from the heart of Sydney’s CBD, you’ll get to experience the hottest and sexiest men of the states every Saturday night at HOME THE VENUE!

Whether you are in for your hen’s party or would like to fulfill your night with great entertainment, grab your girls and get them along to the hottest male strip show! Magic Men’s “Feel The Magic” show will give you a steamy night out full of fun and excitement.

“And, you definitely don’t want to miss this show of your lifetime!”

As you enter, you’ll be greeted by finely sculpted strippers and topless waiters in Sydney. They will take you to your seats and serve you your drinks to give the right start to your night.   

The packages start from $35 per person. You will enjoy a spectacular live performance, which are choreographed by real professionals specialized in the adult industry. With our skilled male strippers, you’ll be indulged in a night full of lustful fantasy.

With a perfectly elevated stage, you can see our sexy hot hunks from every angle. Yes, we mean it – every angle! *Wink*

So, what are you waiting for? Book your tickets and treat yourself to a tantalizing, sexy striptease! 

Hens Night Sydney 

At Xxl, We are not just another male revue show. In fact, that is only one small part of a very packed & exciting night full of events!! Be whisked from room to room as you & the girls enjoy Pole dancing class, Life drawing & Cocktail making class all before the show begins!!

Men in Action

https://www.malestrippersydney.com.au/

LOOKING FOR THE ULTIMATE HENS NIGHT PACKAGE?

M.I.A and MML have joined to create amazing hens night packages at our male strip show in sydney. Contact us for a custom hens pack with your choice of tickets to the show, drink packages, topless waiters and male strippers. 

Watching Male Strippers at a hens night is great fun for a party.

Sydney is the capital of New South Wales in Australia and is considered as one of the largest cities. With modernization, the city keeps on changing from time to time. In this city, you will be able to find different professions. Some of the professions are common while the others are surprising and one of the surprising professions that can be found in this city are hens night male strippers.

Yes, male strippers are present in Sydney and they have been entertaining all genders and sexuality. Some people would say that male strippers are dirty since they tend to go with different girls but not all male strippers are doing it. Some are just entertaining the crowd in a sexual and sexy way.

Male strippers in Sydney are one of the entertainers that people watch. They perform in clubs where they do activities that can boost sexual drive and can also satisfy the pleasure of the audience.

Why watch male strippers?

Male strippers in Sydney will surely give you the best time of your life. Whenever you are in a strip club, your world may go crazy but will surely want for more. Male Strippers can entertain you. Male strippers have the best bodies and expect that great entertainment comes next. As a matter of fact, by just looking at their body and abs, you are already entertained. Male strippers will dance their body on the floor or on any things available which will bring out the lust in you. They are the ones that can entertain your desire and will surely you never would want to leave in front of them.

Hens Night Sydney

http://hensnightsydney.com.au/

If hot topless waiters and mail striptease artists are more up your alley for a hen’s party, look no further than Hen’s Knights Australia. They help you arrange the party with nude life drawing models, shirtless waiters, and more. A great selection of experiences and a great selection of magical men to keep the fun alive and laughs aplenty.

Real Escapes - Sydney Hens Party Male Strip Show Night Out

https://gorealescapes.com/product/sydney-hens-party-male-strip-show-night-out/

For a night your Hen will never forget! Head to Sydney’s hottest male strip show featuring the best talent Australia has on offer. Includes 2 course meal before the event, escort to the club by one of the performers himself, VIP reserved front of stage seating, the incredible 2 hour show and then entry into a club for the after party. Enjoy the male strip tease, sexy male waiters, ladies being pulled on stage, games, prizes & more. Fun, wild, cheeky, sexy and all round entertaining!

Male Strip Club

https://malestripclub.com.au/

Perfect For Hens, Ladies Birthdays & Girls Nights Out. Get the girls together for a wild, entertaining and downright fun night.

Are you ready for Topless Waiters serving you and your girlfriends all night long? How about exciting stage performances from sexy Men in Uniform performing male revue and strip shows?

Our Men in Uniform packages are very popular not only for hens parties but also women’s birthdays and ladies nights out. Have a look through the different package options below to see what tickles your fancy.

Centrefold Strippers

https://www.centrefoldstrippers.com.au/

On your last day as a single woman, live the life of luxury and bask in the attention of Sydney’s hottest topless waiters and male strippers. These incredible specimens will bring their washboard abs and heart melting smiles to your hens party and ensure that every guest has a great time. Talented male dancers,these hottieswill work hard to keep drinks filled and entertain the ladies as the bride-to-be enjoys being the centre of attention.

Perfect for the wildest and most unique hens night ideas all the way through to the classy hens party ideas, these sexy male strippers will add a touch of life to any type of event. Surprise your guests with shirtless waiters to cater to their every need or with a fun and flirtatious strip show finale. We’ve got a huge selection of show options to suit every style of hen.

Hot Hens Parties Start Here

Customise your Sydney hens party with incredible adult entertainment that is both sexy and hilarious. You pick your favourite male strippers from our incredible team right here, ensuring you get the guy you like best. Add additional male dancers to your package and keep the party going all night!

Topless waiters and butlers are among our most popular hens party ideas. Customise your hens night package with any number of shirtless waiters and enjoy their undivided attention as your night progresses. Select them all right here!

Looking for something a little different then try combining your hens night with your partners bucks party. Compliment your selection of buffed boys with Gorgeous Sydney Female Strippers and topless waitresses. Behold the combination of exquisite male and female entertainers.

Adult Bay

http://www.malestripperssydney.com.au/

Male strippers are a great fun way to enjoy any event whether it be a birthday, private party or a hen night we guarantee our staff will be the highlight of your evening.

We provide Naked Butlers, Topless Waiters, Chefs and Male Entertainers to hire for Weddings, Hen Nights, Birthday Parties, Private or Special Events and Corporate Hospitality in Sydney, Australia.

 

 

Party Bus or Limo

Whether you wish to be chauffeured around for the day or simply to transfer in between A to B, do it in style! 

Sydney Party Limos

https://www.sydneypartylimos.com.au/

Looking for a Premium Hens Party Bus? Look no further!

Our late model Mercedes Sprinter Party Bus is one of a kind in Sydney.

It features limousine seating, dancing pole, dance floor, large TV screens, laser lighting and a smoke machine.

Complimentary drinks are provided with all hens night bookings.

  • Common Hens Party Bus Hire Options;
  • One Way Transfer  – transfer to your chosen location. Common hens party venues include; bars, clubs, restaurant, wharf’s and casino
  • Two Way Transfers – We drop you off and return later at your chosen time to take you home or to your next destination.
  • On board Cruises (1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2 hour hire duration) We cruise around some iconic spots relative to the time purchased and the pickup location. Most commonly the Sydney CBD. We can also stop at a vantage point for a group photo.
  • Winery Tours – Private day trip from Sydney (and surrounding areas) to winery’s in the Hunter Valley, Southern Highlands or Berry (South Coast).

Party Bus or Stretch Limousine?

Show off your dance moves using our dance pole

No other stretch limo in Sydney has one!

Our full-sized door provides a convenient way to enter and exit.

With the headroom to stand; enter and exit without the need to crawl in on your hands and knees! No need to worry about the embarrassing splitting of clothing while squeezing into a small door!

Our limo style hens party bus ensures no one is missing out on the fun!

One of a very few modern party bus in Sydney to provide face to face limousine seating. Most conventional party buses only offer regular forward-facing seating.

Inside a hens party limo

With complimentary champagne what better way to celebrate the changing of her name!

High tea, dinner, art classes or a night out on the town…no matter the activity let Sydney Party Limos ensure your group arrives in style. Our 14 seater hens party bus provides comfort with our limousine style seating and air conditioning. Hire a Sydney party bus for one hour or five hours, the options are endless!

Limo Bus Sydney

http://limobussydney.com.au/

Beachwheels Coaches has now added to their fleet of buses and coaches, a more exclusive form of transport.

Our now Limo Bus was designed and built in Melbourne, over the past 12 months, we then transported the bus to Sydney to perfect the state of the art LED lighting and sound system. We have transformed a bus into a luxurious limousine, with stylish lounges running up each side of the vehicle. Our seating capacity is a maximum of 40 guests, however, you can still enjoy the ultimate in transport with as little as 10 people.

In the short time we have been running, our guests have been blown away. When our guests step on the bus, it is always a jaw dropping experience. We are available for any type of function, we have many listed on our website, however we are more than happy to work with our guests to customise your experience.

We can tailor any experience you require!

So it’s your job to plan the bucks or hens party for your close friend, and you want to make it unforgettable? A once in a lifetime party? A party like ‘The Hangover’? Well, at Limo Bus Sydney, we provide you with a party bus that specifically caters to bucks and hens nights. Take your party on wheels, and hire a party bus for your buck or hen! We can transport you wherever you need to go, and ensure the party doesn’t stop!

Our limo buses are decked out in the finest interiors, led lights, a karaoke machine, and even a dance pole to truly get the party started. Whether it be day or night, we can bring the party on wheels, and deliver you wherever you need to go!

We want to make sure your party never stops, so our service ensures that the party, and the ride is an exceptional one! To do this, we provide the following services: 

  • We pick you up from a specified location, and we can deliver you where you require, and then return you back.
  • We can tailor to any experience you require.
  • You provide us with the music you prefer so your experience is custom to you.
  • To take advantage of our limo bus, we require a minimum of 10 people, and a maximum of 40 people per bus.

Hens Bus Sydney

https://www.hensbussydney.com.au/

Hens Bus Sydney, getting you ladies to your destination in and around Sydney the fun and safe way.

Yes we also cater for mixed groups and corporate bookings.

We help you and your friends enjoy an unforgettable night. Whether it’s a hen’s night or girls night out, we know there may be some wine, champagne or other alcohol involved. We ensure you have peace of mind knowing that your friends won’t be driving.

You and your friends get picked up by one of our party buses that caters for up to 14, 21, 24, 32 and 50 passengers. You’ll be greeted by our fun, professional bus drivers, all authorized by the NSW Ministry of Transport, ensuring that you travel in safety wherever your adventures lead you.

Our party bus is unlike any other party bus, it’s equipped with an iPhone connection, an MP3 and USB slot so that you can play your favourite jams and over 1000 watts of sound delivered through powerful subwoofers. You’ll feel like you’re at a disco with our laser and LED party lights to set the mood.

Our bus will transfer you and your friends to your destination and when your party is over, regardless of the time, you’ll be able to easily spot our bus should you want us to pick you up and take you home.

Hens Bus Sydney is a professional party bus hire company in Sydney that is accredited as a “Public Passenger Vehicle Operator.

Hummerzillaz 

https://www.hummerzillaz.com.au/

Sydney’s Most Affordable Hen’s Night Hummer Hire

Celebrate the bride-to-be’s last days of freedom with a ride in one of our luxury limousines.

Creating the right party atmosphere is essential to ensuring that your friend’s night is as memorable as her wedding. What better way to do this than hit the town with your girlfriends in a hummer limousine or party bus? Hummerzillaz, provides affordable hen’s bus and hummer hire throughout Sydney and surrounding areas.

The ultimate hen’s night experience

Cruise around your favourite party spots in style and luxury. Our luxurious hen’s bus and hummers are fitted with plush sideways seating, a great sound system and a cold bar full of refreshments. All you need to do is enjoy the ride and arrive at the club totally fresh and ready to go! Our vehicles are not only fitted out with all of the latest luxuries and inclusions – their impressive appearance means they also stand out from the crowd, ensuring you are the centre of attention.

Hen’s night hummers

Our hummers will hold up to 16 of your friends and will cost approximately $35 per occupant. For last minute hires, we also offer terrific standby rates that can be booked 48 hours before an event. As a complimentary part of our service, we offer a range of refreshments, including champagne. We also take still photos of your special moments as you paint the town red.

Want to add a personal touch or a little something extra for the bride-to-be? No worries – we’re happy to help, and can accommodate most requests. Ladies have found plenty of ways to make the experience their own. From personalised photo slideshows to visits from, ahem, gentlemanly entertainment, we will try our best to adhere to your wishes. At Hummerzillaz, our aim is to provide you with the perfect chauffeur service for your big night – ensuring your evening is one to remember for all the right reasons.

Hummer and bus drivers

Our professional drivers offer a prompt and reliable service for an affordable price. They will take you to the hottest nightspots, catering to all your party needs and special requests. Holding commercial passenger vehicle and bus driver accreditations, our chauffeur’s can expertly navigate narrow streets and Sydney traffic to get you where you need to go. They consistently exceed client expectations by providing a fun and engaging party experience that you will never forget.

Impressive Limousines

https://impressivelimos.com.au/

Impressive Limousines Sydney specialises in Limousine Service Sydney, Pink Limousine Hummer Hire Sydney, Wedding Limo Car Hire. Impressive Limos Sydney is your transport provider for your transportation needs in Sydney. We are here to assist you as always, we are grateful for your business as well as your opinions and suggestions on how we can serve you better as our customer. Our company continuously maintains exceptional customer service standards and what sets us apart in the transport industry is through our professional dedicated chauffeur service and commitment & you can BYO

Our luxurious fleet of Luxury, Chauffeur driven Stretch limousines and Hummer Limousines are well maintained, in immaculate detail and very presentable. Impressive Limousines has over 30 years of service and trusted experience. We strive for excellence in Customer Service, Professionalism, Dedication, Punctuality and Enthusiasm and are always reliable. We have Pink, White & Black Hummers available. We have the Worlds Largest Stretch Hummers in Pink,White,Black & Purple Hummer Limos.

Impressive Limousines can provide you with a Hen’s night that you deserve for the ladies. We can take you on a city cruise allowing you to relax in our luxury hummer or party bus taking in the sights with a fully customized interior, bar facilities, incredible laser and light shows.

Our impeccable staff and safety means that we transport you to and from the venue in a safe and comfortable way. We can also suggest some venues to enjoy throughout the night if you find that you are struck.

We have 24 & 22 seater Stretch Hummers available in Pink, Black and White and also 14 seater White and Pink Hummers as well as two Chrysler Stretch Limousines and a Black and Silver Hummer.

Oz Limo Hire

https://www.ozlimohire.com.au/

For your next ladies night try something a little different. Rent one of our chauffeured party limousines or even a stretch Hummer for a night of pure enjoyment.

You could head out to Sydney’s CBD to a club or simply go for a joy ride around your local suburb. By leaving the driving to us, all of you can enjoy yourselves on your ladies night and you’ll be blown away by our impressive vehicles and superior service.

As Cyndi Lauper says” “Girls just wanna have fun!”

And what better way than getting all your girlfriends together and having a night on the town.

Ladies night is a tradition that occurs all over the world. It could be a weekly, monthly, annual or even a random event. You will know when you and your friends are due for another get together. And at times you may even have to step up and organise it yourself.

After all, sometimes you need a night without men to catch up with just the girls. It could be a quiet night at someones house or perhaps a sophisticated catch for a fancy dinner. While other times call a full blown party night and going all out!

We offer you the best of the night with our late model luxury limousines and Stretch Hummers with a complimentary bar (for 18 and over) Why not do something extra special for your Hen’s Night and hire either BMW Limousine, Chrysler Stretch Limousine or H2 Hummer Limousine – heads will turn as you arrive to your party venue!!!

OZ LIMO give your Hen the perfect night she deserves and one the whole bridal party will remember for years

Hens Night Packages are our specialty, A night the girls will all remember or simply a night on the town, We will cut those long waiting lines for you, For your night out on the town get picked up and dropped off at your home or hotel and enjoy an evening worry free of driving, parking or hailing a taxi.

We have 24 & 20 seater Stretch Hummers available in Pink, Black and White and also 14 seater White and Pink Hummers as well as two Chrysler Stretch Limousines and a Black and Silver Hummer.

Men on Fire

https://menonfire.com.au/

Do you know the single biggest request a bride asks her bridesmaids when they start planning her hens party? It isn’t “I’d love a weekend away” or “I’d love a boho theme”, it is actually “ANYTHING BUT A STRIPPER!”

This is what we are all about here at Men On Fire; the parties that want the fun hens party experience with a great reaction from their bride, but not the sleazy & awkward experience that unfortunately is so renowned at hens parties.

The parties we plan for you have the reaction of your bride opening the door to a fully uniformed Fireman, our “Signature Fireman Surprise”. This gives you and your guests the reaction from the bride no hens party is complete without, but the surprise is then followed up with “I’m not actually a stripper don’t worry, I’m here for (this is where it becomes a choose-your-own-ending experience like all the best stories are!):

  • Hosting your party as a Topless Waiter!
  • A Fireman Life Drawing party!
  • I’ve got ingredients, ice, shakers and glassware for a Cocktail Class!
  • I’ve got a Fire Truck waiting outside so come and jump on board!
  • An afternoon on the harbour for a boat cruise!
  • I actually am here for a strip show, but I’m a professional dancer/acrobat/circus performer/gymnast so you won’t be awkward or uncomfortable, I’m just here to entertain everyone!

To date we have enjoyed partying with over 15,000 customers across Australia and you may recognise us from a few bits of media here and there. We’ve been on Channel Ten’s Shark Tank, a hilarious prank with Fitzy & Wippa where Fireman Sam picked up Fitzy’s wife at a coffee shop in Balmain (whoops!), a cheeky interview and strip with Dave Hughes on Hughesy We Have A Problem, a part of Pedestrian.tv ‘Selfish Weekend’, we raised $1500 for rescue kittens with our charity 2019 calendar, a feature on Goggle Box (followed by a male stripper at the Silbery’s 90th birthday!), we collaborated on the new TV show Taboo with Harley Breen to combine mental health with art through Life Drawing & also featured on The Edge’s Mike E and Emma where we taught Mike E how to strip. Upcoming in 2020 is the ridiculously cute Fireman + Baby Goat Calendar with Forever Friends as this year’s charity for our donation.

Men On Fire is also one of the only female run companies around (crazy right!?). So gals, you’re in safe hands not just with a team of Firemen, but you can talk to us about your themes, requests, thoughts, invitations, decorations & decor and we will help plan it all with you. When booking with us, you aren’t just getting a Topless Waiter, you’re getting access to an expert on planning hens parties for absolutely no extra cost to provide any tips & tricks we can assist with.

Also, we are the only company around who doesn’t ask you to pay cash on the night. So avoid that trip to the ATM, this is 2019 after all, we accept credit card and don’t ask you to awkwardly pay someone in an envelope of cash on the night!

Jump on our Instagram, read our testimonials & give us a call, email or enquiry 24/7 to experience first hand why the Firemen are your choice for one of the most important nights of your bride’s entire life.

Don't order 10 Ubers to get between locations on your hens party and lose the vibe (and possibly guests) along the way - Jump on board our LUXURY limo party bus! Cost effective and you can party on the way! With room for up to 40 guests, we provide a CRAZY sound system, room to dance, eskies, cups, BYO alcohol and we keep the party going. Available for transfer between any Sydney metro location. This hens party bus is also ideal to add one of our signature Police or Fireman male strippers that will jump on board and utilise the large amount of space for an unreal show to get the party really going. 

The Men on Fire Hens Party Bus show is coordinated between the performer and the driver for maximum surprise and the team are all very familiar with the bus to make it the best show using the space provided.

Add to the excitement and get things even more heated up with Male Strippers Sydney offering the best entertainment out there! For uncontrollable laughs and entertainment feel free to contact us to learn more about the packages available.

The Benda Bus

https://www.bendapartybus.com.au/

The Benda Party Bus aims to deliver a Las Vegas style atmosphere complete with drinks, hosts and bottle service on request on board a private mobile nightclub in the heart of Sydney. We are here to cater to all your party needs!

You can park up or drive around. Whichever you choose, everything is already on board the fabulous Benda Bus for an unforgettable time. Whatever your desires, this amazing 30-seater delivers for you and your party animal crowd…

  • Comfort assured luxury seating
  • Kicker stereo sound system
  • A trio of 32inch TV screens
  • RGB lighting and strobe lights
  • A pair of stripper friendly dance poles
  • Stunning smoke machine
  • Amazing drinks area for keeping your BYO beverages cool
  • Complementary soft drinks, water, ice and plastic cups
  • Bin shoot
  • Handles for easy access and seatbelts to keep you safe
  • and more….

We decided, at the start of 2014 and as the New Year celebrations died away, that it was time to bring the unique style of a Las Vegas Party Bus to the streets of Sydney. If you are over 18, you can enjoy the ultimate intimate night out. You might simply stay on board (find out why in a moment) or use The Benda Bus to make sure that you arrive at that night out or official function in a way that makes sure everybody knows you are seriously ready to party. On board, it’s like being in the world’s largest limo, one where you can simply chill out or dance the night away – or probably both!

Party Bus Guru

https://partybusguru.com.au/

Party Bus Guru brings you the Best Party Bus Hire in Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane.

No other company can match our price match promise, if you can find a cheaper quote for the same service we promise to beat it by 5%.

Sydney Party

http://www.sydneypartybus.com.au/

So you are the Maid of Honour!

A lot of responsibility is now placed on you, whether you’re mellowing out or whooping it up, you need to be well prepared for this infamous night. Its no longer about home get togethers, pampering the Bride-To-Be with presents and compliments… you can save that for the wedding… its all about a fantastic night out with girlfriends and family that’ll make memories to last a lifetime.

CityClubhopper has hosted 1000′s of Hens parties in Sydney over the years. Our packages are designed to make sure everything is as expected and goes to plan. Our Event Co-ordinators are there to help you right through the planning process. A Partystarter hosts the night taking plenty of pics, organising the meals and looking after the group at every venue.

5 Star Hollywood Limousines

https://5starhollywoodlimousines.com.au/

So one of your beautiful girlfriends has said YES to a marriage proposal? How exciting for her! And YOU too! Because no doubt you’re planning the Hens Party and this has led you to 5 Star Hollywood Limousines! And this means FUN is on the way!

Why not do something extra-special for the hen’s night and be treated like a celebrity in one of our famous stretch limousines. Help her spend her last night of ‘freedom’ with her favorite ladies in style and get safely from venue to venue with 5 Star Hollywood Limousines.

Our 16 passenger stretch Hummer limousine is VERY POPULAR with Hens groups and is highly recommended. It does book out well in advance so esquire TODAY to avoid disappointment!

Our Hens Party Package Includes:

  • 3 bottles of complimentary bubbly
  • Professional and discreet chauffeur
  • 1 stop for photo opportunities
  • Stylish red-carpet front-door arrival
  • Optional limousine after-event transfer to get home safely
  • 4 more surrounding flat screen TV’s

Party Rock Entertainment

https://www.partyrockentertainment.com.au/

Party Rock™ Entertainment can provide the best in customised hen’s nights. We understand no 2 Hens are the same, we also understand the stress the bridesmaids have to endure when trying to organise the Hens Party which for most is the important part of the wedding.

We Pride ourselves on being able to tailor make a unique tour to suit you, with options for the more relaxed Wine Tours, casual pub crawls and the always adventurous Party Nights with a stripper or 2.

In addition to having all of the Party Rock™ Features on your Party Bus:

  • Over 14,000 Watts of Pumping Music with Sub Woofers
  • Party LED Lights
  • Strobe Lights
  • Black UV Lights
  • Access to Karaoke
  • Access to a professional on-board DJ system with over 30,000 Songs built in
  • (or bring your IPhone, IPod, MP3 Player or any other device that plays music plugs straight into our sound system)

We also have the most exclusive and extensive list of associated venues, giving access to Venues many with FREE VIP Express Entry, Free Drinks, Free Nibbles and loads more, (Simply check out our Venue Guide or Give us a call) Many Venues with additional deals for Hens Night Party’s & Hens Day Parties.

We also assist in organising additional Topless Hosts & Strip Shows.

Give us a call or send us through an online enquiry and Let us take the stress out of planning the Hens Night and create something unique and special for such an important event.

Big Mummer

http://www.bigmummer.com.au/

Forget the tight confines of a hummer or stretch limousine, it’s time to stretch out and party with friends. We have vehicles to suit all group sizes and budgets.

Big Mummer is sure to impress for your next party!

We make YOUR FUN, OUR BUSINESS! Our party planners are committed to creating the ultimate night out for you and your friends.

Struggling to choose a venue for your special occasion? When you hire us, there’s no limit to where you and your guests can go- visit a few of your favourite nightspots, or keep partying on the bus and watch the scenery fly by. It’s totally up to you!

From hens and bucks nights to birthdays (kids and adults), event and festival transfers to corporate transfers and team building days, we have you covered. Our team will manage your event from start to finish, ensuring you have a kickass experience.

So what are you waiting for? Get your friends together and travel Sydney in style for a night to remember!

Sydney Karaoke Bus

https://www.sydneykaraokebus.com.au/

Sydney Karaoke Bus is a family owned and operated Shuttle Bus Company, where we provide a professional service in organizing a charter for our customers to take them to and from their desired destination.

Our buses can be hired to take any large groups of people to various social outings including Corporate & Personal Events, Social & Sporting Events, Formals & Weddings, Airport & Cruise Ship Transfers, Concerts & Races, and Hens & Bucks Nights.

With its fully equipped, modern, clean and well-maintained buses and along with its friendly and experienced drivers, we make sure that you and your group arrive to your desired destination in style and most importantly safely and hassle free.

All our Shuttle Buses is complete with seat belts that are fitted for your safety as well as air-conditioning and tinted windows, which are provided for your comfort. However, most importantly Easy Party Shuttle understands that any occasion is a special occasion, so therefore in order to have an unforgettable experience, our Party Bus (upon request) includes flashing party disco LED lights (inside and out), an explosive sound system to listen to your favorite CD, MPB, iPhone and iPod music (AUX cable is also provided)

Planning a hens night out in town but you need to organize a safe and stress free way to get you and your guests to and from your destination?

Then trust Party Shuttlez for your transport needs, were we ensure you that it will be definitely a night to remember. Our fully equipped, modern, clean and well-maintained Party Buses and along with our friendly and experienced drivers, will make sure you and your group arrive to your desired destination in style and most importantly safely and hassle free.

But we hear that you want to have fun whilst traveling?

Then why not request our 13,20,21,24,25,32,40,42,50,55 or 60 seat Party Buses, which are all equipped with flashing party disco LED lights (inside and out), an explosive sound system to listen to your favorite CD, MP3, USB, iPhone and iPod music (AUX cable is also provided).

Or why not go all out and request our new addition Party Bus that seats up to 42 people and 19 standing, which is decked out with:

LED and Multi Laser Lights,

  • Smoke Machine,
  • 32 inch T.V with built in DVD,
  • Karaoke Machine,(in Build 12300 Songs 2 microphones
  • Extremely loud Sound System to listen to your favorite CD, MP3, USB, Bluetooth Connectivity, iPhone and iPod music (AUX cable is provided) and,
  • Video Surveillance Cameras throughout the bus to ensure the safety of all passengers (Footage can be requested).
  • 2 Large Bins
  • 100 L esky For Drinks

Priority Pick Up

https://www.prioritypickup.com.au/

Preparation the Hens Night Sydney and the logistics of getting to the male strip Club

With such an excellent option of alternatives available to hen night groups these days, picking your favorites can be a challenging job. There’s whatever from funny clubs to karaoke bars and every little thing between. The best way to take a look at having a great hens night in Sydney is to have plan, the last point you as well as the girls will desire is to wind up in the usual Saturday evening bars and also club, the hen night needs to be something unique as well as something the hen will certainly bear in mind for many years to find!

Get Chauffeured

https://www.getchauffeured.com.au/

Get Chauffeured offers an incredible fleet of luxury hire cars and stretched limousines in Sydney. Our award winning vehicle interiors will leave you speechless with state of the art inclusions such as 42 inch LCD screens, surround sound systems, karaoke, complete bars and with illuminated nightclub floors and ceilings.

We have packages designed to suit every budget, everything from simple transfers to your most extravagant ideas, and everything in between.

Recommendations fit for any party from Get Chauffeured;

Stretched Hummers: Whether your jumping from club to club in some of Sydney’s hottest nightspots or going for a cruise through the city to enjoy the sights before you start the night this is way to go.

Stretched Chryslers: Our award-winning stretch 300c Chrysler is famous for being one of the most incredible limousines in Sydney. Perfect for all occasions, the super stretched interior offers seating for up to 12 guests. This sleek limousine is a real head-turner.

Get ready for the night of your life! Get Chauffeured offers Sydney’s most extensive range of stretched limousines and luxury cars. Our award winning limousine interiors are like nothing you have ever experienced – a must for every Hens night or Bucks party. Take the party with you as you cruise from restaurants to nightclubs and bars throughout Sydney.

Party Shuttles Sydney

https://www.partyshuttlessydney.com.au/

There is no better way to celebrate your hens night than on board the Party Shuttles Bus!

Why pay thousands of dollars for a limo when you can have the same fun on one of our party shuttle buses at a fraction of the cost. Have a drink or two whilst enjoying your choice of music on our explosive sound system, add to that the party laser and party lights and you have a perfect mix for a fabulous trip. Our 32+ seater party buses also has Karaoke.

The Party Bus is suitable for every one from an 18 year old niece to a 70 year old mum in law – we only use venues that are suitable for every member of the hens party!

Combining our endless knowledge of exciting activities, the tastiest places to eat, drink and party with our buying power, street cred, and reputation and you’re guaranteed to have the perfect hen weekend. The road to the perfect hen party starts here.

Night Out in Town

Are you and your hen's party looking for a fun and cool bar to spend your night in?

The Imperial Hotel

http://www.imperialsydney.com.au/

The Inner West’s famous queer pub is Sydney’s home of loud and proud nights out

The Imperial was first ordained a safe space for the LGBTQIA community when Dawn O’Donnell, the mother of gay Sydney, bought it in the '80s. It has opened and shut with many different faces in the years since then, but at its heart it has always been a place for queer identities to thrive on the sticky carpet of the much loved pub.

So it follows that punters who have been sashaying into the Imperial since 1983 might be a little shell shocked at the latest edition: the pool table in the front bar is gone, the gilded Venus statue has been moved to the roof and downstairs is clean as a whistle. But unlike so many refurbished institutions, the team here obviously care for the building’s storied history.

The first level is like walking into Liberace’s first bachelor pad out of home – it’s opulent, but with an accessible warmth and some comforting rough edges. The front bar gleams with posh touches but any night of the week you’re likely to find a drag queen sassing into a mic, with stilettos stomping among the schooners of New. Head through to the back and you’ll find Priscilla’s, a pub bistro with a veggie-heavy menu – there’s vegan ceviche made from coconut and cauliflower and broccoli "wings" with ranch dressing – though steaks and roast pork also feature.

Drag ‘n’ Dine happens every week from Wednesday to Sunday, so your zucchini noodles will be accompanied by one of Sydney’s star drag kings and queens: on Thursdays your dinner comes with a side of the Aussie Pole Boys, Sydney’s award-winning all-male pole dancing troupe. As is customary, the front bar is also a fabulously daggy disco after-hours with Diana, Cher, Madonna, and Whitney on heavy rotation.

Cap off your week with a subterranean boogie in the basement bar. An attendant at the door will happily decant your drink into a plastic cup, heralding the debauched dancefloor you’re about to plunge into. It’s not that wild, but veterans will be pleased to know it still smells like a lot of people cleaning their VHS tapes. It’s got enough sweat, smudged lippy and grind about it to make it feel like it deserves to be underground. And the best part is the music. It’s loud, and proud and so early '00s awful that it’s intoxicating. The basement also hosts regular parties from some of Sydney’s best queer collectives: Honcho Disko, Heaps Gay and Girlthing.

The team behind the Imperial’s latest facelift has done a brilliant job of it. It’s tasteful without being cold, it’s sophisticated without scrimping on fun, and most importantly ,it honours the past. Drag is at the forefront, queer culture is celebrated, and the music is Palms-level perfection. Dawn O’Donnell would be proud.

Oxford Art Factory

http://www.oxfordartfactory.com/

Where would we be without this Sydney institution that refuses to let the music die?

Is the Oxford Art Factory Australia’s answer to New York’s CBGB? It’s not that outrageous a suggestion when you consider the calibre of acts that have graced the 500-person band room over its ten years of operation.

Did you know that Lady Gaga played her first Australian show there in 2008? Or that Dave Grohl still wears his Oxford Art Factory shirt that he got playing a gig here in his covers band, Chevy Metal? They even had a Bret Easton Ellis book launch – Ellis came on stage after the Models performed and he spoke for two and a half hours to a standing crowd and as OAF boss Mark Gerber recalls, “You could have heard a pin drop.”

Countless great bands have started their musical journey on the small stage in the narrow gallery bar next to the bandroom, too. “We saw the rise of the Jezebels, Chet Faker, the Rubens, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard in that small room,” says Gerber. And although Tame Impala played for about 25 people at one early show, you could “almost smell it in the air, when someone’s got greatness written all over them”.

Over the last decade, live music venues such as the Annandale and the Hopetoun have withered and died, but Gerber believes that it’s his venue’s unique place in the ecosystem of live music that has ensured its survival in an environment increasingly hostile to late-night entertainment. “People seem to forget that in order for someone to play Laneway Festival, they need to do the hard yards and play the whole circuit to get from the small spaces like the gallery bar to the Lansdowne, and then back here on the main stage, and then the Metro – there’s a ladder you need to climb.

“All artists start somewhere, and governments need to recognise that it’s equally important to support the new artists coming up as it is the support the established art forms. You need to support every spoke on the wheel, otherwise you won’t be listening to the music that came out of this time in 100 years. We need to do everything to try and create a new Beatles all the time, or a new Janis Joplin or Courtney Barnett.”

Of course, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing and sell-out shows. Gerber likens being inside the lockout zone as a kind of cultural ‘East Berlin’. But he sees resilience in Sydney. “The thing you can’t suppress is the feeling in people that they want to go out. I don’t see live music going away, and I would imagine that in ten years’ time the Oxford Art Factory is exactly as it is now. Whatever you do has to be for the long haul, so what I’ve done here is create something that can be around for another ten, 20 years.”

Home

https://www.homesydney.com/

Located in Cockle Bay, this large three-story nightclub attracts locals and tourists alike for mainstream house music and occassional local live music. Its Harbour views make it a top destination for revellers looking to dance until sunrise.

Ivy Pool Club

http://www.merivale.com/ivy/poolclub

Get into the drink (and by that we mean the pool, with a drink)

Designed with a 1960s Palm Springs resort in mind, Pool Club is a colourful blend of opulence, paradise and a kitschy time-warp to the era of striped man-togs, saturated photos, guilt-free smoking and Cinzano. It’s far too hip to be stuck in the past, though. Perched atop the hallowed Ivy compound, this stylish playground is all about the pool and the private cabanas edging it, making Pool Club like no other roof bar in town.

The venue, popular for Saturday-night dance parties, randomly swings between super-exclusive and super-not, and some nights attract a cover charge, but this place was made for people with money to burn – think Entourage meets Miami Vice.

Remember, this is a place you go to if you want to be seen, so flaunting what you’ve got is de rigueur. And yes, we are definitely talking money, fashion and looks.

When the weather’s hot – and especially if you are – Pool Club invites guests to strip down and cool off in the crystalline water, but fear not the deep end. Unlike most of the clientele, the water’s very shallow. If, let’s say, wetting your whistle while dancing in a big shower cubicle with friends – or strangers! – is more your thing, Changeroom downstairs is made for exactly that.

Marquee Sydney

http://www.marqueesydney.com/

The superstar nightclub of the Star Casino

I’ve never been to Las Vegas, but if I’m led to believe what I’ve seen on celluloid, Marquee Sydney comes pretty close to a night out in the Entertainment City. The latest venue to open as part of the Star’s $870 million redevelopment is a super club that is anything but subtle.

Unfortunately, Time Out missed the club’s opening night party with Afrojack and will.i.am, so we headed over to check it out the following week. Swedish superstar producer (he took out the sixth slot on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs list last year) Avicii was on headline duties. And his popularity was on show from the minute we stepped inside the Star. It was all of 11.30pm and both the general admission queue and guest list lines were snaking along in the tens of metres. And Marquee has a whopping capacity of 1200.

If this turnout is anything to go by, you’ll want to arrive early. Inside the club is a big step up from the city’s other establishments, like Home, offering this kind of clubbing spectacle. And it’s a tried and tested formula – Marquee also boasts venues in New York and Las Vegas. The sound system is an absolute ripper, the LED screens and go-go dancers add to the drama and the staff behind the bar and on the floor move at a cracking pace. There are plenty of rooms to explore, too. The main room dance floor is where you’ll find the most excitement, but you can get a good view of the action from an alcove behind the stage, or have a conversation and a cocktail in the book-lined library off to the left of it. Curiously, the best view of the harbour is glimmered from the unisex bathrooms, and this is where you’ll find many of the patrons trying to outsmart the many security guards to dabble in their vices.

Avicii is a very mainstream DJ and it came as no surprise that he laid down a very mainstream set. In fact, you’ll never guess which track he played first... Mmm hmm, just a little tune he made called ‘Levels’, which is currently sitting at around 33-and-a-half million hits on YouTube. The set also included a mash-up of ‘Levels’ with Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ (seriously!) and Skrillex’s popular remix of – you guessed it – ‘Levels’. Sigh: not exactly the dance music journey Time Out normally looks for on a Saturday night out.

We wouldn’t recommend it for a laidback late night boogie or if you’re keen to catch some cutting edge electronic music. Instead, it’s a place to be seen, hear banger after banger and get a taste of the celebrity lifestyle. Basically, if you’re feeling the need to pull on a skinny mini, drop some serious dosh and spend the night with your arms in the air, Marquee may well be what you’re looking for.

The Junction

https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheJunctionBondi/about?ref=page_internal

The Junction is spicing things up in the retail-dominated Bondi Junction with an underground, multi-purpose music venue, gallery space, bar and eatery that can fit 400 people, boasts three separate bars and is designed to foster the local and international music scene.

Chinese Laundry

https://chineselaundry.club/

The Laundry is one of Sydney’s biggest and most respected clubs. The top-notch sound system in the Cave has attracted heavyweight internationals James Holden, Gui Boratto and Sasha and the outdoor dance floor is a summer clubbing staple.

Those familiar with the 'Laundry have probably already spent a sweaty night or two in its three club rooms. However, the return of sunshine means that partying is once again possible in the garden bar. Their Garden Party series is back, featuring some of the best Australian and international artists to get you going wild in the afternoon sun.

Freda's

http://www.fredas.com.au/

Loosen that collar at Chippendale’s neighbourhood party bar

All rounder is not an insult, especially when it’s describing a neighbourhood party bar that knows how to keep things cruisey in the early part of the week and ramp it up for a blow out at the pointy end. And that is a particular skill of Freda’s, the Chippendale bar tucked out of sight off Regent Street just down from the White Rabbit Gallery.

Held here on a school night and gentle disco and house mixes are kept at comfortable chatting volume – put this on your first-date bar list – and they’re projecting a wood fire behind the decks to give the industrial space a cosy vibe.

Thursdays through Saturdays it’s a whole other story. You could find yourself at a night of Italo pop, or maybe some psychedelic synth pop. You might catch a Madonna-themed rager, or a line-up of ’90s R’n’B anthems that will see you shake out that desk-bound hump. It’s a licensed lucky dip.

They do good work with cocktails of the short and boozy variety. If your usual order is a Negroni, try branching out with a Dirty Old Pal. Bowmore whisky, red vermouth and Campari make for a bittersweet threesome that you’ll be keen to do again immediately. Follow it up with a 50/50 Sazarac that balances rye with Cognac with the fresh firepower of absinthe and bitters.

We appreciate that using pre-made juices saves time and space, but when you’re charging $18 for a Southside that tastes like lemonade it’s probably not worth the convenience. Stick to booze-heavy cocktails or opt for a nip of the mellow, smoky Reposado Mezcal from Ilegal for undiluted holiday vibes.

Unless you’re drinking the house pour, wines start at the ten-dollar mark, and sparkling is $12 a glass, so if pay day is still a while off order a toasty, malty stout from Mountain Goat, a Young Henrys Newtowner, the light, bright 4 Pines Kolsch or crack a tinnie of Tecate or VB from the fridge.

The bar food menu was designed by Georgia Woodyard, normally found at our favourite spot for a tin mug of soup, Scout’s Honour. Za’atar dusted wings with yoghurt are a welcome spin on a ubiquitous bar snack, or if it’s comfort food you’re craving, a crisp toasted round roll packed with tasty mince, a little cheese and two pickle spears on the side makes for a sloppy joe that isn’t so sloppy that you’ll end up wearing rather than eating it.

It used to be that the Abercrombie was Chippendale’s party hub – when it closed we feared for loose nights in the 2008. Then Freda’s stepped up and brought just the right balance of date nights and boozy fun to keep the good times rolling in this buzzy pocket of inner Sydney.

77

https://www.facebook.com/club77sydney

The William Street bar and nightclub has a renaissance. This subterranean club has had a few leases on live – it was once a favoured haunt of the city’s goth and fetish community and it then went on to serve as a destination for club kids across the city. Now, it's back with a total redux – there's kitschy interiors, big ass booths, snacks till late and DJs on every night.

The Beach Road Hotel

http://www.beachroadbondi.com.au/

When you’re the size of the Beach Road Hotel you can be a little something to everyone. Sports bar, live music venue, a place you don’t even have to get out of the car to buy booze (let’s all raise a tinnie to the great Australian tradition of a drive-through bottle-os). They even offer lodgings to crash for the night – which, let’s face it, is probably something many punters have considered after a long session at this Eastern Suburbs institute. Rock up on a Saturday arvo and the front bar is full of locals and regulars having a punt on the tote, yelling at screens showing various sporting events and downing lager. It’s a beer-drinking kind of place. Out the back, however, the beer garden feels more like a rosé-tinted locale, especially when the sun is splashed over the tables and chairs. An additional outdoor space has been added to the vast upstairs level, which sits next to a cavernous band room that hosts good – and free – live music. Head here on Wednesdays for Sosueme – an indie and EDM hump-day celebration that’ll make you conveniently forget it’s a schoolnight. There’s also a light-filled bar upstairs with couches to drink your vodka, lime and soda on. While the bistro won’t be winning awards for being purveyors of trailblazing cuisine, you can get a decent schnitzel for a tenner – and in our books that’s a good thing.

The Retro

http://www.theretro.com.au/

On Friday and Saturday nights the middle floors of the Bristol Arms Hotel are opened up to reveal one of the most resilient party pubs in the CDB, with a retro '80s vibe and regular themed parties.

The Cliff Dive

https://www.thecliffdive.com.au/

The new-look Cliff Dive is as tropical as ever. Maybe even more so.

The tiki bar and nightclub that began filling its dancefloor since November 2013 took a bit of a hit just a few months later when Sydney’s new liquor licensing laws came into play. Once famous for their late-night parties, TCD had to start shutting their doors to dancers wanting to come in at 1.30am and stop serving alcohol at 3am. It was touch and go there for a minute – Sydney’s only under-the-sea-themed Papa New Guinean dancehall almost flat-lined.

But never say die, and never surrender - that’s the tiki motto. So owners Alex Dowd and Jeremy Blackmore have done a bit of rejigging. They hired on bartender Michael Chiem (you might remember him from Sokyo, Black and more recently, Bulletin Place) to up the stakes on the cocktail front. Chef Tin Jung Shea (everyone calls him Honky) has taken over the kitchen. It’s a good result.

The sweaty dumplings have been replaced with grilled things on sticks – a great foil for the cocktails and much more conducive to drinkin’. There’s the surprisingly excellent confit of octopus, glossy with house-made sweet chilli. Or try the deeply charred pork or chicken skewers, fragrant with lemongrass. Firm tofu marinated in chilli and tamarind super is a vegetarian cocktail fan’s best friend. For everyone else, there’s gingery beef. Or you can order the Hungry Honky: that’s all five with a side of sweet coconut rice and some of their very good house pickles for just $16. Add a Piña Colada serve in a whole pineapple and you’ve got dinner and a party in one.

Drinks, with Chiem on board, have taken a turn for the fancy. They still have their famous monkey heads, but they joined by a couple of new tiki faces and a longer, nicely curated cocktail list. There’s still plenty of fruity and fresh on the menu like that Pina Colada and the Mr Cavendish – a double monkey’s paw of tequila and rum and a whole lot of banana – just like a smoothie, only very bad for you.

The Jungle Bird is a sort of tropical aperitif of Campari, spiced rum and a dash of pine/lime juice over a giant lump of ice garnished with a lime wheel. Togarashi’s Castle – the spicy blue cocktail you’ve been waiting for - is a flavour bomb of tequila, blue liqueur and pine/lime juices served in a glass coupette encrusted with Japanese spice mix, which is not unlike licking crushed up Pizza Shapes.

The room’s been given a bit of sparkle, too. The school of paper fish that swim above the dancefloor is joined by a large crop of seaweed. Oh, and a couple of bobbing jellyfish. The DJ booth boasts new speakers and the Guaguin-style murals by local artist and bartender Max Berry along with the newly woven seagrass add depth and texture. The reconfigured space and renewed vigour behind the bar goes a long way to solving that ‘we’ve arrived too early for the party/it feels like an empty nightclub’ feel the place had when it first opened. Lock out laws may have changed the way the Cliff Dive throws a party, but just quietly, we’re a little glad. It’s a bar you’ll want to drink in early and dance in late.

Goodbar

https://www.goodbar.com.au/

This nightclub on the lockout-skimming Paddington end of Oxford street is all raw concrete and neon. Taking cues from Berlin nightlife and industrial (but oh so chic) warehouse raves, Goodbar is a mainstay with dance music enthusiasts and minimal aesthetes. There's two levels to explore, sophisticated lounge bar with laid back dancefloor at the top, and serious party bunker at the bottom. The focus here is on International house and techno DJs with rotating rosters of local talent residencies to boot.

Goros

http://www.goros.com.au/

Konichiwa bitches! There’s a boozy new karaoke joint in town

It was a mammoth job transforming the old Tailors on Central into a Japanese booze and snack palace. The first round of the extreme makeover covered the basics, but the space still felt deserted on a quiet night. Round two has finally banished the last vestiges of that dreary tavern – it's now Goros, a low-lit bar decked out in splashes of rainbow neon, figurines, lanterns, bamboo and three kickass-looking karaoke booths.

That’s right. You can loosen up those vocal cords over drinks before cranking out your best J Cash rendition without having to change venues.

This is the place for a tankard of Kirin. Back it up with an Asahi or Sapporo in a properly chilled glass, and you've got a refreshment hat trick on your hands.

Our friendly bartender is only too happy to steer a sake novice towards what he calls the sauvignon blanc of sake – the Yoshinogawa ‘Gensen Karakuchi’. We’re told that "it’s not fancy, it’s not expensive, but it’s a crowd pleaser." And he’s bang on the money.

Unless you like your drinks cordial sweet, opt for the highballs built on Japanese whiskies. There’s Kakubin mixed with lemon juice and soda or Yamazaki, amaro, orange blossom and soda. Like your spirits neat? They also boast an impressive line-up of Hibiki, Yamazaki and Nikka drams behind the bar.

Perhaps the Unusual Negroni is more your speed. They keep the Campari and gin from the original line-up, and add a sweet fruit liqueur (umeshu) and bitters. The result is a very distant cousin to the classic cocktail, and has a flavour reminiscent of Big Red cinnamon chewing gum.

Too many big beers and your power ballad skills might get sloppy, so be sure to fortify yourself with some snacks. Share plates arrive piled with golden fried cubes of salt and pepper tofu, or tender, silky gyoza. Those mayo-laced dumplings are conveniently available until the wee hours, along with fried chicken and two-minute ramen for late-night recharging. It’s also worth ordering some tasty things on sticks – there's chicken thigh, wagyu, mushrooms, salmon, lamb and pork belly.

When you’re not making your own sweet music in the iPad-operated karaoke booths, the playlist is a hip-hop greatest hits mix racking up Afrika Bambaataa, Pete Rock, Big Boi, and that Max-a-Million cover of 'Sexual Healing' that crops up on all '90s playlists if you listen long enough.

Early in the week things can get quiet, which means one of the bamboo booths is easy pickings. But once the weather warms, you’ll find us out to one side in the open courtyard, which is strung with lanterns and Japanese bunting.

It may have been a work in progress earlier this year, but Goros has hit its stride and now brings after-hours, Tokyo dive bar vibes to Sydney. Come here for low-key drinks and snacks in the middle of the week, or go all out on a boozy karaoke jamboree to celebrate the weekend. It's all a good time.

Soda Factory

http://www.sodafactory.com.au/

Cheap eats, retro tunes and party vibes are what this place is all about

There are a lot of people who have absolutely no interest in spending $17 on a glass of amber wine that has spent nearly three months on skins, nor do they consider a $22 gin a good investment. That’s OK, because if you want somewhere that pumps out party vibes even on a Wednesday and is all about cheap fun, then Soda Factory is the place. Their humpday special includes five dollar burgers and fried chicken, and jimminy cricket, if that isn’t a table of girls with high ponytails drinking eight dollar thickshakes – like in an episode of Happy Days.

Mondays they show movies, Tuesdays they have one dollar hot dogs, which has to be one of Sydney’s cheapest dinners, and on weekends this place is extremely popular for anyone who wants to boogie to ’80s and ’90s tunes – the queues are hectic. The cheap and cheerful party vibes suit travellers and the early twenty-somethings to a tee.

Tokyo Sing Song

https://www.facebook.com/tokyosingsong

Super offbeat entertainment is the order of the day at this late-night basement bar on King Street. Each month, a new curator takes over the venue and programs a bunch of pretty crazy stuff – it might be a band, it might be DJs, it more likely will be an experimental artist determined to mess with you, big time.

The venue itself is a mishmash of Japanese Pachinko Parlour (you know, those joints with the endless rows of pokies?), Lower East Side speakeasy and the diviest bar your filthy mind could imagine (joy!). There's edamame beans if you must, a hidden disco, and just a general shitload of weird.

The Flinders

https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheFlindersHotel/about

We shed a tear when this late-night dive bar, known for its pickleback shots and secret sets from famous touring artists like Mark Ronson and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, closed its doors in 2015 after being strangled by the-law-that-shall-not-be-named. But dry those eyes, sweethearts, for the Flinders has recently re-opened under new management! Back and gayer than ever, it relaunches as an LGBTQIA venue just in time for Mardi Gras 2017. Gird your loins, strap on your saddles and get ready to wet that whistle with a tasty pickle… or something.

Overseas Trip

A hen's trip is all about kissing single life farewell, at a leading celebration destination. 

Phuket, Thailand

Warm all year round and rife with powder white beaches and crystal blue ocean, Phuket is the hens escape that will see her and her BFFs living the luxe life for a fraction of the price they would pay for an Australian beach getaway.

It’s also a choice escape pre-wedding as the hottest months in Phuket are April-May and September-October, AKA wedding season months.

In short: Take the trip to Thailand to live like a queen with the beach and surf at your beck and call.

Our accommodation pick: Anantara Mai Khao. What better send off into married life can you get than spending a few nights with your hens in a private villa by the beach.

For luxurious hotels and spas, without the price tag, Patong Beach is every hen’s dream come true. Add to that cheap flights to Thailand from Australian capital cities and you’ve got an affordable, extended hen’s getaway. Spend your days lazing on powder soft sand and swimming in turquoise seas. Giggle your way through the infamous nightlife of Patong’s Bangla Road. Then, nurse your hangover at the lavish Aqua Spa.

Bali, Indonesia

It’s no secret Australia has a love affair with Bali. The island is one of the hottest party destinations for Aussies as it’s both accessible and affordable.

Find yourself a great-value villa in upmarket Seminyak and settle in for shopping, sunbaking and famous Bali sunsets. Or, if you’re an active hen’s group, head out diving, surfing, snorkelling and day-tripping around the island’s famous attractions. On dusk, Seminyak’s beach glows with beachfront restaurants, bars, colourful umbrellas and beanbags. Live bands accompany fruity cocktails, seafood dining and magical moments as the sun drops into the sea.

Book a bungalow or villa with private butlers and waiters and make a beeline to your very own pool.

In short: Sun, surf, drinks and parties until the wee hours of the morning. Need we say more?

Our accommodation pick: W Retreat Seminyak. Right on the beach and near the infamous Potato Head Beach Club, the W Retreat offers every sort of accommodation from resort rooms to villas with private pools.

Epic Holidays Bali Hens Party Packages

https://epicholidays.com.au/trip_type/hens-party-bali-packages

Hens Party Bali Packages at a discount! Experience the very best the “Island of the Gods” has to offer with this sparkling Hens Night package! Bali offers some adventures that cannot be had anywhere else in the world. Where else would you be able to trek through a jungle and end the day in Kuta, the centre of Bali’s unrivalled nightlife scene? You can party at Casablanca and Hard Rock in Kuta or head to Seminyak for more funky bars and clubs like Potato Head, W Bar and Ku De Ta.

Hens Party Bali Ideas

Although you pay more for your flight, your money goes a lot further so accommodation, drinks and activities are a lot cheaper so it is a good idea to shop, see the sights, go on a day trip to Ubud, have manicures, pedicures, yoga and have as many messages as you can. Best Hotel Rates Guaranteed*! Epic Holidays offers Hens Party Bali Packages for all requirements so get in touch and we will build an awesome experience.

Goa, India

Say goodbye to single life on the legendary beaches of Goa. Long known as a bohemian town, Goa has seen more than its fair share of hen’s parties. Shop at the famous Anjuna Flea Market, admire Portuguese architecture in Old Goa and feast on South Indian cuisine. To start a big night, drink martinis with the sunset at Ashvem Beach and dance until the wee hours, at Café Mambo on Baga Beach.

Las Vegas

Made that much more popular as a destination for hens and buck’s shenanigans by The Hangover series, Vegas is a melting pot of entertainment and debauchery.

Attend one of the many saucy shows, try your luck at the tables and talk your way into the sizzling hot clubs – anything goes, really. And don’t forget: what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

In short: Party time.

Our accommodation pick: Palms Casino Resort. Reputed for it's exciting nightlife and pool area, the Palms sits just off the Strip in Las Vegas. There's also an on-site spa where you can get some much-needed pampering after a few nights in Sin City.

Epic Holidays Las Vegas Hens Party Packages

https://epicholidays.com.au/trip_type/hens-party-las-vegas-packages

Hens Party Las Vegas Packages At A Discount! Set in Nevada’s Mojave Desert, Las Vegas is non-stop 24-hour, 365 days of casinos, bars, pool parties and nightclubs. The 4 mile long Strip is like everything you’ve seen in the movies, lined with elaborate theme hotels such as the pyramid-shaped Luxor, Caesars Palace, and the iconic Bellagio. Just outside the city you can fly over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter or drive around the desert in a Hummer.

Hens Party Las Vegas Ideas

Las Vegas also has the best Resident Dj’s, music artists, magicians and acrobatic shows in the world all year round. Best Hotel Rates Guaranteed*! Epic Holidays offers Hens Party Las Vegas packages to suit any budget or requirement so get in touch and one of our travel planners will help.

Wine Regions of New Zealand

The ideal destination for if want to spend a weekend with the girls but want to make the affair an international one is just a hop and skip over a ditch away.

New Zealand offers unparalleled landscapes and experiences. For a luxurious hens unwind, however, your go-to has got to be one of its many wine regions (e.g. Otago and Marlborough).

In short: Chill out on a trip away from Australia without sacrificing more than your weekend.

Our accommodation pick: Marlborough Vintners Hotel Heritage Boutique Collection. If you want to stay amongst the vines while in New Zealand, this place is it. It's just a few minutes' walk to the nearest vineyard and there are dozens to visit in the area.

Epic Holidays Queenstown Hens Party Packages

https://epicholidays.com.au/trip_type/queenstown-hens-party-packages

Queenstown hens party at a discount! Prep your hen for the night of her life! Your hen and each lucky guest will adore this exclusive party girl package - At a glance, Queenstown may look like a sleepy mountain village, however, look deeper and the adrenaline-fuelled luge and The Ledge will tell you otherwise. Home to the best ski runs on earth, as well as a huge range of other adventure, packed activities, a night of fun and drinking, will be more than welcome after the crazy days on offer. With DJ’s pumping out music high in the mountains, and cowboys raising their whiskey glasses in the streets below, Queenstown is full of adrenaline junkies and backpackers from all over the globe.

Queenstown Hens Party Ideas

Ski & snowboard in winter, Bungy Jump, skydive, Horse Riding, jet boat, white water rafting, zip lining, you name it, Queenstown has it all. Best Hotel Rates Guaranteed*! Epic Holidays offers Queenstown Hens Party packages to suit any budget or requirement so get in touch and one of our travel planners will help.

Singapore

The island city of Singapore is a contrast of cultures and times; witness old blending seamlessly with new as you explore old worldly temples one moment and brilliantly lit installations the next.

The city never sleeps and neither will your taste-buds as they savour all the culinary delights of South East Asia that this city has to offer. Prepare to fall in love.

In short: A sensory delight from the mouth-watering dishes to the colourful facades of the cityscape.

Our accommodation pick: Marina Bay Sands. What's quickly become one of the most iconic buildings in Singapore, the Marina Bay Sands sits above a huge shopping centre with dozens of designer brands, a casino, and is next to the Gardens by the Bay. It's also home to a rooftop infinity pool that features stellar views of Singapore.

Barcelona, Spain

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/barcelona.asp

Stunning beaches, some of Europe's top nightlife, Michelin starred restaurants and a total shopper's paradise, Barcelona hen weekends really do have it all!

If your Bride to Be can’t decide whether she wants a city break or a beach babe hen, combine the best of both and book a weekend in Barcelona. The city has lots of beautiful architecture and lots of museums and parks to explore if you fancy some sight-seeing on foot, or you can cover more ground without too much effort and organise a fun electric bike tour. Alternatively, you can head to one of the city’s beaches such as Barceloneta, which is about a twenty minute stroll from Las Ramblas or a short hop on public transport. You can enjoy sunny days on the beach up to October!

You’ll find reasonably priced boutique hotel options, and lots with rooftop pools or rooftop cocktail terraces where you can enjoy great views while you chill or enjoy your prosecco. There are endless tapas spots and food markets at all price levels where you can fill up on patatas bravas before hitting the legendary night life (which lasts all night long and into the next morning for the hardcore hens FYI!).

Barcelona is also a great location for reasonably priced music festivals or concerts so make sure and check out upcoming gigs before you head. Word to the wise though, it’s a busy tourist location so there can be a lot of pickpockets in operation so keep an eye on handbags and wallets while dining alfresco etc. Ryanair and Aer Lingus fly direct from Dublin all year round. Easyjet and Ryanair also do reasonably priced flights from most major UK cities. There are 3 airports around Barcelona, Girona is to the North and about an hour and a half drive/coach journey, although it’s a quirky little town to explore for a few hours, and Barcelona Reus is the same distance to the south so bear this in mind when booking.

Star Bars

Bestial - This chic beachside bar is very much "on-trend" and attracts Barcelona's best-dressed crowd and bright young things. A great chilled out vibe, great service and fantastic drinks, the only thing we're not sure about is "where did they get that name from?"

Sor Rita - Ken and Barbie dolls in sex positions, blasphemous religious icons, and more kitsch than a drag queen’s Christmas tree, this weird bar is amazingly cheap and all kinds of odd, in a good way. Playing mostly Spanish music you’ll also find Spanish drinks and Spanish snacks.

Chupitos - If you want a night to remember then Chupitos might not be the best starts, with over 500 different shots on offer you'll be lucky to remember. However, this is one of our favourite Barcelona bars. From the mad décor to the brilliant bar staff, we're sure you'll love it too.

Best Bites

Apat - Things can get a little pricey but if you’re keen to try real local cuisine without spending a fortune, Apat is a fantastically authentic Spanish restaurant which is both really tasty and won’t blow the budget.

Milk - The perfect place to relax before any big night out, Milk mixes its quirky and trendy design elements with fantastic service and offers the freshest local ingredients in its Mediterranean cooking. Oh, and you can wash it all down with some fabulous cocktails.

Sights & Sounds

Sights - There really is so much to see in this beautiful and dazzling city. Our top tips for any Barcelona hen weekend include; Magic Fountain of Montjuic which comes alive at night. Park Guell, an amazing if slightly crazy designed by the famous Antoni Gaudi. Plus the Gothic Quarter which is not just beautiful, it also has some great shopping that’s not to be missed.

Sounds - If you want a real flavour of Barcelona then an evening of Salsa & Tapas could be "muy beuno". As well as plenty of tasty tapas, you’ll get a sizzling hot salsa dance class. Once you’ve learnt all the moves we’ll arrange entry to a top salsa club before moving on with guest list entry at one of the cities hottest clubs.

Star Bars

Bestial - This chic beachside bar is very much "on-trend" and attracts Barcelona's best-dressed crowd and bright young things. A great chilled out vibe, great service and fantastic drinks, the only thing we're not sure about is "where did they get that name from?"

Sor Rita - Ken and Barbie dolls in sex positions, blasphemous religious icons, and more kitsch than a drag queen’s Christmas tree, this weird bar is amazingly cheap and all kinds of odd, in a good way. Playing mostly Spanish music you’ll also find Spanish drinks and Spanish snacks.

Chupitos - If you want a night to remember then Chupitos might not be the best starts, with over 500 different shots on offer you'll be lucky to remember. However, this is one of our favourite Barcelona bars. From the mad décor to the brilliant bar staff, we're sure you'll love it too.

Best Bites

Apat - Things can get a little pricey but if you’re keen to try real local cuisine without spending a fortune, Apat is a fantastically authentic Spanish restaurant which is both really tasty and won’t blow the budget.

Milk - The perfect place to relax before any big night out, Milk mixes its quirky and trendy design elements with fantastic service and offers the freshest local ingredients in its Mediterranean cooking. Oh, and you can wash it all down with some fabulous cocktails.

Sights & Sounds

Sights - There really is so much to see in this beautiful and dazzling city. Our top tips for any Barcelona hen weekend include; Magic Fountain of Montjuic which comes alive at night. Park Guell, an amazing if slightly crazy designed by the famous Antoni Gaudi. Plus the Gothic Quarter which is not just beautiful, it also has some great shopping that’s not to be missed.

Sounds - If you want a real flavour of Barcelona then an evening of Salsa & Tapas could be "muy beuno". As well as plenty of tasty tapas, you’ll get a sizzling hot salsa dance class. Once you’ve learnt all the moves we’ll arrange entry to a top salsa club before moving on with guest list entry at one of the cities hottest clubs.

Top of the Shops

Barcelona’s most famous street Las Ramblas is your avenue to some great shopping hotspots. Off the main street, you’ll find the winding avenues that are packed with all manner of fantastic shops. From there you can head to the Gothic Quarter and Passieg de Gracia, both of which are packed with enough fantastic boutiques, shoe, leather and jewellery shops to keep even the most devout shopaholic busy.

Hen Days - Barcelona is so much more than gorgeous hot weather and some of Europe's best shopping streets. Of course, it is worth pointing out that it really is packed with both (shoe fans will LOVE this city!) but GoHen have heaps of amazing activities from the stunning Arab Spa to Cocktail Mixing and all kinds of Barcelona hen do activities. Our friendly team can help you plan your own custom hen weekend package.

Hen Nights - If you think Barcelona is hot during the day, you should see it at night! Without doubt one of the best party cities in the world, the bars and clubs are a totally different kind of clubbing experience to back home. Be aware that most of the bars and clubs don't even start to get busy until long after midnight. Ask our team about everything from BBQ Cruises and Hunky Butlers in the Buff, to Restaurant Reservations and Guest List Nightclubbing.

Budapest, Hungary

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/budapest.asp

Dancing on the Danube

Spas, bars and a shopper's paradise, your Budapest hen do can shop and explore by day and party by night. Bag your first bargain right now with a GoHen weekend.

You’re probably already hearing the George Ezra tune now! For a modern hen party destination, why not check out this Hungarian hot spot. It’s been gaining popularity with both hens and stags in recent years. Budapest is a beautiful city and often used as a film location. There are lots of great tourist apartments to rent near the city centre and they offer a good value option – Go 2 Flats.

A boat tour of the Danube is a great way to view the city, and there are plenty available, often as part of a bus tour package, and there are also Red bus tours that will help you get your bearings. For a hen party you cannot miss out on a day or night in a Ruin bar. They are located around the city and offer cheap drinks in cool surroundings. The Tip top roof bar is an option for a pricier drink but a great view of the city.

No visit to Budapest is complete without a trip to the famous baths, so make sure your bride tribe has packed their cosies! One of the biggest and prettiest is the Széchenyi baths. You can also buy massage and pedicure options with your pass to thermal baths if you fancy some bridal pampering. Good old Ryanair offers plenty of affordable flights from Ireland and the UK.

Top tip – download a language translation app for help with menus etc, the locals appreciate a bit of effort!

Star Bars

Instant - It's a ruin, no, literally, this bar is set in a ruin. And it's fantastic! 7 bars, 4 dance floors, 7 stages and even its own 'enchanted garden'. Weird, wacky and wonderful, it's loved by backpackers and has a superb party crowd thanks to the very friendly drinks prices and great music.

Szimpla - As Budapest hen party bars go, this one has it all. The crazy décor has a grunge-boho-punk vibe. The food is simple, delicious and well priced and there's a great drink selection to wash it down with. You'll also find plenty of tunes if you fancy hitting the dance floor.

Boutiq' Bar - If you're looking for something more ladylike with real glitz, head to Boutiq, they have been voted "The Best Cocktail Bar" in Hungary several times and were listed as one of the best "50 Best Bars in the World". We'd certainly urge you to test their drinks and judge for yourselves. Where? Paulay Ede Street. 5

Best Bites

Hungarikum Bistro - Foodie's who want to get a real flavour of Budapest will love this restaurant/bistro that specialises in traditional, rustic Hungarian food. The wholesome menu and fantastic service make this a great evening.

Hummus Bar - This local chain has restaurants across the city serving fantastic Middle Eastern flavours. While it has more of a bistro/takeaway feel the food is quite simply fantastic and a great place to stop for a light lunch while feeding your shopping habits.

Sights & Sounds

Sights - No trip to Budapest is really complete without a trip relaxing to a spa. It's these healing waters that brought the city's fame and fortune were built on and in August there's even a huge spa festival. It's also where many locals choose to spend New Year's Eve.

Another really curious site is the wonderful Fisherman's Bastion that look's like a Disney castle and gives incredible views over this beautiful city.

Sounds - You might not expect to find an American speakeasy in the middle of Budapest but find it you should. Fat Mo's is packed with live music, DJs fantastic food and plenty of cocktails in a lively atmosphere.

A38 is a funky bar, live music venue and art centre all set aboard a converted ship. It's a fantastic setting that draws a lively crowd with great views across the river.

Top of the Shops

Retrock - Without doubt one of the city's best boutiques. Vintage, retro and designer clothes rub shoulders on the rather bohemian rails and displays. Shoes, hats, jewellery, clothes, bags and more. Where? Anker köz 2

West End - You really can't miss this HUGE shopping centre. If you're in the city centre sooner or later you'll bump into it and find it's packed with hundreds of top stores and boutiques.

Gozsdu Udvar - A great collection of independent stores bars and cafes, it's also really buzzing at night and a hummus market!

Girls About Town - Getting around Budapest...

Budapest has Europe's second oldest underground system (after London). You can also jump onto trams, buses, boats and trolleybuses all with a handy and cost-effective Napijegy travelcard which gives you unlimited travel over a set period.

Or, if you're feeling fit, you can hop on public bikes that can be found at docking stations across the city.

Hen Days - Budapest hen parties really can have their cake and eat it in this wonderfully historic, chic and adventurous city. Ice Skating, Tank Driving, Cocktail Mixing, Spa Days, Pole Dancing Lessons, Wine Tasting, you can even learn to Belly Dance. If you're looking for Budapest hen weekend laughs and a sprinkling of "bonkers!" in the city by the Danube, the world really is your Lobster. See more...

Hen Nights - One of the most famous and romantic of European cities didn't win its fame through having quiet nights in. This is a city that loves to party with good food, good drink and good friends. We'd certainly recommend a Guided Bar Crawl to find your way around, or Guest List Nightclubbing at one of the city's hottest clubs. But if you really want to party in style head down the Danube on a wonderful and memorable River Disco Cruise. See more party highlights…

Marbella, Spain

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/marbella.asp

Smoother than Mark Wright's chest, this gorgeous luxury resort really does have it all: great beach bars, top DJs plus plenty of cheeky cocktails... Get the best deals for a Marbella hen weekend and make it a do to remember.

Star Bars

Ocean Club - One of the coolest bars in the whole of Marbella. Lie out by the pool by day and party hard by night. You can arrange your own special beach bar package here.

News Café - Quite frankly, no trip to Marbs is complete without a visit to what has to be one of the best places to party on the Costa del Fun.

TIBU - Once those party heels are ready to hit the floor, then TIBU has to be the place to throw your best hen party shapes. Cool, elegant, sophisticated, it's where the beautiful folk of Marbella head to party.

Best Bites

La Sala - More than just a fabulous restaurant using the best local ingredients, La Sala is a great place to party with live entertainment and cocktails galore to toast the bride-to-be.

Funky Tapas - "When in Rome..." Being a hen party in Marbella it would be crazy not to sample the tapas, and to sample the best we'd advise a visit to the fabulous Funky Tapas.

Sights & Sounds

Sights - It's simply not possible to spend time in Marbella and not take a stroll along Puerto Banus. Check out the millionaires' yachts, enjoy a little designer retail therapy or just sit and watch the world go by. It's the place to see and be seen.

A stroll around the old town is also highly recommended. Saturdays you'll find a market in Plaza del Toros.

Sounds - The biggest sounds you'll hear in Marbella are dance tunes, calling the bright young things to the dance floor with mesmeric bass. Pangea is quite unlike any bar you'll find back home. State-of-the-art lights and sound system plus incredible guest DJs. Want to avoid any pesky queues and ensure swift entry on your Marbella hen do? Walk this way…

Star Bars

Ocean Club - One of the coolest bars in the whole of Marbella. Lie out by the pool by day and party hard by night. You can arrange your own special beach bar package here.

News Café - Quite frankly, no trip to Marbs is complete without a visit to what has to be one of the best places to party on the Costa del Fun.

TIBU - Once those party heels are ready to hit the floor, then TIBU has to be the place to throw your best hen party shapes. Cool, elegant, sophisticated, it's where the beautiful folk of Marbella head to party.

Best Bites

La Sala - More than just a fabulous restaurant using the best local ingredients, La Sala is a great place to party with live entertainment and cocktails galore to toast the bride-to-be.

Funky Tapas - "When in Rome..." Being a hen party in Marbella it would be crazy not to sample the tapas, and to sample the best we'd advise a visit to the fabulous Funky Tapas.

Sights & Sounds

Sights - It's simply not possible to spend time in Marbella and not take a stroll along Puerto Banus. Check out the millionaires' yachts, enjoy a little designer retail therapy or just sit and watch the world go by. It's the place to see and be seen.

A stroll around the old town is also highly recommended. Saturdays you'll find a market in Plaza del Toros.

Sounds - The biggest sounds you'll hear in Marbella are dance tunes, calling the bright young things to the dance floor with mesmeric bass. Pangea is quite unlike any bar you'll find back home. State-of-the-art lights and sound system plus incredible guest DJs. Want to avoid any pesky queues and ensure swift entry on your Marbella hen do? Walk this way...

Top of the Shops

Puerto Banus - You'll find the biggest designer names loved by Marbella's rich and famous with everyone from Agent Provocateur to Jimmy Choo displaying their wares.

Old Town - The tourist centre and a great place to pick up souvenirs, gifts and some really stunning artisan trinkets.

Avenida Ricardo Soriano - More designer names as well as high street brands you'll recognise from back home such as Zara.

La Cañada - A large out of town shopping mall, similar to those back home but with often much friendlier pricing.

Plaza de Toros - Each Saturday you'll find a traditional Spanish market which is a good place to grab a bite to eat and let any tender heads recover.

Star Bars

Ocean Club - One of the coolest bars in the whole of Marbella. Lie out by the pool by day and party hard by night. You can arrange your own special beach bar package here.

News Café - Quite frankly, no trip to Marbs is complete without a visit to what has to be one of the best places to party on the Costa del Fun.

TIBU - Once those party heels are ready to hit the floor, then TIBU has to be the place to throw your best hen party shapes. Cool, elegant, sophisticated, it's where the beautiful folk of Marbella head to party.

Best Bites

La Sala - More than just a fabulous restaurant using the best local ingredients, La Sala is a great place to party with live entertainment and cocktails galore to toast the bride-to-be.

Funky Tapas - "When in Rome..." Being a hen party in Marbella it would be crazy not to sample the tapas, and to sample the best we'd advise a visit to the fabulous Funky Tapas.

Sights & Sounds

Sights - It's simply not possible to spend time in Marbella and not take a stroll along Puerto Banus. Check out the millionaires' yachts, enjoy a little designer retail therapy or just sit and watch the world go by. It's the place to see and be seen.

A stroll around the old town is also highly recommended. Saturdays you'll find a market in Plaza del Toros.

Sounds - The biggest sounds you'll hear in Marbella are dance tunes, calling the bright young things to the dance floor with mesmeric bass. Pangea is quite unlike any bar you'll find back home. State-of-the-art lights and sound system plus incredible guest DJs. Want to avoid any pesky queues and ensure swift entry on your Marbella hen do? Walk this way...

Top of the Shops

Puerto Banus - You'll find the biggest designer names loved by Marbella's rich and famous with everyone from Agent Provocateur to Jimmy Choo displaying their wares.

Old Town - The tourist centre and a great place to pick up souvenirs, gifts and some really stunning artisan trinkets.

Avenida Ricardo Soriano - More designer names as well as high street brands you'll recognise from back home such as Zara.

La Cañada - A large out of town shopping mall, similar to those back home but with often much friendlier pricing.

Plaza de Toros - Each Saturday you'll find a traditional Spanish market which is a good place to grab a bite to eat and let any tender heads recover.

Girls About Town - Getting around Marbella...

Marbella isn't overrun with public transports (this is Marbs after all, darling, we all drive Porsches here). However, the trains run like clockwork (a nice change for Brit commuters), buses are frequent and well priced and all the cabs are sparkling clean. Although they run on a meter we'd advise you get an idea of price from the driver before getting in a taxi.

Star Bars

Ocean Club - One of the coolest bars in the whole of Marbella. Lie out by the pool by day and party hard by night. You can arrange your own special beach bar package here.

News Café - Quite frankly, no trip to Marbs is complete without a visit to what has to be one of the best places to party on the Costa del Fun.

TIBU - Once those party heels are ready to hit the floor, then TIBU has to be the place to throw your best hen party shapes. Cool, elegant, sophisticated, it's where the beautiful folk of Marbella head to party.

Best Bites

La Sala - More than just a fabulous restaurant using the best local ingredients, La Sala is a great place to party with live entertainment and cocktails galore to toast the bride-to-be.

Funky Tapas - "When in Rome..." Being a hen party in Marbella it would be crazy not to sample the tapas, and to sample the best we'd advise a visit to the fabulous Funky Tapas.

Sights & Sounds

Sights - It's simply not possible to spend time in Marbella and not take a stroll along Puerto Banus. Check out the millionaires' yachts, enjoy a little designer retail therapy or just sit and watch the world go by. It's the place to see and be seen.

A stroll around the old town is also highly recommended. Saturdays you'll find a market in Plaza del Toros.

Sounds - The biggest sounds you'll hear in Marbella are dance tunes, calling the bright young things to the dance floor with mesmeric bass. Pangea is quite unlike any bar you'll find back home. State-of-the-art lights and sound system plus incredible guest DJs. Want to avoid any pesky queues and ensure swift entry on your Marbella hen do? Walk this way...

Top of the Shops

Puerto Banus - You'll find the biggest designer names loved by Marbella's rich and famous with everyone from Agent Provocateur to Jimmy Choo displaying their wares.

Old Town - The tourist centre and a great place to pick up souvenirs, gifts and some really stunning artisan trinkets.

Avenida Ricardo Soriano - More designer names as well as high street brands you'll recognise from back home such as Zara.

La Cañada - A large out of town shopping mall, similar to those back home but with often much friendlier pricing.

Plaza de Toros - Each Saturday you'll find a traditional Spanish market which is a good place to grab a bite to eat and let any tender heads recover.

Girls About Town - Getting around Marbella...

Marbella isn't overrun with public transports (this is Marbs after all, darling, we all drive Porsches here). However, the trains run like clockwork (a nice change for Brit commuters), buses are frequent and well priced and all the cabs are sparkling clean. Although they run on a meter we'd advise you get an idea of price from the driver before getting in a taxi.

Hen Days - Ahhh Marbella, jewel of the Mediterranean and party paradise. Whether you want to treat the guest of honour to a Champagne Breakfast (complete with sexy butlers), lounge at a top Beach Club, or get more energetic with Horse Riding, Burlesque Lessons, Cocktail Mixing, the list goes on! There really is no end to the fun and games to be had on your Marbella hen weekend, so tell us what you have in mind and we'll help you line up a weekend you'll never forget!

Hen Nights - Mention the name Marbella and the word that instantly springs to mind is "Party!". Marbella is one of the greatest party hotspots on the planet. From guided pub crawls, fine dining karaoke and those all-important clubs, we can line up an incredible evening with guestlist nightclub entry, there's simply no time to queue, you're a Marbella hen do on a mission!).

Algarve, Portugal

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/algarve.asp

Portu-Gals

Fantastic tans, amazing activities and nightlife, sun-kissed hen memories, it's no

wonder so many of GoHen's groups score their Algarve hen party so highly.

For the tried and tested Bridal beach break, head to the south coast of Portugal. Both Villamoura and Albufeira are approximately a half hour from Faro airport, and you can arrange a reasonably priced (and air conditioned) transfer if you book in advance.

Villamoura has lots of holiday apartment and aparthotels available for all budgets, as well as higher end hotels. There are also lots of spas and hotels offering treatments if a pampering hen activity is the order of the day. Alternatively you could head for cocktails on the marina, or charter a boat for an afternoon of cruising and champagne.

Albufeira strip is a busier spot, the newer part of town has all the nightclubs and is geared at tourists, and could be a bit louder if you’re thinking of there. However the old town of Albufeira has a wider range of restaurants and a lot of roof terrace bars and outdoor areas looking over the sea which is worth a visit.

One of the most fun ways to spend a hen trip in the Algarve is to grab everyone sunlounger near a beach bar and get your G&T’s delivered while you chill on the beach. You’ll mostly have to pay for the privilege, but it’s worth it for the access to clean bathrooms etc. Albufeira and Villamoura are only a short taxi journey from each other so you can check out nights in both spots during your stay.

Star Bars

Bar Columbus - If you enjoy cocktails served by good looking barmen (who doesn't?!?) then Columbus has both on the menu. Although you're only supposed to sample the former while checking out the latter.

Kadoc - Lisbon's largest club can hold more than 8,000 party lovers. This incredible venue features a superb sound system, guest DJ's and party nights. A must for serious music lovers.

Bahia - If you just can't get enough of the laidback beach lifestyle the Bar Bahia is definitely for you. Great food, a relaxed vibe and great music will see you party within earshot of the waves lapping at the beach. Bliss.

Best Bites

Nah Nah Bah - Burgers with a big difference. There really is something for everyone at this super trendy burger joint. Using local organic ingredients, the food is all flavoured with the owner's love of music. Eat, chill, dance, whatever takes your fancy!

Maria's - Enjoy fine seafood at Maria's. Its stunning location is matched by the friendly service and superb menu. There's also a great selection of salads, pasta and meat as well as an incredible sticky toffee pudding. Mmmmmmm.....

Sights & Sounds

Sights - With so many incredible beaches to choose from it's hard to find a favourite, however, Praia da Marinha and Praia da Rocha are considered to be two of the best beaches in Europe. Away from the sand the Water Park and Theme Park are both worth a visit for thrill-seeking hens.

Sounds - The winter garden at T-Cube is the perfect place to enjoy the summer nights and dance into the wee small hours of the morning. You'll also find a piano bar and restaurant if you fancy making a real night of it. If you enjoy your clubbing without the hassle speak to our team about Guest List Nightclub Entry. No queues, no fees, no fuss.

Top of the Shops

The Forum - The regions largest shopping mall will keep shoe lovers and fashionistas happy with a great selection of top brand names and designer stores.

Casa das Portas - No, it's not Mary Portas' holiday home, although she'd love this selection of independent shops and boutiques. Well worth a visit.

Girls About Town - Getting around Algarve...

The only real viable method of public transport is by bus, however, most things in the central areas are easily accessible by foot (or heels in the evening). Taxis are air-conditioned and licensed, however, it is best to agree a price before getting in.

Hen Days - If you're heading to the Algarve you really should be soaking up some beach living, Horse Riding,Surfing, Beach BBQ Cruise, all make the most of being beside the seaside. There's plenty of Algarve hen do activities to choose from.

Hen Nights - You really will be loving the ‘hot summer nights' with some amazing hen nightlife in the Algarve (one of Europe's funkiest destinations). But don't leave it to chance, Dinner Reservations, Karaoke, Guest List Nightclub Entry or why not surprise the blushing-bride-to-be with a hunky Strip Dinner?

Greek Islands, Greece

https://thehenplanner.com/best-hen-weekends-abroad/

Whether it’s thanks to Mamma Mia 2 or Instagram, the Greek islands are definitely enjoying a resurge in popularity. Mykonos is the luxe party island, where Lindsay Lohan is currently running a beach bar and has become an A-list haunt of late. It is one of the pricier islands but if budget permits , it’s definitely the place to be. Love Island veteran Olivia Buckland hosted her hen party in a Mykonos villa with lots of pool parties. Other spots to check out are Scoprios (which we HIGHLY recommend!) and Nammos for day to night beach side partying.

Crete is a more budget friendly option (although not in the Leaving Cert/A level  holiday way – like Zante or Ios!), and as one of the bigger islands has a lot of activities available, both on the beach, and hiking in Samaria Gorge, or more laid back events like tours of a local winery.  Ryanair offer lots of Greek Island flights from the UK and Ireland so they’re definitely a winner for a hot hen party.

Ibiza, Spain

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/ibiza.asp

Sorry, S-Club, but you were soooo wrong. There ain't no party like an Ibiza beach party! And now you can be in the heart of this amaze-balls party destination. Get the best deals on hen hotels, activities, superclubs and more…

It gained popularity as a clubbing mecca and Ibiza is a very popular destination with the fashion set and a great option whether you’re looking for a party-filled hen or a yoga and sunshine vibe. Channel Love Island and get the gals into a villa, even though you won’t be far from a beach, make sure to get a pool for chilling out and cooling down during the day. If you’re looking for a relaxed activity, look into booking a private sailing trip around the island with some prosecco, (think yacht vibes not booze cruise). Obviously Ibiza has plenty of nightlife on offer so you won’t be short of options to dance the night away, although the superclubs can be on the pricey end. There are also plenty of yoga teachers in residence if you fancied a zen hen option for a class or retreat.

Star Bars

Café Mambo - If you want to check out the island's 'talent' while enjoying the most spectacular sunset then Café Mambo is definitely the place to be. Great cocktails and fantastic staff help build a great party atmosphere.

Hidden Bar - Definitely one of Ibiza's best-kept secrets and one of our favourite places to visit. The cocktail list is very impressive and if they don't have it, they'll make it. A great Iberian beach vibe and some good old British grub. It rocks!

Casita Verde - Staying in touch with the island's hippy roots and away from the frenetic madness of other bars, this superb eco-friendly bar is perhaps one of the most chilled out places on the island. Don't expect frills, but you will get a real experience.

Best Bites

La Cava - No trip to Spain is complete without enjoying the fresh and fragrant Tapas. Our favourite spot on the island for tasting superb, authentic tapas is La Cava, with its trendy décor and friendly staff it's the ideal place to start a good night out.

Tijuana - With its slightly mad décor and fantastic staff we have a soft spot for Tijuana in central San Antonio. You'll find a great menu of Tex-Mex food to suit the whole group.

Sights & Sounds

Sights - The Hippy Market is a must-see, hundreds of great stalls with incredible artisan jewellery and leather goods.

If you haven't got an island sunset on your bucket list you really are missing something. The sunsets on Ibiza are nothing short of spectacular and one of the best places to view them is from offshore on a Sunset Boat Cruise.

Sounds - It's all about the bass... Ibiza is the clubbing capital of the world. Ever since the hippies arrived in the '60s the island has been the perfect place for a great night out and has music in its soul. These days the beat has a real techno feel and you'll find clubs that are recognised as being among the best in the world. Add that to the hot summer nights and you're in for a party you'll never forget.

Top of the Shops

Ibiza Town - The Island's capital has a good range of designer shops and names to keep the most committed shopaholics busy.

Hippy Market - You'll find artisan leather, jewellery, bags, shoes and more at Ibiza's most famous shopping experience. You'll find over 500 different traders at Es Canar.

Hippy Chic - Go native and pay a visit to what we think is one of the best shops on the island. You'll find Hippy Chic in Talamanca and it's worth the trip.

Here come the girls... - Getting around Ibiza...

Getting off the plane, hop on a bus to get to your accommodation. All airport journeys cost less than €2 (correct at the time of writing but might be subject to change) and work out cheaper than sharing taxis.

The bus system is also a great way to get out and about. There is even a special “disco bus” which is designed for the hardcore party crowd and runs until 6am.

If you don't fancy hanging around at the airport, heading to activities or nights out, and want everything organised in advance, our Ibiza Destination Manager will be happy to line up transport for you.

Hen Days - As you would expect from one of the maddest places on the planet, there is no end of hen party shenanigans available for fun-loving Ibiza hen parties. Cocktail Mixing, Boat Cruises, Beach Clubs, Scuba Diving..

Hen Nights - Ibiza is, without doubt, the most flamboyant and hardcore party destination on the planet. In fact, we'd go so far as to say you really haven't partied until you've experienced a night on Ibiza with some of the most famous clubs in the world. If you don't want to miss a thing and be sure of getting into funkiest party hotspots, GoHen can arrange Strip Dinners, Guest List Night Club Entry and more.

Lisbon, Portugal

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/lisbon.asp

Not only is Lisbon one of Europe's coolest party cities, but Lisbon hen weekends will also be exposed to an absolute shopper's paradise! Don't say we didn't warn you…

Now home to Madonna (yes really!), this popular Portuguese city is a fab spot for a destination hen. The city itself is beautiful and full of cobbled streets and alleyways, but there are also plenty of hilly streets as well so make sure you’ve packed the flats. In terms of food, you’ll find lots of tapas options and roof terrace restaurants to indulge. There are also wine tasting tours sampling the local vinho verde (sounds like hen heaven).

If you’re looking for a day-time activity you can head to the beach for group sailing or surf lessons or a private boat cruise. There are day trips on offer to picturesque Sintra (think Portuguese Riviera) and Cascais.

Plenty of flights are on offer to Lisbon with Ryanair, easyjet, Aer Lingus and British Airways flying in. There is lots of gorgeous boutique accommodation on offer to, check out Caso Do Principe for pretty rooms in the centre of the City.

Star Bars

Cinco Lounge - This is a cocktail bar with a difference. Dripping with elegance and chic design, the Cinco is a fabulous addition to a truly memorable evening.

Foxtrot - We love this bonkers bar, part London boozer, part Mediterranean themed speakeasy, it really is a crazy mix topped off with fantastic tunes and a superb drinks menu.

Clube Ferroviario - Bars like this are the reason sand was invented! Every stretch of beach should end with a fantastic beach bar. As well as ice cool cocktails you'll find amazing food and a great early evening atmosphere.

Best Bites

La Paparrucha - Meat eaters will love this amazing restaurant with the very best Argentinian steak on offer. The staff all speak perfect English and are happy to explain anything on the menu for you.

Open Brasserie - Featuring the flavours of the Mediterranean, this sleek, trendy restaurant serves clean, succulent, crispy flavours from across the region and is very well priced.

Sights & Sounds

Sights - The Parque Das Nacoes is a particularly impressive park where you can lay out, enjoy a little sun and rest any weary hen heads. Alternatively, the shops in the Alfama area of the city make for great retail therapy.

Sounds - Ministerium is one of Lisbon's trendiest clubs. As well as a great bar and restaurant the club itself boasts a fantastic sound system and has some great guest DJs dropping by.

Top of the Shops

Lisbon is simply superb for shopping. There is something for everyone from vintage markets to top international designers.

Feira da Ladra - Tuesdays and Saturdays until 1pm you'll find a great flea market that is full of retro and vintage design gems. It's is well worth a rummage to snap up some real bargains. 

Luvaria Ulisses - This incredible little shop on Rua do Carmo sells nothing but gloves. That might sound odd until you feel the quality of the leather of these timeless, classic accessories. Where? Rua do Carmo.

Lx Market - On Sundays, housed in a giant disused factory, you'll find a wide range of second hand and new contemporary and hippy-chic clothes, jewellery and oddities. Where? Av. da India.

Girls About Town - Getting around Lisbon...

The city's Metro (underground train) system is excellent and while the announcements are made in Portuguese the ticket machines are bilingual so you'll have no problem with tickets. A day pass is a cost-effective way to make the most of your ticket. Bicycle hire is also popular in Lisbon and a great, healthy way to get about.

Hen Days - Glorious Lisbon! Ok, we admit it, it's one of our favourite European destinations, not simply because of the stunning weather and incredible nightlife, but the sheer range of incredible activities we dive into every time we're there. Surfing, Burlesque Lessons, High Ropes, Wine Tasting, Cocktail Mixing... The list is endless and it's simply impossible to not have fun in lovely Lisbon.

Hen Nights - In our opinion, Lisbon is simply one of the sexiest cities in the world, the local senoritas, the seňors, the hot Latin, the sophisticated bars and clubs... Sigh! Yep, you can't help but be smitten kittens. To make sure you don't miss a thing, have your nightlife all booked in advance with the guest list entry and reservations to the hottest Clubs, Restaurants, Casino and Bars. You can even opt for a Guided Bar Crawl.

Amsterdan, Netherlands

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/amsterdam.asp

One of the most famous (or should that be 'infamous'?) party destinations in the world, an Amsterdam hen weekend has it all. Fun, culture, nightlife, all with a little added 'crazy' on the side.

Star Bars

Hannekes Boom - This slight weird-looking wooden shack tucked close to the train station looks like it's been transported from the wilds of Alaska, but it's actually a funky bar that draws a trendy local crowd.

Vesper Bar - It's not just the cocktails (although they are certainly worthy of a mention) but the fantastic atmosphere and funky retro feel make this one of our favourite places to visit in Amsterdam.

Pigs & Punch - A real taste of Dutch life, this fantastic bar and grill serves up fine food along with some excellent cocktails, all with a fantastic lively atmosphere. It has a candlelit, kinda sexy vibe and is a great place to kick start a fantastic night out.

Best Bites

Hap Hmm - If you're thinking of going Dutch and want to try some of the local nosh then Hap Hmm serves up great traditional Dutch food at friendly prices. A favourite with the locals the excellent staff are on hand to help explain the dishes.

Yam Yam - If you're looking to break bread with a lovely garlic crust then Yam Yam serves fantastic Italian pizza and has a little something to serve every taste without blowing the precious cocktail budget.

Sights

A highly educated city of wonderful contrasts (did you know 83% of the population can speak 3 languages?) there is so much to see and do. From the incredibly moving Anne Frank's House to the treacherous Amsterdam Dungeon or of course the renowned Sex Museum.

Two of Amsterdam's most famous trades can be found in the Red Light District and in its world-famous jewellery/diamond shops.

Hannekes Boom - This slight weird-looking wooden shack tucked close to the train station looks like it's been transported from the wilds of Alaska, but it's actually a funky bar that draws a trendy local crowd.

Vesper Bar - It's not just the cocktails (although they are certainly worthy of a mention) but the fantastic atmosphere and funky retro feel make this one of our favourite places to visit in Amsterdam.

Pigs & Punch - A real taste of Dutch life, this fantastic bar and grill serves up fine food along with some excellent cocktails, all with a fantastic lively atmosphere. It has a candlelit, kinda sexy vibe and is a great place to kick start a fantastic night out.

Best Bites

Hap Hmm - If you're thinking of going Dutch and want to try some of the local nosh then Hap Hmm serves up great traditional Dutch food at friendly prices. A favourite with the locals the excellent staff are on hand to help explain the dishes.

Yam Yam - If you're looking to break bread with a lovely garlic crust then Yam Yam serves fantastic Italian pizza and has a little something to serve every taste without blowing the precious cocktail budget.

Sights

A highly educated city of wonderful contrasts (did you know 83% of the population can speak 3 languages?) there is so much to see and do. From the incredibly moving Anne Frank's House to the treacherous Amsterdam Dungeon or of course the renowned Sex Museum.

Two of Amsterdam's most famous trades can be found in the Red Light District and in its world-famous jewellery/diamond shops.

Sounds

You certainly won't be lost for tunes. Amsterdam has a massive dance music scene and some of the best clubs on the continent. However, some are definitely better than others so be careful and make sure you don't waste time in a bad venue. We'll arrange Guest List Night Club entry for your entire party at one of the hottest venues in town.

Top of the Shops

I Love Vintage - If you love chic, vintage European style then head to I Love Vintage. This is quite possibly the coolest shop in Amsterdam. A city with a lot of great shops.

Red Light District - If you're looking for any Shades of Grey tools or toys then there is plenty on offer in Amsterdam's Red Light District.

What's Hot - Amsterdam loves its fashion and you'll find plenty of great independent boutiques spread around the city centre. The city is also renowned for its diamonds and has some incredible jewellery shops.

Here come the girls - Getting around Amsterdam...

Amsterdam has masses of really great transport links. The problem isn't finding them but avoiding them, bikes, trams, trains, taxis, rickshaws, and all manner of sneaky eco-friendly transport glides silently along the streets so keep an eye on any hungover hens.

If you want to try a little pedal power, you can hire bikes for as little as €8 per day. Alternatively, an OV travel card (or ‘chipkaart') allows you unlimited travel on trams, trains, metro, and buses and can be bought online prior to arrival.

Hen Days - This is most definitely a city with a sense of humour, if you're after laughs then not only does Amsterdam not take itself too seriously, it wants the world to laugh along too. You can dive right into the fun with a Striptease Workshop, Bubbly Bike Tour (yes, a bike and plenty of bottles of fizz), Go Karting, Red Light Tour, Canal Boat Tour, or visit one of the many museums. There are plenty of unsual Amsterdam activities to choose from.

Hen Nights - There are no two ways about, Amsterdam is one of the most fun-loving cities on the planet!!! Known for its naughty nature and love of wacky-bacci, many overlook the massive dance scene (it's home to Europe's largest dance music festival). From Drag Queen Dinners to Guest List Night Club Entry or a Guided Bar Crawl, you're in for one suitably wild weekend.

Czech Republic

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/prague.asp

It's one of the world's most elegant cities, from boutique hotels to vintage fashion. Save money and get more from your weekend with GoHen's fantastic Prague hen weekend deals.

Star Bars

Black Angels Bar – Slightly hidden away from most of the tourist traffic the Black Angel is perhaps one of the city's best bars. As well as the swanky and very Prague décor there is a great little terrace to get some cool night air as you raise a glass to the nearly-wed.

Bugsy's – This bar is all about the cocktails. And they're gooood! The bar staff are dressed like traditional bartenders while the décor is ultra-trendy with a great party atmosphere. But most of all it really is about the drinks and the amazing cocktail menu.

500 Restaurant – This is a really relaxed bar/diner. You'll find tasty thin-crust pizzas and a really relaxed bohemian atmosphere, with cool music and cooler locals. Perfect to enjoy a few more relaxed drinks at the beginning of your night.

Best Bites

Pho – Fans of Asian cuisine will love Pho, a superb and well priced Vietnamese restaurant. The staff are fantastic and the menu is even better. It offers something for everyone with vegetarian options as well.

Sisters – This fantastic café/diner has the perfect name for a hen party to drop by. It has traditional Czech food, such as open sandwiches, salads and soup. As well as the great cakes and pastries its budget-friendly pricing makes it a winner.

Sights & Sounds

Sights

The Old Town Square is well worth a look with some great bars and restaurants. Another interesting Square to sit and watch the world go by (with a little caffeine therapy for any sore hen heads) is Wenceslas Square where the good king looked out on the feast of Stephen.

One of the city's quirkier buildings is known as the 'Dancing House' on the Rašínovo nábřeží overlooking the river, so named as it looks like a dancing couple.

Sounds

One of the Prague's hottest clubs is Karlovy Lazne, not only does it have chilled cocktails and ice-cool DJs it even has its own Ice Pub where the furniture and walls and even glasses are all made from ice. Smetanovo nábřeží 198/1

If you really want to party in style GoHen can arrange Guest List Nightclub Entry.

Top of the Shops

Palladium – If you like to keep all your shopping under one roof then head to Palladium, the city's largest mall (200 shops!) is ideal for a little hen party retail therapy.

Choco Loves Coffee – We're sure there is somewhere else in the world that's as obsessed with chocolate as Prague, but we're yet to find it. However, as complete chocoholics we're not complaining and recommend this amazing choc-shop as pick of the bunch with an amazing array of chocolate from around the world.

Pariszka Street – If you fancy a bit of window shopping head to Paris Street for the very finest designer names. And as you peak through the window, those really long numbers you can see that look like stock codes... They're actually the prices! How the other half live, sigh.

Girls About Town - Getting around Prague...

Heading into Prague from the airport, we'd advise a bus. They're regular and a lot less expensive than a taxi (more money for cocktail 'o' clock). In fact, on the whole, public transport in Prague is pretty good. Trams, buses and underground trains are all regular, well maintained and can all be accessed with a pass that allows you unlimited travel over a set time period. Alternatively, you can buy an eTicket which will be sent directly to your smartphone.

Hen Days - Prague is slightly bonkers in the most fantastic way. The city's three main loves are definitely alcohol, chocolate and dancing which makes it ideal for any hen party. And it has its fair share of crazy activities including Cocktail Mixing, Tank Driving, and White Water Rafting.

Hen Nights - If you fancy a tipple every now and again then Prague will welcome you with open arms and raised glasses. It's figuring out what to go in those glasses that is the problem as there are some wonderfully weird local brews that are well worth trying (but be warned, some of it is like rocket fuel so please drink responsibly). As for nightlife there is a massive array of fantastic pubs and clubs. GoHen can arrange a Guided Pub Crawl, Restaurants, Guestlist Clubbing or even a cheeky Strip Dinner and more…

Benidorm, Spain 

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/benidorm.asp

Without doubt one of the greatest party destinations in Europe, your Benidorm hen party will enjoy amazing weather, great tunes and fabulous laughs. "Cocktails by the pool, ladies?"

Star Bars

Rock & Roll House - This is the perfect bar to let your hair down and enjoy a few cheeky cocktails to classic rock & roll tunes in neon-lit surrounds with pictures and paintings of rock icons along the walls.

The Bodhran Irish Bar - It seems like the spirit of the Irish is spreading across the continent right now but there's nothing fake about this spirited pub. Great music, delicious food and a huge selection of wines make this just the place to get the party started.

Rockstar - "Cause we all just wanna be big rock stars" and Rockstar Benidorm is exactly where you should be living out all your A-list fantasies. Live bands, great drinks deals and a funky underground vibe, what more could a Benidorm hen party need?

Best Bites

Amigos - This bright, beautiful restaurant provides a delicious pre-club dinner with what the locals think are the best steaks in Benidorm. And there's even a whole load of gluten-free options so you won't have to sacrifice any summer diets!

Casa Toni - Casa Toni is colourful, stylish, delightful and that's before you've even eaten anything. When it comes to fine dining this is one casa that really impresses with a variety of dishes ranging from meat and fish dishes to traditional Benidorm recipes to satisfy your appetites.

Sights & Sounds

Sights - Aside from the golden beaches that have made this resort so popular for over half a century, Benidorm's stunning traditional fishing harbour is well worth a visit if not just to peek at the hunky (and often topless) señors working on the boats. Alternatively, you can get up, up and wahay at a Theme Park or go all out at sea on a Catamaran Cruise.

Sounds - Benidorm's uh-mazing nightlife isn't short of glitz and glamour with fabulous Cabaret Shows and some of Spain's most popular nightclubs. GoHen can even arrange Guestlist Entry so you won't have to lose any valuable dancing time or even the massive Smashed Bar Crawl that'll take you straight to the best watering holes in town.

Top of the Shops

Benidorm has plenty of luxury shopping outlets for fashionistas. If shopping is your thing then you're in luck with some names you'll recognise from the high streets back home as well as a good selection of designer boutiques. It's also worth checking out some of the smaller alleyways and markets around the Passeig de la Carreterra, where you'll find artisan jewellery and leather goods. The Old Town also has some quirky shops and has some great places to stop for a light tapas lunch.

Girls About Town - Getting around Benidorm...

Blissfully Benidorm is all walkable, from the beaches to the hotels, bars to the restaurants, everything is in easy reach, even in new heels.

Getting into the resort is a slightly meandering bus journey (which will take a little time) or taxi's which can be a little pricey. Always agree a price before you get into a taxi and don't be afraid to haggle to get a good deal.

At GoHen we arrange airport transfers for all our groups to and from the airport to save you time and hassle and pre-booked transfers are by far the most cost-effective way to get into Benidorm.

Hen Days - From the moment you arrive, you'll be enjoying Benidorm finest asset, the fantastic weather. The resort thrives on its beach lifestyle and party-loving nightlife. During the day you can work on your tans in between a Cocktail Mixing Class, Catamaran Cruise, Mountain Pamper Retreat. If you want to feel truly decadent you can opt for a Spa & Lunch Buffet or Yacht Charter.

Hen Nights - Benidorm is the perfect destination for a wild weekend and giving the bride-to-be a weekend she'll never forget. You can jump aboard the mammoth Smashed Bar Crawl or enjoy your own Private Bar Crawl with an English speaking guide. Set sail on a Booze Cruise, or treat the nearly-wed to a sizzling hot Vegas-style Cabaret Show or a more intimate Strip Dinner.

New York or Boston

https://thehenplanner.com/best-hen-weekends-abroad/

This definitely requires a bigger budget and a bit of planning, (ESTA visas etc.) but with WOW Air, Norwegian Air etc . offering cheap flights to the States and the other airlines competing, along weekend in the Big Apple or Beantown can be doable.  In NYC, an Air BnB is usually your best bet and there are plenty of options in cool neighbourhoods available. Boston can be good for central hotel deals. You can take in the sights during the day, head for mani-pedis or head to the outlet malls in Woodbury Common or Jersey gardens (Wrentham in Boston) and hit the city for cocktails in the evening.

Check out the Meatpacking district and The Standard Hotel in New York for some cool nightlife or head over the bridge to Brooklyn for Hipster Bars, the Faneuil hall area is where local sources recommend in Boston. And make sure to bring your ID to your Bachelorette spectacular (even if getting ID’ed is a distant memory!).

Dublin, Ireland

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/dublin.asp

If you want a weekend that will have you in fits of laughter then a Dublin hen do really delivers. And let's talk about hunky Irishmen with gorgeous accents for a minute...

Star Bars

37 Dawson Street - Uber trendy and most wonderfully quirky, this theatrical venue really will add a touch of class to your big weekend. Don't leave Dublin without enjoying one of the hottest venue's in town.

Buskers Bar - No, this isn't a pub where mimes and jugglers come to talk business but one of the city's most exciting venues where they mix style with fun service and fabulous cocktails, then serve the whole lot over ice cool tunes.

Best Bites

Rustic Stone - Taking some of Ireland's finest ingredients and giving them a totally contemporary twist, this is the perfect place to start off any special occasion with a touch of class, yet a home spun feel.

Glassboat - Drop those diets and get yourselves along to this figure busting patisserie. Fantastic sarnies, cakes and fancies that are well worth lifting any pre-wedding calorie embargo for.

Sights & Sounds

Sights

Dublin Zoo, imagine all those gorgeous, cute little animals with Irish accents, ok maybe not but this is still a wonderful world-renowned zoo. For hens feeling a little fragile, the stunning Iveagh Gardens is the perfect place to walk through.

Sounds

Dublin's hottest bar and club, Alchemy has some of the fattest sounds and adds a touch of glamour to any big night out. A state-of-the-art sound system and superb DJs play the best dance, chart and R'n'B.

Top of the Shops

The 3rd Policeman - A fantastic style emporium where everything old is new again. Vintage clothes, retro design and quirky antiques at fantastic prices.

Dirty Fabulous - This is a must for visiting vintage fans and bridal parties. Not just a selection of great vintage clothes but vintage bridal wear and extras.

Grafton Street - The main hub of Dublin's shop life where you'll find the big high street stores as well as a few tucked away gems.

Girls About Town - Getting around Dublin...

Getting around Dublin is a doddle with great transport, buses, DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport... a.k.a. "trains") and trams. The cheapest way to hop on and off the transport network is with a Leap Card.

But if you're feeling energetic or want to take your hangovers for some fresh air you'll find Dublin Public Bikes dotted all round the city.

Hen Days - In Dublin it really is all about "the craic". Finding the best times and having the most laughs and fun-loving hen parties really are spoilt for choice. From energetic Dance Classes to thrilling High Ropes and Cocktail Mixing. You can Dirty Dance, have a Day at the Races, Afternoon Tea or just sit back and enjoy a pint of the black stuff whilst you enjoy our Guinness Tour.

Hen Nights - Without a doubt, Dublin is one of the finest party cities in the world. In fact, a night in Dublin should feature on any self-respecting bucket list. To make your hen night easier, at GoHen, we'll help line up the best tickets in town with pre-paid entry to the hottest Nightclubs, Comedy Clubs and Restaurants. Or if you want a proper Irish knees-up we can point you in the direction of the best Pubs, a Guided Pub Crawl or even a local Ceilidh night.

Madrid, Spain

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/madrid.asp

It's one of the world's most glamorous and stylish cities so why not pack your bags (but leave space to fill) for a Madrid hen weekend. Enjoy great bars, fine restaurants, boutique hotels and hours of pre-wedding retail therapy.

Star Bars

Gau & Cafe – This open-air bar has a really relaxed atmosphere, great drinks, great setting but its number one ingredient is its food. And the White Chocolate Cake is quite simply hmmmmmmmmmmm.............

Bar Cock – Well, what's in a name? Thankfully the drinks are a lot better than the name would suggest, this isn't a heavy ‘dance all night' type venue but it does fill up with the party crowd before going on to dance elsewhere.

Best Bites

Mercado De San Miguel - Our top dining tip is to forget the tapas restaurants and head to this wonderful market. You'll find a huge range of different tapas and bites at every turn. A real foodie heaven.

Naif - There's so much to love Madrid for and we'd certainly include Naif. This uber-trendy sandwich/burger bar is the kind of place to find poets and artists... munching on fries. Plus the food is fantastic.

Sights & Sounds

Sights - Why wouldn't you take an Egyptian monument, pull it to pieces, transport it thousands of miles and rebuild it? Madrid did. It's just one of the many wonders to be found at Parques Reunidos, a huge public park which is the perfect spot to catch a few rays while letting the sun's magical rays help soothe any tender hen heads.

Sounds - Madrid's glitterati and world-famous celebs looking to party will sooner or later head to Gabana. This club can be rather exclusive, but when the likes of presidents, international footballers, supermodels, movie stars are among your clientele you can probably afford to be. A simply amazing nightclub!

Velvet is one of the most modern clubs we've ever seen! Really, it's so funky, we kept expecting to bump into our future selves. And the music is superb!

Top of the Shops

Madrid is all about style: fashion designers and supermodels can often be seen in Salamanca, one of the city's trendiest areas, which is awash with top designer brands. Even if you don't want to send your credit card into meltdown, as window shopping goes, it's a shopaholics paradise. Where else in the world would you find a shop that only sells capes?

Calle Preciados – Head to this central street to find top, well-known and familiar brands, and El Corte Ingles, Spain's largest department stores.

Plaza Mayor – For more local and more charm, the area behind Plaza Mayor has more traditional crafts and real colour.

Gran Vila – Just to the north of this main thoroughfare, you'll find a number of independent boutiques and designers that won't break the bank.

Girls About Town - Getting around Madrid...

This hugely cosmopolitan city has an excellent travel network so you can wear those new heels with confidence (and then ride home). The underground Metro system is the city's artery, you can buy 1 & 21-day travelcards which allow you to travel on all forms of public transport.

Or if you're feeling fit you can hop on a BiciMAD public bike.

Hen Days - So what exactly does a hen party get up to in Madrid? Actually, it's what can't a hen party do in Madrid? It's really no wonder this city is so loved by celebrities from Victoria Beckham to Beyonce. Horse Riding, Cocktail Mixing, Spanish Cookery Class, Flamenco or Salsa Dance Class.

Hen Nights - Madrid is undoubtedly one of the greatest party destinations in the world. It mixes chic, sexy sophistication, adds a little flamenco heat, a drop or two of red wine and then takes it to some of Spain's finest nightclubs. However you want to party, Madrid offers a little something for everyone: Flamenco Show & Dinner, Guest List Nightclubbing.

Berlin, Germany

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/berlin.asp

Mad, bad and hilarious to know this historic city is more than a little bonkers in the best possible way! Your Berlin hen party can enjoy the biggest nightlife and unforgettable activities both at amazing prices with GoHen.

Star Bars

Prinzipal - Reminiscent of scenes from Moulin Rouge and Cabaret, this stylish bar is well worth a visit. Order a delicious Date with Dita (A bourbon-based cocktail) from the hunky barmen and enjoy a truly glamorous burlesque performance.

ČSA - Stepping into this bar is like walking back in time - in a seriously retro-chic kind of way. It used to be a Czech airline's headquarters, and you'll discover a quiet euro-style 70's charm here with some delicious cocktails to boot.

Becketts Kopff - One for any literature buffs out there, this fantastic cocktail lounge greets you with an illuminated portrait of Samuel Beckett and the menus are made from the ageing pages of his plays. Effortlessly classy and super friendly, this is a truly sophisticated watering hole. 

Best Bites

Factory Girl - A European trip essentially demands a continental start to the day's dining, and this fantastic all-day breakfast spot offers some seriously unique and stylish options that'll see you eating both 'brunch' and 'brinner' in retro-chic surroundings!

Curry 36 - Currywurst is a local delicacy in beautiful Berlin, and it provides a great excuse to ditch any diets for the weekend - it's certainly one for the foodies! Many Berliners think this excellent street vendor provides the best sliced & curried wursts around...

Sights & Sounds

Sights - After a big night out in some of Berlin's fabulous clubs and bars, you could find yourselves feeling a little worse for wear. But don't fear hens, Berlin's spectacular Tiergarten is one of Germany's biggest urban public parks, and it's exactly the kind of stunning natural space that's perfect for letting the sun wash away the excesses from the previous evening's antics.

Sounds - Watergate is where Berlin's style icons go to party, this fabulous club is slick, classy and a paradise for visiting techno fans. So if you and the girls get down to 'house every weekend' then this is definitely the club for you. It's got a terrace overlooking the river providing stunning views for when you feel the need for some fresh air!

You can try to get into the infamous Berghain, but the door policy is frighteningly enigmatic and party-goers have been turned down after a three-hour wait. But if you're willing to take the risk, there are Europe's best club nights behind those pesky doormen!

Top of the Shops

Unlike some European cities, Berlin's fashion sense is either deceptively simple or flagrantly glamorous, and there seems to be very little middle ground. If you're looking to dress for the city, boogie on down to some of Berlin's finest vintage fashion stores to get a taste of what's cool in Deutschland.

Garments - Just northwest from Alexanderplatz, this seriously chic boutique has a wide range of looks that range from bargain buys to bank breakers - leaving the credit card at the hotel might be a wise decision!

Humana - 'I'm gonna pop some tags, only got twenty Euros in my pocket...'  This is a charity shop on a massive scale, it might take some digging, but there are more diamonds than there is rough in this thrift shop. Head southeast from Alexanderplatz.

Das Neue Schwarz - On one of Berlin's most important fashion streets you'll find this unique boutique. If you're looking for a special purchase, then the range of designer pieces you'll find here are sure to tantalize your passion for fashion.

Girls About Town - Getting around Berlin...

With the wide range of shops and unmissable sightseeing opportunities in die stadt you might end up feeling a little rushed off your feet. Berlin's U-Bahn, S-Bahn, bus and tram systems are all great ways to travel this sprawling metropolis with minimal effort. You can buy a WelcomeCard that'll allow you instant access to all of this in set zones for a fixed period of time.

Or if you're feeling fit you can hop on a public NextBike. Sehr, sehr gut!

Hen Days - So apart from some fabulous shopping options and spectacular sightseeing opportunities, what does Berlin offer your hen party? Quite a lot as it turns out! Test your mettle on an exciting High Ropes course, and learn some devilishly sexy moves in a Burlesque Dancing session. Obviously, it's not a hen party unless you're Pampering, and our Makeover Photoshoot guarantees girly giggles all round!

Hen Nights - Berlin is infamous for having the most pulse-pounding parties in Europe, all of the city's stylish young things come out at night, and once the sun goes down this Deutsch metropolis transforms into a neon wonderland. Tour the town and malen sie rot on our spectacular Bar Crawl, or why not treat the nearly-wed to a Strip Dinner where the entertainment looks tastier than the main course. For hens looking for sophisticated fun, our River Cruise Evening is always a great option and Guestlist Nightclubbing can guarantee that you won't be left in the cold queuing for Berlin's most exclusive venues.

Reykjavik, Iceland

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/reykjavik.asp

From spectacular activities to ultra-trendy hotels and some seeing-is-believing nightlife, the world's northernmost party city is simply dazzling! Choose a Reykjavik hen weekend and make unforgettable memories.

Star Bars

Bars in Reykjavik

Bravo - This cosy safe haven might resemble the interior of an IKEA home exhibit, but there's a colourful charm to this bar that we've yet to see replicated anywhere else. By the way, the Nordic men here might be dishy, but in this venue, they're probably not interested...

Snaps Bistro - For a taste of the big apple in Iceland's capital you can't go wrong with Snaps. This spectacular bistro is where all of Reykjavik's artsy-folk go to talk culture and look cool, so your bunch of giggling hens is sure to fit right in!?

Café Paris - If any city appreciates the simple elegance of Paris, it's Reykjavik. This bar is the perfect place to escape the hustle and the bustle of the inner city with a range of alluring cocktails inviting you in from the busy sidewalks.

Best Bites

Saegreifinn - This delightful family restaurant serves plenty of traditional Icelandic cuisine for you to try. It's not great if you don't like fish, but if you aren't fussy, then you simply have to try the Lobster soup - it's been called the worlds best on more than one occasion...

Hamborgarafabrikkan - Nope, the name of this diner doesn't translate to 'hangover-conqueror' but it might as well. The square-bun burgers cooked up here might seem unusual, but they're absolutely delicious - this is one holiday treat that you won't mind dropping any diets for.   

Sights

Sights and Sounds in ReykjavikAfter a big night out in this relatively new city, you could end up feeling a little worse for wear. However, a stroll along Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach will help you sooth any aches and pains from the previous evenings excesses. This man-made safe haven is exceptionally calming. It's a great pace to sunbathe during the summer and you can enjoy a relaxing swim at any time of year - it sounds a little crazy, granted, but cold-swimming is actually one of Iceland's oldest traditions!

Sounds

Reykjavik's nightlife is seriously vibrant and it seems that the twenty-something's of this Icelandic town all keep warm at night by convening to par-tay! Austur has a great atmosphere, and while it's a little odd to think of it as a nightclub at first (it looks a bit like a ski lodge, inside and out) once the party gets rocking, you won't want to leave!

Paloma is one of the most chic clubs we've ever seen - it might not be the most glamorous party venue, but it's got buckets of soul and we came away totally in love!

Top of the Shops

Best Shops in Reykjavik

Reykjavik isn't known for its daring fashion, but the variety of visually arresting styles you'll see upon landing in this beautiful city are a testament of how dressing for the cold doesn't necessarily mean sacrificing looking good. From chic Scandinavian dresses to glamorous fur coats, the shops here are full of gorgeous threads that'll look perfect around the Christmas markets when you're back home.

Kolaportid - This flea market is absolutely gorgeous - the rag-tag collection of Icelandic bric-a-brac you'll find here is just waiting to be explored, plus Kolaportid also sells traditional foods for you to take home with you. 'Shark meat, anybody?'

Where? Tryggvagata 19, Reykjavik

Geysir - The girls will love this fashionably bijou boutique selling traditional Icelandic clothing as well as handmade products from the farmers market and the enormously popular Fjallraven backpacks.

Where? Skólavörðustíg, Reykjavik

Kronkron - If fashion is all about the 'money, money, money' with your group of hens then this stylish shop has big name designers as well as a few surprisingly cute bits and bobs from Icelandic up-and-comers!

Where? 63B Laugavegur, Reykjavik

Girls About Town - Getting around Reykjavik...

While you'll be sorry to hear that the locals don't all get around via husky/reindeer pulled sledges, the Icelandic capital does have an excellent bus network that's perfect for scaling the length and breadth of this fantastic city. You can pay about 350 ISK for a one way ticket, or if you think you might be using the buses a lot you can buy yourself a Reykjavik City Card that'll give you unlimited travel for a set period of time, as well as free entry to most major attractions.

Hen Days - Reykjavik is a phenomenal hen party location, there's a load to do here amidst all the sightseeing and there's a wide variety of activities to try. Whale Watching, Snorkelling and Glacier Hiking are just some of the unforgettable experiences you can take the girls on in this spectacular location. A Golden Circle Tour always makes for a fabulous time, and a visit to the calming Blue Lagoon is a worthy pilgrimage for many a hen party.

Hen Nights - The Northern Lights aren't the only thing that comes out at night in this amazing town, all of Reykjavik's bright young things love to party and once the sun goes down the city's streets are always buzzing. Start your evening with a delicious meal in an Icelandic Restaurant before exploring the town's best party spots with our Guided Bar Crawl. Of course, the bride-to-be's big night out wouldn't be complete without Guestlist Nightclubbing!

Paris, France

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/paris.asp

Mesdames, bienvenue a la fashion capital of the world! Enjoy a sophisticated Paris hen weekend, from fine dining to the Moulin Rouge, and give the bride-to-be an amazing party to remember!

Star Bars

Sherry Butt - This intimate Paris bar feels like a speakeasy just with a much better bar menu. An incredible cocktail menu will certainly get you set for a wonderful night ahead.

Le Bistrot des Dames - If you want a real taste of France then this Bistrot des Dames really is it. Incredible design, fantastic food, wonderful drinks. C'est magnifique.

China - Step back in time in this fantastic cocktail bar. Fashion, flavours and wonderful potions that will soon have you singing La Marseillaise.

Best Bites

Café des Abbatoirs - The French believe food is for sharing and nowhere is that more evident than this fantastic restaurant which shows off French cuisine at its very best.

Breakfast in America - An American diner in Paris? Yes, Ma'am, and it's mighty fine. Perfect to start your day or as a lunchtime pit stop.

Sights & Sounds

Sights - Packing everything into a single weekend in Paris is simply impossible: top of most lists would be the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral. However, we'd also recommend you find time for a French café in Montmartre which is the artistic hub of this amazing city. But if you really want to let off some steam, get your skates on and join in Pari-Roller when hundreds of Parisians take to the streets en masse for an amazing spectacle.

Sounds - One of the most famous entertainment venues in the world, as featured in the Nicole Kidman/Ewan McGregor movie, the Moulin Rouge (Red Windmill) is an evening you will simply never forget.

Top of the Shops

Rue Saint-Honore - If only the very best in designer labels will do then you will find the very finest names in Paris design all in residence along this famous address.

Le Marché Rétro d'Oberkampf - A market that celebrates 60's fashion. Vintage clothes, shoes, furniture, trinkets and jewellery all with a certain je na sais qui. Head to Aimloft, 2 Cite Griset, 11th.

Take Me Out - The only way to describe this market is... it's like a bonkers car boot sale for avant-garde and artisan designers. Weird, wonderful and not to be missed.

Free 'P' Star - If you want to pick up some real retro Paris designs, head to one of Free'P'Star's fabulous vintage boutiques.

Girls About Town - Getting around Paris...

You'll find everything you'd expect in this chic metropolis, trams, underground trains (Metro), buses, funicular, trains. A travelcard or 'ParisPass' is a great way to get about, prepay and then you can hop on and off as you please.

Paris also has over 20,000 public bikes that you can pick up and drop off at any of the bike stations dotted around the city.

Hen Days - Paris, a city of style, culture and fun awaits sophisticated hens, whether you want to be pampered, enjoy the beautiful art, sample its fine wines or enjoy a day avec Mickey 'Souris' (Mouse). When it comes to designing a fantastic Paris hen weekend the world is your lobster! See more here... or ask our team for details.

Hen Nights - Paris nights are something truly unique, from the magnifique Moulin Rouge, fine dining to guest list nightclub entry to the hottest clubs in town, an unforgettable weekend awaits adventurous hens.

Galway, Ireland

https://www.gohen.com/hen-weekends/galway.asp

Ah the luck of the Irish: the accents, the music, the legendary pub lock-ins, make your Galway hen weekend simply unforgettable with GoHen.

Star Bars

Bars in Galway

Roisin Dubh - We're not quite sure how this venue packs in quite so many big names, but this fantastic live music venue and great pub is a must for music fans and just anyone who is in need of a great night out.

O'Connor's - If you're looking for a traditional Irish pub with a large side order of bonkers and a serving of great music then O'Connors is the very place. Every city in the world should have a pub this mad, it needs to be made law immediately!

Best Bites

An Pucan - If you want a real taste of Ireland in a relaxed, fun setting then head to An Pucan. Hearty Irish food, served with a fantastic selection of drinks. You'll arrive for the food and stay for the ‘craic'.

The Kings Head - With a great selection of locals gins, crafty cocktails and a rich history dating back 800 years, the Kings Head’s super friendly staff make this the perfect place to enjoy some fine food and drinks at the start of your big night.

Sights & Sounds

Sights

Sights and Sounds in GalwayYou can't go to Galway without a quick burst of "Fairy Tale of New York" whilst visiting Galway Bay. A stunning location with some great opportunities for a hen team photo. Evenings you should get yourselves along to the Latin Quarter and Quay Street to find some of the friendliest pubs in Ireland.

Sounds

If you're thinking of getting "jiggy with it" then DNA is Galway's hottest club. A state-of-the-art sound system is brought to life by some great resident and guest DJ's. And the cocktail menu is most worthy of consideration too!

Top of the Shops

Best Shops in Galway

Public Romance - If you like vintage, you'll love Public Romance. Retro and vintage clothes, boots, shoes and handbags that we'd happily walk to Ireland to admire.

Cobwebs - Like the shameless magpies we are, we're always drawn to this fabulous jewellery shop. A must for all lovers of fine fashion pieces.

Twice As Nice - If you could mix incredible vintage jewellery and clothes into one shop you would right? Twice As Nice have done just that and we love them for it!

Girls About Town - Getting around Galway -Getting in from Shannon Airport you can hop on a budget-friendly bus which runs hourly. Once in the city centre, the best way to get around is on foot. The city centre is compact enough that you'll have no trouble even in fabulous heels.

Hen Days - Galway is a city that loves to party, and you don't need to wait until the night time. Dance Classes, Afternoon Tea, Burlesque Lessons, Cocktail Mixing, even Deep Sea Fishing if you fancy it?!? The world is your lobster.

Hen Nights - Good looking guys with great accents, cocktails, great music, the best friends a bride could have, it's shaping up to be a fabulous weekend. To keep things running smoothly GoHen can arrange Dinner Reservations, Guest List Night Clubbing and more for your Galway Hen Party.