Bar-Hopping the Highlands:: Day 2
Day 1 of our bar-hop was massive, so after a good night sleep, and a strong coffee, we are set for day 2 of our bar-hopping the Highlands tour!
With a thunderstorm on the horizon and the midday heat barrelling down on us, we step into the Bargo Hotel. The first thing we notice upon arrival is that we are directly opposite the Bargo train station. How’s that for convenience? The second thing we see is just how family friendly it is. With indoor play and a covered outdoor playground alongside a great alfresco area, Bargo Hotel has all you need for catch-ups with family and friends. Free Trivia Tuesdays from 7pm and friendly bar staff, an easy start to our second day of bar-hopping.
There is so much going on at the Bargo Sports Club that we just can’t list it all! Check out their weekly calendar on their website and you’ll know what we mean. We can tell you that they have FOX Sports, loads of parking, are very family friendly (Family Fun Fridays sound awesome) and have free live entertainment in the main lounge every Friday night from 7pm. Trivia is Thursdays at 7:30 and Game Show Quiz night Wednesdays at 6:30. Throw in Happy Hour 5pm-6pm four days a week and you’ve got yourself a club with the lot!
Briars Country Lodge and Historic Inn is a unique venue. From their fabulous open-air deck you can enjoy snacks and drinks while overlooking the fully-fenced playground for the kids. Or sit away from the action in a secluded courtyard setting. If the weather isn’t quite right for an alfresco affair there are several fireplaces indoors to warm your toes. In the bar you’ll find a great selection of local, Aussie and international wines as well as cocktails and a great variety of beers on tap. Happy Hour Fridays from 4-6pm and live music Fridays from 6:30pm. City folk will love the rural surrounds and space to breathe, a great spot to bring your Sydney pals.
When looking for somewhere to take the whole family for any occasion, East Bowral’s Scottish Arms has got to be up there on your list. They pride themselves on being a family establishment and have signs reminding its patrons that swearing will not be tolerated. How refreshing! Happy hour is Monday to Friday 4-5:30pm (6pm Thursdays) and you will struggle to find a better outdoor-seated area than the recently renovated Scotland Yard Beer Garden. As expected, the bar offers several Scottish imports along with a wide range of Aussie and other international beers. Tastefully decorated in all things British with a big screen TV taking pride of place above the bar, you can’t go past this gem.
Freshly painted and looking dapper, The Bowral Hotel or “The Bowral” has made some cosmetic changes over the years and is all the better for it. Upon entering the bar our eyes instantly fall upon the $14 cocktail sign. Helloooo! Famous for their Trivia Nights which are held Wednesdays and DJ Saturdays from 9pm. Also on Saturdays you can score $5 drinks between 8-10pm. Monday to Thursday 4-6pm you’ll find Happy Hour and their all new Poker night takes place on Thursdays. The staff are all smiles, the mood relaxed and the beer cold. But honestly, you had us at $14 cocktails.
If you’re yet to visit the oasis that is Green Lane, do yourself a favour and add it to your list. Located within “The Acre” complex, adjacent to ever popular Dirty Janes, Harry’s Wine Bar and Bistro, or Harry’s on Green Lane, is a special place. If you consider yourself a bibliophile, you will be in heaven before you even take your first sip of vino with books most walls, floor to ceiling. Sunday’s to Thursday’s they open 10am-5pm and until 11pm Friday’s and Saturday’s. Right next door you’ll find alfresco, Green Lane Kitchen which on weekends includes, The Grove on Green Lane. The Grove serves beer, wine and bar snacks weekends until 3pm. Whether you bring your friends or pop along solo and people watch with your pooch (who is very welcome). Wining and dining doesn’t come much more therapeutic than Green Lane.
If you’re lucky enough to be at the Royal Hotel on Friday nights, you find $1 Oysters, $12 Veuve, $10 Espresso Martinis and complimentary bar snacks. Ummm, yes please!! From 2pm Sundays you will be treated to live music on the back deck as well as regular entertainment in the front bar. The staff are welcoming and very friendly, we’re guessing that’s the reason why the Royal Hotel always seems to be buzzing with activity – it could be that the food is awesome too! A great, family run pub that welcomes kids.
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a comfortable spot to claim as your own at the Imperial Hotel. Sit out the front and watch the world go, grab a table for you and all of your mates in the beer garden or cosy up in the lounge and play a game of pool. You’ll find Happy Hour 4-5pm Monday to Friday and 12-1pm Saturday’s. With live music every second Saturday, a great wine selection, cocktails of the week and some of the yummiest pizza in town, it’s hard to go past the Imperial for a great night out.
Eden Brewery, while not technically a bar, deserves at the very least an honourable mention! Their motto “Cheers to Change” is more than just a slogan. Owners and brewers, Jacob and Deb are committed to donating 10% of their profits to Oxfam in an effort to provide clean drinking water to the hundreds of millions of people across the globe who still do not have access to it. They also operate their brewery on 100% green renewable energy. Who says you can’t make a difference by downing a pale ale? Think beer’s not your bag? Try the Blueberry Sour – delish! A rotation of food truck’s rock up on a Sunday at 12pm and to top it all off, they are so family friendly that they even supply board games for the kids. Drop by, grab a Taster or two, sit and socialise, take some home for later. Too easy!
If you are anything like us, you may have overlooked Hickory’s as a wedding reception venue and not really a local hang - and like us you would be quite wrong. We couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome despite the crowd of hotel guests relaxing on the stunning balcony. Hickory’s Bar has a lovely warmth and old-world charm. The gorgeous leather couches and added furnishings make for an inviting and homely atmosphere. Local wines take up the vast majority of shelf space, alongside French champagne and a selection of other top quality Australian red, white and sparkling. Saturday’s from 4-6pm you’ll be treated to seasonal cocktail specials and the bar menu is hearty and mouth-watering. Children welcome and well catered for with their own designated two-course menu. Ooh-la-la.
The vibe is chill, the cocktails plentiful, the music soulful and the location - perfection. “Linger a little longer” you say, Mr Harvey? Well, considering this is our final stop for the evening…yes, I believe we will. If the tickling of ivory’s tickles your fancy, then you have found your place at Harvey’s Bar. Within the Gibralter Hotel Bowral and open 7 days, family friendly Harvey’s hosts live music Thursday through til Sunday, creating a genuine bar-lounge atmosphere. The drinks menu alone is enough to get your heart pumping (the spirit selection is impressive) and then there’s the delectable tapas menu. Harvey’s Bar is a slice of luxury in the Highlands. And on that note, salud!
What a day! Day 3 Bar-Hopping the Highlands, the tour complete!