Bars Of The Southern Highlands
04 Jan 2019
There is no shortage of places to have a wee tipple in the Highlands, that's for sure! Country pubs, fab bars, sunny beer gardens, breweries and wine lounges. There is something for everyone no matter what your choice of bevvie is! Check out this list of the bars across the Highlands for all your rehydration needs.
Visitors have been flocking to Bundanoon since the early 1900’s to escape city life and to suck in some fresh, country air. The eye-catching Tudor-style Bundanoon Hotel has long been a local favourite. Towards the end of last year, new owners started an extensive refurb and the Bundy Hotel is transforming into a bright and busy local pub catering for locals and visitors. We're especially excited about the plans for outdoors - watch this space! And if you're feeling a little peckish, order a woodfired pizza - a new pizza oven was just installed - they are delicious.
Hold the phone! This club is COMPLETELY VOLUNTEER RUN! You know you live in an awesome community when every position from the book-keeper to the bar staff and cleaners are unpaid! The Bundanoon Club, located next to the public pool, is open from Tuesdays - Sundays with the bistro open for dinner 5:30pm-7:30pm Tuesday to Saturday and lunch on Sundays - be sure to check the website and their Facebook page as this can change every now and then. The coolest part? When they do make a profit they intend on paying-it-forward into the community that has supported them - cheers to that!
The Sutton Forest Inn has become a real hot spot for muso’s and fans of live and local talent. Their ‘Open Mic’ nights, which kick off from 2:30pm every Sunday are a real crowd pleaser. The bar is cosy and full of character and staff are friendly and welcoming. Set in a fabulous rural location with local beer and Guinness on tap, a comfy pool room, family friendly and loads of parking... what more could you want?!
For family friendliness and value for money, you can’t go past The Moss Vale Services Club. The indoor play area will keep the kidlets happy and the list of fun for us big kids is huge! Spin to Win raffles Wednesday and Friday, Bingo Thursday and Friday, Line-dancing on Wednesday, Rock N Roll dancing Thursday nights and last but by no means least, our personal fave, Karaoke on the last Saturday of the month. Finish the working week off on Friday with Happy Hour 4:00pm - 6:00pm. And if you miss Friday's Happy Hour, don't worry! Saturday's Happy Hour is 2:00pm - 5:00pm. A relaxed and welcoming club with an all-important element of respect for our servicemen and women.
If a casual place to sink a cold one is what you’re after, then the Argyle Hotel is the place for you. Also taken over by new owners recently, the Argyle has had a facelift and lookin' mighty fine! With music every Friday, FOX sports and a courtesy bus, this pub is the easy choice when it comes to escaping the daily grind. Great hangout for tradies after a long day, lots of live music on offer and a family friendly bistro menu - the Argyle has something for everyone.
Southern Highlands Brewing & Taphouse, or simply - The Taphouse has become super popular in its first year of trading in Moss Vale. With a bräuhaus feel and funky, modern décor, it’s bound to be one you’ll tell your friends about. Try a “Beer Flight” sampler of their core range or taste test their current “seasonal” or “invitational” brews. Lovingly handcrafted in Sutton Forest, The Southern Highlands Brewing Co make and stock several traditional styles of beer as well as a great selection of wine as well as French and Aussie sparkling. Family friendly with loads of different seating options, this upscale bar ticks all the boxes!
This lovely little wine bar is located on the site of the old Bank of New South Wales in Moss Vale - which gives it a truly unique layout and vibe. The owners have created the ultimate private dining experience in the old bank vault, very resourceful! Wine Mosaic Lounge stock Australian spirits, craft beer and specialise in Australian boutique wines with over 30 sold by the glass. Open Tuesdays 12:00 noon - 6:00pm and Wednesday to Saturday from 12:00 noon until late, you can enjoy a quiet beverage in the comfort of the lounge area and try some fresh, seasonal produce from the bar menu.
Moss Vale Hotel is definitely a local favourite. Affectionately known as the Pink Pub or the “Pinky”, you will find everything you expect here. Friendly bar staff, a casual atmosphere and a place to catch up with mates and some seriously hearty pub grub. The Pinky prides itself on having served the community for well over 150 years. You’ll catch Happy Hour Thursdays from 5:00pm-6:00pm and Entertainment Trivia on Fridays. You can also catch most major sporting events on one of their big screens.
You could be forgiven for thinking that you have stepped back in time as you enter the charismatic Surveyor General in beautiful Berrima. Savour one of the many local wines on offer in the beer garden or enjoy a beer by the fire in the cosy bar. Happy hour is 5:00pm -6:00pm Fridays - yippee! Old-world charm, friendly locals and great hospitality - what else do you need?
The Stone Room's Locals Night is such a great concept - although originally designed for locals, they love welcoming visitors from far and wide. This unique venue draws you down from street level into its glow. With its rustic charm and welcoming staff, we can’t think of a better place to kick off our shoes and settle in for some tunes (please note, we left our shoes on). With a restaurant set-up, a band in the corner and a fully stocked bar, being at the Stone Room is like being at a wedding reception without the cringe-worthy speeches and drunk uncle. Doors open at 5:30pm and they offer up live music (most weeks) and a scrumptious bar menu in a truly inviting setting. Keep in mind that the Stone Room is only open Fridays when not booked for a private function. Keep an eye on the their Facebook page for up to date information.
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. This pub always has something going on including their popular Free Musical Bingo on Tuesdays from 7:00pm. And the friendly bar staff make the visit complete.
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 and have free live entertainment in the main lounge every Friday night from 7:00pm. Trivia is Thursdays at 7:30pm and Game Show Quiz night Wednesdays at 7:00pm. Throw in Happy Hour 5:00pm-6:00pm four days a week, twilight bowls every Tuesday until the end of March and you’ve got yourself a club with the lot!
Sadly, Briars is closed until further notice. The team is working hard on rebuilding this wonderful venue after a fire in 2018. We'll let you know when they re-open.
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 4:00pm-6:00pm 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 3:30pm-5:30pm and you will struggle to find a better outdoor-seated area than the smartly 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. Pop in for live jazz on the first Sunday of every month, mid-week dinner specials or grab a group of friends for $10 cocktails on Fridays - we're in!!! Monday to Thursday 4:00pm-6:00pm is Happy Hour and pull up a pew for Poker night on Thursdays. The staff are all smiles, the mood relaxed and the beer cold. But honestly, you had us at $10 cocktails.
We LOVE a fabbo 19th hole and Bowral Golf Club certainly delivers that! If you’re looking for a spot for sundowners this summer, head to Bowral Golf Club and park yourself on the outdoor deck overlooking the picturesque fairways. At sunset is the perfect time - there's a reason they call it the golden hour! The view is sublime (Bowral Golf Course is considered one of the best country golf courses in NSW) and the drinks are cold. That's a hole in one as far as we're concerned.
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 lining most walls, floor to ceiling. Sundays to Thursdays they open 10:00am-5:00pm and for dinner Fridays and Saturdays. Right next door you’ll find the alfresco Green Lane Kitchen serving takeaway coffees and meals seven days a week 10:00am - 3:00pm - they're also licensed, so you can grab a cheeky wine if you like! 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.
The grand old dame of country guest houses, Links House is opening their doors to locals to experience their warm hospitality, cosy spaces and outdoor havens. Traditional surroundings mix beautifully with curated but relaxing green spaces, and a contemporary take on food and drink. Pop in for a glass of wine and delicious cheese platter.
If you’re lucky enough to be at the Royal Hotel on Friday nights, you'll find $1 Oysters and $12 Veuve - Ummm, yes please!! From 2:00pm Sundays you will be treated to live music on the back deck as well as regular entertainment on Saturdays 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. Although 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 by, grab a table for you and all your mates in the beer garden or cosy up in the lounge and play a game of pool. 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 an honourable mention, at the very least! 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 Watermelon Sour – delish! A rotation of food trucks rock up on a Sunday at 12:00 noon 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 assumed Hickory’s at Peppers Craigieburn is 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. They have a wide range of cocktails including seasonal delights like Passionfruit Mojito, 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? Why thank you, we believe we will. If the tinkling of ivories 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, 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!
Robertson is the perfect place to chill out with a drink or two, and if watching the mist roll by on a grey Sunday in the countryside makes you light up on the inside, you need to head on down to the newly renamed Robertson Public House and Kitchen. An interesting and talented group of new owners are in the process of renovating and upgrading this fun and fabulous country pub. From the sweetest little kids play area in the dining hall to the sun-drenched back deck (we LOVE the back deck!), there is not one spot in Robertson Public House that is without charm. Genuine and welcoming, and with a fantastic menu to boot, this place is an absolute crowd pleaser!
Robertson Bowling Club is all about its members, their guests and supporting the Robertson community. Oh, and bowling of course! Mondays at 11:00am you can enjoy indoor carpet bowls. Wednesday they have Social Bowls from 1:00pm. Thursday night the Pool Comp starts at 7:00pm. Friday you’ll find Twilight Social Bowls from 5:00pm as well as trivia. On a Sunday, Social Bowls kicks off at 10:00am. How’s that for a weekly calendar?! It pays to be a member of the Robertson Bowling Club with several raffles and events available specifically for its members.
When we heard that the Burrawang Village Hotel was offering a courtesy bus to and from Bowral, we might have done a little happy dance. A day spent exploring Highlands villages would be incomplete without a stop at this well-known local watering hole. While lucky locals can enjoy complimentary bar snacks on a Thursday night, all are welcome to indulge in $1 Oysters on a Friday from 5:00pm. Speaking of Fridays, you might want to pair those oysters up with a fancy drink - there are cocktail specials on every Friday night! With regular live music, fantastic food, weekly drink specials not to mention the recent renovations and the varied and sprawling seating options, family-friendly Burrawang Village Hotel is the epitome of refined, country hospitality.
They don’t come any more laidback and local than the Lion Rampant Hotel in Mittagong. Staff are friendly and the service efficient. You’ll find everything you’d expect from a country pub – pool table, jukebox, central bar, bistro and plenty of comfortable seating options. Happy Hour is Monday to Thursday 4:00pm-6:00pm and starting in February there will be live music on a Friday/Saturday night. Seriously easy, seriously local, the Lion Rampant is a great value, down to earth, Aussie pub.
If you’re in the market for a fun and funky girl’s night… date night… any night! - get yourself down to Mittagong's FireDrum. Located next door to Raine & Horne on the main drag, FireDrum has a fantastic energy and let-your-hair-down vibe. Open Wednesday to Saturday from 5pm as well as Friday and Saturday for lunch. Happy Hour Friday and Saturday 5-6pm with bonus $5 Mexican beers. There’s a gorgeous patio adjoining a seriously inviting courtyard, complete with fire drum! Very family-friendly, with parking out back and private rooms upstairs. There is much more to FireDrum than meets the eye. Did we mention the food? It’s seriously good. But don’t just take our word for it…
Head down to Mittagong Hotel on the second Saturday of each month 2:00pm - 5:00pm for a relaxing afternoon of Jazz in the Highlands. The pub has a lovely fresh, comfortable feeling. At the bar you’ll find a great range of beers on tap and a good selection of wine and spirits. A traditional style of pub with friendly, accommodating staff and a fabulous decked beer garden. Enjoy a family atmosphere throughout and don’t forget to try the tasty and value for money, Mexican cuisine on offer. Beer and burritos - a match made in heaven!
The massive upgrade to Mittagong RSL in recent years has given it a whole new lease on life. The indoor play area, “Habitat” is a kid’s paradise. With modern décor and a vibrant atmosphere, it’s a fabulous place to relax and enjoy family and friends. You can find live entertainment from 8:00pm in the Lounge every Friday and Saturday. Karaoke is held in the Lounge Area on the first Sunday of the month starting at 7:00pm and Trivia Night takes place at 7:00pm on other Sundays. The RSL gets some fabulous visiting shows and is a great venue for large groups. And don't forget Bingo on Tuesday and indoor bowls on Sundays at 7:00pm.
The Bowral Bowling Club has a busy weekly schedule starting with Australian Poker League on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Trivia takes place Thursday nights from 7:00pm and there are raffles every Friday night from 6:00pm and Sunday afternoon from 4:30pm. Aside from weekly events, you’ll also find that Bowral Bowing Club is the self-proclaimed Home of the Blues in the Southern Highlands with a great line-up of international and local artists frequenting the club. As with all clubs, membership is required to access the full range of club events.
Let’s cut to the chase. Biota is a two-hatted, fine-dining restaurant with exquisite cuisine plucked straight from mother nature’s veggie-patch and presented to you like a gift to the gods. It is what we in the bar-hopping biz call “fancy pants”. BUT, did you know that right next door to all the well-deserved hype, there is an equally luxurious bar and Parklands complete with a playground for the kids? And to top it off, Parklands is also fur-baby friendly! Didn’t see that one coming, did ya?! As expected, the bar menu is exceptional and the staff, warm and professional. We couldn’t love the fireplace any more if we tried, it’s the perfect spot for cooler days and nights.
This article was originally written by Jaime and edited January 2019.