5 of the best spots for day drinking in Sydney (just in time for summer)

Drinks, The Boathouse Balmoral Beach, Sydney

Spring has raised its hand! In Sydney, that means gather the girls, slather on the sunscreen and get ready for another season of daytime drinking.

Since landing on Sydney’s shores last Spring (and realising that I secretly love drinking during the day, and being home in bed by 8pm), these have become my go-to venues for a daytime tipple:

1. Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay Rooftop Bar

After a little winter hiatus each year, nothing says the start of summer quite like the re-opening of Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay’s rooftop pool bar.

Head up to the sixth floor of what was once The Ritz Carlton, and you walk out onto a scene that’s so glamourous I wouldn’t be shocked to find Fergie herself lounging about on one of the cabanas. There’s an infinity pool, acres of Eastern Suburbs attitude, and views of Sydney Harbour and Double Bay that will make you sick. While you can’t actually go for a dip in the pool (it’s obnoxiously reserved for guests only), rest assured you’ll be too busy trying to master your ES resting bitch face and drinking overpriced champagne to care.

Over the course of the day, you’re guaranteed to spend some serious coin. So, heed the warning: ‘if you ain’t got no money take yo’broke ass home’. The saving grace is that the bar shuts an hour after sunset, so there’s only so much damage you can do. Right?

Day drinking in Sydney, Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay Rooftop Bar, Double Bay, Sydney

Image credit: Latte Luxury News

Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay Rooftop Bar | 33 Cross Street, Double Bay, New South Wales
icsydneydoublebay.com/dine-and-drink/rooftop

2. Henry Deane at Hotel Palisade

This two-level cocktail bar, lounge and rooftop restaurant has serious game. It’s sophisticated, stylish and the ultimate long lunch venue (especially when the word ‘lunch’ is preceded by the word ‘champagne’).

Located on levels 4 and 5 of the historic Hotel Palisade building, Henry Deane is revoltingly gorgeous. The sun-soaked space has been styled as if it’s straight from the pages of Vogue Living, complete with plush lounges in pale greys and pinks, and copper and marble finishes. To top it all off, the 180-degree views of all Sydney’s main bridges will leave your jaw on the floor. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful spaces you can spend an afternoon with your ladybugs.

But, be prepared, as the sun inches towards the horizon, this place starts to get as hectic as the Sydney Harbour Tunnel during peak hour.

Henry Deane, Hotel Palisade, Millers Point, Sydney

Image credit: Where To Tonight

Hotel Palisade | 35 Bettington Street, Millers Point, New South Wales
hotelpalisade.com.au

3. Watsons Bay Beach Club

By the time you get to this popular daytime boozer, you’re going to want to change your name by deed poll to Tom Cruise, because it’s a serious mission. But, if you catch the ferry from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay wharf, it’s a pretty spectacular mission. All the ferry timetable navigation will soon be forgotten, because it’s a delicious little spot of Sydney. One where you can easily lose a good eight hours.

Tucked away on the tip of South Head, Watsons Bay Beach Club is perfect for sun-chasers and those that are just after a good perv on the Sydney skyline – the city views are some of the best you can find. So idyllic and isolated, you could very well be on the beaches of Mykonos or Santorini, slugging away on your Boaty McBoatface cocktail (a very sophisticated tipple of gin, Aperol, elderflower, grapefruit and soda, have you know!).

Watsons Bay Beach Club, Sydney

Watsons Bay Beach Club | 1 Military Road, Watsons Bay, New South Wales
watsonsbayhotel.com.au/beach-club

4. The Island Sydney

Cool your jets because The Island doesn’t kick off the summer season for another few weeks. But, mark 30 September in your calendar because who doesn’t want to spend the afternoon on a floating bar? In the middle of Sydney Harbour, no less.

But, before you can set foot on The Island, there are a few hurdles to high-jump through. Firstly, you need to be approved as a member (or be friends with a member). Secondly, you need to have pre-purchased tickets, which are around the $40–$45 mark and include return water taxi transfers from Double Bay wharf, along with a welcome cocktail.

Once onboard, the hurdles are mostly worth it with a banging vibe, DJs on the decks, delish cocktails and a pool out the back.

The Island | Athol Bay, Sydney Harbour
theislandsydney.com.au

5. Coogee Pavilion

Finally, this two-level, nautical-themed beach palace oozes appeal. Coogee Pavilion seamlessly blends an all-day buzzy atmosphere and the ultimate beach views, with some impressive cocktail-serving kudos and a serious gastro pub menu. Throw in a barber, florist, takeaway coffee cart and kiddie play area, and there’s not much the Coogee Pav doesn’t offer. But, the 18+ balcony bar is where it’s at, especially if you’re wearing a playsuit, and if that playsuit is floral.

Coogee Pavilion, Coogee 1

Coogee Pavilion | 169 Dolphin Street, Coogee, New South Wales
merivale.com.au/coogeepavilion

But, there are so many more great day drinking spots in Sydney!

With Sydney enjoying 236 days of sun a year, drinking in the daytime really never looked so good. Which perhaps explains why Sydneysiders have turned day drinking into an Olympic sport, and the city is its stadium.

Yes, these five places are ultra fun. But, there are so many other great spots in Sydney where it’s totally appropriate (and encouraged) to have a daytime tipple. Way too many to list in one blog post.

So, to quickly namedrop a few more, there’s… The Tilbury in Woolloomooloo, The Winery in Surry Hills, The Greens in North Sydney, The Bucket List in Bondi, SoCal in Neutral Bay and Catalina Rose Bay in, well, Rose Bay.

Ah, summer in Sydney, it gives you butterflies just thinking about it.

Have a favourite Sydney day drinking venue? Share below.

Kim Lamb blogger, The Butler, Potts Point, Sydney, Australia

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