Hotel Palisade’s two-level cocktail bar, lounge and rooftop restaurant, Henry Deane, has serious game. It’s sophisticated, stylish and the ultimate long lunch venue (especially when the word ‘lunch’ is preceded by the word ‘champagne’).
Hotel Palisade is an old beauty made beautiful again
The historic Hotel Palisade building in Millers Point has long been a fixture on Sydney’s drinking scene. Opening in 1915, it was once the place to go if you were a rowdy wharfie looking for a tipple after a long day on the docks.
A century on, in 2015, the grand old beauty was saved from disrepair (after sitting empty for seven years) and given a Hollywood-style facelift. The relaxed ground-floor bar, boutique accommodation and rooftop cocktail lounge is now for the enjoyment of Sydney.
Located on levels 4 and 5, Henry Deane is revoltingly gorgeous. Named after the Australian engineer responsible for electrifying the Sydney tramway system, the sun-soaked space has been styled as if it’s straight from the pages of Vogue Living. Walk out of the lift on level 4 and you’re greeted by a scene that’s ultra glamourous, with a Gatsby-esque gold bar and monochrome patterned flooring.
Head up the spiral staircase and things get even more handsome, with plush lounges in pale greys and pinks, loads of copper and marble finishes, and another fancy big girls bar. To top it all off, the 180-degree views of Anzac Bridge, Barangaroo, Millers Point and the Sydney Harbour Bridge will leave your jaw on the floor.
Get your long lunch pants on
The views might be sublime, but so is Henry Deane’s lunch and dinner menu. The carte du jour has just been given a refresh, with seafood making a dominant appearance. The result is a collection of spectacular ocean-inspired share dishes that are light, fresh and designed to be enjoyed with a cocktail in-hand – yep, totally my language.
This all makes sense when you see the cocktail list – it’s just as spectacular as the scene out the windows. If you’re feeling brave, order the ‘bartender’s potion’, which comes with the warning: ‘Try if you dare, without questions asked’. Personally, I like to ask questions and am as whoosy as they come, so prefer to stick with the ‘No Way Frosé ’. A combination of Beluga vodka, Château Riotor rosé, strawberry and verjuice, it’s like drinking actual fairyfloss. The wine list also deserves a mention (the beer list not so much).
Back to lunch. There’s oysters, king prawns, scallops and kingfish all for the taking. But, it’s the fish sandwich that knocks it out of the park – no sanga will ever compare.
On my most recent visit, our delightfully friendly waitress told us that the brussel sprouts are a signature dish. Next thing I know, my lunch pal Sarah was like, ‘Where do we sign up?’ I didn’t have the heart to tell either of them that I enjoy brussel sprouts as much as I enjoy having a pap smear. But, the crispy, mini tennis balls are ok – a sentence I never thought I’d say in my life.
Henry Deane is…
Hotel Palisade’s Henry Deane is definitely one of the most beautiful spaces you can spend an afternoon with your ladybugs. Although, technically, you can only book a table for a two-hour window, so maybe not a whole afternoon. Yet, Sarah and I managed quite successfully to loiter on a Saturday afternoon for a full five hours. 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.
Yes, Henry Deane is the kind of place where you will haemorrhage money. But, one long lunch here is totally worth eating eggs and toast for the next fortnight.
Hotel Palisade | 35 Bettington Street, Millers Point, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9018 0123