Review: The Strand Transforms Into An Effortless Chic French Hotel, Rooftop Bar & Bistro

Eat, Play, Pubs, Sydney / 24 October 2022

The 100-year-old Darlinghurst pub has entered a new era after a multilevel renovation across the hotel and hospitality offerings, worthy of your next staycation.

For those weekends when you want to pack light and head someone close to home (but still want the sweet relief of a vacation), The Strand Hotel is the perfect place to check in. A complete multi-level renovation across the accommodation, drinking and dining spaces has taken place by Public Hospitality. Guided by a vision to uncover the true potential of heritage buildings and restore them to their former glory, The Strand Hotel is the first in a series of re-envisioned Sydney institutions breathing new life into Sydney’s hotel & hospitality scene.

The Strand Hotel has reemerged from William St. with a new boutique hotel nestled on the middle floor. There are 17 rooms to choose from all featuring chic French styling while remaining true to the heritage of the building. Some rooms also feature a Juliette balcony to drive home the theme. A particularly quaint feature is the common area, kitchen spaces, and hidden library which is perfect for unwinding with a negroni in hand or chewing through a good book.

For those warmer nights, you can head up to the vibrant rooftop bar overlooking the Darlinghurst skyline. On the menu, you’ll find a selection of bar snacks including Rock Oysters with ponzu dressing, Taramasalata with flatbread and Corn Gruyere Croquettes. There are also greasy delights, perfect for a late-night snack including the Rooftop Toasty with leg ham, mustard and pickles, the Petite Cheeseburger with lettuce and pickles, and Fried Chicken with pickles and hot sauce.

For drinks, the bartenders can pour anything to suit your tastes but we suggest the signature cocktails including The Strand Margarita with 1800 Coconut, Del Maguey Vida and lime juice, the Rooftop Negroni with Tanqueray, Suze, Punt e Mes and Dolin Rouge, as well as the Thyme & Basil Daiquiri with Pampero Blanco and fresh lime.

The best part about a stay at The Strand is you have it all in one convenient location – accommodation, a rooftop bar and a bistro on the ground floor. Drawing expressions of turn-of-the-century Paris, The Strand Bistro promises a sense of old-world sophistication without the pretense. Humble steak frites, duck leg pie with mash and gravy, and baguettes with cultured butter sit proudly upon Head Chef Alex Kavanagh’s classic French-inspired menu. That is not to say that finesse can’t be found on the pages… Spoons of beluga caviar and a classic vanilla creme brulee are also available for guests wanting to experience some real french fancy.

The impressive drinks list brings an attentive focus to whisky showcasing 49 varieties featuring Japanese, Irish and Scottish. Plus, there’s an impressive line-up of French and Australian wines, aperitifs, beers and cocktails. Our cocktail of choice would have to be the signature ‘The Charlie Chaplin’, a heady mix of sloe gin, apricot brandy and lime juice. 

The Strand brings to life the atmosphere of laid-back Parisian all-day bistros, where waiters serve classic fare and pour carafes of wine to a roster of locals and travellers alike. And on weekends, a roster of DJs will be serving up melodious beats for a modern “bistrotheque” style.

Find out more about The Strand Hotel’s newest offerings.

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