Perhaps you’ve eaten at the Aylesbury – Jesse and Vanessa Gerner’s long, elegant restaurant where in-house pickling, smoking and curing of produce rules. But have you ever taken the elevator to the bar upstairs? If not, that’s a situation you need to rectify. This is one of the best rooftop bars in Melbourne, replete with terrace, European wines, sharp cocktails and a separate kitchen churning out some downright tasty Spanish snacks.
When the lift opens, pass through the scalloped drapes and take a seat at the beautiful copper coated bar, or spy on worker bees in their glass towers from the shrub-lined deck. Unlike at Siglo, where the promise of open-air drinking attracts a crowd as likely to be downing beers and chain-smoking as sipping martinis, this joint has a more civilized vibe. You should definitely be sinking cocktails. There are seven new warm cocktails on the menu, from hot buttered rum to mulled cider. The Hot Tommy’s is based on the classic tequila-based Tommy’s cocktail, but has an added birdseye chili floating on top. It’s tip-o’-the-tongue spicy and will warm you top to bottom. Ditch work and take to the terrace for their oyster happy hour (every day before 6pm) and a bottle of bubbles – cava if you’re on a budget, Champagne if you’re not.
Or, if you need a little more ballast, get a dish of the crisp, deep fried chickpeas rolled in sweet paprika, or the dainty little burger of spicy chorizo, with a tongue of sweet red pepper and lashings of mayonnaise. We like the Aylesbury, but we straight up love this bar.