Time Out Sydney

A popular Surry Hills watering hole with one of the city's prettiest courtyards and an upstairs concert space to boot

Small bars leaving you claustrophobic? Time to show this big-scale oldie-but-goodie some love. Synonymous with weekend pre-gaming drinks and birthday get-togethers, the Beresford’s massive beer garden remains one of Sydney’s most reliable bar experiences. In a former life it was a famous gay bar, and the gentlemen of Darlinghurst are still well-represented in the crowd (especially on Sunday nights), alongside big groups of blokes guzzling the lager and ladies sipping on jugs of Pimms or mixes of vodka and apple juice (known as the Group Hug jug), St Germain and lychees (called the Secret Garden) or a bottle or two off the bar’s extensive wine list. Big, earthy-hued couches crowd the leafy outdoor area, which is completely closed off from the madness of nearby Taylor Square.

These guys do great Italian-inspired pub grub to help line stomachs for the big weekend push, so get stuck into the menu. There are pizze (seafood marinara or just a simple Margherita), a cured meat plate with pickled veges, fresh pastas and a wagyu steak with polenta chips. But we say aim for a Wednesday night when you can get amongst their long table feast – an Italian shared table that is $30 if you are just eating, or $45 if you’d like a glass of wine with your meal.

Warning: after a few here, it’s hard to leave – but that’s OK because hey presto, there’s a music venue and dancefloor at the venue too. Just climb the stairs to Upstairs Beresford on Friday and Saturday nights to keep the good times rolling. At the end of the weekend, the place gets packed out with handsome gentleman who drop in for Beresford Sundays, a consistently popular drinking session that turns into a big dance party located, yup, up the stairs once the sun has set and everybody's feeling loose. You may feel dusty on Monday, but it will have been worth it.

Who won Bar of the Year 2015?

Updated on 29 May 2015.

By Kristie Lau   |   Photos by Daniel Boud

The Beresford Hotel details

354 Bourke St, Darlinghurst 2010

Telephone 02 9254 8088

Price per person including drinks $51 to $100

Open Mon-Sun noon-1am

The Beresford Hotel website

The Beresford Hotel map

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