The Duke of Clarence opens just in time for the holiday season (Sydney)

The year ain’t over just yet! Before we edge our way into 2018, the team behind Sydney’s award-winning The Barber Shop are introducing a new essential drinking destination to the CBD, inspired by and fashioned as a 19th century English tavern. Titled The Duke of Clarence the new pub, which is now open to the public, will offer a quintessentially British experience to Sydney locals and visitors with a generous 500-deep line-up of spirits, 80% of which are from the British aisles, sitting behind a impeccably designed bar alongside sherries, ports, cask ale served from ornate English-made taps, and British sparkling wines. There’s even vintage Pimms products dating back to the 60s and 70s, sourced especially to give guests a rare chance to try a full range that’s no longer produced in its entirety.

Located in the alleyway near The Barber Shop, the Victorian-era pub will be offering something new and unique to Sydney’s strong scene, mixing nostalgia with a strong commitment to forward-thinking offerings like a cocktail list that makes use of machinery such as a rotary evaporator (that makes distillates like nettle) and modern twists on classics like “The Clarence House Gibson”, which is bar manager Steve McDermott’s reinterpretation of a Gibson martini with Bombay Sapphire, dry sherry, rosemary smoked sea salt, pickled onion distillate and brine.

Chef consultant David O’Brien and head chef David Penistone have sketched some British pub classics with an Australian bent onto the menu, which is designed to be short and snappy with a focus on shared food. Expect the likes of potted crab with soda bread and butter, a fish finger sandwich made with fresh blue eyed cod, tartare sauce and salad, a classic scotch egg with hot English mustard, and roast bone marrow with sourdough and parsley salad. In true English style the team will also be putting on Sunday roasts from early 2018.

Perhaps most exciting of all is the long awaited unveiling of the venue’s eclectic design, which was handled by Sara Mathers, a renowned set designer best known for Moulin Rouge and Ned Kelly. She has collaborated with local design firm Steel & Stitch on the meticulous design, sourcing items as old as 100 years from the UK as well as furniture and building materials pulled from old pubs, churches and warehouses around English. The lights, panelling, stain glass – all shipped to Sydney to put together what sounds like an absolutely immersive destination. The entrance to the pub will be warmly lit with a Victorian-tiled wall, flowers will hang from the ceiling, and aged timber stairs will take guests into the venue where they will find a 12-metre long timber bar with oak wood panelling and stain glass. There’ll be plenty of intimate spaces across the pub, with a library nook that also features a fireplace and vintage sofas sounding like the spot of choice.

The Duke of Clarence

Address: Laneway 152; 156 Clarence Street, Sydney
Hours: Mon-Sat 4pm-2am


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.