REVIEW: Rooftop Bars

This post was first published as part of Brittany’s Catalyst blogging residency, ‘The Two Review’ with fellow student Alexandra McManus. The Two Review offered a unique double review of all things MelbourneBelow, however are just Brittany’s parts of the post.

Summary: Summer in Melbourne means warm summer nights spent at rooftop bars. But which ones are worth visiting?

Rooftop-Bar-Ally-The Two Review: Rooftop Bars

With the uni semester now behind us (for Ally, unfortunately, not until Monday), and endless summer nights ahead, The Two decided a post on Melbourne rooftop bars would be a fitting way to (sadly) finish their blog with Catalyst. Rated out of the famous Cosmopolitan cocktail, they will both review two common favourites, before sharing their own personal pick.

The Rooftop Bar

Where: Level 7, Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street

B: I don’t know where Melbourne got its love for rooftops from – or who thought getting drunk people to meet on the top of a building was a good idea in the first place – but by golly am I glad they did. Rooftop Bar has become a firm favourite. You can sip on your reasonably priced preferred drink, feeling on top of the world (ok, city), and admire the pretty fairy-light decorated view of Melbourne. It can get very packed though, and if you manage to get a table and enough chairs for your group, congratulations! While there are a lot of stairs, if you manage to climb up them without falling over, reward yourself with an extra large drink. Come summer, there’ll be the rooftop cinema to check out, and a convenient food van for when you need those late night nibbles.

The verdict: 4/5 Cosmopolitans

The Carlton Hotel

Where: 197 Bourke Street

B: Entering The Carlton Hotel is a bit like entering another (very avant-garde) world. There’s rich red wallpaper, old velvet sofas and chairs, palm trees… and stuffed animals!? If you’re not a fan of taxidermy, probably sit this one out. However, if you quite fancy sharing a cold one with a stuffed giraffe, then head there immediately! There’s a decent range of cocktails and jugs, which are perfect for sharing on the outside deck on a warm afternoon/night. An interesting place for dates, if you’re stuck for conversation, look no further than trying to work out just exactly how they managed to get a life size giraffe up the stairs.

The verdict 3.5/5 Cosmopolitans

B’s Pick: Richmond Club Hotel

Where: 100 Swan Street, Richmond

Located not far from The Corner Hotel, I’d seen the rooftop of Richmond Club Hotel countless times from the train window before I actually made my first visit. I’m only sorry I didn’t make it sooner. It’s a great modern-looking pub, with decent food and great daily specials. But it’s the rooftop that’s the best. With its own upstairs bar, and personal wooden booths you can reserve or hire out, you get a fantastic view of the city skyline. You can even go in winter or summer thanks to their powerful gas heating and awnings. Visit on a Friday at 5pm, and try their karma keg – you pay what you think your drink is worth, with all proceeds going back to the community. A great place to start, finish or see out the night – it’s also just a convenient stumbling distance from public transport.

The verdict: 4.5/5 Cosmopolitans

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