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Below the Radar: Small Bars in Sydney CBD with Colette

Home > Sydney > Bars | Clubs | Food and Wine | Nightlife
by Lexa T (subscribe)
I love to unearth the layers of the story, finding the essence with my endless questions and what I sense. Enjoy the reads. Travel
Published August 9th 2012
Unearthing Sydney's best underground bars
Searching for really cool bars to have a few drinks in Sydney can be daunting and disappointing. So having you own personal hostess to take you on a small bar crawl around Sydney's CBD is simply one of the best ideas around.
Meet one of the many barmen on your journey around Sydney's fashionable Below the Radar small bars. image:

Unearthing Sydney's latest and fashionable underground bars is Colette's passion. Being the ultimate hostess with the mostess, Colette, will take you on an exciting and intriguing two and a half hour tour through Sydney's CBD.
Unearthing some of Sydney's best Below the Radar bars are a great find. image:

I met Colette at 6.30pm outside the Swissotel in Market Street, the heart of city. Within no time at all, we were standing outside an obscure narrow doorway which led to another doorway and an underground staircase, exposing an up market bar abuzz with happy city dwellers drinking wines and cocktails and snacking on light scrumptious meals.
Colette pointing out the sights in an underground bar.

Over the next three hours, we entered several more obscure doorways, ushered down not so glam concrete stairwells and queued behind a long line of well dressed patrons in semi dark alley ways. Revealing these fashionable, swanky and quirky small bars was quite an eye opener. To be honest, if you are not in the know, you would easily walk past these unsigned establishments.
The quintessential decor of Singer sewing machines adorned the bar, an intriguing theme for a bar.

Colette has an exuberant personality and a lot of fun to spend time with. It became a bit of a game to see if I could locate the entrance of each bar, each time I failed miserably. Throughout the night an anticipated excitement grew to what laid behind each door which added to the fun.
Finishing our wines, I was eager to continue our journey to our next destination. As we left I made a mental note of who I could take to show off my new find..

Depending on what types of bar you want to experience, Colette can take you there. Our journey took us to one of the swankiest 'to be seen' type bar with lush thick carpet underfoot and jazz music echoing rich timber panelled walls. It was filled with 'suits' (business men) laughing loudly and happy, probably chatting about the deals they managed to pull off during the day and where the male to female ratio was around 3 to 1.
Don't be fooled by dingy stairs!A somewhat obscure entrance to an upmarket CBD bar

Several quirky themed bars where vinyl records to old Singer sewing machines adorned the walls. Another which leans to catering to women and one that took us to Havana and dancing.
Hmmm... which one will I choose? Sydney's largest range of whiskey's is a WOW! Whiskey, whiskey everywhere, tiny lights light up the bottles from behind.

Old school vinyls lined the walls, stacked to browse and buy and filtered the room.

Each bar gave a unique experience and I made mental notes as to which friends I could take with me for a future great nights out.
Dancing the rest of the night away with the sounds of Havana.

I believe Earnest Hemingways preferred drink in Havana! Mojitos...

The cost to roam the bars of Sydney is a mere $11.50 per person is great value for what you learn. Go by yourself or a few friends. All you have to do is visit the website choose the experience, pay and confirm. It is that easy.

Here are a few good excuses or reasons to explore Below the Radar: Small Bars in Sydney's CBD tour.

If you are a tourist with limited time, working out where to go can be hit or miss. Perhaps you are a single female and want to spend a few hours with someone while you have a few drinks, so you don't look like a sloth on a rock. So great for a guy to suss out a couple of bars to take 'that' special date to make a good first impression. Or maybe you just want to look cool with your friends next time you are out and about so you can say "I know where to go next!"

This exciting experience comes from an amazing start up online community marketplace Arribaa where talented locals share their unique passions. It will open your eyes and spark a sense of exploration to re visit your own city. You will also get to meet and hang out with a group of intriguing people.
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Why? Be cool and explore Sydney's hot bars
When: 6.30pm Wed-Fri
Phone: Nil phone. email:
Where: Sydney CBD
Cost: $11.50 per person
Your Comment
What a great job! Nice find Lexa T
by glenop (score: 2|823) 2882 days ago
Haha Glenop beat me to it. I'd love to be paid to find the best bars in town. Good story Lexa, with photos to bring a smile
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11306) 2861 days ago
This pace looks intriguing to say the least, nice article.
by RC (score: 3|1221) 1276 days ago
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