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Shakespeare Hotel

Home > Sydney > Pubs | Hotels | Food and Wine | Accommodation
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 September 5th 2012
A grand vintage Fawlty Towers pub
There has been a bit of a makeover at the Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hills. Though it maybe not the way you might expect. They had to comply with some strict heritage building rules and regulations. So what can you do to change the look without changing the pub and its well known character?
Heritage listed Shakespeare Hotel built in 1879. image: Alan Farlow

Vintage bedroom for a night in the 1800's

With a bit of tongue in cheek, the owners decided to go all out with a very quirky 1800's theme in keeping with the original hotel era. Months of scouring auctions across Sydney, they acquired some rather interesting furniture and mish-mash objects to decorate the stairwells, second floor dining rooms and third floor accommodation rooms.
Staircase to the third floor accommodation rooms.

It's a little on the crazy side, yet somehow endearing. So let me take you on 'The Shakey' tour through the original narrow hotel doors exposing a rabbit warren of eclectic small rooms that make up the this unique famous pub.

OK, this may not be everyone's cup of tea, although you do have to love 'The Shakey' as it is affectionately known by locals for adding some interesting vintage and fun to a very old Sydney pub.
Central timber bar with original tiles and foot rails.

I never know which of the five narrow doors to enter the pub in fear of knocking into someone. On weekends and most nights, this place is packed. With a small central bar, patrons gather around resting their feet on the brass foot rails set above the green diamond floor tiles.
Downstairs dining area for those in a hurry.

Walking through a doorway, you enter the downstairs dining room and kitchen, where their multi award pub food is made, which has been well known for decades.
Order one of 25 main meals @ $12.50. It has been famous for decades.

The beginning of your climb to the second floor dining areas.

Grab your meal and take a walk on the wild side, climbing the creaky steep narrow timber staircase. The walls have been covered in an eclectic array of old photos, paintings, tennis racquets and animal heads from an era gone by.
Grab your meal and head upstairs to the main dining room, if you dare.

The second floor holds a main dining come sitting room with old leather armchairs, over sized timber tables and mismatched dining chairs. Chandeliers, Victorian lamps and side lamps dimly light the dark room. It's probably not a good idea to see just how old the furniture you are sitting on is. There is a very small bar where you can order or re-order your drinks, so you don't have to manage the stairs for every shout of drinks.
Want a private room to share with friends? Check out the animal horn light fitting. Maybe you could play murder in the dark!

If you are wanting a little privacy with a group of friends, nab one of the smaller rooms off the main area. If your friend's conversations gets boring, you can always browse the paintings which cover the walls.
Another private room to share with friends.

If only furniture could talk, oh the tales you would hear.

So you have had a great night eating a pretty cheap meal and may have had a few too many drinks. You are tired and dread the thought of driving home. City hotels are way too expensive to crash for the night. Hmmm, maybe not.
Spend a night in a grand old pub @ $90 a room.

Very Mae West lounge in the bedroom.

If you can stumble up another flight of stairs, The Shakespeare have just opened up several rooms of accommodation on the third floor at a mere $90 per night.
Rich wallpaper with matching bedspread makes a lush setting.

Lush wall paper in the red room.

Not your normal highfalutin swanky city rooms, these have real character. Vintage wardrobes, lamps, paintings and chairs adorn the rooms. Add some rich dark wallpaper, crisp linen and it will transport you back into its hey day. The only thing that is a give away to living in the 21st century is the large flat screen TV and air conditioning.
A shared bathroom is basic.

You do have to share the bathroom, which is fine as there are only a couple of rooms on the floor, besides you are not in a hurry anyway.
A gorgeous coffee area is set up just outside the rooms.

Be aware, it is old and does have that pub odour, yet you would kind of expect that.

Why not plan a weekend on the town and crashing in one of the cheapest city rooms for the night. If you wake up the next morning with a bit of a hangover, you are only a couple of steps away from some great cafes that serve fabulous coffees and hearty breakfasts. Then you can cruise the city for the day.
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Why? See a grand old vintage 1800's pub
When: Open 7 Days
Phone: 9319 6883
Where: 200 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills
Cost: Main meals $12.50 - Drinks pub prices - Accommodation $90
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