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Henry Deane

  • Bars
  • Millers Point
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. A bar with big windows and a great view of Sydney Harbour.
    Photography: Supplied | Henry Deane
  2. Two people sitting at a rooftop bar overlooking the harbour.
    Photography: John Puah | Henry Deane
  3. A bar with a pastel pink lounge and red chairs, with 2 glasses of Champagne in the foreground.
    Photography: John Puah | Henry Deane
  4. A rooftop bar.
    Photography: John Puah | Henry Deane
  5. A woman with a white, backless dress and blonde hair eating something on a rooftop bar balcony, looking at a view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
    Photography: Supplied | Henry Deane
  6. The Sydney Harbour Bridge against a blue sky.
    Photography: Supplied | Henry Deane

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Henry Deane cocktail lounge may just sit atop an old Sydney pub, but an afternoon spent there will have you feeling on top of the whole world

There are plenty of bars with views out over Sydney – but there are few that offer up almost 360-degree vistas, where you can lap up the Harbour Bridge, the city skyline, the beginnings of the Parramatta River and even Barangaroo below. Henry Deane serves up a feast for the eyes, and anyone who has the pleasure of whiling away a sparkling afternoon followed by a sunset here – like we have – feels actually on top of the world.

Although Henry Deane’s views are grand, he’s an approachable space. During our visit we find a varied mix of visitors: Boomers huddled on lounges, Millennial couples on dates, work colleagues clocking off, and out-of-towners on the deck taking pics of the Opera House. There’s a smart casual dress code, but this isn't the type of place where you’ll get side-eyed for what you’re wearing or who you’re with. Perhaps because, instead of being atop a modern skyscraper or luxe hotel, it’s perched up above a humble Millers Point pub, Hotel Palisade. The Palisade was built more than a century ago, back in 1916, and it’s the sort of vintage nautical-styled pub you can drop by to enjoy an after-work schooner on a wobbly wooden stool. 

From the pub you take the lift up to the double-floored Henry Deane bar at the top on levels four and five, and step out into a naturally lit, glass-walled cocktail lounge that makes you feel like you’ve discovered a secret. Henry Deane is small and intimate, so you’ll want to make sure you have a booking if you’re coming by at a peak time. 

They don’t rely only on the views to satisfy your eyes – the space is decked out prettily, with tan leather and salmon pink lounges, with pops of colour coming from red-velvet chairs with gold legs. On a warm, still day, it’s delightful to take a seat on the balcony and drink up the views of the western side of the Harbour Bridge.

While they do serve food, this is the sort of place you come to clink glasses with someone. The cocktails on the menu are unique (no same-old faces) and reasonably priced, ranging from $20 for a John Lemon (Ketel One vodka with limoncello, marionette, curacao and lemon myrtle) to $25 for a Coffee Culture (Campari with coffee, Ron Zacapa 23 rum, Cinzano 1757 and cacao). 

We order the Smooth Criminal, which has earthy and smoky mezcal undertones, grapefruit-y bitterness from a dash of Pampelle aperitif, the subtle ricey sweetness of sake, some chartreuse herbiness, and a citrus tang from lime juice. We also order the Stay Golden Gai, a refreshing yet sophisticated mix: a smoky and robust whisky foundation from Johnnie Walker Black, a zesty kick of yuzu and a dash of sweetness from apple.

We graze while we drink. The marinated pipis have a delicious tang, thanks to pickled capsicum, red onion and coriander. The potato hash is like the stuff of salt-and-vinegar dreams – a sprinkle of bacon dust cuts through the crispy fried potato that’s topped with creamy abalone sauce. And for something sweet, take my fellow diner’s recommendation – she reckons the white chocolate foam with black sesame, pear and burnt honey is the best dessert she’s ever tasted. Big call. Perhaps it’s not just about the cocktails and the views, after all.

So who is old mate, Henry Deane? He was an Australian engineer and architect who’s famous for electrifying Sydney’s tram system and building certain railways, but he also happened to design the original hotel above the Palisade pub all those years ago. There’s still an eight-room hotel in the building, on the levels in between the pub and the cocktail lounge. So if you’re a lucky visitor to Sydneytown, you can spend a magical evening on top of the world before taking the elevator down to your bed. That’s what we’d call a very good night.


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Alice Ellis
Written by
Alice Ellis


Hotel Palisade
35 Bettington St
Millers Point
View Website
Opening hours:
Tue-Wed, 4-10pm; Thu-Fri noon-midnight; Sat, noon-11.30pm; Sun noon-10pm
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