The second of four box-fresh establishments to open at Shell House, the Sky Bar is an Art Deco dream in earthy hues – a palette of burnt umbers, rich terracottas and creamy tones. The design throughout these upper levels of Shell House is a luxurious ode to the building’s unmistakable clock tower – a glazed stone monolith watching over the Sky Bar’s alfresco terrace. Angular, geometric lines, in the weave of the upholstery and the marble mosaic floors, nod to this giant timepiece’s boxy frame, while circular tables and elegantly rounded armchairs mimic the curves and swerves of its clock face.
There was a dark time, not so long ago, when after-work drinks in Sydney city were limited to chain pubs and huge booze barns with no soul. Those were your options, like it or lump it. Fast forward less than a decade and Sydney's CBD now possesses one of the best bar scenes in the country, from underground hideaways to cool-as-hell speakeasies to lofty cocktail lounges with mixology maestros at the helm.
You can drink life-changing wines, the freshest ales, and fruity elixirs made from seasonal harvests – sometimes you can do it all in the same place. These are the very best places to take an elbow and indulge in a few drinks in the heart of Sydney.