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The Light Brigade

Bars Woollahra
4 out of 5 stars
The sun setting behind the city skyline as seen from a rooftop bar
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

We’re never getting sick of the Sydney skyline, so here’s another rooftop bar to admire it from

Like Narcissus staring adoringly at his own reflection, Sydney’s a city enamoured with its own good looks, hence our obsession with rooftop bars. Happily there’s a new rooftop in town where you can do just that.

The open-air, top floor bar is definitely the jewel in the Light Brigade’s rejuvenated crown. The old pub underwent extensive changes since the Bayfield family took ownership a few years back, and adding the top floor bar was a power move that makes the most of the pub’s prime Oxford Street location, with views stretching from Paddington clear across to the Coathanger. The glass-framed balcony has been designed to maximise skyline perving from a garden oasis decked out with low slung lounges.

The island bar servicing the rooftop is cashing in on the Frosé trend, with two slushie machines serving up summer past’s drink du jour. Here the wine is blended with Margarita mix, so the result is a little sweet. There’s a short, sharp beer and wine list, but a craft beer haven this is not. Choices on tap namecheck Coopers, James Squire pale ale and Peroni and the bottled beer sticks to the same script.

The Light Brigade has jumped on the “we’re a pub, but we do pizza” bandwagon, pumping them out of their wood-fired oven. There’s six on the menu so you can stay safe with a Margherita or thumb your nose at Naples with a vegetarian number with smoked mozzarella, pumpkin, kale and gorgonzola. Pies aside, you’re looking at upscale snacking with Sydney Rock oysters and charred grilled octopus with eggplant and blistered grapes. The Sydney pub kitchen is a very different beast these days.

Before you get too comfortable up high, remember that this is Sydney and we can’t be trusted outdoors with alcohol beyond 10pm. It’s a good thing there’s an Art Deco lounge bar one level below, and a first-floor restaurant, formerly home to La Scala. The ground floor bar is where they keep all the traditional pub trappings. There’s no fancy adornments here and on game day it’s lunacy. Swans fans pour in to watch away games on the big screens, or after home matches at the SCG to celebrate (or commiserate) and swim in a sea of red and white.

Think of the new Light Brigade as a sandwich. The bread foundation is a pub as Slim Dusty would know it, the middle filling caters to the well heeled locals and on top you have a rooftop bar as the ludicrously decorative garnish that everyone wants a piece of, because we’re a damn fine looking city and we know it.


Address: 2A Oxford St
Opening hours: Mon-Thur 11am-midnight, Fri, Sat 11am-1am, Sun 11am-10pm
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