Harbour View Hotel – The Rocks

Harbour View Hotel in The Rocks, Sydney
The last time I was at the Harbour View Hotel I was thrown out for indecent behaviour. This probably isn’t something I should confess in public, especially since I just found out (to my horror) that my parents read this site, but hey – you have to live dangerously. Which might explain why I was kicked out of the pub.

In my defence, it happened five years ago, I was drunk, the girl was beautiful, and I believe we kept our clothes on. In fact, I think I was thrown out because I was trying to remove her attire. Still, in retrospect a crowded balcony is probably not the best place to play doctor and nurse (and why is it I always end up being the nurse?).

But I digress.

This is meant to be a review.

The Harbour View Hotel lives up to its name by being underneath the Harbour Bridge and if you’re on the balcony and not peering at the drunken girl you’re carousing with then you’ll have a great view stretching from the park underneath the bridge to Kirribilli and beyond. In fact, you’re likely to see people on the Bridge Climb waving at you, which is cute for the first drink and annoying by the fifth.

In addition to the ground floor bar, which has a homely feel thanks to some bookshelves and an English country pub feel (despite the old fashioned dinki di Aussie pub tiles on the outside walls), you have the balcony bar which a Kiwi friend of mine insists on going to for a touristy day out.

We go upstairs and order a bottle of Stonier pinot noir, which is decent but nothing special, and we also spy a cocktail menu that lists a range of party cocktails with names such as the Cozmos and Sex on the Bridge. The Kiwi, who is aware of my sordid history, sagely points out that it’s misleading for the pub to list a cocktail like that and not expect trouble from the likes of me.

The Kiwi orders fish and chips in a rare display of appetite (he doesn’t like to mix alcohol with solids) and I order the rib-eye steak. The fish and chips please the Kiwi but the steak I’m served isn’t a rib-eye and is closer to well done than medium rare, which I’d ordered. Not willing to make a scene – I’m not one who likes to make a spectacle, after all – I eat almost all of it when a waitress comes by with a rib–eye and says they realised they made a mistake and are willing to either give me the rib-eye at no extra cost or they’ll refund the money. Since the Kiwi paid for the meals I decide against the refund and proceed to scoff the rib-eye, which is medium rare and nicely caramelised on the outside.

Considering the good service and the free steak, I’m beginning to forgive the Harbour View for ejecting me all those years ago – and might even come back again. However, I’ll make sure to avoid the Sex on the Bridge.

Harbour View Hotel, 18 Lower Fort Street, The Rocks. Phone 9252 4111 or see the Harbour View Hotel website

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Now it’s your turn – how do you rate the Harbour View Hotel?

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