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Finalists for Bar of the Year 2018
28.07.2017

Whether it's a late-night spot playing hip-hop at full volume, a throwback to the glamour of yesteryear or a bar-restaurant that slips the collar of definition, these three Bar of the Year finalists have all nailed one essential detail: good times.

Finalists for Regional Restaurant of the Year 2018
27.07.2017

These three restaurants - Fleet, Brae and Igni - might not be in capital cities, but the journey there is part of the unforgettable experience they offer.

Living off the land in winter
27.07.2017

The life of a farmer revolves around the seasons. Come winter, a certain thriftiness is needed in the kitchen to make the most of meagre produce, writes Paulette Whitney.

Why breakfast isn't the most important meal of the day in Italy
27.07.2017

Italy's claim to being the greatest of the world's cuisines has one key weakness: breakfast. But, argues John Irving, there's more to the story than first meets the eye.

Reasons to visit Los Angeles in 2017
27.07.2017

The hottest spots to eat, drink, play and stay on your next trip to LA, rounded up into one perfect day.

Reasons to visit Canberra in 2017
27.07.2017

Your guide to a perfect stay in Canberra, from where to sleep to the exhibitions you need to check out.

Restaurants with rooms
27.07.2017

Some of Australia's best dining destinations take the hassle out of a weekend stay by offering their own on-site digs where you can hit the hay in style after your meal.

Finalists for Maitre D' of the Year 2018
26.07.2017

The maitre d' is your first introduction to a restaurant - they do as much to create a sense of ambience as lighting, tableware and music. And these three professionals are top of the class.

The new Old Clare Hotel opens

In a case of everything old is new again, the Old Clare Hotel has opened in Chippendale in inner-city Sydney, transforming the down-at-heel County Clare Inn and Carlton & United Breweries administration building into Sydney's newest boutique hotel.

It's the culmination of a complex five-year project by Singaporean hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng, restoring and linking the two heritage-listed buildings and installing three restaurants, two bars and a rooftop pool as the centrepiece of the rapidly gentrifying Kensington Street and Central Park precincts.

The Old Clare's lobby is a low-key extension of pedestrianised Kensington Street, designed to stamp the hotel "as part of the neighbourhood, a place for everyone", says hotel general manager Timo Bures. The hotel's reception with amber-glass accents shares space with the pub's restored front bar, with its original tiles, cornices and phone booth.

The hotel's 62 rooms in 26 different layouts have lofty ceilings, original windows and airy stripped-back interiors, featuring Danish mid-century furniture, industrial-style joinery, customised lights, and lamps fashioned from engine parts. "We didn't want to over-restore the buildings," Bures says, "so in some places the original features are stripped bare, and we haven't tried to match missing tiles. You can see the history of the place."

The old wood-panelled CUB boardroom is the most impressive of the restorations; now a suite with its original urinal incorporated in a sleek bathroom, the room was stripped and suspended while much of the building was demolished around it.

Expect sunrise yoga and sundowners beside a 14-metre pool and deck bar for 80 atop the old CUB building. The hotel's two bars will be run by British chef Jason Atherton, whose 120-seat Kensington Street Social is due to open in November on the hotel's ground floor. The 50-seat Silvereye on the second floor, and 60-seat Automata on the ground floor are due to open this month (see our story on the restaurants opening at The Old Clare for more).

Rooms from $350, The Old Clare Hotel, 1 Kensington St, Chippendale, NSW


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