Who better to divulge the best places to drink than two of the minds behind Sydney’s best places to drink? Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham, co-owners of Mary’s burger bar in Newtown, give us the inside info.
Bramble Bar & Lounge, Edinburgh
Bramble has often made The World’s 50 Best Bars list – and so it should, it's amazing. It’s the memories of drinking Malibu daiquiris and beers to a generous level of inebriation whilst your hospitality pals pour through the door for a few knock-offs. The boys, Mike and Jason, have gone on to do some pretty amazing things as well as nurturing a pretty enviable staff roster that has helped raise the bar around the globe.
The Devil's Advocate, Edinburgh
Having left Scotland several years ago this bar is the iconic memory of what Edinburgh has to offer. Hidden down a ghostly trail, called Advocate's Close funnily enough, it reminds you of Edinburgh's ghostly past and it's current place amongst the world's best hospitality. A dimly lit wall of whisky welcomes you into a bar that you will sit at until it's time to fall down the steep steps home.
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Au Passage, Paris
A couple of years ago, we took a “work” trip to France where we visited a few wine producers that we were stocking at Mary's and also just to have a nosy at what the French were up to. Au Passage was a perfect example of what young Paris has to offer. Music blasting, not from the bar, but from the kitchen only. Plates of seasonal food getting dumped in front of you as quickly as you can order them. Drinking cider and wine at a pace to match. The locals were friendly – well, we reckon you get what you give when it comes to locals, and we gave them a night to remember!
Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern, Sydney
The best bars in the world are made up as much by the staff as the drinks on offer or whatever the beautiful surroundings may be. We would happily sit and drink moonshine in a barn stinking of pig sh*t if we wanted to hang out with the bartender. The boys behind the bar at the Ramblin’ Rascal are some of the finest around. Their hospitality knows no bounds and, lucky for us, the booze (mainly cognac) selection is superior to most.
Kames Hotel, Tighnabruaich
It sits overlooking the Kyles of Bute sea channel that is nestled between the west coast of Scotland and the Atlantic Ocean. We had the fortune of having many Australians making the trip over and they were, to say the least, blown away. Whisky lists can definitely be pretentious but how can it be when it's as local as the highland cow commandeering the field next door. The whisky room with a list just big enough to make you believe they are the whiskies that they truly love; the fireplace; the 60-year-old publican and a view worth flying half way around the world for – all these things make this place special.
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