This Sydney Bar Has a Chic, Calm Vibe That’s Perfect for Spring

Oxford House Pool Bar

Despite its Instagram-ready courtyard — all creams, sleek sofas and palm trees, and aesthetically pleasing dishes and drinks — Oxford House Pool Bar, which opened in September 2022, has surprisingly remained relatively quiet.

This might be because it’s hard to come across — it’s tucked behind hotel Oxford House — and that word of it hasn’t yet spread. Whatever the reason, the chill adds to its appeal — it feels worlds away from busy Oxford Street right outside and Five Ways in Paddington, which it’s only a 10-minute stroll from.

“We wanted to transport our guests to the tropical oasis of Palm Springs where guests and locals can unwind and sip on refreshing drinks, for an elevated poolside experience,” says Tony Donoghue, Hotel Manager at Oxford House.

Oxford House Pool Bar
Image: Oxford House Pool Bar

“The space is fresh, funky and stylish with Hommey [Australian homewares brand] blankets to keep you warm, artworks by China Heights [Surry Hills gallery] and large umbrellas to protect you from wet weather.”

The venue is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with DJs playing on the weekend. Designed by hospitality group The Maybe Group, the seasonal cocktail list features classics with an Australian twist. Think Sleepy Koala Fizz with Patron Silver tequila, bianco vermouth, eucalyptus, and mango and an OH! Margarita with tequila, pink guava, agave, and finger lime.

Oxford House Pool Bar
Image: Oxford House Pool Bar

“I’m a sucker for the Jungle-tini, served with Ketel One vodka, bush apple cordial, and banana,” says Donoghue. He pairs it with the leg ham sandwich with egg mayo and curry vinaigrette, served with potato crisps.

The menu uses fresh ingredients and caters to most dietaries. For breakfast, choose from a haloumi and egg roll, blueberry hotcake or oat and chia bircher muesli. The lunch and dinner selection includes Ortiz anchovy and stracciatella on toast, pink snapper crudo with crème fraiche, yuzu, and finger lime, and rigatoni with basil pesto and goat’s cheese.

Oxford House
Image: Oxford House Pool Bar

The bar and restaurant sits outside the hotel, which has 56 rooms and suites, and a restaurant in the front with big windows overlooking Oxford Street.

“We are not trying to compete with other hotels and restaurants, as we basically took a shell of an old building and transformed it, rather than [building] a boutique hotel from scratch,” says George Gorrow, Creative Producer for Public Hospitality Group, responsible for the build of Oxford House.

“It’s a very different experience and offering that focuses on the community and neighbourhood, rather than spending most of your stay in the hotel. It’s about art, thought, sculptures, staff and service. Oxford House is a part of the new wave of hotels hitting Australia that encompass lounge, living, restaurant and neighbourhood.”

Related: Vacation or Staycation, This Sydney Hotel’s Palm Springs Vibe Makes It a Must-Stay

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