Posted by: Rebecca | March 31, 2012

Early doors

As anyone who knows me from Yorkshire will know, Friday night means one thing; after work drinks. This has, over the years, been referred to in various ways, including bible classes, a cheeky sherbet, a swift half and most frequently, early doors.

So my train from Katoomba is pulling into Central Station and I’m pondering what to do on my last night in Sydney, when I get a text from Neil – out for a few after work drinks, if you’re back from the mountains, text me. I didn’t need any persuasion, so still clad in my trekking gear (trainers, lightweight pants, back pack etc) I head straight down to the CBD to join Neil and his mates for a swift half. The guys all work in the CBD (Central Business District) and the bar we’re in seems to accommodate everyone else in the CBD too. It’s a lowered level plaza, with benches, fountains, big screens and a bar which, despite being small, seems to flow fast and those waiting aren’t waiting for long. The buzz is infectious – it’s a warm Friday night and everyone’s winding down after a long week in the office (except me, of course, I’m just there for the atmosphere!).

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At this point (we’re on our third round) the guys start the banter on how they cleverly, cunningly, and not at all transparently, manage to convince their respective partners to let them have a pass out tonight. At this point, I can’t contain my giggles any longer and ask the question any girl would; You don’t honestly think we’re that silly do you! Of course we know you want to stay out for a beer, of course we can smell it on  your suits when you get in, of course you couldn’t get a taxi for love nor money, of course the trains were packed, of course your boss called a late meeting which you couldn’t refuse… Of course we don’t believe you; but it entertains us to see how imaginative you can be with the excuses, and we do enjoy watching you try so hard to ‘make it up to us’…!

So, having ascertained that Neil and Steve have secured passes out, we decide to go on somewhere else. Where shall we go; Paddington? Oxford Street? Surrey Hills? All of the above? Why not. We hail a cab and head out of the CBD and into Mardi Gras territory. First stop, food (they’re clearly more sensible than I’ve been of late). We head to a burger bar – can’t remember the name, (it’s opposite the Columbia on the corner of Oxford and Crown, I think) which is a kind of cross between GBK and Wagamamma. I have a Kung Foo burger and a bottle of beer and it was just delicious. We discuss the benefits of communal, table for 20-style dining then agree it’s time to get back on the beers. We head for The Beresford, as they often have live music at weekends… great! As we approach, the doorman stops us and asks where we’ve been this evening (strange, we aren’t pissed?) and asks how much we’ve had to drink. Neil replies with ‘a couple after work’ and the doorman looks to me next, saying ‘pints?’ ‘No’ I reply (to me, this is a travesty in itself as I generally do drink pints) ‘they were erm schooners?’ The bouncer isn’t convinced, and the fact that I’m still dressed for the mountains, complete with backpack, only fuels his suspicion, until Neil explains ‘she’s from England’ – the doorman in enlightened, happy and waves us straight in. Happy days! I can’t remember the last time I was interrogated entering a bar, what is this place? And how bad do I really look?!

We get inside and upstairs and this place is cool! It’s like a clubby bar; the music is great, there’s enough space that it doesn’t feel crammed and the tall ceilings and good amounts of light mean it’s not sticky, sweaty or claustrophobic. There’s even enough space for a dance off going on in front of us, brilliant! Some girls are in dresses & heels and others are in jeans and tops. The guys’ attire ranges from tight power t-shirts & boardies to suits and ties, with pretty much all sorts in between.  So I’m not exactly out of place in my trekkies, although I don’t feel comfortable either. Live and learn… another excuse to come back, right?

Around midnight, Neil and Steve throw me into a cab and pack me off back to Darling Harbour. I get back to my room and the thought of packing is just not appealing – morning job. I pass out and that’s it, my last night in Sydney and as you’d guess, it’s the best!

ttfn /Boxy xx

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