A Regal Evening at the InterContinental Double Bay

Since November the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay has presided regally over the WASPy utopian village of Double Bay. Taking the crown as Sydney’s only 5 star hotel outside the CBD, it’s high time you moor the yacht and dive into this bayside retreat. 

As soon as you set foot in the InterContinental Double Bay you immediately feel the sense of grandeur. The interiors are luxe, residential and warm with dove-grey paneled walls and rich marble swathing the foyer. Whilst on the formal side its certainly not stuffy. Tie a navy sweater around your shoulders and order a shot of Patron. BYO silver spoon. 

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Hard lols aside, the property is simply <<insert top notch emoji >> featuring 140 guest rooms and suites, an epic rooftop pool with a panoramic view of the bay and an incredible selection of fine dining and bar options that would be rude not to try. 

James and I took it upon ourselves to execute a reconnaissance mission that included sitting down with Stillery Bar manager Mr Aaron Gaulke to experience a brilliant Gin masterclass in which we debated the seasonality of the delicious spirit. 

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Mr Gaulke was given the hard-task of smashing tasting Gins from around the world to produce an edited list of just 100 that you’ll see on the menu.  We’re calling it – Gaulke sure can put it away. And when it comes to gin, the gentleman certainly knows his juniper from his star anise. Our top pick was the Ant Gin that is made with Norwegian fire ants. “The ants contain formic acid, which gives the taste sensation of citrus” says Gaulke. Quick tip: don’t make the bartender shame you out of the joint for ordering a rumbo can.

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If you too want to give the title “People’s Princess” a whirl, book the Royal Suite, where Princess Di-Dizzle would stay on the reg. Think lush living room, epic walk-in wardrobe and a dining room fit for hosting your fave diplomats (hint: Putin is a larf).  Interior designers Bates Smart nailed the herringbone floor, complete with a neutral colour palette that would make any Double Bay Bae blush. It’ll set you back a cool $5.5k for a sultry evening with this grand Dame and she’ll ruin you for other hotels – once you go InterCon you never go back. #feels.

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After the burning of the delicious fire ant Gin subsided it was time to head over to the chic AF Stockroom restaurant and grill where we indulged in the new seasonal menu. Even if you don’t stay at the hotel The Stockroom is a certainly a destination it its own right with a formidable wine list. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic dinner, paternity test announcement or swish birthday celebration. The food is impressive with a focus on locally sourced high quality produce in which Executive Chef Julien Pouteau turns into mouthwatering dishes designed to share. 

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We shared two stunning entrees to kick things off, the Chicken Liver Parfait and delicate Grilled Scallops paired with the Clover Hill sparkling from Tasmania. We followed with a selection of two handsome mains; the Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Bernaise and a BBQ Glazed Beef Short Rib with Kale and Wild Mushroom that I would have happily crawled in-and-around to make my home for the winter.

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Cutting through the rich red meat we opted for a 2010 Yalumba ‘The Signature’ Cab Shiraz, a fantastic drop from the underrated jewel of the Barossa. Despite not needing dessert, we were forced to choose one with our trouser buttons quivering in fear, so we opted for Chef Pouteau’s incredible Almond Pastilla – illa illa ay ay ay. 

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TBH D-Bay is in its  prime, and the new InterContinental is sure to be the start and end of many a great night. The InterContinental’s Stillery Bar and Stockroom restaurant provide a commanding sophistication to the suburb’s flurry of thriving nightlife (Casablanca we lookn’ at you). Whilst I can’t comment on the former grandeur of the Ritz Carlton property, I can say that following my first experience, the InterContinental Double Bay will do the property and its heritage very proud. #morefeels

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