Guillaume at Bennelong
If there ever was a place designed to drain you of cash and replenish you with pleasure, this is it. From the time that they were built, Utzon's vaulted ceilings have never failed to overwhelm those beneath them. No matter the tenants of this remarkable building, and there have been a few, the bar at Bennelong always confers a feeling of awe.
Here at the Opera House, they could pour your Veuve into a dog bowl and demand that you drink it on all fours while addressing you only as 'Fido'. You'd just feel happy to be in this remarkable room gazing at the remarkable harbour. That the current licensees happen to know the business of hospitality very well is a bonus.
As anyone about to bruise their credit card would reasonably expect, the wine and cocktail lists here are comprehensive and top-notch. Again: do you really care? Look at that view. Look at those windows! Look at that mezzo soprano, still in her costume and stage makeup, making the sort of post-show entrance that only a diva can.
Between the beauty fabricated by Utzon and the glory of the sea, you'll sit here and feel yoruself rise up as quickly as the bead in your flute of champagne.
SM King, August 2010.