Rooftop bars around the country are inundated on lazy Sunday afternoons as we take advantage of everything the season has to offer – sun, heat and more sun! Those with pools become overnight neighbourhood sensations, inviting friends and family to float their way through the weekend in a haze of food, drink and good times.
Thongs and singlets are the national uniform… along with cricket on the TV and the sounds of cicadas and frogs lulling us to sleep.
It’s the ideal time to head for the air-conditioned comfort of your favourite local restaurant or bar, where menus turn to light, delicious fare to suit the season and temperature. Let’s surf our way around some of Australia’s restaurants, just waiting to share the Endless Summer fun:
Rosé all day at Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard Restaurant.
Celebrate Summer Dining in Glenelg and Lenswood:
Ultimate waterfront views and an Amalfi Coast vibe are on offer for endless Summer dining at Luciano’s Italian Marina Pier at Holdfast Shores Marina in Glenelg. This elegantly styled Italian restaurant is all class with tiled floors, sandstone walls and softly glowing downlights providing the ideal backdrop for intimate dinners with someone special.
Watch twinkling harbour lights while delving into kingfish crudo, bergamot, blood orange dressing and lemon balm; before salivating over succulent mains of char-grilled swordfish, nduja butter, broccolini and patate novelle. For a divine Summer dessert, try white chocolate panna cotta, raspberries and pistachio.
Outdoor dining atop the vines is the ideal way to spend a long Summer lunch at Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard on Harris Road in Lenswood. This all-encompassing destination for wine tastings, functions, mouth-watering local cuisine and an enviable view boasts wide timber decks to admire sweeping valley landscapes, while sipping an estate wine from the rustic barn-like cellar door.
An alluring menu embraces local produce with fervour to make bold taste and texture statements, with the likes of aged Forest Range duck, organic apricots and toasted coconut; alongside slow-cooked ‘Zara Grace’ lamb, zucchini, eggplant and chorizo. Finish with an Adelaide Hills artisan cheese board and condiments best enjoyed with a glass of Old Cherry Block Sauvignon Blanc.
If you’re still looking for endless Summer fun in SA, click here.
Stunning views from Freycinet Lodge and The Bay Restaurant.
Summer Fun in Tasmania:
Take in stunning views of the sunset on Tasmania’s east coast at The Bay Restaurant in Freycinet National Park in Coles Bay. After dipping your toes in the crystal-clear waters of Great Oyster Bay, head to eco-friendly Freycinet Lodge, where the restaurant has a full glass frontage opening onto a deck area for Summer sipping, while enjoying unparalleled ocean vistas.
Choose from an inspired seasonal menu, showcasing regional produce and seafood, perhaps starting with tiger abalone salad, poached in buttermilk, Tasmanian pepperberry, quinoa and plum; for the main affair, share a deluxe seafood tower for two, including oysters, scallops, salmon, mussels, clams, ocean trout, fish and crayfish.
Summer shared dining at Geronimo.
A simple, sophisticated interior in deep hues, furnished
with pieces handcrafted from the recycled timbers of the old Seaport boardwalk, Geronimo
Aperitivo Bar and Restaurant on Launceston’s Charles Street delivers a
fresh take on traditional European dining. Drop by for a long
Summer lunch or leisurely dinner from a paddock-to-plate menu of fresh Tasmanian produce, alongside an offering of 25 gins from around the world and an extensive wine and whisky selection.
Graze on plates like grilled octopus, green lentils, parsley sauce and radish, or half-shell scallops, wood-fired in saffron, honey and chilli butter; while those with larger appetites opt for eye fillet, rosemary polenta fries and Bernaise sauce. Grab ‘The Fearless Leader’ cocktail to finish – a powerful house-designed Negroni, featuring all Italian ingredients that will lead you to good times, never fear!
For more Summer Tassie temptations, click here.
Endless Summer Drinking and Dining in Warrnambool and Melbourne:
For Warrnambool’s only on-the-water dining experience, head to Proudfoots by the River on Simpson Street. Nestled in a historic boathouse on the banks of the majestic Hopkins River, this relaxed restaurant offers picturesque views whether sipping wine on the balcony or indoors among vintage splendour of dark wood and ornate pillars, setting the tone for elegant dining.
Cast your net over starters of seared scallops, watermelon, rhubarb and radish salad, celeriac puree and celery leaf gremolata; anchoring your meal with a main of seafood linguine – prawns, scallops, mussels, garlic, confit fennel, asparagus, white wine, spinach and smoked chilli. Chocolate semifreddo, honeycomb and fresh berries fit the Summer dessert bill.
Trendy Melburnians looking for Summer cocktails in the inner-city laneways head to Gin Palace on Russell Place for after-work drinks, made with all things juniper. Escape the humidity in one of the Palace’s hidden nooks and alcoves and feel the outside world slip away as you sip your first Martini of the night, to become part of the bar’s vibe without even realising it.
Reminiscent of times gone by and with a selection of more than 200 gins on offer, this hotspot has a cool and funky ambience with comfy couches and armchairs blending seamlessly with framed wall prints and opulent furnishings, to create a haven away from city hustle and bustle. Perhaps taste test a Hanky Panky cocktail, with Plymouth gin, sweet vermouth, Fernet Branca and a lemon twist.
For more tipples and nibbles near you, click here.
Pan-fried squid with chilli, soft herbs, freekeh, chilli roasted eggplant and candied peanuts at Odyssea.
WA Endless Summer Dining and Drinking:
Watch the waves roll in and let Odyssea City Beach on Challenger Parade take care of all your Summer dining needs. With spectacular Indian Ocean views, Odyssea brings a new dining experience to the iconic WA coastline, providing the ideal alfresco spot to while away the afternoon; or sip a vino as the sunset casts an orange glow over the sea.
WA snapper tartare, crispy skin, apple, lime, dill and radish appeals to start; before diving into mains like Tasmanian salmon, wild rice and nori crust, sweet wasabi, soy and ginger, served medium-rare. Meat eaters will be enticed by kangaroo, roasted eggplant, charred carrot, feta and date relish; while those who can’t choose may opt for the Chef’s five-course food journey.
Styled after a New Orleans jazz bar, Universal Bar on William Street in Northbridge is a landmark on Perth’s live music scene. Award-winning cocktails, a quality menu and live music every night make for buzzing, yet laidback atmosphere, ideal for catching an endless Summer gig, hosting a party or just kicking back on the upstairs terrace, with a drink poured by some of Perth’s best bartenders.
Appease hunger with a Mama’s pork roast brioche burger with pulled pork, smoky sauce, coleslaw and aioli, or beef brisket pizza, with red onion, tomato, coriander, BBQ sauce, mozzarella and Napolitana; while sipping an inventive cocktail such as the Naked Barman – Ketel One Citroen vodka, passionfruit liqueur, orange, pineapple juice and vanilla.
Wandering out West for Summer adventures? Click here for more fun venues.
Fresh oysters with lemon pearls at Oyster Bar & Grill.
Summer Wining and Dining on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane:
Views of the sparkling pool provide a spectacular backdrop to Summer eating and drinking at Oyster Bar & Grill on Sea World Drive in Main Beach. Located inside Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, this long-established venue has been renovated into a sleek ambience, ideal for unwinding with friends on a hot day with an icy glass of Chardonnay.
Oysters are obligatory whether served fresh with lemon pearls and Prosecco Granita or battered with sriracha mayonnaise; before mains of rib eye fillet, fresh salsa romesco and pommery meaux mustard, or split barbequed prawns, sweet potato fries and black salt and an heirloom tomato salad. Don’t go past Snickers cheesecake, caramel fudge, peanut brittle and coffee gelato to finish.
You had us at sticky beef... at Proud Henry.
High pressed metal ceilings, a historic cellar and cosy courtyard offer a variety of spaces to enjoy a Summer drink with friends, at Proud Henry on Wickham Street in Fortitude Valley. Wine down under the watchful eye of the bar’s resident peacock – Proud Henry himself – as you ponder more than 250 gins on offer alongside a boutique wine list with something to tempt all palates.
Kickstart your evening with a shaken and served tall El Gaucho cocktail – Aviation Gin, Yellow Chartreuse, housemade syrup, pressed lemon, grapefruit bitters and fresh mint – or grab a Mocha Martini with chocolate, coffee Vodka, chocolate liqueur and Proud Henry’s coffee, this one’s sure to keep you going all night!
After a recent multi-million-dollar revamp, immerse yourself in Modern Australian cuisine at Motion Dining on Queen Street in Brisbane. Located on the ground level of Brisbane’s Marriott Hotel, this slickly styled venue is sure to leave a lasting impression. Relax inside or out, on the M Deck with gorgeous views of the Story Bridge, while you delve into the likes of witlof and baby cos wedge salad with mixed seeds, toasted pecan nuts, baby radish, chives and a buttermilk dressing before sharing a tandoori chicken pizza with mint raita with a glass of Moet.
Summer calls for Paella at The Boathouse.
Capital Spots in the ACT for Summer Eating and Drinking:
Escape from the city life of Canberra and enjoy stunning views of Lake Burley Griffin at The Boathouse on Menindee Drive in Barton. Surrounded by private parkland, this restaurant is a great place to relax during Summer, with a dining room of rich décor, white table linens and ambient lighting.
Waterside dining calls for seafood, as a seasonally changing menu has been created to offer locally sourced produce used to create visually stunning dishes like Yamba prawns, with XO sauce, broccolini and puffed rice. Delve into Humpty Doo barramundi, fennel, apple and sake for the main affair, before an indulgent finish of malt ice cream, oats, salted caramel, tonka bean and violet tea.
Nothing says endless Summer fun more than a lazy afternoon in the local pub’s beer garden and that’s exactly what’s on the menu at The Old Canberra Inn on Mouat Street in Lyneham. Enjoy a piece of history and old-world charm indoors with the inn dating back to 1857, while three beer gardens and two function rooms ensure any event is catered for.
Unwind with an icy cold brew in hand and graze on salt and lemon pepper dusted baby calamari with citrus aioli, free-range chicken buffalo wings and smoky BBQ sauce; or perhaps wrap your hands around Philly steak sandwich with slow-roasted sirloin strips, roasted peppers, BBQ onions and cheese sauce.
Still searching for a Capital Summer dining spot in the ACT? Click here.
Endless Summer Fun in Darwin:
No matter the choice, every table at Darwin’s Wharf One Food & Wine offers dazzling water views of the lagoon and harbour to enjoy while relaxing in sophisticated surrounds on Kitchener Drive. With an impressively stocked bar tempting those with a Summer thirst for tantalising beverages and a menu of sumptuous creations reflecting seasonal ingredients, there’s no better place to escape NT heat.
Jump in with a small plate of gin-cured Atlantic salmon, lemon crème fraiche, flying fish roe, nori and fennel; before sharing a seafood platter of bay bugs, prawns, NT barramundi fillet, local market fish fillet, wood-grilled squid, tartar, shoestring fries and green leaf salad. Lemon baked cheesecake and local mango salsa may entice sweet tooths, alongside chilled seasonal melons, meringue and sorbet.
Find more Darwin venues here.