“My wahine in South Seas Hobart.” Haha. Not Wangaratta, definitely. This little cocktail gem is the first in my series on ‘Hidden Hobart’ where we expose the vibrant and fascinating underbelly of this beautiful beast of a city.
The South Seas Cocktail Lounge is one of those special places that so far, most of this city and its visitors don’t know about. Colin, the owner, likes it that way. And he’s got stories!!
This place is a bar. Where you go to drink. But it’s so cute and other-worldly, that it finds me returning to it often, and feeling that a big night out is not complete without a visit.
Being the ever expansive host, I was showing my friends from Melbourne that little stretch past Salamanca, opposite the Marine Building and the water. This was during the day, so we swirled into Luc, a superb new boutique that has carefully curated pieces for body and home. Desley went back and did some damage to the wallet, and was thrilled.
But on past Luc, looking for South Seas – we finally got to the door, strips of bamboo being the only clue as to what’s inside. And as I’m describing the contents of this little shoebox, Colin came out and invited us in. What luck!
Colin and his wife Francesca have already made 10 trips to the Caribbean to source rums and spirits and find inspiration. Yeah! Hard work and I’m so glad they did it!
And the bar is like a tiny outpost of the Caribbean in far distant seas. The décor also has a nod to the Polynesians, with a huge carving of an Easter Island head.
There are framed photos of clippers and Caribbean scenes, a painting of what could be either Papa (Earnest Hemingway) or Marlon Brando – not sure.
But the star is the bar, and the gorgeous young things, Lou(ise) and Christian who fizz and pop the drinks. And the drinks are fantastic. The menu is deep and long, with cocktails ranging from $16 to a seriously big bucket of trouble that’s served with straws for friends, at $49.
Before you leave, read the menu (if you can), as it’s full of the story of rum, the people and the culture. Fascinating. It even mentions Trader Vic’s which I visited in London in 1984, and that was an experience! This little place is too.
You might have to wait to be let in, and don’t go drunk. But do make arrangements if you drove there, for when you leave!
Here’s to rum and a good cocktail! Have you been there yet, dear Sizzler? If not, hot foot it down. There’s a lot more there than rum and coca-cola.
The South Seas Cocktail Lounge
13 – 17 Castray Esplanade, Battery Point