One of my favourite new drinking destinations in Perth would have to be Halford Bar. Located down a flight of stairs in a back corner room of the beautifully restored State Buildings, this classy but fun new bar has its home in what used to be the basement Safe Room of the 1897 Titles Building. I dare say it looks a whole lot different to what it would have done in 1897.
Another fabulous new venue from John Parker, of, The Standard, Saint Larry and Arthouse Dine fame, Halford Bar screams luxe. With its plush carpet, crushed velvet furniture, bright neon lighting, little nooks to get comfy in, and fabulous glassware, this is certainly a place I could while away the hours whilst sipping on a martini.
I don’t know what it is, maybe the sense of escapism, but going underground to find this unique bar makes it feel even more special to me. I’ve been to Halford now a couple of times and it’s always somewhere I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend, so was looking forward to heading back on this particular Friday night. We had no trouble getting a table and some comfy chairs, and I love that you can sit back and relax with the friendly table service. The furniture makes me feel like I’m in someone’s lounge room, someones super cool lounge room. I also feel like it’s a bit of a mix of era’s, it’s got that 1950’s lounge bar vibe with pops of 70’s and 80’s from the crushed velvet and bright neon lights.
They have a fantastic cocktail list and although I ordered the Cold Brew Martini there was a slight mix up and I was delivered the Charlie Chaplin. The lovely bartender offered to get me what I ordered however I was immediately drawn in by the bright pinky, orange coloured drink (and told it’s one of their most popular) and decided to just go with it. I wasn’t disappointed, it was delicious. There was a nice balance of flavour, the lime juice gave it freshness from the sweetness of the sloe gin and apricot brandy and it was thoroughly enjoyable. My fellow cocktail drinking friend ordered the Coconut Blossom which, pretty as a picture, was also divine!
We were getting a little hungry so decided to order a couple of toasties to share. Their food menu is small but who can go past a toasted brioche sandwich and when it’s filled with such luxurious ingredients you wont want to stop at one. We chose the jamon serrano and three cheeses as well as the crayfish, semi dried tomato, dill and salmon roe mayonnaise. Yes, that’s right, a crayfish brioche toastie! They were both incredible, golden, buttery and crisp and packed full of flavour. The crayfish was most definitely my favourite with its heavenly balance of salty and sweet and those little pops of roe.
Belly’s sufficiently warmed I decided I still wanted to try the Cold Brew Martini, never sure if it’s a wise idea to have coffee so late at night but I was determined so it was on the way. Bit of a different take on the standard espresso martini, this was a mix of cold brew, rum, coffee liqueur and ginger and was sensational. A slightly bitter, zingy, fresher version which was pretty damn potent too. A great cocktail and I just love the stunning glasses they use. They kindly discounted this one for me to apologise for getting the first order wrong.
I feel like Halford has just nailed the brief, I’m not sure what their brief was exactly, but they’ve nailed it. It’s relaxed and comfortable, meets cool and classy, meets fun and edgy. There is a sense of luxury without being pretentious, it’s dark and mysterious, totally sexy and with some of the best service I’ve experienced in Perth, killer drinks list and delectable brioche toasties this place has got it going on. This is somewhere I will continue to go back time and time again, so if you haven’t been, what are you waiting for!