Prosecco, puff-bread and pizzas, oh my! Light Brigade’s newly refurbished rooftop brings a touch of Miami to Sydney

The Light Brigade has been a popular Paddington watering hole since the dawn of time. The historic Art Deco building has four levels, each offering something different – a pub, a bistro and an intimate cocktail bar. The cherry on top, however, is the newly refurbished rooftop. 

Boasting fabulous views of Sydney’s skyline, the rooftop oozes ‘Miami poolside’. Gone are the sunken sofas and fire pit, making way for cosy corners, high tables, and giant parasols draped in pastel pink, green, and terracotta. It’s somehow cosy and glamorous all at once.

As we arrived at 12 o’clock on a Wednesday (11.58am to be precise), we got to enjoy the panoramic view in peace. The sky was blue and the sun was shining in that perfect, not-too-hot kind of way. The dining gods were smiling, so we smugly settled in as the rooftop gradually welcomed patrons.

One of the main reasons to visit this sun-drenched haven is the extensive list of bespoke cocktails. From Spiced Pineapple Mojitos to Chilli Watermelon Margaritas, you could spend an entire afternoon exploring the various offerings. It took all of the self-control I (barely) have to bypass the Karakuchi Butterfly (Jalapeño-infused gin and elderflower liqueur) but, as I was on a self-imposed booze ban, I diverted my attention to the non-alcoholic section.

Fun fact – this cocktail was created for summer 2023 after a bunch of marmalade was ordered accidentally. Here’s hoping they make the same mistake next year!

While my dining companion resisted the temptation of prosecco and ordered a non-alcoholic beer, I opted for the Virgin Ginmarita. Made with 0% gin, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, agave syrup, and orange marmalade, it’s fruity, refreshing, and just the right level of sweetness – the perfect start to my relaxing afternoon.

The food is an eclectic mix, ranging from sharable dishes to pub classics. We began with the Wood-Fired Puff Bread – a crowd-pleaser that rightfully takes centre stage on the menu. While we could have ordered all eight antipasti, I once again exercised what tiny bit of self-control I have and opted for roasted eggplant caponata with macadamia pesto, roast mushrooms in mushroom XO sauce, and the house-made taramasalata. One word – divine. My mouth is literally watering as I’m typing. The bread was lightly charred and fluffy. The sides were robust and rich without being too overpowering.

The mushrooms alone are worth returning for.

Meanwhile, the pizza section was a ‘Sophie’s choice’ in itself. I’ve mentally pre-ordered the Smoked Brisket Pizza for my inevitable return, but on this particular occasion, we opted for La Gambas: marinated green prawns, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, mozzarella, roast chilli butter, and basil. In keeping with Executive Chef, Justin Schott’s penchant for wood-fired cooking, this Neapolitan-style pizza had a smokey quality that complemented the succulent prawns and juicy tomatoes beautifully.

La gambas – prawn pizza

There were plenty of other options on the menu. From burgers and poke bowls to showstoppers like the pappardelle in braised lamb neck ragu. From the menu we sampled, the hero dishes were the starter/sharable ones – anything with puffy bread!

The Light Brigade Rooftop Bar is a fabulous place to enjoy a few drinks with friends in the sun. The setting is inherently glamorous but also has a laid-back atmosphere – grammable but not too uppity. The menu is reasonably priced (by Sydney standards) and the staff are friendly. It’s the kind of place where you can dress up if you want to but nobody would bat an eyelid if you rocked up in jeans and Converse either. What more could you want on a sunny afternoon?

Light Brigade Rooftop Bar 
Opening hours: Monday- Saturday 12pm to midnight, Sunday 12pm – 10pm, weather permitting

About the author

Originally from Wales, Siri is a native Welsh speaker and bilingual writer living in Sydney. With a background in film and television production, particularly comedy, she loves to make people laugh - usually at her own expense. Siri writes about all sorts from film and restaurant reviews to marathon running and adventure travel. She loves pale ale and shiraz and is yet to meet a chocolate mousse she can’t devour in seconds. An intrepid adventurer trapped inside the body of a couch potato, there’s nothing Siri won’t try - but she can’t promise to be even remotely graceful while doing it.


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