It's Anzac Day, and the pubguide is heading en masse to Balmain. Well, not quite en-masse, there's three of us for the moment to be joined by more later. First stop? Riverview
Tucked away just off Darling Street, you might as well be in another world from the busy main strip of Darling Street just round the corner, such is the refined feeling here. It's just after 1pm, and a smattering of locals is enjoying the peace before the inevitable explosion which happens to pubs on Anzac Day, and we're quite hapy to do the same for now. Steinlager is on special for $2.50 a bottle, so we order a couple of those and a Guinness, at a nice reasonable price, and take up station on the leather sofa at the back of the pub and settle in.
There's a quiet buzz of chatter, and some easy music plays at very low volume, but what really struck me was how quiet the place was. Not in the number of punters, since we were sharing the pub with about fifteen or so others, but in how no-one was shouting, or even talking much above a whisper. The newspapers were receiving a lot of attention and the pece was occasionally broken y a cough or a light laugh. What a great spot.
The decor is wooden, well worn and with the nautical theme which numerous Balmain pubs adopt, including a large 'Southampton Docks' poster and a set of nautical prints.
There's a great mixture of seating - low chairs, medium and tall bar stools, the leather sofas we adopted and even a church pew, there's food ranging from Meat pies to a restaurant menu, and ATM, TVs (low volume, of course) and $2.40 schooners on a Thursday. I think I might find myself over this way again some time in the future!
review by: Jason