Picture abundant greenery, vintage cane chairs, Parisian-inspired tiling and fringed hanging lanterns. Now, think about these exotic features and imagine them smack bang in the middle of Sydney’s CBD. Verandah Bar and Social has had a facelift, and is now a beautiful urban oasis that elicits a feeling of vastness not often experienced by Sydneysiders living amongst the cramped hustle and bustle of the huge harbourside city.
With a large open terrace that brings the outside in and cosy nooks and crannies fitted with velvet couches in the main bar and restaurant space, Verandah Bar and Social is a Friday afternoon hotspot for Sydney’s business folk, no matter the season. Being right in the centre of the city allows the venue to welcome a huge range of corporate clients on the lookout for a space to escape the office and relax in style.
Vastly different from the venue’s past set-up, Verandah Bar and Social is now split into two separate sections, offering eight different spaces to suit myriad of client requests. Verandah Bar and Restaurant is the more relaxed of the pair, while Social at Verandah has been designed to cater for all sorts of private events, from beautiful intimate dinners in the private dining room to lush cocktail parties in the stylish surrounds of the semi-alfresco balcony.
“We’re trying not to take ourselves too seriously this time around,” says Saskia Eichler, Marketing and Event Manager at Verandah. “The new-look venue is inspired by our cheeky spirit, and a central monkey theme ensures that a sense of fun and adventure runs through everything from the venue’s aesthetic to the fun food on our bar menu.”
Saskia is the powerhouse behind functions and events at Verandah Bar and Social and, with 11 years of experience in hospitality management and marketing, she’s an enthusiastic event producer with a keen eye for unconventional detail. From part-time jobs in food service to bar tending and hospitality management, she’s worked her way up to become the Marketing and Events Manager at Verandah.
The fast-paced events industry requires a certain kind of person and when speaking to Saskia, it becomes obvious that she’s made for this environment. She’s a natural organiser with a meticulous attention to detail and a playful creative streak. “Working in this industry allows me to express my creativity every day. Each client has a vastly different vision and a certain set of must-haves for their event, so the entire process is really collaborative.”
While all functions and special events at Verandah are tailored specifically to the needs of each client, Saskia’s most popular request is for a space that melds the inside with the outside, and the new-look venue provides just that; a large terrace, abundant natural light and all sorts of greenery. The space is eclectically styled to suit a range of tastes, so there’s no need for additional theming or decorations. Guests can simply choose a space that suits their needs and let Saskia take care of all the nitty gritty.
And, the brand new kitchen? It’s headed up by Brad Sloan, an award-winning British-Italian-come-Australian chef who knows a thing or two about what unities to make modern Australian cuisine as unique and diverse as it is today.
The menu is now a celebration of multicultural Australia, with a focus on local seasonal produce and the freshest, ethically sourced seafood. Dishes are best enjoyed shared, and accompanied by a glass of local wine. If sit-down dinners aren’t your thing, Social at Verandah serves an extensive snack menu with speciality gin and whiskey cocktail by actor, mixologist and Verandah Bar Manager, Cameron Pascoe. Martini with elderflower and agave, anyone?
Verandah Bar and Social will be celebrating the first Christmas in the new space this year, so expect beautiful feasting menus served on long share tables and breezy summer evening events on the Parisian style terrace.
Planning an event with Saskia and the team is a fun, collaborative process. Saskia thrives in a fast-paced, energetic environment where she is faced with new challenges every day. When asked about the best part of the job, she has difficulty deciding on just one, but notes “sharing enthusiasm for an event with the client and watching the experience come together after all the planning” as incredibly rewarding.
“I’m so excited about this transformed space and still get a bit of a kick every time a new client sees the venue for the first time.”
Verandah Bar and Social is a beautiful, flexible venue, fit for the most out-there event brief and Saskia is the kick-arse event planner keeping the cogs in motion at this stylish Sydney space.