We’re gonna try and get through this review without using the words ‘opulence’, ‘old-world’ or ‘glamour’. But it won’t be easy. Trinket, the CBD’s swanky new cocktail bar, hits that note from the get-go.
You’ll find Trinket tucked inside the old Terra Rossa building on Flinders Lane. From the street it’s a simple, multi-storey brick façade—not uncommon in this part of the city. Inside it’s like a cross between The Great Gatsby and Eyes Wide Shut.
But the entrance...man the entrance is cool.
So you push open the street doors and you're confronted with a giant 7-foot music box doll. Like a frozen, gothic ballerina. This is 'Gem', Trinket's unofficial mascot, and probably quite terrifying after a few cocktails. Turn a special key in Gem's base and a secret door will open. Congrats, you just found Trinket.
The fit-out in here is a stunner. Exposed red brick, emerald suede chairs, glitzy chandeliers and Art Deco tile-work. There’s a roaring fireplace and back-lit cabinets on the walls, stocked with old phones, books, vases, whisky bottles and other stuff from the Cluedo mansion. Expensive people lounge around sipping cocktails and having high-class affairs. It’s all a bit overwhelming.
Keep walking along the ground-floor space and you’ll get to the main bar. This is Trinket’s nerve centre—you can get house cordials like Blackberry & Basil or Raspberry & Mint, swizzled with boutique gin, bourbon or brandy. There’s a ‘Twisted Cocktail’ list, designed by head barmen (and GM) Ben Hehir, plus some classic mixes to go with the old-school vibe.
Our picks are definitely the Jack Rose (the perfect fruity nightcap of Applejack, lime juice and house grenadine), the Dark Lady (a sultry Sipsmith gin blend, shaken with beetroot, raspberry, Dry Madeira and lemon) and the Sherry Cobbler (given a boozy punch with pineapple, lemon & almond syrup and a spray of absinthe).
The food is designed to match the cocktails, not the other way around. Head chef Telina Menzies has built a menu around Euro-style nibbles (titled “odds and ends”) and 72-hour fermented flatbreads “topped with premium bits and bobs”. The smoky eggplant flatbread is a deadset winner, topped with pickled zucchini and blackened peppers, and you can’t leave without a plate of the triple cheese cigars with smoked ash aioli.
We’ve saved the best for last, because Trinket has one more secret. A hidden cocktail bar, inside a closet and down some stairs. Literally, you open a wardrobe, like something out of Narnia, push past some coats and—voila. A secret staircase leading down to the lower levels. The Eyes Wide Shut vibes get stronger down here...it’s all blue velvet furniture and heavy drapes, flickering candlelight and brassy metalwork. An awesome speakeasy cocktail lounge.
Next date night, put this place on the hit list. You won’t be disappointed.
Image credit: Griffin Simm