Tucked away in a bustling suburban strip in Nedlands, just 10-15 minutes out of the city, you’ll find the Hampden Hotel—an unpretentious, contemporary neighbourhood pub on a mission to bring back the local. And trust us, after one visit you’ll wish this was your local.
The old building has been beautifully renovated and has a chic coastal vibe that perfectly reflects the local community which is nestled between the riverfront, the beach and the city. Expect crisp white walls, warm timber floors, loads of natural light, sleek black furnishings, stunning high ceilings, and pops of lush greenery. Diners can choose whether to get cosy in the intimate dining hall, find a spot in the decked area outside under festoon lighting, or grab a seat by the window in the loft area upstairs and watch the world go by.
No matter where you sit, you’ll be running to the bar pretty quickly. The drinks list has an incredible selection of cocktails, all of which are surprisingly affordable—we’re talking under $20 a pop—so you can enjoy more than one. We couldn’t leave without trying one of their signature DesPasitos; a delicious pineapple cocktail topped with a pretty flower garnish—it’s basically summer in a glass and goes down very easy. If you’re chasing something more classic, though, they do a damn fine tommy margarita too. Of course, if cocktails aren’t your thing, the wine and beer offering will not disappoint.
The crowd-pleasing food menu provides plenty of drink-friendly nibbles perfect for grazing on over a few post-work drinks as well as larger pub-style meals—think parmies, steaks, fish and chips, and burgers—if you’re after something a little more filling. We decided to go down the grazing route and ordered some popcorn cauliflower bites which were to die for (and also gluten free), some incredibly moist and delicious yakitori chicken skewers, and a light and delicate plate of beetroot gin-cured salmon. Each one was a real winner but what really blew us away aside from the quality, was the generous serving size. Rest assured you definitely won’t leave hungry.
As you’d expect from a good local, the Hampden Hotel runs regular events including a Thursday quiz night, Friday tacos and taps, and weekend bottomless lunches, which for just $60 seems far too good to be true. We suggest you keep an eye out on their social media to be the first to hear what’s coming up.
Out the front of the Hotel you’ll find there’s also a little hole-in-the-wall cafe which opens up early to help the nearby hospital workers and university students refuel on coffee and takeaway bites. Hot tip, they’ve just started selling flowers here too so it’s a great spot to stop by if you're visiting someone in hospital.
The Hampden Hotel may have slipped under our radar when they first opened up before the world was struck by the pandemic, but it’s definitely caught our attention now. Friendly and inviting, with a no-fuss menu and top-notch service that makes you feel right at home, it’s the kind of place you can come back to again and again.
When you're done, why not kick on to Pep's Wine Bar in Peppermint Grove, it's only ten minutes away.
Image credit: Elle Borgward