Basement venues are really having a moment in Sydney. The latest subterranean spot to add to your hit list is hidden in the heart of Manly: The Cumberland is a brand new speakeasy with a Spanish twist. Inspired by the prohibition era, this drinking den can only be accessed through an inconspicuous antique fridge door, tucked into the back wall of a Mediterranean-style deli and charcuterie store called "Cove Deli".
The deli isn't just a front—you'll find actual cured meats and cheese to shop here—but the real action is beyond the wooden fridge door. Descend a stone spiral staircase and you'll feel you've stepped into a bygone era. The Cumberland features ornate vintage furnishings, marble benchtops, candlelight, brass accents and a huge, handmade caramel-coloured banquette that wraps around one side of the room.
Expect a dedicated menu to all things whisky, including an extensive line-up of over 250 whiskies that span the globe. On top of this, there’s a collection of signature cocktail offerings inspired by the classics and local botanicals. We're very into the locally sourced "Lilly Pilly Sour", the classic Sazerac and a "Bathurst", garnished with "gold rush" dust.
On the vino front, you’re in for a range of boutique and organic wines from growers across Australia and some local and European craft beers.
When you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s a custom dumbwaiter delivering boards of Spanish-cured meats and cheese, slow-cooked pork rillettes, baked camembert and gooey raclette.
Image credit: Dan Gosse.