Canberra: Friday Night Drinks at OPH

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It's almost summer and that means you probably want to drink while the sun shines on your face. I know I do. So I was stoked when I was invited by Restaurant Associates to check out Friday Night Drinks at Old Parliament House! The last time I was at OPH for after work drinks was back in 2008! I was keen to see what had changed.

OPH is a beautiful outdoor venue in Canberra, perfect for slinging back some cold beers in the sun or sipping cocktails under a shady tree.

Enter the House of Representatives courtyard via the rear entrance of OPH. Live music was playing when we arrived and it felt like we had wandered into a summer garden party.

Seating is a mix of outdoor lounge chairs, long couches and bean bags. If you don't feel confident juggling the food and drinks on your lap, there are also tables to sit at - which is exactly what we did.

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The house cocktail ($8) was the Orange Whisper on the day I visited. A fruity delight, it was the perfect way to kick off the evening and dangerously easy to drink. When I returned much later in the evening for a second round of cocktails, I discovered that it had been so popular that they had sold out!

You can get food from the mobile food carts and the menu changes weekly. I tried three dishes, which were available for $6 each.

  • Honey and soy chicken skewers with rice and beansprout salad
  • Bratwurst hotdog with bacon bits, cheese, gherkin, sauerkraut and a huge range of sauces (completely customisable)
  • Quinoa salad with cashews, a yoghurt dressing, baby spinach and beansprouts
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A table tennis table (of sorts) provides some fun entertainment and perhaps a good way to work off the calories gained from the food and beverages.

I would highly recommend unwinding from a long work week with a cocktail and snacks in this elegant garden setting.

So, not a whole lot has changed since 2008. It still has a great atmosphere, a good range of food and drinks and good tunes. Why change a formula that works?

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The Low-down on OPH Friday Night Drinks Cuisine: Modern Australian Best for: After work drinks with colleagues or friends Best part: Great atmosphere and wide range of seating options Worst part: If you are a regular table tennis player, you may be disappointed to know that the table isn't a standard table tennis table Must order: House cocktail

Where: 18 King Edward Terrace, Parkes, Canberra When: 4.30 pm till late, every Friday

*All food and drinks were kindly provided by Restaurant Associates during my visit to OPH.

If you'd like other ideas for drinking venues, why not check out my post on Where to go for Friday night drinks?

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