Neutral Bay is definitely a suburb on the rise, which is where I found myself one early evening at The White Hart; a British styled drinking house which was surprisingly busy for an early-in-the-week weeknight.
|Summer Garden Martini at The White Hart, Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay|
The props were admittedly adorable: the tiny shovel, rake, pot plant and dry ice filled watering can. I was to distribute the dry ice around my astroturf grass while regularly spritzing with a grass-scented spray as I drank. Post drink, there was an iPod tune to listen to, to really get into the whole summer garden scene.
|Martini from the summer garden|
The featured martini was essentially the UK Martini on the normal menu: Plymouth gin, fresh cucumber, elderflower cordial and apple juice - far from classic but very easy to drink. While spritzing grass frangrance, of course.
|Absinthe snakes in edible soil|
The rake came in very handy for afterwards, cleaning out the "soil" from the strands of grass. There was something a little zen garden about it all, as well as childhood playtime and ridiculous novelty, recommended only for those that have a good relationship with the playful child within.
|Popcorn with parmesan salt|
|Peppered smoked daiquiri|
House cedar-smoked rum was the featured booze, shaken with peppercorn syrup and citrus for a very innovative take on the classic daiquiri. The spicy overtones of pepper might be a bit much for some, but I found this cocktail delighful.
There was definitely a noticeable honey flavour beneath the slightly citrusy alcoholic kick, although I probably wouldn't order it again. The trouble was that served in a beer stein-like vessel, I found I was drinking it more like an ale rather than the wine it was.
|White Hart Bloody Mary|
|Sweet potato chips with aioli|
While there is the option of proper meals in The White Hart restaurant, we took our leave before the mead kicked in too much and threatened drinkers with falling off the bar stools.
As a drinking hole for the locals, I can definitely see the appeal of The White Hart while for Bridge-crossers, the rather unique novelty of some of the drinks is well worth the Bridge toll at least once.