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Pub fare is scaling new heights at the Lord Nelson Brasserie, an ominous sandstone structure steeped in history and tucked away in The Rocks. The historic building stands guard on a corner just a short stroll up Argyle Street, veering from the bustle of The Rocks' pub district. Follow the narrow stairs up to the first floor where you'll find an elegant restaurant dotted with wooden kegs and jolly diners. Tea-light candles flicker on the convict-quarried sandstone blocks, adding to the ambience and rich sense of times past. Secure a table near the large windows which offer views of the street and historic buildings below.
The Lord Nelson may be one of the oldest pubs in Sydney, but the brasserie menu certainly takes pub grub up a notch. Chefs Hari and Lama serve up a short but satisfying list of meals, such as the popular steamed crab, prawn and seafood Nepalese dumplings. For a hearty feast try the spiked beef shin and mushroom pie with parsley mash or the char-grilled, grass-fed Tasmanian scotch fillet with cafe de Paris butter, pomme frites and garlic wilted spinach. As you'd expect from Sydney's oldest continually licensed hotel, the liquid food section of the menu will leave you spoilt for choice. The award-winning wine list offers a quality range of vintage drops and magnum choices, but no visit to the Lord Nelson is made absolute without a swig of the pub's very own brew. After your meal, head downstairs to the buzzing bar, complete with hanging kegs and scuffed wooden floor, and enjoy a drink in the jovial atmosphere.