A hip hotel on the NSW mid-north coast livens up the sleepy town of Old Bar where Dan Down finds his inner music fan.
What does it mean to be a ‘music fan?’ People who, like myself, don’t go to many gigs often say, “Oh, I’m not really a music fan”. Nonsense! Everyone loves music; you’d have to be a complete psychopath not to get some emotional response from it.
Boogie Woogie Beach House (yes, that is its real name) could be described as a must for music fans, but that would be doing it a disservice.
As I found during my weekend here, it’s a perfect spot for anyone who wants to have a good time and relax, and maybe, God forbid, even listen to a record or two.
Located in the sleepy coastal town of Old Bar, Boogie Woogie is a renovated period property a short walk to the beach. But with its Flow Bar, it’s also a great al fresco restaurant and a very good concert space.
Themed and built around music, it has just five bespoke rooms (four more are planned) styled to celebrate various legends.
There’s ‘The Cave’ for fans of the Bad Seeds, the ‘Louis’ if you love sax, ‘Mix Tape’ for cassette nostalgics and the ‘Ziggy Suite’ (which we would’ve loved, having just re-educated ourselves on Bowie’s masterworks).
Instead, we’re in the ‘Grohl’, which brought memories of my skateboarding days flooding back, and it wasn’t long before we had Foo Fighters blasting out in the room.
But it’s the opposite of grungy here. The rooms are light, airy and contemporary with industrial-style fittings countered with natural textures.
While it’s not for everyone, the theme is carried with aplomb: a colourful mosaic portrait of Dave Grohl fills a wall of the walk-in shower, we have screaming Grohl pillows and Foo Fighters mugs, and the side-table is a drum kit.
But the pièce de résistance is the record player on which to play a selection of LPs found on a wall-mounted library in the corridor outside.
The suite’s double doors open out onto a verandah overlooking the restaurant. It’s a warm evening and guests are mingling with locals in what could be a scene from The Endless Summer.
A palm-covered stage area completes the scene as singer Jasmine Beth positions herself in front of the mic.
As night falls, we get merry on cocktails while listening to Beth’s folk-blues. This is what Boogie Woogie Beach House is all about: a place where you can sit at the bar until it closes and not have to worry about getting a taxi.
The following morning, we enjoy a cooked breakfast and coffee served by one of the owners, a proficient barista and Brisbane escapee.
Many guests stop off here on a drive between Sydney and Brisbane, but Old Bar has become a destination in its own right.
The weekend we visit it’s the annual Ocean Rhythms festival and we spend the day with locals being entertained by the country’s best up-and-coming bands, before headline act Christine Anu signs it all off with gusto.
I leave Old Bar entertaining thoughts of purchasing a record player. Perhaps that means I’m a music fan after all?
The Details: Boogie Woogie Beach House
Where: 31 David St, Old Bar, NSW, boogiewoogiebeachhouse.com.au
Verdict: A perfect pit-stop or weekend getaway for a night or two to unwind, hit the beach, and enjoy top acts performing. The bespoke rooms give the place real character.
We rated: The Flow Bar dining and drinking space is the Holy Grail of excellent service and fine food in a relaxed, beach-side setting. Oh, and some of the best up-and-coming artists in the country play here every
We’d change: There’s nothing we’d really change – we had a great time. But don’t come here looking to hit the sack at 8pm on a Friday night. It’s a place to have a few drinks and let your hair down. Old Bar is also a fairly sleepy town, so don’t expect an overabundance of cafes, bars or restaurants.
Notes: We paid $190 for the ‘Grohl’ room with breakfast for two.