From heritage lodges to ultra-modern garden gazebos and container bars, Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens has it all.
Rathborne Lodge is a beautifully restored sandstone building in a lush, tropical garden setting. Originally built in 1856 as a residence for the Governor’s gardener, the Lodge has since become an exclusive meeting and conference venue, conveniently located in the heart of Sydney.
The lowdown: Capacity for 50 people cocktail-style or 20 people in the boardroom. With direct access from Mrs. Macquarie’s Road, Rathborne Lodge is a short stroll through Woolloomooloo Gate. The space is best suited to business meetings, cocktail events team building workshop or conferences, and boardroom meetings can utilise the outdoor terrace for post-conference drinks.
Built in 1865 for 476 pounds, Victoria Lodge recently underwent a $700,000 restoration. With phase one of its rectification works complete, it’s now time to reimagine this building for the future and introduce corporate clients to this historic building for cocktail events or intimate boardroom meetings.
The lowdown: Capacity for 50 people cocktail-style or 12 – 14 people in the boardroom. Victoria Lodge offers indoor and outdoor options with the use of its open-air terrace. Historic and intimate, this former private residence overlooks Busby’s Bar and Palm Cove.
Busby’s Bar is a pop-up container bar on the harbour foreshore with views over Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.
Busby’s Bar @ Victoria Lodge is named after James Busby who collected vine cuttings from Europe, which were planted in the Garden in 1833, and used to establish Tyrrell’s Wines in the Hunter Valley in 1858. Many of the vines he planted were from cuttings propagated from the ‘Busby collection’.
Offering coffee and pastries in the morning, or from midday, Bombay Sapphire botanical infused cocktails, tap beers, special Tyrrell’s Wines Royal Botanic Garden’s 200th Birthday wine, charcuterie, picnic boxes and other sweet and savoury small bar bites.
The lowdown: Capacity for 50 people cocktail-stye (with Victoria Lodge as a wet weather back-up) in a lawn setting with deck chairs overlooking Palm Cove. The lawn area or terrace can be used for client cocktail events or staff celebrations.
The Calyx (pron. kal-iks) showcases themed exhibitions that change throughout the year and incorporate a fusion of art, theatre and flora. The Calyx has the southern hemisphere’s largest green wall, featuring over 18,000 plants arranged into a living artwork.
The lowdown: Capacity for up to 160 guests sit-down and 400 people cocktail-style. The venue is divided into four separate event spaces including The Foyer, the Function Space, the Exhibition Area and the partially covered and open-air Iris Terrace.
The Botanic Gardens Restaurant
The Botanic Gardens Restaurant offers open-air dining in exquisite garden surrounds. The original 19th Century facade is paired with a sleek modern interior, wide wisteria-draped verandahs and spectacular leafy and harbour views.
The lowdown: Capacity for up to 250 people cocktail-style and 140 seated, the Botanic Gardens Restaurant can accommodate almost any style of event.
For more information about any of these venues, click here.