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Hennessy unveils revamped alfresco terrace

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The Mayfair Hotel’s rooftop bar, Hennessy, has upgraded its terrace overlooking the city so it can accommodate guests rain, hail or shine.

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The newly revamped terrace opens to the public this weekend.

The space was launched as Hennessy in December 2015, taking its name from the original architects of the Colonial Mutual Life building, Hennessy & Hennessy.

“We came on board in August of 2015 and sat with the owners and decided it was such a beautiful space, it was destined to be an executive guest lounge, where people would come and hang out during the day and evening,” Mayfair Hotel general manager Martin Radcliffe says.

“It was too good not open up to people, and I thought it would be really nice position for the hotel, and something extra for the city, and that’s why we decided to make it a bar.”

Hennessy proved popular, but the wooden deck did not quite live up to the chandeliers and crystal wine glasses within the bar, and its two umbrellas offered little respite from the elements.

To address this, the deck has been replaced with tiles featuring under-floor heating, a glass structure has been built to protect customers from both rain and sun, and new furniture has been added to better suit the dynamic nature of a bar crowd.

“We wanted to create a bit more of a party out here, as such, and a party that could be used if we had a particular requirement, like a birthday celebration or something like that,” Radcliffe says.

“We didn’t want to take away the fact that it is a rooftop and just enclose it, but I think this gives the best of both worlds. It feels open, but at night time, we’ve tested it with a few private functions up here, [and] it warms up quite nicely.”

From the terrace, guests are presented with a bird’s eye view of Rundle Mall and much of the city below, but the heritage of the building is just as much on show, the terracotta tiles contrasting against the glass-tiled high table.

“The architect that we worked with had to be very careful that they understood the building and what we’re all about, and how the whole hotel has blended in. This strong, black structure fits in quite nicely with the rest of the building,” Radcliffe says.

The offering of Hennessy has changed over time as well.

“We added a food menu up here,” Radcliffe says.

“It’s food that’s high quality but convenient. We’ve had a few little twists… we do a pie floater up here, we do some Asian food, pork buns, steamed baos, things like that, charcuterie boards, fondue. It’s conducive to a group of people and sharing.

“That means people can hang out here a little bit longer and have different things, and we’ve just got better at entertaining people for longer periods.”

Hennessy is celebrating the launch of the terrace renovations today (Friday) from 3pm. The bar is open to hotel guests and the public from 4pm till midnight Monday to Thursday, from 3pm till 2am Friday, 4pm till 2am Saturday, and 2pm till 10pm Sunday.

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