The Cat and
Whether you’re a couple, family or business traveller, you’ll feel right at home with a stay at Cat & Fiddle’s Bed and Breakfast … and that’s exactly how we want it! The charming accommodation is one of the most popular options in Balmain, striking the perfect balance between budget and boutique.
Rita’s Bar & Kitchen
An innovative and continually evolving approach to hotel dining is an ode to its own visionary origins. The restaurant is named after the Cat’s one-time licensee/owner, and much-loved local community member, who in 1976 decided to rebrand the establishment known as The Star to its present title.
Much like the popular nursery rhyme that lends itself to the hotel’s name, you’re certain to stumble across a few surprises at the Cat & Fiddle Balmain.
And while “Cows Jumping Over Moons” may not be one of them, the Cat, offers something even better … good friends, great music and an amazing atmosphere – always accompanied by friendly welcoming staff, keen to make you feel like a local.
Located less than six kilometres from the Sydney CBD and primely positioned on a corner of Balmain’s celebrated Darling Street, the historical, brick, two-storey hotel is not unlike its nine-lives feline namesake – undergoing numerous facelifts that have revamped it, refurbished it and ultimately resurrected it into one of the suburb’s premium gastro-pubs.
Initially, established in 1930 as the Star Hotel (making it the second last one to be built in Balmain), the Cat & Fiddle Hotel went on to become a neighbourhood icon in the ‘80s and ‘90s as one of the few live music venues in Sydney – with bands such as The Whitlams, The Waifs and Leonardo’s Bride kicking off their careers there.
After almost a century, it has reclaimed its crown as the king of the inner-west pub jungle, owing to a recent renovation led by veteran hotelier Richard Wynne. The modern set-up includes plush interiors, upgraded air conditioning and a new gaming room. As well as a light-filled, leafy back bar where tables sit under hanging green ferns and a ceiling of sophisticated skylights. (And where dogs, ironically, remain very welcome!)
Today, those thirsty for a luxurious drinking experience with a local touch will undoubtedly find it at the Cat & Fiddle. Open for both an afternoon aperitif or spirit-filled sunset, the hotel’s world-class bar offers a spectacular selection of quality Australian drops (including classic, icy-cold Lion beers on tap) as well as international, award-winning liqueurs and a wine-list carefully hand-selected by a leading sommelier.
Similarly, patrons hungry for a memorable dining destination will definitely not be disappointed, with both the bar and the hotel’s chic in-house restaurant offering a range of options. From upgraded pub grub (a wood-fired pizza oven is the star of the show) at lunch, to the fine trattoria-style Mediterranean menu of Rita’s for dinner (brought to life by innovative chefs Arkin Barretto and Emanuele Piano), the only thing you’ll be hungry for is the opportunity to repeat your Cat & Fiddle experience sooner rather than later!
Great friends, food and live music
Drinking and dining done, the hotel offers an ever-evolving entertainment roster every evening of the week – with everything from trivia nights to live performances taking the stage.
Paying homage to its Victorian building heritage, while honouring its vision of exclusive boutique service, the Cat & Fiddle also delivers on excellent accommodation options through a number of beautifully appointed Bed & Breakfast services.
Ultimately, whether you opt to sip, sup or sleep there, a stay at the independently owned and operated Cat & Fiddle Hotel offers a truly unique opportunity to lose yourself amongst Balmain’s inimitable charm and discover why this purr-fect inner west institution really is #notjustanypub.
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