Sipping a cocktail while being serenaded with live music to a backdrop of ocean views is a very relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Add in an historic tour through Sydney’s old Quarantine Station, some snorkelling or a bush walk, and you have yourself the perfect day out.

The Boilerhouse is one of three eateries at Q Station, and the adventure starts when you arrive at the North Head entrance and take a complimentary shuttle down to the water through the old Quarantine grounds, set in Sydney Harbour National Park. Back in the 1800s, all ships with migrants suspected of disease had to pass through the station, and you can still see the old sanitation room used for disinfecting luggage.

The site has long been transformed into accommodation and eateries, with current operator, Australian hospitality giant Epochal Group, no stranger to the Beaches, as owner of venues including the Harbord Hotel.

One gorgeous Saturday I visited for lunch, seated out on the terrace which opens onto a grassed area with a ping pong table and other entertainment perfect for young and old. Many adults were seated on deckchairs on the lawn with a glass of wine in hand, listening to the female vocalist who was serenading us accompanied by her guitar. The beach is just a short walk, making it the perfect location for a post-lunch stroll.

The menu is very much focused on ‘sharing,’ says Q Station Hotel Operations Manager Arnaud Collet, with the baba ghanoush seasoned with a spiced passata certainly one to try – or a French-influenced beef tartare if you prefer. There are plenty of seafood options for mains, including sauteed mussels and swordfish with lemon myrtle, and vegan dishes like the portobello mushroom burger. The pulled pork burger is a local favourite, teed with gorgeous crunchy chips.

In terms of drinks, Arnaud says the signature cocktails are quite unique and local suppliers like Manly Spirits provide premium quality tipple for concoctions like the Watermelon Sour (gin) and Very Berry (vodka).

Heaters, a fire pit and blankets are there for those who want some cosiness in the cooler months.

If you love truffles, Views Restaurant has a whole month of dinner specials featuring this delicacy.

The Boilerhouse is currently offering a great value $89 bottomless lunch including alcohol on Sundays – with no surcharge! Experience a lovely meal while learning about Sydney’s fascinating history.

Boilerhouse Kitchen and Bar Q Station, Manly
9466 1500