The Retreat Hotel (Abbotsford)
Here's a fun fact: the long-running TV drama The Sullivans was filmed at The Retreat Hotel. Screening between 1976 and 1983, the show portrayed typical Melbourne life during World War Two. For the most part that involved standing around a pub and talking in a pseudo British accent. Although it's been over 25 years since the show finished filming, the Retreat retains its famous charm and still attracts the lion's share of nostalgic visits from fans. Melbourne may be full of old pubs, but the Retreat really ups the ante. Comprised of a front bar, dining area and function room, the venue embraces the retro, throwback aspect of pub culture with vigour. We're talking timber panelling, authentic tiling and polished brass throughout. A proper, old-man pub aesthetic. That said, you'll find a broad mix of people ordering beers at the bar. While there actually are old men in Stetson hats, there's also a younger 20-something audience who appreciate the dinner specials and the authentic decor. Besides, beer is a universal language and the Retreat offers a good selection of local and imported options alongside a quality wine list. Basically, if you're after some old-fashioned pub ambience it's hard to beat.