Photo: Wat Lanka, Phnom Penh.

Mansion Heritage Bar

A taste of history

#3 Sothearos Boulevard, Phnom Penh
T: (023) 724 014 
linda@fcchotels.com
http://fcccambodia.com/

Mansion Heritage Bar

One of the joys of visiting Cambodia is the surprising array of architectural styles. Once you’ve explored the well-maintained delights of Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace and National Museum, we recommend popping over to The Mansion to experience the bohemian ambiance of a more au naturel building over a glass of something chilled.

Sitting pretty.

Sitting pretty.

The Mansion Heritage Bar is housed in a turn-of-the-century villa, built in 1910 by a rich Cambodian trader. The colonial yellow walls, chipped stucco, cornices and wooden shutters evoke a past era when construction didn’t equal concrete. Its history is chequered, with a spell as Vietnamese army accommodation following the fall of the Khmer Rouge, and as home to the Municipal Police Office for 11 years. Since 2009, it’s been owned by the FCC group, but was underused as an occasional venue for art installations and expat parties.

Now it’s been opened up as Phnom Penh’s most unique bar, with comfy retro leather armchairs dotted around the courtyard, ideally placed to admire the crumbling architecture. There’s also some seating inside amid the bullet-pocked plaster, surrounded by local artworks to brighten the walls. After dark, strung white bulbs and red spotlights add to the drama.

A novel place to neck a beer.

A novel place to neck a beer.

It’s a novel place to enjoy a happy hour drink; pastis and Pimm’s both feature on the menu, along with monthly cocktail suggestions such as The Passionate Englishman (gin, passionfruit, vanilla and apple syrup and lime). The ambiance doesn’t come cheap — softies are $2.25 and cocktails come in at around $5– but the buy-one-get-one-free happy hour from 17:00 to 19:00 is amply affordable.

Period costume optional.

Period costume optional.

The Mansion is on a quiet strip of road opposite the National Museum and behind the FCC, a relief from the often hectic riverside bars. They host some big live events here, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for details. They make for a very cool night out. They also hold film screenings on Mondays and live music on Wednesdays.

If a passion for the past is encouraging you to explore further, check out the area around the Post Office Square for some other fine examples of colonial charm, or grab a snack at Norodom Boulevard’s street food restaurant in the courtyard of another old villa. Further afield, Kep and Bokor Mountain deliver more derelict delights and ruined relics.


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Mansion Heritage Bar
#3 Sothearos Boulevard, Phnom Penh
Daily from 16:00
T: (023) 724 014 
linda@fcchotels.com
http://fcccambodia.com/

Location map for Mansion Heritage Bar