Time to dust off those champagne flutes and let the good times roll because the trusty bar cart is back in Australia’s spotlight, and it has never looked better.
A bar cart or trolley is a small table on wheels used to store and make drinks. It dates right back to the Victorian era when trolleys were used to deliver piping-hot tea to well-to-do ladies, and it continued in this very proper role right through to the end of the Prohibition era. At that point, it transformed from a humble tea trolley into the glamourous cocktail cart we know and love today.
Made using materials like solid wood with gold accents, these trolleys were historically associated with wealthy luxuries. In Australia today, though, there’s a cart out there for every home and any budget.
What’s in this article:
- What To Look For In A Drinks Trolley
- 14 Best Bar Carts And Drinks Trolleys In Australia
- Kian Replica Black Drinks Trolley, $399
- Bellwood Bar Serving Trolley, $449.95
- Alice Drinks Trolleys, $179.95
- Brooklyn Drinks Trolley, $1125
- Martini Drinks Trolley Cart, $169.95
- Coast Rattan Bar Cart, $432
- Cater Bar Cart, $499
- Picasso Bar Trolley, $3005
- Lyon Bar Trolley, $199
- Nickel Glass Bar Cart, $219
- Dominique Gold Drinks Trolley, $229
- Blu Dot Longday Cart, $1295
- Declan Gold Bar Cart, $2598
- Mid-Century Bar Cart, from $338.95
- How to style a bar cart like a pro
What To Look For In A Drinks Trolley
- Sturdy frame – When it comes to portable furniture, stability is a must. Read through reviews and chat with stores to ensure the cart has quality castors and a strong frame.
- Lockable wheels – This isn’t always essential, but it offers great peace of mind if you plan on taking your trolley outdoors or if you have kids in the house.
- Tempered glass – If you are looking for a bar trolley with glass shelves, ensure the glass is tempered, meaning it is much harder to break – but if it does, it will break shatter into smaller pieces rather than large shards.
- Space for everything – Keep in mind that your bar cart is not only for storing drinks but also for making them, so pick a size that leaves you with plenty of working room once it’s stocked.
- The right design for your room – A bar cart catches the eye, so you want it to work well with your interior theme. Look for compatible colours, materials and shapes to ensure it fits in perfectly.
14 Best Bar Carts And Drinks Trolleys In Australia
Whether you’re after something modern to park next to your wine fridge or a rustic beauty for a formal dining room, you’re in the right place. We’ve scoured Australia and served up the most beautiful bar trolleys for all kinds of homes. All that’s left now is to decide where you’ll put it!
Inspired by the Matégot Trolley of the 1950s, the Kian Bar Cart is built tough from steel and features two shelves and a storage sling. It’s a cinch to wipe down should there be the occasional spill and it comes with four sturdy casters for gliding all over the house. Choose from matte black, white or sage green.
The compact, minimalist design of the Bellwood makes it not only highly versatile but ideal for little nooks that need that special something. It uses premium steel, plywood and silicone to see you through years of entertaining and comes in a choice of white or black, both with contrasting handles.
Retro glamour meets modern affordability in these bar carts from Mocka – and we can’t choose between them! Each comes with a powder-coated metal frame, lockable wheels and two roomy shelves for stocking all of your favourites.
With a bold geometric frame, the Brooklyn is a great way to add texture and visual intrigue to your entertaining space. It comes in a choice of black or gold stainless steel and has lockable wheels and two shelves.
If you’d love to welcome a bar cart to your home but space is an issue, the Martini trolley is the answer. It comes in a choice of gold or black colour schemes, each equipped with two mirrored shelves, a tall frame and four castors. We’re loving this one paired up with an armchair and luxury blanket for a cosy corner!
From coastal Australian homes to traditional farmhouses, this rattan bar cart gives offers loads of convenience in a pared-back, earthy design. It comes expertly handwoven by artisans of their trade and features a sturdy handle, four castors and two basket-style shelves. Eco-friendly and fun – we love it!
Designed in Australia, the Cater Bar Cart is a truly multifunctional piece of Australian decor. Stock it with drinks for the occasional dinner party and use it for storing books and magazines at other times. It uses metal and MDF and comes in a choice of gingerbread and black.
Reminiscent of the good old horse and cart, the Picasso makes a playful and practical addition to your living room. The design combines burnished brass with natural rattan and Arabescato marble for a luxe touch. If you’re after one of Australia’s most unique bar carts, this is it!
Made with tough eucalyptus wood, the Lyon gives you three levels of storage in one compact design. And it’s not limited to indoor entertaining either – take it to the porch for afternoon bevvies, or pair it up with the matching extendable outdoor dining table for some alfresco fun.
Plated in black nickel, this sleek drinks companion is just the ticket for industrial interiors. Full handles make it easy to push from either side and the two shelves give you all the room you need for your cocktail accessories and glassware.
A twist on the classic circular design, the Dominique cocktail cart features a hanging wine glass rack for maximum convenience – and fewer trips to the kitchen! It has a matte-gold finish and comes with four tough castors and two shelves.
Built to last (and to show off!), the Longday Bar Cart moves between indoor and outdoor spaces like a pro. The powder-coated frame resists corrosion and the sustainable-sourced teak wheels and accents handle all kinds of climates. But the best bit? It comes with a built-in chopping board for preparing your garnishes!
Ok, it certainly doesn’t come cheap, but the Declan Bar Cart from Koala Living is definitely one of Australia’s most impressive. What looks like a single drinks trolley actually separates into three separate serving tables! Position each section wherever you like and at the end of your soirée, reconnect it into one compact unit. Now that’s clever.
We’re completely in love with this 1950s-inspired cart, and not just because of its good looks. It’s sustainably made in a Fair Trade facility using FSC-certified, kiln-dried wood and comes with two bronze castors and matching rails. Pair it up with a mid-century armchair and settle in for the afternoon.
How to style a bar cart like a pro
Styling a bar cart is easy, especially given the cart itself does most of the talking. But there are a few extra things to keep in mind when it comes to finishing touches.
- Stick with the interior theme of your room. For example, if your cart sits near your beautiful Hamptons-style kitchen, add some natural materials like rattan coasters or white cotton tea towels.
- Decorate with contrasting heights. Pair a tall vase or candle holder on the top shelf with something low, like a fruit bowl. This makes the cart look visually interesting.
- Work with the colour palette in the room. If you have a neutral backdrop, the drinks trolley is an opportunity to add some colour, perhaps with coloured glassware or flowers. But if there is already a lot of colour in the room, you might want to stick with clear glassware and neutral accessories to avoid colour clashes.
- You can’t go wrong with books and plants. Rather than cluttering your cart with glassware and bottles, balance it with coffee table books and a low-maintenance plant. (Pro tip: herbs look and smell great on a drinks cart!)
- Leave space for making drinks! Don’t forget, the purpose of a bar cart is to make and serve drinks, so don’t clutter your trolley and make it impossible to pour, mix and slice.
In Australia, a bar cart is also called a bar trolley, cocktail cart or drinks trolley, but all of these names refer to the same thing.
People usually put drinks like spirits, wine and champagne on their bar carts, as well as glassware, cocktail shakers, accessories and books. The idea is to have everything you need on hand for making drinks. But, given how versatile these trolleys are, many people also use them for tea and coffee accessories or for storing books, magazines and plants.
Yes, a bar cart is primarily for making drinks, whether it’s pouring wine or champagne or mixing up elaborate cocktails. With this in mind, ensure you have plenty of space for not only storing your essentials but also for mixing and pouring drinks.
Aside from your must-have spirits and mixers and glassware, don’t forget to add an ice bucket to your bar cart plus napkins, stirrers, tongs, a tea towel, and a mini chopping board for preparing lemons and limes!
A drinks trolley is best positioned within your entertaining area, whether it’s near the dining table or the sofa. The idea is for it to be easily accessible while you’re entertaining and to save you from making frequent trips to the kitchen.
Top image: Early Settler Dominique Drinks Trolley
We may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, please see our Terms & Conditions.
What’s a bar cart without an armchair? Take a peek at our favourite mid-century armchairs for cosy nooks and living spaces.