Quietly residing in the CBD of Orange, the small but homely bar Washington & Co. brings you an array of different whiskeys from around the world as well as a variety of interesting drinks and cocktails. The bar gives you a feeling of the city nightlife while also remaining intimate with dimmed moody lighting and a relaxed cozy décor.
Owner and manager Scott Mileto has brought to Orange a fun and energising spot for locals and tourists to chill out and enjoy a good time. Behind the bar helping Scott keep the drinks flowing is Orange’s bubbly and wacky chick Lily Hahn-Stevens. She is definitely a jack-of-all-trades! As well as a bartender she is a qualified chef, artist and cake maker extraordinaire.
Lily has amazing taste in fashion and the coolest dipped coloured hair (which changes on a regular basis). Lily brings a smile to your face when you see her and originality to our city of Orange, we are lucky to have her around! I had the pleasure of chatting to Lily about her busy lifestyle and how she handles work, leisure and exploring her creative talents.
The new bar has such a fun atmosphere, apart from that, what do you think it is that draws people to the Washington and Co?
I think Washington & Co. is a great place to catch up with friends or meet new ones. It’s a relaxed place that doesn’t take itself too seriously, also I think people like that it can cater to all tastes of what they like to drink, from whisky and cocktails to wine and the humble VB.
What makes it different to any other bar in Orange?
It’s quite a small bar, which is unique in Orange when most bars here are bigger to accommodate more people. So you get a nice sense of intimacy if you’re having a night cap with your loved one. But when it gets busy, it gets packed and a bit squishy, but I think that adds to the appeal. People love congregating to a buzzing place where they can hang out and be seen and you can really feel the great energy pumping from the place.
You have created a signature cocktail, The Lilypilly, which by the way is delicious! How did you come up with the mix?
Yes, thank you. Well the Lilypilly is spin off the classic Daiquiri, with a pinch of mint and a dash of passion fruit. It’s very refreshing and zingy! I made it one day for Scott when he had his first day off since opening the bar last year, he liked it and decided to put it on the menu. It’s a bit of a crowd favourite, even when the cocktail menu changes with the seasons of fruits, the Lilypilly stays.
The exuberant Scott Mileto runs the Washington and Co. Is it fun working with such a young and vibrant team?
Lily shakes up her signature cocktail the ‘Lilypilly’ in The Fifth Label’s In Theory Top .
Not only do you work as a bartender at the Washington & Co., you’re also a chef, an artist and make the most amazing cakes I’ve ever seen. What’s your favourite cake you’ve made to date?
Yes I wear a lot of hats.. I love having many hobbies, it keeps me interested and above all, busy. Gosh my favourite cake? Wow that’s so hard, they are all so different. I love them all! I guess whatever cake I’m making now is my favourite. But if I had to choose one, it would be the one I made for my mum’s 70th birthday last year. It was a mix of layered coconut and chocolate mud cakes, with vanilla and strawberry, coconut, chocolate cream cheese filling and was decorated with her favourite chocolates (bounty, cherry ripe, and the coconut Ferrero Rochers). It was great because I got to eat it, and share it with my family that all live far away up north.
When you have a free day away from the bar and kitchen, where would we find you (in a total non stalker kind of way)?
Resting, walking our dog Panda, hanging out with Sam and going to his family’s farm. Or taking a trip to the city and other towns eating out at new restaurants plus our favourite ones. Or out and about in Orange visiting the wineries picking up wine for dinner and catching up with friends.
Who inspires you?
Wow great question! So many people! It’s hard to choose just one. There are many artists, musicians, story tellers, and generally anybody that makes a TedX talk that I look up to for inspiration. But I’m more inspired by everyday people that I come into contact with around our humble town of Orange. They all have a story to tell, a hidden talent, or just really kick butt at what they do in life. Which is really cool, it drives me to want to work hard and and kick butt too!
How would you describe your personal style?
A confused pattern on pattern, colour explosion that miraculously works. My mum is the one who gave me a head start to my crazy style. She’s a seamstress and makes amazing clothes, but she also opened up an op shop when I was younger. So I really got spoiled for choice of amazing vintage jackets and dresses. It was like playing dress ups every day. I’m really drawn to colourful patterns, accessories, interesting textures, and sparkly things!
Lily wears May The Label Mia Top & Madeline Young Tassel Necklace.
What’s your favourite label at Belle Armoire?
Shilla The Label. Their dresses are very flattering and they wear like they’ve been tailor made for you.