A COOL PLACE BAR NONE
WITH ITS UNIQUE COURTYARD SETTING, CREATIVE DRINKS LIST AND SCRUMPTIOUS GRAZING BOARDS, THE CONSERVATORY BAR ATTRACTS A CROWD, WHATEVER THE OCCASION
It had been a long week and a particularly tough Friday. The kind that will have you either holed up and hibernating until rough seas subside, or going out on the tiles. Just a dash too tired for painting the town a vivid shade of red, we’re trying for an understated warm pink, or perhaps a mature maroon, all things considered.
In any case we want a drink and a damn good one. Oh, and better throw some decent nosh in with that.
One spot you are guaranteed of both, plus the bonus of a cosy, jovial atmosphere is The Conservatory Bar.
Moments after settling into our table for two in a darkened nook along the outdoor pathway, a cool glass of Pewsey Vale Riesling in hand, some laid-back groove playing in the background, the intermittent unobtrusive hoot of laughter from inside and all the tension from the day is replaced with utter satisfaction.
Then, just as life couldn’t get much better, along comes our grazing board.
We have selected buffalo feta marinated in garlic and olive oil, black truffle salami and grilled roasted vegetables.
It’s assembled on a wooden board with crusty baguette, grissini, crackers, olives and nuts, along with fresh and dried fruits. Just what the psychiatrist ordered! Unsure of what we’d be in for, we had agreed to stopping off on the way home for a quick bite if we were hungry.
No need, this tapas feast is plenty for two people to while away a few hours exploring the far-reaching wine list.
We shuttle across to South Africa for a lively Good Hope chenin blanc and back to WA for a glass of aromatic West Cape Hope tempranillo, all the while relaxing further into the amiable vibe.
This is a setting which works in various ways. It could just as easily make for the perfect romantic interlude as it could a riotous gettogether. There are enough quiet candlelit corners for conversations, yet the interior takes on a jolly dinner party ambience. Live musicians are booked from time to time, but it’s just as ebullient without.
On the cusp of changing hands, we are told by one of the current owners, the new boss in their employ, doesn’t intend changing much with their winning formula.
Verdict: Adults’ favourite.