Called to the Bar : Olive this bar

Can it be that after only a few Calls to the Bar that I have stumbled across the best small wine bar ever? That is a big claim, and who can say that on any other night Bar Lafayette may have not been that wonderful, but even on a bad night I dare say this place has got a lot going for it.

Tuesday 16 July was wet and wintry so there were not many out and about and even fewer willing to make the trip to this place hidden in Brookfield Place. Yet the grimness outside was not continued within.

Does no-one bring the chairs in when it rains?
One of the two serving barmen greeted me as soon as I entered. He proceeded to offer me either a spot at the bar or to locate a spot somewhere within to take advantage of the table service. I have been going to a lot of small wine bars since their explosion in Perth but I can’t remember when I last got table service at one. Encouraged by the novelty of the situation I went looking for a table. I left the bar area and went down a corridor to the left that opened into a larger room with a selection of chairs and tables. Although it was a large room it felt more like cosy den.

Cosy din looking in

Cosy den looking out
I chose a small lamp lit table as I knew that not many could make it tonight. Here I started studying the rather large menu and waiting for my drinking companions.

Not even halfway through this menu; I think I need a drink to keep going
It was hard going trying to decide what to get as the choice of drinks is extensive. The food list is less so and it was made even easier by my predilection for always ordering olives. So cider and olives it was and I didn’t have to go to the bar to place my order. Someone came to me and then came back with my drink and olives. I guess it really doesn’t take much to make me happy, but let’s keep that between ourselves. So far this night out had everything going for it. The vibe and the service were fantastic. Could the olives maintain the high standard? I am happy to say they did. The olives were fantastic. The olives came in a variety of sizes, big, small and in between, plus there was both black and green. What’s more, there was plenty of them. Oh, and not only did they come with toothpicks, and a bowl for the pips but even a fork.

The new gold standard by which all other servings of olives will be judged
The only other law librarian willing to brave the wet weather was M from UWA; her husband too heard the call and arrived soon after. I guess they have seen deep snow in Canada so really, a little bit of Perth rain is nothing to overcome. They too both loved the atmosphere and the set up of Bar Lafeyette. However, the size of the drinks list can be daunting and they found themselves looking for a long time trying to pick. Still, we were all comfortable while we tried to decide. So we just drank in the atmosphere until our real drinks arrived.

On the way home, having finally managed to tear myself away, I got the extra bonus of seeing the Winter Art Festival Light Show along St George’s Tce. Great way to top off a great night out.

If you would like to be included in the next Call to the Bar let me know.

Justin Booker


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