Ok, ok, I can see Riotacters are a gourmet lot, what, between raving reviews of super-sized fry ups at the Central Cafe, partaking in drunken Defence personnel antics at Mooseheads, and chomping on chicken schnitzel at the Queanbo Bowling Club, I can see that you like to eat, drink and be merry.
So what about the other end of town?
Last week, I went with a friend to The Parlour, a new wine bar at New Acton. Sounds posh I know, and it was (well, sort of).
We were met at the door by a handsome young waiter who at first didn’t think he could find us space inside, and strangely, we didn’t fancy sitting outside in slightly above freezing temperatures. Maybe he was ashamed of us, or indeed on our behalf, as we did seem to be quite old compared to everyone else. Eventually, he managed to squeeze us in at the back of the room. This was at 10pm or so on a Friday night.
I’d call the inside decor Menzies meets Laura Ashley. Lots of dark wood and leather with highlights of patterns on lamp shades, posters etc. If gentlemen could smokie Stogies anywhere anymore, this would be the place. So it did seem a bit incongruous that most of the clientelle looked like they needed their parent’s permission to stay out so late.
We tried not to stare at the couple opposite us who were getting up close and personal over bottles of expensive wine, while eating tapas type meal-ettes that looked great, but that you just knew were over-priced – you know what I am talking about, a prawn served on an oversized Chinese style spoon, martini glasses with oysters in them and other show-offy type of presentation.
The ladies wore Paris Hilton inspired ‘dresses’ and the blokes in neat casual (whatever that means, I suppose not shorts and thongs). It didn’t take too long for the would-be socialites to feel the effects of the alcohol, with at least one lady falling over her ultra high heels soon after we arrived. I knew she was classy though because as she fell, she still managed to hang on to her boob tube top.
Young people are funny. Here they all were, dressed up to the nines, drinking overpriced wines and cocktails, boys and girls, in large and small groups, but half the time they seemed to be on their mobile phones chatting to people who weren’t there, ignoring the gorgeous person with the low cut top and glassy eyes sitting in front of them.
Despite this, or maybe because of it, we had a really great time. The crowd were not violent or scarily noisy. Just young people having lots and lots (and did I say lots) to drink, but staying sociable and having a fun time. And because of that, so did we.
We could imagine that when the renovations are complete, the outdoor area will be a tremendous place for a G&T on a hot summers day by the lake.
And there still remains alot to explore. New restaurant, flash hotel, ladies’ day spa etc etc.
The Parlour even offered a degustation menu featuring foods made in some way with local truffles with matching wines, but that was for a Tuesday evening and I am not sure how many working Canberrans can set aside time on a week night for a six course meal and wine. Good luck to those who can.