Wandering down the Parade in Norwood has always felt like an adventure to me. I have lived in and out of this suburb for the past 7 years and am always amazed at the number of different local businesses that have found home in this small but beautiful Eastern suburb of Adelaide. One such wonder that has recently become part of the Parade family is La Vigne, which is located right next to its older sibling La Madeleine – the French patisserie and café … you know – the place with the awesome croissants and crêpes and pastries that make you wish you were in France for real!
While the place was due to open a couple of months earlier, owner Guillaume Blanc has had his hands full – with the opening of a second La Madeleine in Westfield Marion‘s new food mall. The delay may have been frustrating (no doubt), but the wait has certainly been well worth it.
Officially open to the public today (16/12/2016), La Vigne has attracted quite the sizeable crowd. The establishment itself is super cute and while the space is small, it is cozy. There’s lots of natural lighting that brightens up the bar area. There is a more intimate space as you walk further towards the beer garden, with a fireplace, cushioned chairs, and a big table that is placed against a colorful wall painting. For those who cannot get enough of the beautiful sunshine that is currently blanketing our state, there is a spacious beer garden with lots of room to be seated – big and small groups are in for a treat! The beer garden is decorated with blue walls, fresh red flowers, and gorgeous murals that delicately represent their name in elegant cursive writing, along with simplistic designs of trees and windy leaves that give you the impression of being whisked away to a French-esque fairyland. The space possesses strong features of minimalism in its decor and design, in addition to providing for a relaxed ambience with intoxicating options of drink from France & Australia.
For drinks, there is a fine selection of French-inspired wines, but the bar also stocks Australian-based drinks, such as 23rd Street Distillery and Four Pillars in their collection. Food is also available to accompany your drink (cheese platter + wine sounds like a perfect combo to indulge in, in my honest opinion)!
We were fortunate enough to sample a concoction with Dolin Chamberyzette Aperitif and another that is a house-special: the Armagnac (Old Fashioned).
The Aperitif with soda, lemon lime bitters, and ice is just the drink you need to cool down and re-energize yourselves when the sun is out in full force. Simple, easy, and gives you just the right amount of buzz.
The Armagnac (old fashioned) is served in a glass with an ice cube that pretty much takes up the bulk of the space in the glass. A drink not for the faint-hearted, this drink comes from a pre-batched mixture that is stored in a bottle, which has been lined with beeswax. The more aged it is, the better it’s going to taste. We had the drink that is currently sitting at 3 weeks and we are impressed by how beautiful and smooth it tastes.
With an impressive team of 4 members – Guillaume, Owen, Amélie, and Mark – La Vigne is hoping to become one of the hottest spots on the Parade this summer. There is a strong sense of a socializing atmosphere, along with excellent customer service, and unique tastes from France. It is these characteristics that make La Vigne stand out from the rest of the pubs or bars that reside in Norwood and make it “your local neighbourhood bar”. The idea behind this phrase is to allow the people walking past La Vigne to feel a sense of welcome and enjoy a drink anytime (from 2pm till late), while they bask in the vibes of the Parade.
La Vigne will also be providing Apéro drinks for under $10 between 4pm and 6pm every day, so if you’re thinking of going somewhere during or after work and happen to find yourself around the area, pop into La Vigne and let them ~take care of~ // ~help you forget about~ your work woes with their refreshing selection of food and drink that they have on offer.
Words & Photos by Fatema Sitabkhan