Native Australian flora, a love of great gin and London’s pub culture collide at Convent Garden, the newest edition to Brisbane’s West End dining scene.
The pilgrimage to this gin mecca begins at Boundary Street, where you’ll find the bar and eatery on the site where the bistro, Lock’n’Load, once stood. Owners, Lachlan, Sue, Duncan and Andrea Bird, closed the doors to the bar and bistro in August, with big plans for a new brand and a total refurb in mind. They envisioned Covent Garden as vibrant hub for eating, drinking and socialising in the same fashion as the London district from which the bar’s takes its name.
The drinks at this West End establishment pay homage to the most British of spirits: gin. Peruse the menu of more than 100 different varieties before settling on one to blend with your tonic, or let the bartender decide and choose one of the of the concoctions from their dedicated gin-based cocktail list. Popular tipples include the Clover Club (gin, raspberry, lemon and egg white) and the Last Word (gin, green chartreuse, maraschino and lime). While these drinks do have British roots, gin also inspired the planting of a native garden on site – to enhance the botanical flavours inherent to Australian craft gins, of course.
“I am very excited about the gin movement that is sweeping the country, and all the micro distillers utilising our natural botanicals,” says Bar Manager, Mathew Fearnley.
The ‘bontanical’ theme also sways the décor, with lush greenery and a garden sanctuary vibe created throughout. The stained glass sky dome adds to the greenhouse feel, while the sun-drenched upper and lower courtyards will be the pick of many when summer temperatures roll in. After dark, there’s a hidden cocktail bar with a balcony overlooking Boundary Street to be explored.
Eating at Covent Garden is all about the shared experience. The menu is dotted with share plates that are mostly paired with a gin offering. Smaller dishes include zucchini fritters and brisket sliders with sauerkraut and cheddar, while larger dishes consist of seared wagyu with kale and horseradish or pork cheek with nashi pear and shallots. If the choice is too much, leave it to the experts to decide, with the Feasting Table menu that includes a mouthwatering selection of the most popular dishes. This way, the only choice you’ll have to make is whether to reach for that last Manchego croquette or to leave room for Milk Chocolate ganache with cocoa crunch and banana cream from the dessert menu.
Covent Garden is open seven days a week, all day and all night long. With summer lurking around the corner, what better way is there to see it in than with a G&T in hand at this leafy green oasis?
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