A classic Parisian wine bar feels like a place you can just sit and be for a while. And that's Smithward bar à vin in a nutshell.
Simple beauty in drinks, produce and ambience. It's a piece of Paris on Collingwood's Smith St where you can perch by the window with a Negroni, and just watch the world go by.
"We were inspired by small bars discovered over years of living in Europe,” says Georgina, who owns the bar with her partner Graham.
"We loved the idea of a tapas-style set-up where all of the food prep happens behind the bar. And we wanted it to feel as though has always been there."
And with its marble-topped tables, thonet chairs and dark wooden accents, it certainly does have a timeless sense when you walk in.
"The idea was conceived at a bar called La Patache, near Paris' Canal Saint-Martin. We loved choosing from shelves stacked with jars of rillettes and conserves, enjoying them with fresh bread and French butter. Heaven!"
G & G share our love for the stories behind products. They've personally spent time with each of the winemakers of the wines they pour. They keep their food and drink offering small and changing regularly.
“The world of food and wine can be overwhelming. We're trying to make great produce accessible by keeping it simple. And our customers trust that when we're offering something they're not familiar with, it will be well worth trying."
There’s people and place behind every thing you can order at Smithward. And some stories are closer than you might think. Graham makes their sourdough fresh each day, from their special starter. And each week they work with Olivia from Harper & Blohm to curate their cheese list.
“She knows so much about the provenance of each cheese and the makers, so we're able to pass on those stories to our customers."
That focus translates through their food and wine seamlessly to their cocktail making.
"Like everything we do it's classic quality over quantity. We're committed to using the best ingredients and also keeping things Victorian where we can - such as with our Martini, which is made from Four Pillars Gin and Maidenii Vermouth."
We’ll take one of those and a serve of charcuterie, merci.