a glass of
Photography by Tim Brand
How often do women say to each other “we should catch up for a glass of bubbly!” Deanna Bocking and her girlfriends certainly repeated it regularly, but finding a venue was always the problem.
As Deanna says, most pubs, clubs, bars and nightclubs are the opposite of what she and her friends wanted – somewhere warm and inviting with a little bit of glamour. With a great selection of quality drinks, simple snacks and meals for nibbling. Somewhere conversation was easy and the service was impeccable.
Deanna never found her ideal venue … So she opened it herself.
Too often, when you want to catch up with friends, you’re left lingering over coffee for as long as you possibly can, or if you venture out at night you battle loud music and loud crowds. Women especially often end up socialising in their own home or that of a friend. But how much nicer to slip on a pair of heels and make your way to a wine bar purpose-built for just such an occasion?
Despite there being some great drinking spots on the Coast, Deanna Bocking saw a gap in the market for a classy wine bar catering particularly, but not exclusively, to women 30 and over. A Glass of Bubbly is the impressive result.
The wine bar does almost feels like someone’s home … and I think that’s part of its success. There is a lovely covered courtyard, with water feature, candles and string lights. A range of outdoor seating beckons, including lounge areas, tables and bar stools, perfect for everything from a solitary outing to a lively group.
Inside continues the options for seating, with a comfortable lounge, perfect for tête-à-tête, a luxe booth with satin and fluffy cushions, tables and a variety of stools at the bar.
The décor inspiration is on point, luxurious European. In fact the wine bar has quite a European feel with its easy, welcoming, inclusive vibe and flickering candles.
The courtyard is popular, and surprisingly warm, but when the sandstone surrounded fireplace is ablaze it’s hard to find a cosier spot to spend an evening.
If you’re after a quiet drink alone with a good book, the good news is that A Glass of Bubbly opens at 3pm. It’s important to Deanna that the wine bar is a place where people feel comfortable coming in alone, whether it’s to finish off a bit of work before heading home or to just sit back and appreciate the atmosphere. And the fact that there are quite a few men among Deanna’s regulars shows she has the tone right – although her aim was to create somewhere elegant for women to socialise, everyone is warmly welcomed.
As the Coast’s only dedicated wine bar, A Glass of Bubbly specialises in champagnes and sparkling whites, and there is a pretty impressive choice. Champagnes are available by the bottle but are very reasonably priced. Sparkling wines, as well as all reds and whites are available by the glass, making it a great place to find a new favourite drop. In fact Deanna goes out of her way to ensure that her regulars have their favourite drink available. If there’s something you particularly like, ask. There’s a good chance Deanna has it, and if not she may well do for your return visit!
It’s also worth chatting with Deanna to see what she recommends. For example if you like a refreshing sparkling wine, she has a lovely crisp sparkling semillon in at the moment.
Of course you can also order a beer – there’s a good range of craft, imported and major brewery beers. Spirits and liqueurs are also well represented at the bar, but many patrons come for the comprehensive cocktail list.
There’s a large choice of creamy, refreshing or classic cocktails, but our recommendation for winter is one of the warm cocktails currently on the menu.
There’s Hot Chocolate, Hot Toddy, Irish Coffee and the delicious Hot Apple Pie, shown on this page. An inventive recipe featuring a ball of ice cream, it really is like drinking Grandma’s apple pie. It’s the perfect way to end your evening so save it until last. Or if you arrive early it would be a delicious afternoon tea!
A popular cocktail option is the Cocktail Tasters – four small cocktails of your choice for just $20. It’s a great way to try a few new ones. Also look out for the regular Cocktail of the Week.
Deanna uses fresh fruits in all her cocktails, and there’s no post-mix – it’s all about quality ingredients.
Food isn’t forgotten either. Deanna turns out very impressive cheese platters with a mix of hard and soft cheeses, bread, olives and quince paste. And hot food has been introduced for winter, with chicken balls and small, savoury pastries with dipping sauces.
Deanna also had the clever idea of working with the three restaurants surrounding the wine bar. You can order food directly from Indian Spicy Affair, Saigon Bites or Crust Pizza, or ask to view the menu and Deanna will phone the order through for you. Your meals will be delivered straight from the kitchen to your table at A Glass of Bubbly. Ingenious!
A Glass of Bubbly will quickly become your home away from home, and they throw a pretty good house party!
Deanna is keen that the venue is used for special events, and she has an ambitious and imaginative calendar of occasions in the works. There’s plans for themed nights – Blues & BBQ, Jazz & Jambalaya; and special interest nights – singles nights, movie nights and wine appreciation nights. The best way to find out what’s coming up is to check the Facebook page.
A Glass of Bubbly is also the perfect venue for a private function. With the heating Deanna has installed, both indoor and outdoor spaces are delightfully comfortable year round. And the easy flow between areas (not to mention the beverage list) makes for a fun evening for everyone. The upmarket surroundings make it perfect for wedding parties and engagements but really any occasion can be a special occasion at A Glass of Bubbly.