Last night a client of mine took ‘me’ to dinner – it’s normally the other way around! He made a reservation at the old Cricketers Arms Hotel in Port Melbourne for 5 of us. Built over 150 years ago, what was once a local haunt for a parma and a pot has been transformed into a boutique food & wine bar nestled amongst the quaint cottages in the back streets of Port Melbourne. The House of Wine & Food.
It reminded me of an old english bed & breakfast… this is good old fashioned hospitality.
It has been beautifully refurbished. Once inside, its long corridor leads you to a spacious and open outdoor ‘retractable roof’ courtyard with its own bar. Before you get there though, there are rooms darting off to your left and right. There’s the wine bar with high back chairs and open fire place for a quiet sip. There’s the private dining room and library for a larger group and there’s a bistro area with 6 – 8 tables.
We started our evening in the wine bar which stocks great wines from France, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. You can enjoy the huge selection of wines by the bottle or by the glass. We ordered some nice wines ( I had a beer) and an antipasto platter. Very nice cheese, Jamon, olives, salami’s and breads….I love putting an olive, cheese and salami into my mouth at the same time….explosion! Believe me, I was in country England. All I needed was my Hugh Hefner dressing gown, pipe and slippers.
Dinner in the private dining room made it that bit special. The menu has a nice selection to choose from. I had fish pie (excellent) and my wife had the swordfish ( very nice she said.) Check the menu out via their website link below. The food was fresh, well presented and tasty. Service was good. I was told that the menu will be refined over the next few months.
If I’m in the area with some friends and it’s a nice Sunny day, I’ll definitely pop in and head straight to the courtyard for a cold glass of Sancerre and a massive antipasto platter.
The Diners Verdict: This place has just opened after a considerable refurbishment. Alan made a conscious decision to transform this ‘local’ into The House of Wine & Food. It will take time for new clientele to establish this place as a first choice destination in the area, but it will happen! Enjoy being able to walk in and grab a table while you can because soon you’ll have to book a table weeks out.
The House of Wine & Food – Website