Billing itself as a wine café this quirky riverside venue is part tapas bar, part wine bar with a distinctly continental flair. Once the celebrated live music venue, The Lobby, this new incarnation is an altogether more sophisticated operation with rustic charm, although they do still offer live music in the upstairs room, including Sunday afternoon jazz.
Downstairs the original bar dominates the room, where chalky pastels, a bare wood floor, exposed brickwork, an oversized blackboard and mismatched tables create a cosy and chilled out vibe.
Upstairs – accessed via a staircase plastered with vintage Lobby music posters – is more open plan with large windows and walls hanging with local art that changes every few months. Wine workshops and tastings, including meet the winemaker evenings and tutored whiskey tastings are held here and while the daytime views are great the room can feel draughty in winter.
Open for quality coffee (Fermoy-roasted Badger & Dodo) and pastries in the morning, a short weekday lunch menu comprises imaginative soup, sandwiches on Arbutus bread and a daily hot dish.
But the evening tapas menu is the real draw, with a selection of European and artisan ingredients served up as delicious taster plates. The dishes are French, Italian and Irish in influence and include tasty treats like Sicilian hummus, spicy olives, farmhouse cheese and charcuterie platters through to classic Italian desserts.
Alongside the well-sourced ingredients, you’ll find a creative wine list on an oversized blackboard with over 50 bottles, half of which can be sampled as taster glasses (75ml), or ordered by the glass or carafe. The French and Irish friends who own the bar have a serious passion for wine which they love to share with customers, and it’s an inviting spot to while away an afternoon or evening sampling the tempting wares.
L’Atitude 51 also offer interesting drinks like Longueville House cider, draught beer and stout, international, Irish craft beers and cocktails too, making this a bar with benefits.