I'm blaming it on jumping the gun. On my first visit to Cumulus Up — the wine bar perched atop Flinders Lane fave, Cumulus Inc. — the crowd was thin on the ground and I left feeling ever so slightly underwhelmed.
Fast forward three months and the word has clearly spread; on a frigid Friday night the place is bustling and I stand corrected — head hanging and tail firmly between my legs. For this seriously sexy space might just be my new favourite end-of-week drinking hole!
Housed in an understated loft-style space, Up attracts a chic and varied crowd of more mature wine lovers (read: silver fox den), and glamorous young things. Clearly those in the know, as the bar has no street-level signage.
Equally glamorous, yet understated, is the bar itself. From parquet floors to marble-topped tables and moody lighting, courtesy of gorgeous coloured glass pendant lights, Cumulus Up is a must-visit for those who love their design as much as their wine.
An inky bar dominates one cosy corner, alongside an exposed brick feature wall where patrons can prop themselves up on stools to watch the world outside go by. There's a selection of small and intimate or communal tables, plus booths and bench-top drinking nooks. The jagged backlit mirrors dominating one wall are an elegant and unique talking point.
What's more, the staff are seriously good—incredibly attentive (your glass won't be empty for more than a minute before they're by your side), yet unobtrusive. The music perfectly matches the laid-back mood of those imbibing, and the wine selection is exceptional, natch.
Andrew McConnell's menu is concise and on the adventurous side—duck waffle with foie gras and prune anyone? For something substantial, the ricotta dumplings with oregano butter are simply sublime. Sweet and slightly savoury in pools of golden buttery goodness scattered with toasted pine nuts, I could happily devour these parcels for breakfast, dinner, or dessert. Heaven! If you're just after a nibble, the green olives and pickles are delicious and come in a super generous $6 serve.
Colour me unsophisticated, but If I could make one teeny tiny criticism, it's that something of the potato or polenta variety (ok, I do mean chips, or something soaked in duck fat) would be a welcome addition to mop up the grape juice.
In a nutshell, Cumulus Up is the perfect venue for pre-show drinks, a catch up with the girls, or a date destination so sexy she's guaranteed to soon be shimmying out of her skinny jeans.
Image Credit: Facebook