Excuse me, did someone say ‘wine, cheese and espresso at Lake Burley Griffin’…? Yes Yes!
That’s right: Occupying the West Kiosk on Lake Burley Griffin (and a stone’s throw from The Jetty), a new laid-back European-style dining experience is opening in November, just in time for summer.
named Margot Espresso Vin and Fromage (Margot)the bar will specialize in local wines, aged cheeses and quality morning espresso, offering the perfect motivation from bridge to bridge both day and night.
It serves coffee and takeaways from early in the morning and features local wines and delicious cheeses in the evening. Margot it’s the brainchild of Nick Tyrrell (who founded our other favorite lake experience: GoBoat) and James Souter (owner of the Boat House restaurant).
According to Nick, the couple was inspired by the relaxed alfresco dining experiences of European capitals.
“It was a trip abroad in 2015 that inspired me to start GoBoat and you can get some great ideas based on what people are doing in Europe,” he says.
“We had both talked about how much we enjoy the European experience of sitting on the pavement enjoying a relaxed glass of wine on holiday and how there’s not really anything with that kind of atmosphere in Canberra, but people really enjoy being around and in the lake.”
“Then earlier this year, when the opportunity arose with the West Kiosk, we thought maybe it was time to see if Canberra was ready for what we enjoy of sidewalk wine drinking in the summer.”
With plans for regular wine tastings and an ever-changing menu, Margot will focus on local wines, offering a very limited range selected for Canberra’s four seasons. Pairing each session with matched cheeses, the idea is to keep the offerings very simple, but there’s no denying that it could be the perfect way to end a long summer day (remember them?).
“It’s a wine and cheese vibe, so there will be plenty to please everyone at the lake this summer,” says Nick.
“The plan is to really focus on local wines. We are right in a great wine region and as two small businesses we want to support other local businesses.”
And of course, as a regular lake walker, Nick says we can also expect quality coffee and some European-style food during the day.
With a name that pays homage to one of the most famous cafes in Paris, the two wizards—a favorite of famed novelist Ernest Hemingway—according to Nick, who visits Margot You can expect an experience similar to the rivieras found in Italy, France, and other parts of Europe (including the addition of colorful new pedal boats available for rent from West Jetty annually from October through March).
“That’s the vibe: outdoors, enjoying the sun,” says Nick. “We’ll have lots of umbrellas, some nice French-style furniture, and on Sundays we’ll also have some kind of acoustic entertainment.”
but if you think Margot it is only for the summer, you would be very wrong. Planned to operate year-round, winter will see mulled wine and dining domes keeping visitors warm, reminiscent of the Pop-Up Raclette Melted Cheese Igloo Village that had Canberrans say ‘Le Noms’ in July this year.
So why the name Margot Espresso Vin and Fromage?
“Margot it means pearl,” says Nick. “We think we’re right on the lake and we hope people see it as a pearl next to the oyster that is Lake Burley Griffin.”
“I am looking forward to creating a new lakeside institution in Canberra for people to recognise, locals and visitors alike. It is a popular place for tourists and we want to show the best that Canberra can do.”
Very excited? keep an eye on margot social media and website for all opening details.
What: Margot Espresso Vin and Fromage
Where: Lake Burley Griffin, Commonwealth Place
When: November – date to be confirmed