Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Subterranean Reds and Sunken Evenings: Red Door

Many thanks to Red Door for permission to use their website photographs.

A few steps below street level and the noise of the city dissipates, the gusty breeze from the dark street abates. There’s a sudden, intense stillness and quiet. In that moment, you escape the real world.

All part of the pleasure of the underground bar.

What happens next can go two ways. As you push the door open, the silence could give way to the buzz of gathered voices and the chink of glasses. Then again, you might step through into the murmur of muted jazz beats and hushed conversation.

With Perth’s Bobeche and with Lalla Rookh you will experience the former.

Red Door, however, is the latter. Off the beaten track  in the less populated part of Sydney’s Surry Hills you’d walk past if you weren’t looking carefully. The eponymous red door is recessed. You have to step off Foveaux Street and into the alcove. Carpeted steps take you down into a plush, private space of leather sofas,  curtains of gauze and of velvet, tasselled lamplight, and amber candles.

It’s a red wine world where, strangely inverted, the ‘cellar’ is above and the bottles are brought below.  A cocktail world, clandestine, reminiscent of a  1920s' speakeasy. A whisky world where gold swirls around diamonds in a crystal glass.  A brandy world where the spirit flames and fumes at the touch of a match. It’s my cosy, east coast oasis. There, with carefully chosen company,  there I welcome the sunken evenings where conversation and confidences flow with the wine.

Photograph used with the permission of Red Door. Thank you, Darrell.

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