In its early days, Lost in a Forest felt like an extension of Taras Ochota’s home. The late, celebrated winemaker – who sadly passed away in 2020 – would serve an exclusive wine from his favourite personal barrel; whacked in a clear bottle with no added sulphur and stashed behind the bar as the standard pour.

Herein lies the beauty of Lost in a Forest. It’s still just as personal as ever.

The 130-year-old church is part-owned by Ochota’s surviving business partner Charlie Lawrence. He took long-service leave from a career in advertising and graphic design to transform it into a laid-back hangout, complete with a mezzanine lounge area, wood oven and an outdoor fire pit in June 2016. Joy Division, DIIV and The Cure soundtrack it all.

Lawrence developed an organic pizza obsession after building a wood oven in his backyard. He and third co-owner Nick Filsell (former head chef at Jamie’s Italian and Red Ochre Grill) began experimenting and came up with six organic pizzas, such as Brussels sprouts and speck. Many of the ingredients come from the local pine forest.

Chilli, basil, dill and other ingredients are grown in 20 half barrels outside. If you want more basil on your pizza, head over and pick it yourself.

Apart from loads of Ochota Barrels wine, there are natural pours from around the world, particularly Basket Range neighbours. The faces behind the bar are familiar, too. Justin Lane (founder of Alpha Box & Dice) and Gentle Folk winemaker Gareth Belton might appear from time to time.

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Updated: January 4th, 2024

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