Apothecary 1878 is like stepping back to 1940s Paris. The heavy chaise lounges, rich velvet carpet and large gilded mirrors create the illusion that you’re wining and dining in the lavishly decorated home of an ancient moneyed family.
Nominated for the Australian Wine List of the Year Awards on several occasions and having taken out the South Australian category three times with its obscure and interesting medley of more than 500 wines, Apothecary’s list includes varieties from local boutique producers and a strong selection of Champagne, including Pol Roger and Veuve Clicquot.
The basement restaurant boasts a largely Middle Eastern- and European-inspired menu featuring lobster, wild venison and duck among an array of foams, truffle oils, pâtés and terrines. There are cheese plates and tapas available to those in the lounge, as well as a dessert menu including fig and walnut pudding and chocolates from local chocolatier Steven ter Horst.
The venue is named after its centrepiece – a 135-year-old pharmacist’s dispensary that was found buried among other dusty treasures in an Adelaide antique shop. Originally from London, the mahogany cabinet still has its pure crystal handles and gold-plated plaques labelling drawers that once contained such necessities as trusses, respirators and hair combs.