Collingwood’s Smithward is modelled on the wine bars of Paris and Madrid, with its marble tables, intimate atmosphere and focus on cheese and charcuterie. But this tiny 17-seater also brings plenty of its own character to Smith Street.
It’s in the details. Blue tiles line the curved counter, over which hang a couple of mismatched lights. The plywood floor has been varnished, but is otherwise in its original state. The walls are cream, the ceiling is navy, and two portraits of budgerigars (named Edgar and Wilbur) overlook the dark timber bar. Cloth napkins and vintage cutlery are given with food orders, and small pots of olives come with drinks.
Smithward doesn’t have a kitchen, so the food offerings are limited. But with a cheese list curated by Harper and Blohm (which includes raclette), charcuterie sliced to order, and house-baked sourdough and Spanish tortilla, there will always be plenty to eat.
As for the drinks: eight wines are on pour at a time – three whites, three reds, a rosé and a sparkling. The list will change, but owners Georgina Russell and Graham Hill are keen to source the wines from as close by as possible. The one beer on tap will always be by local brewer Wolf of the Willows, but the type of ale will change with the seasons. Warmer months will see the XPA (Extra Pale Ale) or the ISA (India Saison Ale), while the colder will see the JSP (Johnny Smoke Porter). A small selection of basic spirits and classic cocktails are available, too.