We had been to lunch at a restaurant on the beach and afterwards walked back to Queen Victoria Street and the North Freo strip – a couple of bars, antique shops, live music venue, providore, a great bottle shop, restaurants – and stopped in at Mrs Brown – right next door to Flipside Burgers.
In an old terrace home, the bar has a couple of rooms, exposed brick walls, decorated with a wonderful mismatch of old furniture, bookcases and wall displays – with pictures of Queen Victoria (Mrs Brown herself?) complete with sunnies, prominent. Out the back is a cosy looking courtyard with tables, chairs and fire place.
We took a spot in a back room on a couple of comfortable leather chairs, next to another open fire making it a good spot to grab in winter months, but for now unlit, and checked out our drinking options.
The wine list is short but well-structured with entries from some smaller or lesser known wineries – Blind Corner, Between Five Bells, Alpha Box and Dice, Brave New Wines – along with Grosset, Kay Brothers, Clairault, Jim Barry and Swinney.
We began with a glass each of 2016 Thick as Thieves Spring Pinot rosé from the Yarra Valley – this has huge amounts of Pinot character – shimmering crimson with fragrances of cherries and earthy, mushroom notes – the palate is brambly, savoury, full of red berry flavours with a whiff of truffles to finish – a food rosé if ever there was one!
Now feeling a little peckish – we hadn’t over indulged at lunch – we checked out the food on offer, all listed on a blackboard near the bar – basically simple and quick bar snacks – olives, cheese, dips – so a cheese plate seemed to fit our purpose – a good sized slab of triple cream brie served with crackers, quince paste and sliced apples – the cheese was a little cold to begin, but after a few minutes warmed to a lovely oozy, creamy quality – so while waiting for that stage we went for another glass!
Lady FWO opted for another rosé – French this time – 2016 Pierre et Papa from Languedoc, while for me a Field Blend from Alpha Box and Dice, their fab Kit and Kaboodle.
The rosé made from Cinsault is bright pink, with lifted strawberry notes on the nose; has a touch of sweetness on the mid palate, but finishes quite dry with raspberry notes predominating – a contrast to the earlier more savoury drop.
My red – a blend that changes each year, but always with a good Cabernet Sauvignon component – his one accompanied by Aglianico, Shiraz, Mataro and Nebbiolo from McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek – has a peppery bouquet, with mulberries and blackcurrants, with a dusty, chewy palate of plums and spice.
Well by then it was time to go but determined to get back soon – now we know it is only a short stroll from North Fremantle station. Mrs Brown is a stylish and friendly place, set on a burgeoning dining and entertainment strip – we loved it.