There are few places as evocative as Albany and surrounds.
It is a place where the sea and sky are unified for most of the day only to splinter in colour as the sun quells to dusk.
Its consumptive vastness minimises your life and its frivolous woes to nothingness.
And unless you fly there, the drive is testing. It’s worth it in end though.
Albany is a raw and serene place.
But enough of waxing lyrical about the surroundings, there are places to visit, wines to drink and food to eat!
Which is where we find ourselves at a shiny little establishment called Liberte. Don’t forget the acute accent on the e. Liberté. That’s better.
If Louis XVI had to bunker down like Bin Laden this is what his drinking pad would have looked like. Mixed bric-à-brac of plush baroque fittings, exquisite selection of liquor, and regional produce pure enough to have you squirm with delight in your seat. The ambience is dim but spacious, with calmly staggered house music back to back with dark brown jazz.
We dined on ‘Over the Moon’ marinated fetta, Albany sardines, grilled sourdough and enough Mondo’s chorizo to exceed your daily sodium intake three times over.
What delicious sin it was.
Two glasses of racy and precisely fine Gordon Parker 2008 Riesling added to impiety so we went for broke and drank the bottle.
Liberté does it so pleasingly, my only barb at it is that it’s so damn far away—but not if you’re in Albany though. And I suppose if live in Albany you’re probably sick of such pristine produce, attentive service and underpriced wine.
Not me though, I’d be a sucker if Liberté came to town. Then again the prices would change. Perhaps it’s a good thing it’s so far away.
It’s like the chilled out cousin of Whisper.