I love going away for my birthday, even if it is just for a night. Funnily enough, it tends to always involve some sort of wine adventure! Are you surprised?
Our family friends in Melbourne introduced us to the Toms Cap Sparkling wine from Gippsland a few years ago. So naturally, we have been wanting to visit the vineyard since we moved to Gippsland a year ago. As they have cottages on the vineyard, we were waiting for a special occasion to make a weekend of it. So last month we finally did it to celebrate my 30-ish birthday. Continue reading →
Okay, so it was more like 4 nights, rather than 1. However, when writing a blog post about my recent wine adventures in Bangkok, how could I not somehow include the ‘One Night In Bangkok’ song? It just had to be done.
You may have seen on my social media channels, that I was recently in Thailand on holiday. Whilst it’s not a top pick in terms of wine travel, Mr Spittoon and I really enjoy holidaying there. In fact, we lived and worked in Thailand back in 2008, so we know it quite well.
After 7 blissful days in Ao Nang, Krabi in the south of Thailand, we headed up to the bustling city of Bangkok. We’ve always been big fans of the city. From the street food stalls to the lush hotels and bars. It’s got plenty of personality and spicy flavour to it.
This trip was definitely our most luxury visit. We decided to splash out and spoil ourselves after months of saving. On our last visit we did visit Bangkok’s Red Sky Rooftop Bar however we definitely stepped it up a notch this time around. Below you’ll find some of our wine adventures during our 4-night stay in Thailand’s capital city.
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As we arrived into BKK on December 31st, we wanted to make sure we were staying somewhere with good views. We’d heard the Bangkok New Years Eve fireworks over the river, the Chao Phraya River was pretty spectacular.
Not being huge fans of big New Years parties, our plans were to hopefully find a hotel room with great views so we could chill out in our room for the countdown and watch the fireworks. After a bit of research, I landed on the Lebua website. I spotted their Tower Club River View rooms and knew we had to stay there. These rooms are on the 51st – 59th floors of the hotel.
By opting for a Tower Club room, it meant we had access to the Tower Club Lounge on the 52nd floor. The club lounge is open 6am-6pm and includes complimentary food and drinks (including wine!) throughout the day. On each day of our trip, we at least made it to the lounge once. Typically it was for sunset drinks.
There was only 1 white wine and 1 red wine to choose from. Both Chilean. It’s safe to say between Mr Spittoon and I we drank our fair share of bottles of the Chardonnay. It went down pretty darn well, especially teamed with the delectable bites to eat at the Tower Club lounge and that gorgeous Bangkok sunset.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend staying at Lebua, and if you do, the Tower Club is a must.
Tops Supermarket Champagne Shopping
Between the nearest Skytrain stop (Saphan Taksin BTS) and Lebua you’ll find a Tops Supermarket hidden below the Robinsons department store on the righthand side of the road as you are going to the train station. We arrived at our hotel about 3pm on the 31st and were determined to find some champagne for that evening.
After a few Chardonnay’s in the Club lounge, we hit the road to see what we could find. We didn’t have high hopes. But low and behold we spotted the Tops Supermarket. And there was 1 bottle of champagne left in the fridge. Just one.
It was a Champagne Duval LeRoy Premier Cru Rose at about 3,500 Baht, so about AU$150. I knew it would be a lot higher priced than back home, as the taxes on wine are pretty high in Thailand. However, we thought we’d grab it and just hope we weren’t losing a ton of money on it.
After a bit of research back at the hotel we found out it retails for about $90 in Melbourne, so it wasn’t too bad. Especially when the room service menu had Perrier-Jouet NV Brut for over AU$500 when you can buy it at Dan Murphy’s for around $60!
The Duval LeRoy was extremely tasty and it went perfectly with those Bangkok fireworks at midnight.
Also, it’s worth noting that the rooms at Lebua have pretty big fridges 😉
These were our New Years Eve supplies alongside a couple of big bottles of Singha beer.
Flûte – A Perrier-Jouët Bar at Lebua
The main reason I was first attracted to staying at Lebua was Flûte (check out their Instagram page here). This is the highest open-air champagne bar in the world. It’s on the 64th floor of Lebua. We always knew we’d go up there for at least a glass of champagne. The prices were much like the room service menu, exorbitant.
However after a few chardonnay’s in the Tower Club lounge and seeing the breathtaking view of Bangkok from the 64th floor, we were both in a whimsical state of mind. To top it off, on the menu, the most exquisite thing there was, was a bottle of the Champagne Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs 2004. We ummed and ahhhed for a good 15 minutes as 2004 is Mr Spittoon’s and my year. It is the year we met and when he proposed it was with a bottle of 2004 Cristal Champagne and every year since we indulge in a bottle of it.
We spent big. I’m not going to lie. It’s the most we have ever spent on a bottle of wine. We also know that we paid ALOT more for it than we would from a retailer in Australia. However, that experience, of enjoying that bottle there with each other, is worth it. An experience and memory I will cherish for all my wine days.
The staff were amazing, however, my only tip to the team at Flûte would be get rid of the black olives they give for ‘bar snacks’ I guess you could say. The pistachios were fine, however, after Mr Spittoon had an olive he made sure I didn’t taint my palate with them. Not a great accompaniment for the champagne in our opinion. When you are paying a humengous service charge, I’d like to see the ‘bar snacks’ align more with complimenting the champagne.
The Wine Shack at Jacks Bar
From one extreme to the next. Jacks Bar in Bangkok is more of a traditional street bar that sits on the river edge. It’s about a 10-minute walk from Lebua and right beside the Shangri-La hotel. Plastic chairs, hustle and bustle, it’s a good taste of Bangkok. We had some great food and plenty of big bottles of beer here.
We also tried some of the wine from the ‘Wine Shack’. While not my favourite glass of wine in the world, it was rather refreshing. However when you’re paying $12 for a glass of okay wine, and you can buy a large beer for $4, I quickly changed back to the local beer. It was a fun experience though.
Mocambo Wine Bar
On our first outing from the hotel, low and behold we spot Mocambo Wine Bar across the road. This little hole in the wall has an Italian vibe to it with items like pizza and pasta on the menu. From the reviews I’d read, they are quite well known for their food – maybe next time!
One evening, on our way to Jacks Bar, we thought we’d stop in and see what they had on offer. They had only just opened up shop for the night, so the aircon was still getting up and running.
I was quite pleasantly surprised to see the wine menu didn’t have your typical picks. It wasn’t huge by any accounts, however, the white wine list consisted of a Pecorino (which I ordered), Vermentino (which Mr Spittoon ordered), a Prosecco and a Pinot Grigio.
I also spotted a couple of bottles of Schild Estate from the Barossa Valley on the wall!
I had a bit of fun, branding the bar with my website too 😉
Singapore Airlines Business Class Lounge Bangkok
If you spotted my Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut NV tasting note recently, then you’ll know that we splurged and went business class on Singapore Airlines. The onboard champagne was half to do with why we flew Singapore Air 😉 We spent a couple of hours in the Bangkok Singapore Airlines lounge, before the journey home.
Whilst there wasn’t any Champagne on hand (like at the Changi Airport Singapore Airlines lounge) we enjoyed a few glasses of this Pays D’Oc St Martin Chardonnay which went down pretty well with the food on offer. There was also a nice Pinot Grigio which I can’t quite remember the name of nor did I take a photo! But it was lovely.
I love Thailand, however, despite the above, it’s not a wine destination for me. I am quite happy to sit back and enjoy the local food (extra spicy) with a cocktail or beer tower 😉
It seems like everyone we ran into in Sydney recommended that we checked out Newtown. Newtown is a quirky suburb in Sydney central full of all sorts of delights from clothing boutiques to bars and exciting looking eating spots. One of those restaurants is La Favola. This authentic Italian eatery it literally oozing Italian charm – friendly, hospitable, generous, good-humoured, tasteful, and family oriented. Continue reading →
On our recent trip to Sydney for Wine Island, we knew it was going to be a weekend all good wine & food. I am so glad we made it to Loluk Bistro in Surry Hills as this authentic French restaurant hit the nail on the head for an absolutely delicious Saturday lunch.
The lovely team from the Australian Good Food Guide recommended that we check out Loluk and they kindly teed us up with a complimentary lunch. Thank you very much AGFG and the Loluk team for looking after us so well. Especially considering we were sweating like there was no tomorrow from the humidity. The wine couldn’t get down my throat fast enough 😉 Continue reading →
When the lovely team at Australian Good Food Guide invited me to Sydney’s ultimate wine festival, Wine Island, earlier in the year – I knew I had to find a way to jump over the border to New South Wales.
I managed to twist Naomi’s rubber arm to join me in Sydney for a long weekend. I would fly in from Victoria and she would fly in from Perth. We both agree that it was a pretty cool way to spend a girls weekend! Continue reading →