The name says it all. Almost everything about The Heritage harks back to another point in time. I say almost everything as there are some exceptions which we’ll get to soon.
If the 1920s is an era that you’re a fan of, and seriously, what’s not to love, then you’ll be in your element here. I’m sitting with Helen Clarke, Administration & Functions Manager at The Heritage, and this international hospitality veteran has got plenty to tell me when on the topic of her latest project, the first venue she has been responsible for since her arrival back in WA.
From the marble flooring to the French-custom made pewter bartop, the mood is decidedly continental, a feeling that is cemented when you also take into account the Foucault pendulum chandeliers, designed in 1851 and similarly imported from France. That continental vibe is further enhanced by the airiness that exists on the warmer days, when the staff open the huge windows facing Brookfield Place, and allow the urban atmosphere to come pouring through.
While the vibe may be European, two of the three owners, Paul and Lynn Wolkowinski hail from the UK. Continuing their impressive hospitality tradition, they’ve been behind the wheel of this new venue since its launch back in 2012, while Lynn has been an owner in the Perth hospitality scene for quite a bit longer as proprietor of long-standing Barrack Street venue Halo. The ownership trio is rounded out by another member of the Wolkowinski clan Edward, who is also the venue’s General Manager. The venue may be new but the building is steeped in history with a build date in the early 1900s. Previous tenants included shipping companies, insurance firms, dentists, accountants and even Caltex, and these business and other previous tenants can be found at the sides of the St Georges Street entrance.
The two venues don’t just share an owner, as the clientele is also very similar in that both venues attract a large number of corporate types, and therefore play host to many business meetings and specialised lunches. Early dinners are also popular, although you can grab a bite to eat here at any time of day as the kitchen is open from 11am right through until 11pm. Handy to know if you fancy something nice after all the other city venue have turned their burners off!
Also originating from England, Executive Chef Richard Mussel has been at The Heritage since the day it opened as the venue’s Sous Chef, and was presented with the reins of the kitchen back in early 2014. If you’d like to try one of the dishes that have made this venue such a popular fixture on Perth’s culinary map, then place an order for one or more of the share platters … they are to die for! American influences make their way onto the dessert menu, with diet-bustin’ delights such as the hot fudge sundae and the New York cheesecake, while the French-inspired crème brûlée is a crowd favourite in anyone’s language.
The most popular food item at The Heritage however is the daily special of a dozen oysters for just $20, and as The Heritage has a special relationship going on with the guys at Piper-Heidsieck, you can wash down the oysters with a bottle of this great Champagne for just $79 or a glass for just $15. While we’re on the subject of specials, these guys have the best coffee deal I know of in the city … just $3 and available all day. If you’re looking for a dinner deal then look no further with two courses at $45 and three for $55 between 5pm and 6pm Monday to Saturday, and if you’re searching for something after a tough day in the office, you and your colleagues can avail yourselves of the $7 specials on house wines, house spirits and aperitifs, available Monday to Saturday between 5pm and 6pm.
Perhaps you’re seeking something a bit different for your next work meeting or private dinner party? Make sure you pop down and check out a distinctive space at The Heritage, known as The Boardroom, which could be just what you’re looking for. There’s a flat screen tv, wi-fi, as well as connections for both Mac and PC, and best of all, while there is a minimum spend of $1,250, there’s no hiring fee, which is a great deal for the CBD.
As we wrap things up here at The Heritage I have to make mention of the special events that Helen and her team put together at three points throughout the year. At the time of writing two of these sold out events for 2015 have already taken place, so your last chance to savour one of these rare occasions will be on August 1. The first of the two dinners played host to Michael Kerrigan, owner and distinguished winemaker from Hay Shed Hill, while the second featured one of the only Masters of Wine from the Asia Pacific region, Ned Goodwin, who presided over a Piper Champagne-themed culinary and liquescent affair. So back to August 1; the renowned and trailblazing winemaker Vanya Cullen from Cullen Estate will be showcasing the Diana Madeline vintage, its first ever appearance outside of Cullen Estate itself, where it will be unveiled for the first time ever one month before. As one of only a handful of bio-organic vineyards in Australia, the Cullen Vineyard has for more than a decade been certified A Grade Biodynamic by the Biological Farmers Association of Australia, elevating it to a unique position among Australian wineries.
So as I finish off my tap-poured Peroni and pick up a bottle of pinot to enjoy later in the evening (yes, they’ve even got a bottle shop license here for wines), I bid adieu to this little piece of Europe standing proudly on the Terrace.