A modern European wine bar in the middle of Dunsborough, Lady Lola serves smart share plates and an eclectic mix of wines, with food and wine refreshed each week – a local’s dream.
The regular’s tip
Get in early to grab a table in the courtyard on a sunny day.
The nuts & bolts
Lady Lola – an acronym for “love of life’s adventures” – is a classic bistro with a dash of bar and slice of deli in the hip beachside town of Dunsborough, at the northern end of the Margaret River region.
The venue is a first for co-owners Michelle Forbes and Marinela Antonic, who transformed an old patisserie in January 2021. They designed the space themselves, knocking down an adjoining wall to make room for a church pew banquette and a small bar/open kitchen in steel-grey Italian tiles. Old bentwood chairs were reupholstered in salt-bush green with flecks of gold, and the concrete floor was polished to a sheen.
There’s space for 20 guests inside, but the 30-seat courtyard is the place to be. It’s a bit of a vibe when the sun’s out: think open sky, umbrellas, and large marble-topped high tables that back onto bushland with a creek running through it.
Antonic, who looks after the front of house and wine list, pairs a food offering that changes weekly with interesting, small-batch wines in a relaxed and casual space. “When you sit in our bar, you feel like you could be anywhere in the world. It’s a little bit of a European bistro vibe and a little bit Dunsborough,” she says.
Forbes’ modern share-plate menu draws on time at Rockpool, Subiaco Hotel and Cullen, as well as the duo’s favourite dishes from their travels around the world. The seafood is local, think Freemantle octopus with XO butter, and the vitello tonnato (wafer thin slices of milk-poached veal topped with tuna mayonnaise and greens) already has a cult following.
Most of the wines come from organic/biodynamic vineyards, and if they are not certified they are working towards it. “There is a lovely balance of international and domestic wines that are predominantly small batched,” Antonic says. Fifteen-or-so wines by the glass change weekly, so you are bound to try something different each time you come in.