Inventive Liberte in top 50 venues

By Michael Roberts | posted on September 17, 2020

ALBANY hospitality institution Liberte has added another gong to its long list of accolades.

The French-Vietnamese inspired restaurant was last month announced one of the top 50 wine venues in Australia at the 2020 Wineslinger Awards.

Named alongside a who’s who of hospitality businesses, Liberte was one of eight Western Australian venues to make the peer-voted list.

The Wineslinger Awards are judged by more than 100 of the country’s leading sommeliers, winemakers, hospitality tastemakers and journalists.

Since opening in 2014, Liberte has received critical acclaim for its Parisian bar decor, inventive share plates that champion Great Southern produce and a wine list focusing on smaller Australian producers.

The venue was named Bar of the Year at the 2019 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards.

Owner and Executive Chef Amy Hamilton said the Wineslinger accolade was not just a win for her restaurant, but the local wines she stocks her fridges with.

“We are on a pretty impressive list,” she said.

“It’s great to know we hold our own even though we are a bar in a small regional town.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of Great Southern wines.”

Ms Hamilton said she had forged some close relationships with local winemakers.

“I didn’t know any of them personally before I opened Liberte,” she said.

“But it’s just the way it goes. When you are ordering from these small producers you do form a relationship with them. Some of them are my closest friends.”

In a regional town not typically known for its fine cuisine, Ms Hamilton said she felt part of a new generation of hospitality owners doing things differently.

“I think Liberte has helped change the eating and drinking landscape a little bit in Albany,” she said.

“I’m not the only person who’s done that, I just think it’s a really exciting time in general in this region.

“There are a lot of businesses and new-age business owners coming through that are tapping into what we already have, which is a bountiful resource of great produce.

“I’m proud to be in this region and I’m really invested.”