Rick and Kat have run Lady Nelson's Wine Bar and Kitchen since 2015, and are always looking for ways to make their bar and kitchen more welcoming, friendly, and like home. With backgrounds in hospitality, Rick and Kat look to their favourite travelling experiences and time in bars and kitchens throughout Melbourne and the world to bring to their cosy nook. Recently renovated, the side kitchen and bar run almost the length of the room. Bar seating and two-seat bench tables run opposite before opening into larger tables towards the back. Window bench seating at the front and outdoor tables offer an ideal spot to watch Chapel Street pass by over a glass or two of wine.
And wine is Lady Nelson's forte. Over 40 wines by the glass, listed by reds and whites, Australian and worldly, and food options on the reverse. The by-the-bottle list is separate and extensive, with Lady Nelson's offering over 120 wines. With so much choice, one might think it overwhelming. However, Rick and Kat taste and curate their wines one by one, and their knowledge of wine descriptions, history and wineries is fascinating, mixed with their humorous and warm personal tales, and without a hint of snobbery. Simply let one of them know what sort of a mood you're in, what you feel like, what you've enjoyed in the past, or any tangent relating back to wine, and they will gladly help choose a perfect glass or bottle.
Lady Nelson's, named by Rick for his partner and co-proprietor Kat Nelson, is well positioned opposite Windsor Station. With many venues along Chapel Street catering to the 18 to 25 year old crowd and those serious about drinking, Lady Nelson's warmly welcomes the slightly older crowd that are serious about drinking wine. There are beers and cocktails available as well, and Kat's Espresso Martini will ruin all others, be warned.
Rick and Kat have paid attention to the subtle touches of what makes a successful wine bar, with little things like softer, enjoyable music, comfortable and private seating, muted lighting, and wine-related decor making Lady Nelson's a wonderful place to while away Melbourne's evenings. The hosts have a knack for being accommodating and friendly, while being low-key and out-of-sight as moments call for. Their passion for running a kitchen and wine bar that prides itself on having regular visitors is obvious, as is their delight in meeting new people and sharing a common enjoyment for good wine and food. Tuesday nights are locals' night whereby Lady Nelson's publish a one-off wine list with about four wines, at heavily discounted by-the-glass prices, that Rick and Kat are looking to bring to their menu, are trialling or are simply looking to share among others that enjoy wine.
A wonderful way to discover new wines, enjoy favourites, converse with the hosts, bring a date, or celebrate an occasion with others, Lady Nelson's Wine Bar and Kitchen does this exceptionally, on a street not well known for its relaxed venues.