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Laguna Wine Bar

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by Tricia Duffield (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer for a range of lifestyle magazines, Executive Producer of the John Laws Show on Radio 2SM Sydney and a busy personal trainer.
Published May 21st 2012
Photo by Mark Woodbury
Photo Courtesy of Mark Woodbury


There wouldn't be many drinking establishments in the country that could boast the liquor license registered as "Ye Old Horse Wagon Trading Post", but that's the heritage of the Laguna Wine Bar.

And that's just the half of it. The wine bar, affectionately known by the locals as The Lugga, was established in 1923 as a popular watering hole for bullock teams and road gangs working on the burgeoning Hunter Valley.

Today, it remains staunchly true to its heritage. It isn't gentrified, or tarted up, themed or styled. In fact, the main bar area doesn't even have walls. It's rustic to the core. The floor is cobbled, the walls are rough-hewn planks and corrugated iron, the view is breathtaking and the entertainment about as varied as you could imagine.

The old Australian tradition of folklore and spinning yarns is alive and well here, as well as a healthy repertoire of local blues and folk musicians, poets and comedians appearing on the bill.

You can sample local wine tread carefully if you dare to imbibe the local Firewater to compliment the wood fired pizzas on offer. There's dancing on most Friday nights, and live music at the weekend as local musicians, poets and performers the thinkers and drinkers share their talents.

On the third Sunday of the month, Father Graham transforms the Lugga into a very laid back church with his Theology in the Pub, while outside there's the Laguna market fresh locally grown produce, home made jams, bric-a-brac, art, old wares and more conversation.

Attached to the wine bar is a little general store and cafe, and out the front is a bowser if you need fuel to carry on to Wollombi, just down the road, or explore the spectacular countryside.
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