St. Heliers Pear Cider & The Foxhole

Today’s review relates to today’s activities as opposed to the travelogue of last week on LHI. The Foxhole has been an elusive bar for this correspondent. It opened late in 2010 on the corner of Kent & Erskine on the same side of Kent Street as the execrable Office. Its opening hours have appeared to be erratic, but apparently it is open Tuesday through Friday. It joins the growing number of small bars emerging in Sydney. Once you descend the stairs you emerge in a surprisingly large space. Nice job on simple wooden surrounds, creating an initimate environment in what must have been the basement of a Victorian terrace.

The sign out the front promises “Summertime Beers & Ciders”. There’s also 5 cocktails and a small wine list (shown on the BotF Bar Review Map). There’s a reasonably priced food menu and I was presented with a bowl of corn chips and a nicely garliced tomato salsa. Not a place for the BotF boys to load up before a ferry, but rather one for a tete a tete with a colleague of the opposite sex. Worth visiting again.

The sign promised “ciders”, but only one is the on the menu (BotF had reviewed all the beers). St. Heliers Pear Cider comes from Jersey and is premiumly priced at $12 a 500ml bottle. When it comes to cider, I’d always cede to the knowledge of our West Country correspondent, but this’d have to be describd as an upmarket cider. I was presented with a posh glass filled with ice to accompany my bottle. The aroma smelt more like Allens Bananas, than Pear, but the first sip was very clearly pear – but pear juice – not cider. I associate cider with fizz, and whilst there was a spritz to it, it was more like Mateus fizz than Strongbow fizz. This wasn’t sickly sweet and I could have gone another at a push – but no more.

St.Helier Pear Cider is brewed in Jersey in the town of the same name. It produces 5 varities – but all are based on pear. Saint Helier was an “ascetic hermit” who was beheaded and became the patron saint of Jersey. Bit daft to name a cider after an ascetic, given as I’m sure you are all aware, an ascetic practices abstinence. Maybe ironic. Each to their own. One to buy the missus when you’re feeling generous.