The Somm Series Edition 5: Henry Holland



Welcome back to The Somm Series, a celebration of food pairings with Idée Fixe from iconic restaurants, as selected by leading sommeliers around Australia. In this edition, Henry Holland, a friendly face from the Adelaide hospitality scene and one of the team behind Long Play Bistro in Adelaide shares a pairing from one of South Australia’s latest venues.

Long Play Bistro opened its doors in the latter half of 2023, offering a “relaxed, warm, and curated” space for enjoying exceptional food and wine. This venue is the latest creation from the Adelaide hospitality legends behind the iconic Clever Little Tailor and Pink Moon Saloon. With a stronger focus on food and wine, Long Play Bistro has opened new creative avenues for Henry Holland and the team.

At this relaxed European-style bistro, guests can savour a refined menu crafted by Chef Callum Horn, formerly of Summertown Aristologist. The wine list, meticulously curated by Henry, places an “unashamed emphasis on the wines, producers, and regions we gravitate towards.” Henry ensures that every wine listed is one he would personally enjoy at home with a friend or over dinner.

Adding to the ambiance, Henry and the team handpick the daily playlist, selecting from a collection of vinyl to keep your ears happy. Long Play Bistro seamlessly blends exceptional food, wine, and music, offering a dining experience that delights all the senses.

Read on as Henry talks us through his pairing with Idée Fixe Premier Brut, his food and wine pairing philosophy, how he started out in the industry, tips for newcomers and of course, a couple of highlights from the current Long Play Bistro playlist!

Discover our full interview with Henry Holland.

Henry, you’ve been in the Adelaide hospo scene for some time, can you tell us about where it all began for you?

My career started as soon as I was 18, as a glassy at [The Stag, Rundle St], a pub which doubled as a nightclub on the weekends. A pretty classic setup for Adelaide at the time, before there were any small venues. That venue had some of the hardest working hospitality staff I’ve met, still to this date. Things ramped up in 2013 when the Small Venue License legislation opened the doors to more creative and operator driven venues. At the time I was working in a hotel cocktail bar but spending most of my evening knockoffs at the now institutional Clever Little Tailor [Peel St] which had opened in April. There was a real buzz about the venue, the staff and the offering. We had a shared curiosity mindset and enthusiasm for learning which led to the inevitable job offer from my now brother in law, Marshall King.

While working at Clevers for 3 years I was supported by great mentors from within the business and the greater hospitality community. Many were responsible for helping to dial in the knowledge and skillset required to then take a plunge into the rest of Adelaide’s burgeoning nightlife & restaurant scene. The most significant venue of which was at Osteria Oggi, where Nicola and the team trusted me to look after the wine list, following in the footsteps of two of Adelaide’s great wine brains Tim White & Dan McEvoy. The years I spent at Oggi will forever be some of my most treasured and important – it’s hard to overstate the impact the wine and hospitality community present in that venue over that period.

How long was Long Play Bistro in the works and what was it like seeing the project come to life?

Longplay Bistro was in the clouds as an amorphous project for at least 2 years before we found the site on Pirie St and went for it. In 2021 I’d finished up at Osteria Oggi when Dana, Marshall & I decided to get the old band back together. While we could all agree that we wanted to crate a new space that connected our shared love for food, wine, music and hospitality, at the time the shape of the venue was a lot less concrete. We’d even seriously discussed a more live music entertainment style venue but never found the right venue for it. The space Pirie Street had historically housed great food and wine venues so we finally agreed on the concept, although it would take us another few months to agree on a name.

The build was particularly interesting as we took a heavy DIY approach. One of our new business partners Lenin built our bar stools as well as the sound system and record player install. Dana built the tables, we cut back and resealed the concrete together. Marshall and I spent a lot of time rendering the walls. My mother hemmed some curtains together for us. We found a disused kitchen for sale in McLaren Vale which we had to disassemble ourselves then drive it back to town in a box truck, two trips, to then rebuild on site. We used this time as a great bonding moment and were always discussing our vision for the restaurant.

With the launch of LP, did this provide you with new opportunities from a food and beverage point of view?

We had found that the bars we ran on Peel and Leigh Street were becoming more cocktail and less wine focussed. Couple that with a more limited, snacky food offering and the wine bottles that we were personally digging were increasingly harder to sell. Longplay Bistro opened the doors for us, creatively speaking, since the full bistro menu promotes a deep dive into the wine list. Our chef Calum Horn is always keeping busy with new specials based on the incoming produce which excites us and keeps our guests coming back for new experiences.

In three words, how would you would use to describe Long Play Bistro to someone who has never been.
Relaxed, warming, curated.

How would you describe food offering at Long Play Bistro?
Our food is primarily unfussy but well executed classic bistro offerings. Most of the dishes you would have come across if you’ve dined out in European leaning restaurants. We pepper the menu with more produce driven specials led by Calum.

Tell us a little bit about the Long Play Bistro winelist.

Our wine list is very much a reflection of the wines that we drink ourselves. I think it’s more honest that way – I maintain that I’d never put on a wine that I wouldn’t drink at home with a friend over dinner. There is an unashamed emphasis on the wines, producers and regions that we gravitate towards.

We also love to highlight domestic producers and pitch them against their international counterparts. Increasingly, the great European wines are rising in price so it’s more important now then ever to offer great Australian options as a more affordable look. To be honest, the quality differential between Australian and old world wines is essentially non-existent for almost every variety and it’s great to showcase this.

Can you recall your first encounter with Idée Fixe – what was your initial impression of the wine?

We’ve always been fans of Margaret River and Vasse Felix so we already knew it was going to be great. I think the first release I preferred the rose but I’ve become more of a fan of the Blanc de Blancs over time.

What have you chosen to pair with Idée Fixe – tell us in a few words why you chose this pairing and why it works?

I wanted to showcase the amazing Margaret River chardonnay that comprises the Blanc de Blancs. A well seared, crispy snapper fillet on a rich beurre blanc sauce was the right choice here. The wine has a little salinity and gorgeous, integrated, velvety mousse that really cleanses and refreshes, inviting the next bite.

Do you have a food and wine pairing philosophy?

Food and wine pairings can tend toward the overly complex, perhaps snobby. We try to remain true to our relaxed bistro vibe by offering some guidance in terms of the classic pairings like duck and pinot, red sauce pasta with Sangiovese, or perhaps finishing the meal with a great Comte and chardonnay combination, but you’d be surprised at how sometimes guests don’t really seem to mind and end up grabbing a great bottle of shiraz while they’re eating oysters. So I guess our philosophy is that while that might not be strictly by the books, if they’re having a great experience, then can we say they’re in the wrong for doing so?

Do you have a favourite food and wine memory that has stuck with you?

One of my favourite food and wine memories that helped shape my wine drinking was dining at Vue de Monde over a decade ago. I was dining with a mate and were feeling trigger happy so we egged each other on to doing the top end wine pairing with the set menu for the night. They took us through a range of wines diving from crystal then onto Oregon pinot, then to Aussie chardonnay, then some riesling, back to red and so on. The bouncing between reds, whites, sparkling with no particular reverence for the standard procedure of starting light and bubbly, finishing red and rich really resonated with me. Because of this at tastings and dinners and these days I always just run through the wines as they are presented or how we feel in the moment, bouncing between styles and varieties in much the same way.

What do you love most about working in the hospo/wine/food industry?

We’re a hedonistic bunch at heart and the food and wine industry plays into that Epicurean within us. I love that our line of work is light hearted and can be indulgent at times. I love that we get to make guests feel welcomed, comfortable and special in a space that is an honest reflection of our passions.

Any tips for someone starting out in the industry?

Find the good operators and stick it with them. The hospo industry definitely has a reputation for shady operators but there are honest ones out there. Know your worth and don’t be afraid to leave if you find yourself being short changed or treated poorly. If you are passionate about any aspect of hospitality, stick with it and strive to stay curious and keep learning.

What 3 records are on high rotation currently at LP?

  1. The Spinners – Love Trippin’. Released in 1980 this record was not particularly well received at the time but 40 years later it totally rocks our Bistro. It’s a little boogie funk LP that sees some more classic soul toward the end. All the front of house sing when the infectious ‘Cupid Medley’ comes on track 3.
  2. Hiroshi Suzuki – Cat. Released in 1976 this is one of the great cult Japanese fusion records from elite trombonist Hiroshi Suzuki – nicknamed Neko (Cat). Jazz and funk archetypes are imbued with dreamy, relaxed brass solos that resonate with
    the same ambience we aim for in the bistro.
  3. Herbert – Around the House. Released in 1998, Herbert famously samples everyday household objects such as kitchen sinks, toothbrushes and cheese graters. You wouldn’t really know it though because Herbert aims to make tasteful, danceable electronica and as such the end result is not an esoteric mess, but decidedly sublime.

LONG PLAY BISTRO is located at 131 Pirie Street, Adelaide – South Australia. For bookings and more, visit or @longplaybistro