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May 12, 2016

La Madeleine owners to open new wine bar

An afternoon of French pastry pairs perfectly with an evening of French wine, and La Madeleine’s William Blanc can sort you out for both.

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  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Julian Cebo

It’s been a little over a year since William Blanc (ignoring our cries of dismay) packed up Au Matin Calme on Hutt Street and moved his pastries to Norwood.


Visit La Madeleine at 246 The Parade, Norwood. The wine bar, La Vigne, is due to open mid-Winter.

Now trading under the La Madeleine banner, William has given eastern suburbs folks a place to go for their fix of pistachio and raspberry croissants.

“I always liked Norwood. There’s more people, always busy. Daytime, nighttime, I like the vibe,” William says.

It’s strange to think of what we might be missing had he chosen to remain as a military police officer in France, instead of leaving to study pastry.

The quaint feel of the café is much like William’s products, simple but with attention paid to the right qualities.

“It’s just little bit Parisian style, but inside something more comfortable and unique, but not offensive,” William says.

“I don’t like art on the wall, it’s all very simple. The main thing is the food, so I want to bring that first.”

Due to the reputation William has built within these walls, a second La Madeleine will be opening up as part of Westfield’s redesigned food court at the Marion Shopping Centre, after the group approached him to extend his business.

It’s strange to think what we might be missing had William chosen to remain as a military police officer in France

La Madeleine by Jc for CM-1647

But in much more exciting news, at least for CityMag readers in the Norwood area, William has acquired the space next door to his café and will be opening a late night wine bar.

“La Vigne. So it means ‘vine’. I know it’s hard to pronounce, but people will say ‘the French place’ anyway,” William laughs.

“We open in maybe one or two months.

“Because this business needs to grow a little bit [in terms of] sitting space, so it was a good opportunity to take next door.

“I didn’t know what to do with it, I looked at the space, it’s dark and narrow, small – it would be great for a wine bar.

“So they come here, [then] nighttime they go [next door].”

As for the wine offering, La Vigne’s focus will be European with a “little bit of Australian,” but William plans to leave possibilities open.

“We will start slowly, slowly and see what people ask for. If they want French wine, then we do French wine,” William says.

To be honest, whatever he’s serving, so long as there are pastries too, CityMag will be there.


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