Posts Tagged ‘Cafes’

We were impressed with Good Habit, a new cafe that’s just opened in the old Anglican convent building on the corner of St Asaph and Barbadoes Streets.   On Friday morning we had to go to Ferry Road to find a car park, but they will soon have parking available next door in St Asaph Street.  It’s lovely to see the old Convent of the Sacred Name beautifully refurbished.  The original Deaconess House (a Mountfort design) now houses the Home and Family Trust, and I understand the nuns still inhabit (!) their Retreat House on the site.  The cafe is on the St Asaph Street side, with an attractive garden and sunny outside seats.  On a frosty morning we chose to have our breakfast inside, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  There’s plenty of space in the two main rooms, and the cabinet food, including custard donuts, looked enticing.


I chose Eggspresso, two poached eggs on a herby hash with spinach and hollandaise sauce for $18.50, plus I added a side of mushrooms ($5.50).  This was perfectly done.  The hash was generous, and more to my taste than the usual toast or (horrors) English muffin.  Stephen opted for the Big Breakfast, and managed to eat it all, although he said it was more than he needed and another time he would probably choose the Eggspresso.

On the wall was an iconic photo of a familiar nun cycling past the convent wall, which had been graffitied with an Anarchy sign.  The inner room has a portrait of Jesus above the door.  It’s great to know this Category 1 Historic building has been saved and I’m sure the cafe will be popular.  I understand there is to be a museum on the site documenting the convent’s history.

“A place which once housed pious nuns
now offers tasty custard buns.”



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I’d often heard of events being staged at the Space Academy in St Asaph Street, but never been there.  This week I went, but during the daytime when the Academy becomes Kadett Cafe (Tuesday-Saturday, 8am-4pm).  After 4pm the room becomes a bar and entertainment venue.

Kadett Cafe at Space Academy

They have a small but interesting menu.  My cheese scone was served with butter and relish, and together with a hot chocolate cost just $8.  The teas come in Japanese-style pottery cups.  The room is spacious and quiet, so excellent for a lunchtime meeting.  If you’re down that end of town (between Barbadoes Street and Fitzgerald Avenue) it’s definitely worth a visit.

“I recommend Cafe Kadett
go, if you haven’t tried it yet.”

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Coffee this morning was at Miro, which is the reincarnation of Caffe Roma  in the refurbished Midland Club building.  It’s opened recently, and is surrounded by roadworks and fences, so not easy to get to.  A sign on the Worcester Street Bridge reassured us that access was possible, but it was convoluted.

Sign on Worcester Street Bridge (with graffiti)

The trek was worth while, and we were pleased to find Miro was being well patronised despite the difficult access.  The old Midland Club building has been beautifully restored.

Midland Club building

Inside there was a blazing log fire.  This is one of only three heritage buildings in Christchurch which are permitted to have open fires.  The other two are the Christchurch Club and the Canterbury Club.  There is also an original radiator system, powered by a diesel boiler, all of which date back to the building’s construction in the 1930s.  They serve a good hot chocolate, but no scones or muffins, the only food is from the menu.

We sat by a real fire

There were cacti in glass containers, and bunches of dried flowers.  I guess real flowers would not survive the heat of the fire.    In the drawer of the coffee table were a pack of cards, and dominoes.  I was intrigued that one table had an egg timer, and the waiter confirmed this was to ensure a pot of tea (made with leaves, of course) was infused for the correct length of time.

At present Miro is open only for breakfast and lunch, but it should be a good place for dinner once the river area is finally completed.

“We visited the new Miro
and sat beside the fire aglow.”

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It’s rare for me to be faced with more mushrooms than I can eat, but that’s what happened at breakfast this morning.

Mushroom breakfast

We planned to go to Pepperberry, on the corner of Bealey Avenue and Colombo Street, and found that they are under new management and have become Affogato Cafe.  They’ve expanded into the small florist that used to be next door.  My mushrooms in creamy thyme sauce were delectable, but the serving was too generous, and I couldn’t quite finish them.  Stephen was more than happy with his Eggs Benedict with bacon.

Affogato Cafe

I was pleased they offered tea made with leaves, but they didn’t quite manage to follow my request for no more than 1/4 teaspoon of leaves, and the first cup I poured was too strong.  However the barista willingly removed the leaf basked, and twice gave me more hot water.

“Mushrooms at Affogato were
just a few more than I prefer.”

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Lil’Ruby is a cafe inside the Fresh Choice Supermarket at The Crossing.  It offers a good range of cabinet food, and the opportunity to sit at long tables, something I like because it means you can interact with other customers.

Ruth at Lil’Ruby

I was concerned that their food was served on paper plates, with a plastic knife and plastic butter container.  On inquiry, the staff member assured me it was all recycled, but I wonder….

Plastic knife and butter container, and paper plate

I wanted to check their pile of reading matter, and to do this I needed to go through the Supermarket door.  I then found I had to go past the checkouts to get back to my seat on the other side of the table.  Lil’Ruby staff squeezed between the table and wall, which wasn’t easy.  The reading matter, apart from today’s “Press” consisted a range of glossy cook books.  Stephen was glad to use the camera to capture a couple of recipes.  This cafe, with its view of the attractive supermarket, is a lively place, and the scone tasted good.

“Lil’Ruby’s a fun place to go
with lots to see both to and fro.”


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Bunrunners was a convenient cafe when I worked in Tuam Street.  It’s a couple of years since I’ve been there, and they’ve changed hands since, but it still has a friendly homemade ambience.  For breakfast Stephen chose bacon and eggs with baked beans, which he considers the ideal English breakfast.  I had poached eggs on focaccia toast with a side of mushrooms.  It was all well cooked and presented, and extremely good value.

Our Bunrunners breakfasts

Bunrunners is open Monday to Friday, 6am-4pm, and they have two offstreet car parks.

“For good cheap breakfast I suggest
Bunrunners is one of the best.”


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We met for coffee at Curious Palate.  This is a new cafe in Durham Street, opposite the Provincial Council Chambers.  It’s not well-known yet, and had few customers while we were there.  The service was excellent, but the noise from the talking of the three staff members was distracting, so we moved outside.  When we told the waitress why we’d moved she said they are hoping to do something to the ceiling to improve the acoustics.  My hot chocolate was fine, but my cheese scone was rather heavy and I didn’t finish it.

“I hope that they can lift their game
this cafe with the curious name.”

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