Posts Tagged ‘Cafes’

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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We were enticed by a Grab One voucher to have dinner at Boteco.   This cafe is just around the corner from home, and we enjoyed breakfast there when it first opened eighteen months ago.  Later they reduced their kitchen hours so that breakfast was no longer an option.   Stephen didn’t like the beer they served, and we hadn’t been back for months.  Recently they’ve changed into a Mexican cafe, and become BYO only.

Our voucher, which cost $38, was for a Mediterranean Chargrill Platter for two.  This was promoted as having three shish kebabs per person, 6 chicken wings to share, and roasted vegetables to share.  The meat was nicely cooked, with sauces provided, but the roasted vegetables were a disappointment, consisting of a meagre serving of capsicum.  There was a tiny salad garnish as well.

The corkage charge for our bottle of wine was ten dollars, which seemed outrageous to me, especially as I had none, and Stephen had only one glass.  They didn’t even need to open it.  It’s years (?decades) since we’ve been to a BYO restaurant.  Maybe this kind of corkage charge is usual these days?

It’s a pity when this cafe is so close and the outside area is sheltered and attractive, but I doubt we’ll go there again.  One feature of the courtyard was a convolvulus plant growing up a string of fairy lights.

Convolvulus display

“We found Boteco not the best
and definitely were not impressed.”


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We chose the Black and White Coffee House for refreshment this morning, and I liked the ambience.  It’s a tiny place, opposite the Central Bus Exchange in Lichfield Street.  They say they can seat thirty people, but some of those would need to be out on the footpath.  One wall is covered in pictures, mainly portraits.

On the other wall is an eclectic collection of bric-a-brac on shelves that look like tables.

On our table there were two tiny coffee cups, each hostng a small plant.  I succumbed to the enticement of a Tiramasu Doughnut, and was surprised when it arrived on a board with a knife and fork.

I’ve never used cutlery to eat a doughnut before, but then it’s many years since I’ve eaten a doughnut at all.  It was rather rich, enjoyable, but I’d prefer a cheese scone.  I was told the doughnuts came from the Cake Eating Company.  There certainly wouldn’t be space at the Coffee House for them to prepare such delicacies.

A ‘Press’ was provided and I finished the cryptic crossword all except one clue, before we headed across the road to get a bus home.

“It’s good to try somewhere that’s new
a quirky place that’s diff’rent too.”

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We couldn’t resist stopping at Dispense Espresso for coffee and hot chocolate (and a tasty scone).

Situated beside a pharmacy, it would be the ideal spot to spend time waiting for a prescription.  We wondered about the water dispenser which had no drainage.  Would any drips go to the plant below, and thence to the dog bowl?  Have they dispensed (sic) with any drainage?

The next door stationers had a window display exhorting people to shop locally.  While I totally agree with the sentiment, I thought it would either be preaching to the converted, or likely to send others scurrying back to their own local shops.

We visited the Mitre 10 Mega for garden supplies, and new plants are now safely bedded.

“We’ve been to visit Ferrymead
returning with some plants we need.”

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In days gone by, even for a while after the earthquakes, our favourite place for a special dinner was Tiffany’s.  It had a wonderful situation beside the river and excellent food.   Sadly it changed hands some years ago, and with all the demolition and roadworks the replacement Regatta is struggling.   We had a platter there in 2014, and were not particularly impressed.  Recently they offered a Devonshire Tea for two for $10 on ‘Grab One’, so we thought we’d try again.

Bookings were requested, but we were walking into town and unsure when we’d get there, so waited until we reached the Container Mall to phone.   I was told that the scones weren’t ready yet (at 11am – presumably no-one else had come for morning tea), but that we could have slices instead if we wanted to come then.  Crossing Durham Street was a challenge with cones and fences, but we made it.  Regatta displayed a cabinet of food with no sign of any other customers.  We sat outside and enjoyed the river view, together with chocolate brownies and hot drinks.

Good value for $10, but sad to see how much the restaurant has declined.  Obviously they will be hoping for better times when more of the rebuild is complete, and they probably get some custom from people visiting the Memorial Wall.  I just wonder whether they will survive.

“This restaurant has passed its prime
and now waits for a better time.”




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A shopping trip on a bitterly cold morning required a stop for hot drinks and snacks.  Station One in Papanui Road was our choice, and it was a good one.

This cafe has a friendly character, and all food is made on the premises, including traditional baking.  They even offer discount to Super Gold Card holders, although we didn’t discover that until later.  There’s plenty of cosy space, and the decor is interesting, with cathedral and cat pictures on the walls.

“Ideal for coffee and a bun
suggest that you try Station One.”


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Casamassima in Salisbury Street is definitely worth a visit.  We went for morning tea and were impressed by the fact that they had small Danish pastries at small prices, plus their crockery was bright and different.

They have a large range of Italian delicatessen items, all very tempting.  If we want anything of this kind we usually go to the Mediterranean Food Company, and this new store is another option.

There were three other groups in the cafe while we were there, all men.  This is unusual, perhaps it’s an Italian custom for men to go out for coffee together?  There were two very cute dogs tied up outside waiting patiently.

“It seems a place that men frequent
that’s who was there the day we went.”


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