I organised to meet with a friend at a local coffee shop / restaurant on Tuesday afternoon. I decided to go a bit earlier to take some pictures and do some sketching. This is one of my favourite places to go, not only because the service and food is amazing, but because of the atmosphere at the venue.
From the outside you are greeted with a black and white, elegant shopfront. From only viewing the outside you would imagine a sleek, pristine and crisp space, but it’s quite the opposite. As soon as you want though the front sliding door you are met with a long wooden bench which runs down the centre of the restaurant. This is surrounded by high stools and a wide range of glass jars and cake trays line the bench. To me this instantly gives the venue a homely feeling, encouraging a space for everyone to come together for a meal and a chat.
The presentation of the walls gives it an informal feeling. Whatever render and paint that was on the side walls has been removed, leaving the red bricks exposed. The use of old painted doors and window frames on the walls add to that homely feeling and the mix-matched photo frames on several of the walls are not only eye catching but make you wonder about the history behind such a venue. They draw you in further.
There is an open kitchen at the back of the venue where you can see the chefs and dish-hands going about their work but this is not a focus when you walk in (I only noticed it on my second visit). After seeing the long bench in the middle of the venue, your eyes are pulled to the comfortable lounges and chairs surrounding wooden tables. They look like cosy nooks to sit and read a book in.
All of the tables have jars with fresh flowers in them. The flowers change every day and I love that they don’t always match the rest of the venue. There is upbeat and relaxing music playing in the background but it has minimal words.
One of the reasons I especially love this venue is because it has wide walkways. I can leave my stroller (and hopefully sleeping baby) in the walkway between my table and the bench without people needing to dodge it. Having this wide space allows for people to come and go as they please, with ease.
I think this venue was designed with these family values in mind but I think the different tone of street front is a clever idea. It almost gives the impression of, ‘our great service and food is spread through word of mouth’, rather than what the venue looks like from the outside.