Category Archives: Cafes and Coffees

Cowbell 808

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What a weekend we had in Sydney! It’s supposed to be Autumn and we spent the entire weekend sunning ourselves on the beach. It was just the little reminder I needed as to why we made the move to this beautiful city. I suppose I have been getting myself too wrapped up in the admin of finding a job and settling into a new place (our couch has still not been delivered almost 9 weeks later!!!). I think sometimes I just need to: stop. breathe. take a look around. It’s amazing what you see when you open your eyes.

I had a little wander around Surrey Hills today and came across a cafe called Cowbell 808. This place is cool. The walls are covered in posters (reminding me of my bedroom when I was 12!), there is a vinyl collection at the counter, Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was in full swing, boom boxes and roller skates on the wall and I loved loved loved the specials “board”: a roll of brown paper! I had a great “sambo” (Aussie slang is tough to master – I presume this means sandwich?! Also commonly referred to as a “sanger”) and my usual flat white (yet another great cuppa – haha me speaking Aussie). The waitress was really friendly and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Cowbell 808
Cowbell 808

Cowbell 808

Cowbell 808

Cowbell 808
616 Bourke St, Surrey Hills

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Palomino Espresso

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Things are looking up for me on the job front, I am finally interviewing! Three this week in fact! This is really great news but at the same time, it’s such an emotional rollercoaster. I feel like I am dating again: will they like me? What should I wear? What should I say? How should I say it? And then the jobs are like men; so I far I have met the cool, sexy, popular one, residing in a funky part of town, then there is the reliable one – sweet, lots to offer but I just don’t feel the spark. So will the cool one call me back? Does he want to see me again? Ugh, what am I? Sixteen?

So I am feeling like a ball of nerves at the moment, my mind is buzzing with things I need to remember and say at these interviews. But, as always, the one thing I am 100% certain about is: a girl’s gotta eat.

Finding myself in the city again after my interview, I followed some more great Time Out advice and visited Palomino Espresso on York Street. The promise of a great lunch and beverage was my inspiration. I loved the place, my sandwich was really tasty, the service was friendly and they had made an effort with their decor. And perfectly located across the way from Wynyard Station. A little CBD treasure.

As Time Out says: “Whoever said that the CBD lacked cafés with heart is clearly yet to discover Palomino Espresso”. Hear hear!

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Palomino Espresso
Palomino Espresso
Palomino Espresso

Palomino Espresso
Shop 1/61 York Street, Sydney

Barefoot Coffee Traders

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Tourist traps. Ugh, I hate them. I want to see all the sights a city has to offer but I just cannot stand the eating establishments that surround them. I want to venture a few roads away and see the places that are the real deal. The places with a bit of character that show you the true colours of the city you are in.

This inspiration came from a friend we visited in New York two years ago. Whatever attraction we went to see that day, she would say to us: if you are hungry or thirsty when you are done, go left down this road, turn right down the next, go straight and then you will find this great spot (something along those lines). So, we did, we headed a few roads away from the attraction, away from all the tourists; and we felt like we got to know New York, rather than just see her sights.

So it is with Manly in Sydney, that Corso, it’s just too touristy for me. But, when you get to the New Brighton Hotel, turn left into Sydney Road and there a whole new world of independent (non-chain!!!) restaurants and cafes await.

Today I visited Barefoot Coffee Traders. Another teeny little coffee shop serving another great cup of coffee. Sydney, you are definitely not disappointing me. There are little tree stump stools so if you do fancy sitting you can, if there is a spare spot. Luckily for me, there was and I stopped to read my new book for a while, sipping my flat white and taking it all in (minus the tourists!).

Barefoot Coffee Traders
18a Whistler Street, Manly

Cafe: The Freshwater Club

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It’s a dismal day outside with the kind of weather that makes you want to hide far beneath the duvet. But we’re hungry and my husband has the day off, we feel obliged to make the most of the day. We head out and face the elements making our way to brunch at a local spot (besides, we aren’t trekking too far in this weather, the closer the better).

There is a lovely spot on Lawrence Street called The Freshwater Club, and at 10.30 on a very rainy Friday morning, it’s almost full (this is always a good sign, I don’t like quiet cafes/restaurants – they make me suspicious). The phrase “Shabby Chic” is everywhere these days but I have to use it to describe the decor here and maybe I’ll add Beach to that phrase: Shabby Chic Beach style. I love it. The environment is relaxed, the waiters are friendly and chatty. Then the coffee arrives…

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How. Do. They. Do. That?!?! A puppy on my coffee? Incredible! It tasted great too.

We ordered our meals, I had the Brekkie Wrap with bacon, spinach, avo, fried egg, cheddar cheese and green tomato jam. My husband had one of the Breakfast Specials: Smoked Salmon and Poached Eggs with Spicy Avocado Salsa on Sourdough Bread. Yummy!! It was hard to decide what to have, there were loads of tempting choices. Perhaps we’ll try them the next time we come here, there most definitely will be a next time.

We then ordered another drink each, a flat white and a Dirty Chai (new experience for me – chai spice with a single shot of espresso, brilliant!). There was more amazement when they arrived:

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How do they do that?

Unbelievable. These guys are talented!

The place was fun and we were really tickled by the patterns on the coffees. This may become our local brunch stop. Now, where is that sunshine Australia is famous for? I did not sign up for all this rain!

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The Freshwater Club
7B Lawrence Street, Freshwater Village
http://thefreshwaterclub.com.au/

Sydney Cafe: Workshop Espresso

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Yet another glorious day in Sydney, yet another trip into the city to meet up with a recruiter. Sigh. This seemingly never-ending job search does have a massive upside though: each trip into the city gives me an excuse to try a new place. Hooray!

Yesterday, after my meeting and following some very good advice found on the Time Out website, I headed off to try out the recommended Workshop Espresso. And I’m glad I did. There it was, on the busy George Street, a gorgeous little cafe, full of character, good decor and most importantly good coffee. I sat down inside to enjoy my flat white and felt far removed from the bustling city a few metres away. People stopped for a chat with the baristas and everyone was smiling and friendly. Such a happy place.

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So very workshop

It is tiny inside, with the seating space made up of a metal table top and stools on the right hand side, but I think that added to its charm. Most of the floor space is used for making their coffee, as it should be. The decor is lovely, very industrial, in fact, very workshoppy (go figure?!). Stacked coffee cups and bags of coffee line the counters and the usual muffins and small cakes expected at a cafe are served, along with a few sandwiches.

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I am glad I stopped by, it was a great Sydney coffee experience. I may not be getting my dream job in this city but I am definitely getting my dream coffee.

Workshop Espresso
500 George Street, Sydney