Monday, January 26, 2009

Teatime With Sarah

Today was a funny old day. I had planned to catch up with an old workmate this afternoon, so when Mikey rang at 1pm to see if I was free for a picnic in Centennial Park I tried to figure out if I could shoehorn it into the schedule... and it just didn't fit. So having turned it down I hung out at home for a while and then started getting ready for my afternoon coffee catch up with my old workmate. Except, she cancelled at short notice. It would have been quite late by the time I changed gears and got to the park, so instead of too many things to do I ended up with too few.

So, it may be the case that when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. It's definitely the case though that when the going gets dull, the dull err... bored go shopping. I decided to do some bookshop window shopping at least. Newtown already has some great bookshops but there's always room for one more, and one more has just been added. (Actually, a few years ago my favourite secondhand bookstore closed, and recently another of the new books bookstores closed for renovations, so essentially the balance has been maintained.)

Miniature Perfection

The perfect miniature lemon meringue tart.

So I was wandering around the secondhand level of the new Berkelouw bookstore in Newtown, wedged in an aisle between Christianity to sinister and Sex/Gender to dexter (common, right?), when I heard my name called. My good friend Sarah had a similar idea as it turns out, and so we both found ourselves in the same place at the same time.

Industrial Style

Industrial style in the secondhand books level.

Berkelouws have a fantastic formula for their large bookstores, one level of new books, one of secondhand and antiquarian books, and a cafe. This new store has been created inside an old two story warehouse space in a side street in Newtown, and I'm in love with the conversion. High ceilings, original windows, sandblasted brick, raw timber shelving, old patinated wood, tin and industrial style lighting.


I want these lights. WANT.

Oh, and the most fabulous antique searchlight type industrial lights that I coveted so bad I could taste it. There was a pair, and for a few seconds I made fantasy calculations as to whether Sarah and I could make the dash downstairs and out the front door carrying one each.


The clerestory and exposed tin ceiling.

So instead of a dull afternoon, I had a lovely coffee date after all! A perfect little meringue and organic mint tea for me, and a latte and little passionfruit cheesecake tart for Sarah. The cafe was light and airy, and although fairly full was quieter and less bustly than many Newtown cafes. Judging by the laptops out on a few tables I would assume there's free wifi too. It was a lovely afternoon talking about creativity and the future, and the perfect antidote to a dull afternoon.


thombeau said...

You would LOVE Powell's Books in Portland. It would blow your mind! For a book lover, it's either heaven or hell. Heaven, because the selection is freakin' amazing. Hell, because you can't have it all!

The Other Andrew said...

Oh, I understand that conundrum, that frisson, that internal conflict all too well!

M-H said...

I've seen those spotlights at Coco Republic. I didn't check the price. They have these really Hemingway-esque thing going with their products. Can't say that most of it appeals to me, but we loved the sofas (obviously!)

Tall and Handsome said...

Please don't encourage him, Thom. There isn't a library at Andrew's house & he might build low bookshelves under the window & then I'll not have a sofa bed to rest on when I visit.

Ur-spo said...

oh how i love the concept of tea time
The USA would be so more at ease if we all did high tea from time to time.