taking a breather 2: escape cafes

Today my escape destination is Milk and Honey, a little cafe in Civic close to Canberra Centre. They have the most amazing well-presented selection of cakes. At the moment I’m having a “hot caramel”, which seems to be just caramel stirred into steamed milk, and a flourless chocolate praline “delight” which is a cake that is light, crispy (?!) and awesome.

I confess I’m ODing a bit on sugar, mostly in the name of continuing to escape my apartment. ANU has been very kind, they’ve been cheerful and responsive at all times. The premises are clean and in good repair, but they are definitely temporary accomodations, and I’m really looking forward to something more permanent.

This morning, for example, on my way to sign my lease for my New Place, at the border of Braddon (the district of young professional apartment complexes just north of Civic) and Dickson (where a lot of trendy restaurants can be found), I hopped off the bus and spent an hour or so typing away at another coffeeshop in Canberra Centre, The Coffee Club (which I now see is a big chain only because I clicked on their website…). The coffee was unremarkable but reasonably good. I also ordered scones, which came with more jam and whipped butter than I could possibly consume; they themselves were rock-hard, dense and bready, rather than the “short”, flaky things I’ve come to expect from my other coffeeshop experiences. The staff was very friendly; I gather that a smile first thing in the morning goes a long way when the other two patrons in the whole establishment are somber businesspeople wearing emotional masks which match their best power suits. Another thing that will keep me coming back there, though, was the balcony and the view of the morning sky, particularly nice for staring off into space as I tend to need to do at intervals.

Other cafes to which I’ve escaped, and which I might even have mentioned at times, are Tilley’s in Lyneham, which has inviting decor, substantial and satisfying bread pudding, and occasionally (so I’m told) live music; and Sfoglia in Dickson, a small patisserie which is where I go to get cannoli, sfogliatelle and other such Italian delicacies. (The coffee is average at Sfoglia, but then while espresso is better than drip coffee, it’s still hard to get really good espresso. “Espresso roast” means the beans are basically burnt. Best “short black” I’ve had around here so far is at the RSAA, which isn’t much incentive for me to pay for it elsewhere.)

The only annoying thing about these sidewalk cafes is that, being outside, people often smoke there, and so air quality is very dependent on which way the wind is blowing. I just switched to the other side of my table for that reason…

I expect that once I’m settled into my new digs I’ll feel the need to go out less. Mainly I could just use some distractions for a few more weeks yet until I get settled up. Also looking foward to closing the deal on the car, after which I can stay as late at work as I want… like 4 am, in fact, if I’m on Skymapper observing shift. hmmm.

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About Richard

I'm an American scientist who is building a new life in Australia. This space will contain words about science and math, but also philosophy, policy, literature, my travels, occasional rants, all sorts of things I find strange and awesome. The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer at the time (currently University of Sydney), though personally, I think they should.
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One Response to taking a breather 2: escape cafes

  1. Christine says:

    An interesting fact about Tilley’s you may not have heard: it originally opened as a pro-lesbian women’s-only cafe, and men were admitted only in the presence of a woman :)

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