The idea of eating out at a cafe didn’t exist when i was growing up. We ate at home, or sometimes had Sunday night tea at a friend’s house. Only on the occasional visit to Melbourne would there be a modest meal in a cafe. The Wattle Cafe springs to mind.
As a teenager I would be allowed a rare milk shake in a Milk Bar – but not a Malted milk, I didn’t like them. And the height of luxury was a Banana Split for 9d (nine pence). A potential luxury was the fish and chips shop but my mother didn’t trust the freshness of the fish as it had to be brought up from Melbourne. The chips were another matter. I adored them; those lovely, dirty, tasty chips cooked in fat which had acquired a flavour all of its own. I used to call them dirty chips as the chips my mother made were so pale and golden and evenly toned, these days a food photographer’s delight. But like the other treats dirty chips were a rarity. (Note to self – when did refrigerated trucks come into being for the transport of fressh food ?}
And so I don’t have any early cafe pictures.
But now it is a different story. Eating out is common but so is a visit to a cafe simply for a coffee. Sometimes it is in the company of a friend but often in the company of a book.
Barwon Edge is built on the river flats of the Barwon River at Geelong. It used to be a Turf Farm but a few years ago the drought forced the transfer of the Turf Farm to another district. We lost a Turf Farm but we gained a most attractive restaurant/cafe on the bank above the river, level with the tree tops.
It provides a coffee break for people using the walking path along the river. It is also a popular place for friends to meet for lunch. On the other side, away from the river, remains a large grassed area and at the front door three pools provide a place for displays of feeding the fish. A pleasant interlude between two suburbs.
But if it’s just coffee and a book there’s no need for a cafe – just a takeaway coffee in the car down at the Balliang Sanctuary a hop, step and a jump along the river from Barwon Edge. Lots of lovely water birds to watch.
Or why bother with a cafe when you can have it all at home – food, coffee, book, cryptic crossword , radio, TV program, remote control, everything but the kitchen sink at your fingertips.
And for more Cafe related stories go to this week’s Sepia Saturday