Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Fit for a King

Sometimes you walk into a café, and it fits. You know, like coming home.
That’s how I felt when I first visited the newly opened King Henry Arts Café on the mountain.

I’ve been a regular there ever since.

Built in 1902, the old cottage interior has been tastefully renovated inside and out.

Delightful old furnishings grace the interior.

 A cosy table for two - lucky number 13

 The man himself, HRH…

The ambience is warm and welcoming, and the cottage wears its antiques well.

There is even a stunning four poster bed in a room off the front entrance that would make anyone feel like a royal sleeping in it, I’m sure.

Outside on the wide, wooden deck, comfortable bench seating overlooks peaceful gardens.

A path lined with graceful, lush tree ferns that winds its way down into a secretive forest gully to a shaded winter creek hidden below tall trees.

One can almost expect a lyrebird, echidna or wallaby to pass by at any moment.
And, if you sit awhile, you might be rewarded for your patience.

The grounds are a wonderful place to explore and delight in sights, sounds, scents and textures.

Venture across the bridge to a magical, forested world...

Even esteemed four legged visitors have a stately font to drink from.

Back at the café, the large open corner window offers an enticing glimpse into the “engine room” filled with gleaming wares and machines at the ready for brewing that perfect cup of choice.

The friendly staff are there to greet and seat with a chilled glass of water while viewing the menu for breakfast, lunch, Devonshire tea or coffee and cake.

To me, the test of a good coffee is a flat white - no sugar.
If a well made coffee has correctly heated milk, then it’s sweet enough. Taste the full bodied flavours – without the sugar mask.
That goes for espresso too. There should be a hint of caramel, but never be “bitter”.
At King Henry, the head barista is always on point.  She knows coffee.  Has an affinity with it and builds a great coffee.  Fresh roast, grind and milk.  Correct dose.  Never burnt/bitter.  Never cold.  Just right.  Consistently.

And, when a barista samples their brews throughout the day, you know you’re in good hands.  Always something to look forward to.

On Saturday, hubby and I decided to drop by for breakfast.

I drew a sigh of contentment as I sat in now familiar surrounds on the deck.
Cradling our kick starter coffees, we relished the still cool, crisp mountain air - a welcome morning respite before the heat of the day.
We enjoyed a well prepared, cooked and served breakfast.  Each mouthful was savoured.

The old saying goes, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”.

Well, we dined like a king - and queen - and were comfortably replete for the rest of the day.

We really are fortunate to have wonderful places such as this so near to home.
A restful haven to sit a while, replenish the senses and recharge the batteries.

I hope this café does well and draws visitors from near and far. A royal reward for all of the hard work and passion which the owners, and staff, have devoted to it.

Long live the King!


  1. hey you..lovely post. Nice cafe...maybe you can show me around when im there next year! looks like just my cuppa tea.
    Also just checked out dirty harry..looks like my kinda hare...Evie has a book she loves called Ruby red Shoes..a story about an aware hare...always something in common :-)
    loved our chat this morning as the sky turned from black to blue..the day is now steamy and still and im praying for some rain..what will be will be..the seasons are turning and l look forward to autumn's sweet promise of cool days with a sprinkling of both sun and rain...bring back the rainbows!
    Look forward to our next REGULAR catch up..Love you dear pal xxxxxxx Rosie xxx

    1. Hiya! It certainly is your cuppa tea/coffee/chai or whatever else you'd like... my shout :)
      It's just up the road, you'll love it - and the rest of the cool places on the mountain.
      Hmmm, I think my Harry and Evie's Ruby might have something in common too - they both love to explore :)

      I'll blow some cool mountain air your way dear pal. I hope autumn touches your lovely corner of the world with its russet tinted brush very soon.
      Now, if we could just get those big heavy clouds rolling your way too, that would make everything perfect!
      And yes, rainbows over the beautiful SW coast. Magic.

      I've had a smile on my face all day after our chat this morning. We've still got it :)
      Much love xxxxxx

  2. oh my gosh.
    i sometimes forget that you live in paradise.
    until you do another post like this one! it's just magical. unique and gorgeous.
    and i had fun reading rosie's comment. i love it when old friends meet up again!!! smiling here for you too. you two too. LOLOL. XOXO♥

    1. It's an even better paradise when shared right here too :)
      Yes, Rosie has a special way with words - she's very lyrical.
      And, her wonderful Scottish accent is always a delight to hear. My dear pal, she is.
      She can put a smile on anyone's face when they meet her.
      As can you, dear Tam.
      Hope you enjoyed your popcorn last night?
      I munched some right along with you...
      Hugs xxxx

  3. Vicki, thank you for taking me on a wander through that beautiful café and its gorgeous grounds with you. As Tammy J said, you really do live in paradise!



    1. You're very welcome, Victoria.
      I do love discovering places and sharing them here.
      Wish I could shout you all a fabulous coffee/tea at King Henry :)

  4. Oh, what a place--it's beautiful! Not that's my idea of a great day out too! A few weeks ago TJ & I went to a lecture on coffee and learned such a lot--like distinguishing between the "sweet" coffees and more bitters... as well as a good brew, and how to achieve that at home. It was fun! I love breakfast too. I didn't uses to eat breakfast when I was younger, but now I'm a convert. ;o) Thanks for taking us along, Vicki... such fun! HAPPY WEEK ((HUGS))

    1. I'm pretty particular about my coffee when I go out, and have learned much over the years. I rarely go back somewhere if the coffee is "bad". I'm not a snob in any way, but, when it comes to my cup of choice, well.....
      Coffee making really is a skill, and you can tell when the person at the machine has a passion for it - especially when they build great coffee consistently.

      I didn't often eat breakfast when I was younger either. Now, it is a real treat to have a nice bowl of cereal, or something a little more substantial - especially in such lovely surrounds :)
      Wishing you a happy week too Tracy!

  5. what a beautiful and magical place! you are so lucky, to have all these unique place to eat, within traveling distance. lucky, lucky, lucky!!!!

    1. Yes, I do feel very lucky, Tessa.
      There was once a time when we had to travel many miles for a cup of "just so-so".
      I am now ever grateful for the small things/moments in life such as these :)

  6. What a lovely trip you took us on, Vicki. Thank you! It is a paradise---especially when the coffee is made with artisan care. Oh, and Dirty Harry so beautifully made---in my other life I was a fashion pattern maker in San Francisco. So to see such an expertly made fabric sculpture with such character made me ooh and awe!

    1. So glad you enjoyed, Charlene :)
      We waited and watched as the little cottage was lovingly tended and restored, and are happy to be able to share in its re-birth.

      And, thank you for your kind words on my Harry. I am humbled by them, as you are such an amazing creator of outstanding art.

  7. Oh my, such a lovely place. Thank you for this little escape.
    I wish I lived around such beauty.
    Around here the attractions are usually based around the Mississippi and to me, I'm sad to say, it's just a big muddy river.
    We have some wooded areas, parks that are pretty but mostly....cornfields.
    Nothing so magical as where you live!

    I love going out for breakfast. It's become one of my favorite things to do. I guess it comes with age and getting up early. LOL!
    I have to have my coffee or I'm a big grump but I'm far from an expert or connoisseur. This will might horrify you but I love a Mocha flavor.
    Or if it's brunch! and then Iced Coffee! :)
    I envy you your weather. Right now it's in the 20's and we are supposed to get more snow tomorrow.
    Oh well, this winter will make me appreciate Spring just that much more.

    I didn't have to go to jury duty today! They had enough people and boarding was very slow so I got to stay home!
    This is my last day off until sometime in ...April? Jeez, I'm just not going to think about THAT anymore.
    So I spent the day working on some paintings.
    Thanks again for EVERYTHING!
    I do wish I lived close so that we could have coffee and talk for hours!

    1. The Mississippi has always held a fascination for me. And I often conjure up images of those lovely old Victorian riverboats with the amazing paddles on the back.
      When you do finally have some free time again, I'd love to see a blog post with photos of the Miss' and surrounds. The parks, woods and even cornfields. Hubby and I are always so amazed at images of the huuuge cornfields in the US.

      No, please don't think I'd be horrified at a mocha or iced coffee! I love a mocha from time to time, and iced coffee on a hot day is a treat! I hate to think that I come across as a coffee snob... I'm more a coffee geek :)
      It comes from experiencing some seriously badly made coffee, and appreciating when we come across a well made cup - especially when it's consistently good.

      Well, I'm glad jury duty was a no go, and that you were able to create. That's awesome. And now you have a few more in your collection.
      I hope the coming month goes quickly for you, but I am very concerned about the "no day off", for a whole month! I'm pretty sure that's illegal - at least over here.
      I hope you (at least) get paid overtime for the seventh day in each week you have to work. Or, that you get those days off at the end of your work month.
      Watch your health Cindi, and make sure you are well nourished to cope with the workload.
      If you did live closer, I'd treat you to a mocha or two at King Henry :)

    2. Well.... they don't really want me to get overtime. :(
      They just want me to work every single day and to leave early or to go home and come back (do a split shift on the weekends).
      The thing is, I live in Illinois and I have quite the drive across the river over into Iowa and ....I'm just NOT going to do split shifts.
      Just the gas for the van going back and forth twice and the fact that it's currently snowing again...Grrrr.
      But, I will figure it out, and if I don't, well then I will rake in the overtime.
      Anyway...I'm tired just thinking about it.
      and Yes, some day I will do a post of this area. ;)

  8. Great to hear more about this fabulous cafe. And about the coffee too. I drink instant cheap coffee and it is always loaded with sugar. I probably have no idea what a good, proper coffee should taste like.
    The grounds there are wonderful, I love the little waterfall and that white bridge, the trees and rocks.

    1. It is a wonderful place to enjoy a cuppa and spend a little time roaming the grounds - very relaxing.
      I rarely drink coffee at home, preferring to wait until I can go to a favourite place for a treat coffee.
      We're lucky that there are a few good cafés to choose from on the mountain, now.

  9. Haha, what's the point of a gorgeous bed like that if you can't take advantage of it??!! I'd be SOOOO tempted to just test it out - purely in the name of research, of course!! The whole place looks like a gem - and while I'm not a coffee snob, it's nice when it's prepared properly. I guess if I'm ever in the area, I'll probably see you there - I don't know how you can stay away! Have a great week, my friend!

    1. I know! It does look mighty tempting doesn't it?
      Yes, I'm not a coffee snob either, but life is so much better when the coffee is well brewed.

      Let me know if/when you ever do get to the mountain, I'll shout you a coffee :)


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