February 17   Cafe Review: Dome

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On Saturday we had reason to look for somewhere to camp for a while. The baby and I were hanging out in the CBD whilst C was off doing things for about 2 hours. I had in mind a couple of cafes I wanted to hang out in but most of them were closed. Looks like the Milligan end of Hay St is for work hours and not so much a Saturday at lunchtime.

We ended up at the Dome cafe right on the corner of Milligan and Hay St. Dome is an old faithful. It’s not my favourite cup of coffee but it’s fine. The menu feels like it could really use a freshen up. But again, it’s fine. The best bit I guess is there is lots of space to sit for a while and noone really seems to mind.

The aisles are wide and there enough room to maneuver. The staff were affable and very attentive to the baby. However, once you’ve ordered, you really have no interaction with the staff again. Someone brings out your order but must be trained not to catch your eye. I noticed tables being cleared but not once did I see one wiped over. In fact, my table was gross (I sat there because it had a lot of room for the baby and the chair was comfy) and needed a wipe over that never had an opportunity to happen and I worked off my lap rather than the table.

The baby was a bit grizzly in the first hour but the place was reasonably empty and didn’t seem to bother anyone. She slept for the second hour and again, wasn’t really bothered by anyone. Wide aisles meant people could move past her without issue. And I really dug the jazz music.

Pros:

  • Comfy seats
  • Generous cups of coffee
  • I like the music
  • Comfortable working space
  • Airconditioned

Cons

  • Ordinary service – good luck getting offered a second cup of coffee, I had to go up to the counter pushing pram in one hand, holding my laptop, wallet and phone in the other to order myself a second cup.
  • I’m bored of the menu
  • C said his lunch was not made with love. his serving of squid rings did look awfully meagre and his side salad was simply lettuce (my Mediterranean roasted vegetable wrap was fine; was hot and seemed fresh)

I actually managed to get a lot of work done – it might have only been 20 to 40 minutes or so due to the baby not really settling but it was pretty focussed. I was left alone and the space was comfy, reasonably quiet, airconned on a warm day. I liked the funky music for getting in the mood for working. I would probably work in a Dome again and this one was a good Saturday in the city option.



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February 10   Cafe Review: Cantina

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photo(79)This cafe visit was purely leisure as I met up with my sister for lunch last week. It was a very hot day and the baby and I had had an *interesting*, shall we say, morning.

Cantina, on Beautfort St, is a lil’ bit fancy and I’m never really sure about it. It’s a bit pricey but the coffee is really good. The service is very attentive and obliging but you can’t alter anything on the menu, which was problematic for me when pregnant as their only vegetarian dishes weren’t pregnancy friendly.

Pros:

  • Good coffee
  • Excellent table service
  • Very clean toilets
  • Nice range of seating options including booths (good for allowing the baby to spread out) and out of the way tables with ramp for access.
  • My pram was technically in the way of traffic but noone really minded
  • We sat for quite a while and the staff were happy to offer more coffee and refills of free water
  • The food is good – I ordered the gnocchi which I both ordered at the cafe I reviewed last week and the last time I was at this cafe. I like gnocchi. Also, vegetarian.

Cons:

  • No Wifi.
  • It’s pricey
  • The coffee is served in itty bitty cups. It felt like 3 mouthfuls of flat white. Delicious but not really enough for if you want to sit over a cup of coffee. Also … expensive for what you get.
  • We sat outside on the warm day which was warm

Overall, the coffee is very good and the service makes the visit enjoyable. It’s a nice spot to catch up with friends, I’m a semi regular there. But I don’t think it will be on our working space list.



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January 30   Cafe Review: Waldecks

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photo(71) I’m still disproportionately excited about meeting up with Amanda last week for a study session. We had a really great catch up and then got a couple of decent hours of work in. Maybe not the most productive work session in my life but definitely one of the most productive for me in a while. It saddens me a bit to say that equals to sitting down in one stretch and writing 1000 words for my phd and reading one submission with care. But then, that’s also probably almost all the work I’ve done since then. The bub is pretty good in a cafe, much better than at home where she seems to need a lot more entertaining. She might be a bit more of a socialite than me in that regard!

I figure leaving the house with her is going to be the best bet for me in getting work done over the next little while. So I’m going to keep track of the places that work and those that don’t. What do you look for in a cafe? Any suggestions for places in Perth to get a good cup of coffee AND to work in?

My first suggestion was the Waldecks cafe in Karrinyup, mostly cause it has such a nice setting out on the decking with very cool cane couches and the vista of their plants for sale. We went on that very hot day last week and it did have a light breeze that took the edge off some of the time.

Pros:

  • Large comfy couches and tables outside and large tables inside to spread out and work on.
  • Pretty setting to stare at whilst thinking.
  • Coffee not bad.
  • Reasonable access for a pram.
  • Lots of space to put babies down (see photo).
  • Free Wifi.

Cons:

  • Service is not awesome (twice I’ve been there, twice it’s not been good).
  • Coffee is not great.
  • Inside is pretty noisy.
  • Hot on a really hot day.

Even though the pros outnumber the cons, I’m still a bit meh about this cafe. Free wifi and lots of space are pretty appealling. I’d have drunk more cups of coffee if the staff had offered me or if when I asked to order another, I wasn’t sent to the front counter to do so.

 



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