A few of your favourite things, together - that was what Lullaby of Birdland aimed to serve when it opened in upper Cuba St in June this year.
The boutique store set out to not just offer coffee paired with sweet and savoury treats, but also a range of stylish vintage clothing. The owner got the idea from places that had a similar concept overseas.
"With online shopping taking off, retailers need to offer something a bit different," says owner Nick Harvie.
Lullaby of Birdland . . . is a great place to be on a sunny day, just like today. The window is open and it's a perfect spot to soak up the upper Cuba St vibe.
The interior . . . works well. Neither the cafe nor the clothing racks overwhelm each other. The decor is light and simple. The rows of vintage wear add colour to the place.
The overall feeling of the place is . . . young, stylish and hip. Lullaby was certainly one of the first in Wellington to embrace the concept of retail fusion, but with the trend taking off overseas, it may be that the store becomes an early pioneer.
I'm tempted by . . . the banana bread, $4, although I decide on the cheese scone, also $4. With limited preparation space, the food cabinet isn't vast, but they've chosen a nice selection of bites you can have with your coffee. The scone is large and tasty, and there's a generous helping of butter and jam, although it has been toasted in a sandwich press, which might not be to everyone's preference.
My friend orders . . . the bagel with pesto and cream cheese, $5. Again, there's plenty of pesto and cream cheese, which is pleasing to see. We also split a gluten-free raspberry friand, $4, which is absolutely delicious - almost too good to share.
The service is . . . friendly and fairly prompt. For a while, we're the only people in the place, but we don't feel watched.
The sounds are . . . soft rock - not what you'd hear at other cafes, perhaps reflecting the younger crowd targeted.
The coffee is . . . Flight. Flat white, $4. Hot and good, 6/10. It's definitely a flat white, not a pseudo cappuccino, as can be found elsewhere. The coffee doesn't have the kick that others do, which works for the lovely mocha, $4.80, but with the flat white, it's like there's just a little something missing.
I can read . . . trendy lady mags, including UK publication The Gentlewoman, and there's a coffee-table book or two around.
We're surrounded by . . . not too many others. The ones who stop in look to be hip university students, perhaps from the neighbouring Victoria University School of Design.
If I went back again, I'd try the . . . Six Barrel soda flavours, $3.80 - most likely the refreshing-sounding lemon and raspberry or cherry and pomegranate, followed by another of those scrumptious friands.
Lullaby of Birdland
209 Cuba St, Te Aro
Phone: 04 916 2021
Opening hours: Monday & Tuesday, 7.30am-4pm; Wednesday, 7.30am-5pm; Thursday & Friday, 7.30am-5.30pm; Saturday, 10am-4.30pm; Sunday, 10.30am-4pm.
- The Dominion Post