The sun-drenched courtyard at Martha's Pantry beckoned, so we stopped for lunch.
PREVIEW: Martha's Pantry is an old-fashioned tea room, complete with homemade goodies.
Opening the door, you're hit by a wave of pink decor, frills and pretty tablecloths. The tables are set with fine-bone crockery, collectible spoons and sugar pots.
We were greeted by a waitress who said although they were full, it would be no problem to set up a table in the courtyard.
While she was busy doing that, we headed to the food cabinet. The art of baking is certainly not lost on Anita and Ondine McLeod, owners and sisters.
As well as club sandwiches, there are mini-quiches, scones, cupcakes and an array of other baked goodies.
Many customers were enjoying tiered cake stands of sweet and savoury nibbles, but we were not that hungry.
I chose a ham and cheese croissant and custard square, my friend the bacon and egg bagel, berry cupcake and super thick chocolate milkshake.
While waiting for our lunch to arrive, we nipped inside for some sunhats, which were hanging on a hook for customers to borrow. It's thoughtful touch.
Our food arrived promptly, but our coffees did not. I checked with a waiter, who was most apologetic and promptly sorted out the problem. Another staff member then arrived with a small plate of custard squares as a further apology. What amazing service.
Although the portions were not huge, they filled the gap. Perhaps, as my friend said, quality makes for a good meal.
The coffees were strong and the milkshake lived up to its super-thick description.
Situated right on the corner of Cuba St and Karo Drive (the inner-city bypass), I expected the hum of cars to be distracting. It was not.
Martha's Pantry is an oasis of civilised dining and we will certainly be returning.
The meal cost $36 for two.
- The Wellingtonian