Time Out

Time out: Central Cafe
Time out: Central Cafe

Angela Cuming gives her verdict on Waikato's cafe scene.

Where: Central Cafe, 201 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu.

What I had: Pot of English Breakfast tea, $2.50

When I am mentally picturing my perfect cafe, there is often little scope for a battered old car bonnet strung up on a wall.

But there it was in the flesh, at the wonderful Central Cafe in the equally wonderful Te Awamutu.

I wandered into the Central after a Waipa District Council meeting, when a cup of tea and an unwind from heated debates about rates and the like was in order.

Its cheery outdoor furniture and pole position on Alexandra St caught my eye. That was just the beginning of the visual feast.

Inside there were display cabinets of model cars, Elvis, Marilyn and Betty Boop memorabilia and lots of other grown-up racing car stuff, including bonnets and front fenders from professional racecars.

All this might sound a trifle odd for a cafe, but the decor worked. The cafe has a comfortable, friendly feel, helped by its wonderful staff.

My waitress brought over my tea in a cheery teapot with a beaming smile and stopped for a chat about the weather and her son's travel plans. With Elvis playing on the sound system and a stack of free newspapers and glossy magazines at my disposal, it was easy to see why this place is popular with locals and visitors.

Next time I'll be sure to grab a spot on the comfy couch by the window and really make the most of it.

Did you know? 98 per cent of people take their tea with milk, but only 30 per cent add sugar.