Angela Cuming gives her verdict on Waikato's cafe scene.
Here's a tip. Plan a trip to a garden centre with an outdoor cafe if you want it to rain. The Irishman and I did. It bucketed, but for once we didn't mind. It's hard, you see, to be cross about anything when you are sitting in a place like Cafe Fresca.
This wonderful spot on the corner of Kahikatea Drive and Alison Street in Hamilton is attached to a nursery, therefore combining two of Hamilton's favourite pursuits - drinking coffee and gardening.
The Irishman had chanced upon it one weekday on an emergency dash for a flat white, found all its tables to be packed with happy punters and was pleased to be making a return trip.
The cafe itself has an al-fresco area, but happily doesn't ignore our tendency for rubbish weekend weather by having a generous indoor area as well.
We took a seat underneath a wonderful arrangement of silk cherry blossoms hanging from the ceiling, hoped the outdoor Chinese lanterns weren't getting too wet, and ordered some welcome hot drinks.
The service was amazing. The chai latte brought to me was equally good.
The place was packed. That says a lot on a miserable, cold day when it was hammering with rain.
I have heard quite a few folk rave about this place, and I can see why. Check out its Facebook page to see its awesome opening hours (anything past 5pm gets an A-plus from me) and check out the menu.
And don't worry about rain. There's a big collection of courtesy umbrellas, and, anyway, it's good for the plants you will not be able to resist taking home to your garden.