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Since opening its doors in 1997, Avid Reader bookstore in West End has long held a special place in the hearts of Brisbane's literary community. With shelves of best-selling and some boutique and not so well known titles, it is a go-to place for those who love to read.
But it is the Avid Kitchen and Garden where I found myself resting on a lazy Saturday morning. Located at the back of the shop, the Avid Kitchen and Garden is a tranquil green space where visitors can rest, read and discuss their favourite book over of a cuppa and a bite to eat. After collecting a novel which the bookstore had kindly ordered in for me, I took the opportunity to check out the cafe, my book and the garden at the same time.
The locals who run the cafe believe that "community is at the heart of Avid Kitchen & Garden. We've created a welcoming space for people to gather, share conversation, ideas, knowledge and creativity. "
Beside the counter are a few tables and chairs and behind the counter is a servery window with views to the garden and private courtyard.
On a beautifully clear Brisbane morning, I couldn't resist sitting in the outdoor courtyard. Past the covered wooden back deck and down a few gentle steps, I was led on to an open cemented space. The courtyard plays host to presentations and discussions with visiting authors, workshops and events, including children's parties.
Here is where you will find rows of potted plants including bromeliads, a frangipani and a lush fern which rested on an over-sized wooden barrel. Umbrellas gave added shade on a hot or rainy day.
What's a book without a cuppa and a little treat. The cafe has a range of light bites and sweets to enjoy including:
Fruit toast and butter ($4.00 for 1 slice and $6.00 for 2 slices) Sandwiches and bagels
Vegan cinnamon doughnuts, muffins and melting moments
Fritters, quiche and salad
mmm...donuts hot courtesy Avide Kitchen and Garden facebook page
Getting lost in my book, muffin and coffee, the time passed so quickly that I forgot that I was in funky, inner-city West End.
As I packed up my things and left Avid Reader, stepping out onto the bustling footpath, I was met by a waft of incense that drifted past me. Revellers recovering from the night before wandered past, all reminding me that despite my morning in the garden courtyard, that yes, I was in fact indeed in the urban cool of West End.
Inner city West End neighbours Southbank and the Brisbane CBD. The Avid Reader Kitchen and Garden is open 7 days with buses stopping closeby and street parking options.