Leichhardt is famous for the restaurants and cafés that live in the Italian Forum, but what about those that don't?
It was the street café that drew me in at first. It had quite a trendy setting and tables filled with young couples, old couples, families with young kids and friends sitting down for a cuppa and a bite to eat.
In the window were cakes, sandwiches and paninis on display and ready to be served at a moment's notice, their huge menu sign up above the main counter and some pretty friendly and funky looking staff.
While waiting for my Campos latte, I decided to sneak a peek through the café to the back of the bookstore, I couldn't see much so I ventured inside and found some stairs to the left of the front counter.
There is a corner nook that looks as though it belongs to the bookstore but also used by the café, or is it the other way round? There are tables and chairs for you to grab a book while you have your coffee then in the back is a kids corner, where mothers were reading to their children, relaxing and enjoying the moment.
I took the stairs up to the second level and was in absolute awe of what I saw. I felt the goosebumps start from my neck down. It was as though I had left Leichhardt and walked into a doorway of a whole new world.
The sofas were like the ones you would find at Grandma's place. The 7 papier-mâché / decoupage style light shades were something from an old world, perhaps a time of war or poverty, or just a time when the Berkelouw family started selling books in Holland in 1812.
The polished wooden floor boards complimented the bar tables, and a great bar bench that went across the entire front window with a great view of the street below.
8195; On the other side of the bar were the old books, the second hand and antique book section. Barrels of books filled the isles. Books, books and more books, from travel to Australian history, European history, autobiographies and so much more.
Berkelouw is an amazing place to spend an entire afternoon, to have drinks in the evening and coffee in the mornings. Their opening hours are Sunday – Wednesday 9am – 8pm then Thur 9am – 9pm and Friday - Saturday 9am – 10pm. It is very easy to get lost in the world of the Berkelouw books store.
*Please note that the wine bar is currently closed. It is expected to open very soon. Please see the website and Facebook profile for further details.