Jazz it up on a Wednesday night and get rid of the 'hump day' blues with some JAZZ! Perhaps, sit around an old European style saloon and read a book while you let the music take you to another place, or, maybe tap your feet to the beat while you chat to a friend or loved one.
I have been waiting quite some time for Café 1812 to open up in Paddington. The good Berkelouw brothers, Robert and David, were kind enough to extend me an invitation to the opening, and I found it had such a contemporary feel .
It isn't just the books, it's the way these books are set up, not as mass produced products but as a place to exchange ideas and laughter, like the 17th and 18th century folk did it. The community spirit of being able to get into a discussion, swap ideas and books. A place where academics, scholars and merchants got together. A place where grandfathers, fathers and families sat and where the culture was to engage, share information over a book and a meal with good conversation, rather than to be quiet like most book shops or libraries. This Café rocked me.
After chatting with the brothers, I realised that a lot of their thoughts and inspirations came from their ancestors; they wanted to recapture the feel of the old days. Understanding digital media and the virtual world, but also understanding that society needs to reconnect and to be able to create that connection on a positive note.
Robert Berkelouw would like to reinvent the feel of the European style saloon with a contemporary edge and a space that is accessible to the community and likeminded people.
Surrounded by the second hand books and listening to the jazz being played by Muziek Bende, from the bass player to the lead singer, keyboard player and the beautiful sound that came out of the saxophone, I was captured. Sitting at my table with my glass of Merlot, a book to browse through and my laptop open taking notes, I could barely contain my excitement. The atmosphere was friendly and sophisticated, everybody looked happy and the staff were ever so helpful and tentative.
The Berkelouw's are hoping to soon start a Friday night contemporary folk music night for those that love folk music, while Wednesday nights will be for the jazz lovers, and judging from the way Café 1812 was filling, they will need to purchase the place next door.
The food is of good quality and all reasonably priced. The wine, well, that was divine and the menus are gorgeously done, a cover of an old hardback with the menu on the other side – just fabulous.
Looking around the Café, there were script readers, people chilling after work, friends, lovers and authors. Lucky for me, I got to witness a launch for Susannah Fullerton's book Happily Ever After, celebrating Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice. These launches are quite a regular occasion at Berkelouw Books.
There is a lot more information on their Café website.
Try it on a Wednesday night, it really is out of this world and back into the other.