How enticing does this pathway look? Wouldn't you want to walk just a little bit further, up the ramp inside the gate; and what happens next? What are these sculptures, and how cool is it under the shady trees?
It's the entrance to Samford's popular and chic The Flying Nun Café, at 16 Station Street. The café's name comes not from the television series, but from the form of the building at the centre of the complex. We've witnessed the gestation and birth of this place – including David Dowery's magnificent work on the tiles, a labour of love if ever there was, and his gorgeously vivid bright leadlight windows. Now the café has settled down to tick over – no, that indicates not being busy and the place is always bustling – smoothly and efficiently.
Managers David Dowery and Linda Barker recently introduced table service which negates having to queue at the counter, and they now have a licence to sell alcohol so there's the opportunity to have a glass of wine with lunch. I can't wait for the news that they are open at night! A group of which I am a member organised a Christmas lunch there in December and we were more than happy with the service we received. The menu's seasonal and they grow their own herbs and some vegetables in the garden at the rear of the café.
Once when I met a friend for a drink it was a very hot SE Queensland day – humid and enervating – so instead of coffee we chose refreshing, energising and indulgent fruit crushes with melon, mint and other goodies. When it is time for coffee (Zentveld's from Byron Bay) or tea (all sorts) everyone's catered for; there are scrummy homemade cakes to choose from, and the portions are ultra generous. There are tea items for sale (cups, pots etc.) to go with your chosen packet to take home, and jams and preserves, and the art work is for sale.
A note of caution, if you have a teenager who refuses to get up when prodded, leave them behind if you have a weekend breakfast booking as the table will be held for half an hour only. Quite right too! We didn't, in the end, have to wait as they managed to fit us in at another table – teenage boy as well. It was well worth hassling him to get out of bed.
If you venture to the lovely Samford Valley with its burgeoning café strip, be sure to make The Flying Nun Café a stop for refreshment. And then you can pop into Urban Dweller next door.