Founder of Your Write, freelance writer, editor, corporate communicator and TV Producer in my spare time, around being a busy mum to 3 little ones and managing our team at Your Write.
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Published June 14th 2012
Café L'Arte is under new ownership. Phil Lancaster has bought the Hawthorne café and is planning its rejuvenation. Watch this space! www.larte.com.au
As you drive down Riding Road, through Hawthorne or Bulimba, it's an easy cafe to miss. But if you like your coffee and enjoy a small treat or some beautiful artwork, you shouldn't. Shouldn't miss the cafe that is, nor the chance for a coffee.
Sandwiched between a pool shop and hairdressers lies L'arte. There are many special things about this cafe. Firstly, it does do a great coffee using Brisbane based coffee brand, Vivo. And you should not overlook the food, whether it be breakfast, a light lunch or a small treat. I particularly love their homemade melting moments. The presentation of even the smallest morsel is always thoughtful and done with great flourish. You can enjoy your coffee out the front of the shop, nestled on the side of Riding road, or inside the small but comfortable cafe, surrounded by beautiful and interesting objects.
However I prefer the courtyard out the back. Shaded by large trees, but also catching the winter sun, it makes the perfect place to relax with friends and feel as if you are getting away from it all. In addition to the sandwiches, homemade pies, relishes and quiches - all made by owners Karen and Andrew - L'arte does a full breakfast menu Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.
As its name suggests, L'arte did start specifically as a gallery. Originally located on Mt Tamborine's Gallery Walk, L'arte moved to Brisbane and added an espresso bar. Andrew and Karen, who owned a catering business, bought L'arte and it became the cafe it is today. All the food served now at L'arte, as well as snacks, muffins and other treats, are prepared by Andrew and Karen, which is a strong philosophy within their business - everything local. Even the beautiful artwork adorning every wall and many a nook of the cafe, are from local artists.
The artwork really does give it the feel of drinking your coffee or lunching within a gallery and aside from the great food and coffee, are worth the outing in itself. L'arte has the catchphrase of "Life is Colour" which is definitely the impression you get when gazing at a print of an ocean sunset or munching on a vegetable stack (one of the most popular items on the menu).
L'arte also stocks a range of very reasonably priced jewellery pieces and other beautiful gifts, many made locally, which are temptingly arranged at the side of the cafe. I have also found this cafe to be a great source to satisfy my rosella-jam addiction as L'arte also stocks many types of award-winning jam, also all made by a local jam-maker from seasonal ingredients.
The cafe is open from 6 - 2 weekdays and 7 - 2 weekends. Whether you want to enjoy your food and coffee surrounded by beautiful things, or simply want to sit outside and relax, L'arte is well worth seeking out.
I had my baby shower out the back of L'arte the weekend before last. It was a lovely day, thankfully, and we all had a great time. The owners were really accommodating and made up a great "high tea" morning tea for us with a range of food and plenty of it. My partner had previously taken me there for Mother's Day breakfast and I can't find fault with it at all. The cafe scene in Hawthorne is fairly competitive but I hope this cafe thrives as it really is excellent.
Despite living nearby, I only just discovered that they do breakfasts on Saturdays and Sundays. We ate there last weekend and were really impressed - lovely fresh ingredients and beautiful presentation with bright flowers as garnish. We will definitely go back another weekend.