One day two sisters were making puppets (homunculi and giant spiders) in the art studios at the Uni SA city West campus. It was a cold and rainy day, perfect for being inside but definitely umbrella weather outside. 'My gods!' said the eldest sister (there were actually several hanging about at the time), 'this is hard work. I need a break and some sort of sustenance…' The god with the body like Adonis and the head of an owl who was quietly knitting in the corner said in resonant tones, 'Go and find the sacred bean girls. Only coffee will allow you complete your creative endeavours.' The two sisters thought that was a great idea and set out on a quest for coffee on Sunday at about three in the afternoon. Neither of them had an umbrella so they just popped their hoods and trundled off down the street.
But then a strange thing happened. Everywhere was closed! No cafes, no pubs, it was almost like the sinister shop owners were closing their doors right before they got there and giggled at the sisters misfortune behind the closed front windows. (Well, either that or they just weren't open on Sunday) Struggling through the wind and biting rain, they had almost given up hope, having come so far but it was then that they espied a small chalk sandwich board. With a cheery message that seemed just for them, 'come in', it said, 'it's warm inside', and underneath was the magic word – coffee!
Slipping down a little laneway that was old world in its appeal they were greeted with some lovely street art and knew, with great relief that they had found a new place to call home.
Magazine Café and Gallery is stylish and welcoming from the first glimpse you get of the painted sign in the alley way and the beautiful wood and glass front doors. The owners have really gone all out as everything in the place fits the artistic Melbourne meets New York look that they are going for.
The seating was specially designed for the space and it reflects in how such a communal layout can actually provide private nests for all the different groups of customers. It really is like walking into a magic space, I'm sure if elves had cafes, this is what they would look like. Organic but organised and somehow infused with a golden light.
This may be assisted by the atmosphere created by the owners/staff who are always calm and delightful to talk to and by the guardian spirit of the place, one Fred the dachshund. He floats out from under the front counter (which I hope was built at that height for just that purpose) and spreads his chocolate coloured and dapper mood in a subtle wave from the ground level up.
The food on offer I find to be genius in its unambitious preparation but everything in the place is hand picked for deliciousness. No fancy cooking here but you can get a tasting plate that would rival a fair in the Barossa, high quality plunger coffee or a pot of tea and home cooking made by actual mums. Genius.
Magazine also sells magazines and is the headquarters for the editorial side of Collect magazine. For those of you who know, Collect it is an extension of the quality they are achieving in the café but stretched out to embrace all that is noteworthy in Adelaide. The office space is open plan so the customers can see the inner workings of the machine, which adds to the 'were all friends here' kind of presence that you get when you first walk in.
The walls are also used as a gallery and if there is anywhere in Adelaide that you should watch for unpretentious yet amazing art then this is the place. It is the host to art nights of not just solo and group openings but launches and collaborative displays where you can meet the artists and buy their wares. Just pop in at anytime and ask what's next on the agenda.
Magazine is taking hospitality back to the homestead in terms of the times where nothing but the finest would be served at your table. It is taking the idea of a public meeting place back to its roots before we became obsessed with specifics. It explores the theme of harmony without needing it to be mutually exclusive of usefulness, it is a no waste space where the different elements meld into a cohesive whole.
The West End has some great little cafe and peekaboo hideaway treasures, that just aren't as obvious as in other area of the greater CBD of Adelaide.
Great article, great info and really approachable writing.
Sister coffee drinkers unite!
I went here for coffee today! How great to find this little jem down Clubhouse Lane in the 'seedy' end of Hindley! Its' like a little haven...Fred the Dashound is still around and the coffee and cake was tops. I like the care taken with the plunger coffee - an egg timer to ensure your coffee or tea (loose leaf of course) is properly brewed.