Ernest Hemingway once said, "There is no friend as loyal as a book." The Letter Lounge Café and Northside Meetings is a place to build friendships and businesses, and where books, words and conversations collide. This multipurpose business in Windsor Road at Red Hill is both a meeting and workshop space for small businesses and a suburban café with a love of all things literary. How clever! Let's start with the café:
The Letter Lounge Cafe
The Letter Lounge Café can be found at the front of the shop where it serves Elixir coffee, fine leaf tea, and light, homely meals. For book fanatics, the literary references flow onto the menu with items named after classic books like "A Passage to India" $14.50 (mild potato and pea curry, served with warm naan bread and natural yoghurt)", "The French Connection" $15.50 (French toast, styled brioche with caramel sauce, white chocolate pieces and ice-cream), and "Crumbs from the Master's Table" $15.50 (crumbed chicken breast with a creamy herb and masala sauce and parmesan served with a green side salad. Kerbside seating at the front of the cafe has a red and black colour scheme and offers a view over the passing suburban traffic of Windsor Road and many of the restored Queenslander homes in the street.
Book lovers will be drawn to the café's gift shop, which is also at the front of the building, and is stocked with literary and word-themed gifts. From bookmarks to coffee mugs, and cards to cushions there's a special gift for every word fiend with stock from Burbia, Cecily and the Literary Gift Emporium. The café also has a community book exchange program housing an array of paperbacks in a book case outside the shop which invites avid readers to bring along and swap their well-read books for a different title. I spotted some quality publications including 2 books by Patrick White so the standard is pretty good.
Bring along a book to swap
Outdoor Garden My favourite section of the venue has to be the outdoor garden at the side of the shop. There is a grassy area (yes, real grass) for play but the biggest surprise is the painted mural of famous dogs in literature accompanied by extracts from their respective books.
Northside Meetings After enjoying the café and when there is work to do, Northside Meetings at the back of the building provides meeting rooms for hire on an hourly or daily basis (and named after typefaces), a training room for hire on a half-day or daily basis, administrative support for meetings and training and facilitation services. Judy Gregory and Anne-Maree Jaggs opened Northside Meetings with The Letter Lounge Café and Gifts after finding it hard to locate affordable and friendly spaces in Brisbane for meetings and workshops.
They decided to establish their own flexible space, specifically designed for work and creativity. They particularly wanted rooms with open spaces and blank walls that could be set up to suit facilitators and trainers, where people could collaborate and with an atmosphere to encourage conversation and creativity (rather than accommodation and parties). Hence, Northside Meetings was created.
Is there anything else worth noting? I was surprised to find that a Justice of the Peace (JP) is available onsite if required which is a helpful and niche service. Access is pretty easy with public transport options including the 373 bus which stop directly outside. Street parking is also available but there is no dedicated car park. Overall, Northside Meeting and the Letter Lounge was a great surprise and is the perfect place for work and play,
Thanks for visiting us Gillian. And thanks for the lovely review. We hope you make regular use of the book exchange ... we're having a great time watching books come and go. Kind regards, Judy from Northside Meetings/The Letter Lounge