I am an Australian freelance writer living in Adelaide.
Published October 23rd 2011
Volumes is the place that has it all. While the back half operates as a café, the front half is a store selling books, CDs, gifts, cards and stationery. When you combine women with food and shopping, it's a perfect mix.
Try to snag a seat at a table outside on the veranda overlooking Main Road. The bustle of cars and trains, business people meeting clients and mothers pushing prams to the local parks reminds you this suburb is truly alive and kicking. Sip on a coffee and enjoy breakfast or lunch til 3pm or an afternoon snack.
Students and workers alike come in early for the Aussie Breakfast Sandwich, a toasty with double egg, bacon, tasty cheese and homemade tomato relish. Ladies who lunch may dine on a Vietnamese Chicken salad of mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, bean shoots, carrot and chicken with a chilli and lime dressing or a pan seared salmon fillet served with baby spinach, semi dried tomato salsa and drizzled with basil pesto. Many families pop in over the weekend after sporting commitments to refuel from the lengthy kids' menu.
I popped in for a late snack of olive, semi sundried tomatoes and goats' cheese bruschetta. The Turkish bread had the perfect texture between chewy and crunchy and the velvety cheese and oily tomatoes went down a treat. My mate had a plate of nachos and it could have fed an army. It was good to see it had all the toppings included without charging extra for things like sour cream, guacamole or jalapenos.
Wash your meal down with a selection of drinks. Choose from soft drinks, flavoured mineral waters, fresh and bottled juices, milk shakes (cherry ripe sounds yum), spiders, smoothies, peach, pear or green iced tea or delicious-sounding teas like berry-green, rose petal, warm and spicy, apple or chai.
Chocolate and vanilla milkshake
My favourite part of the Volumes experience is perusing the gifts afterwards. Their buyers purchase quality goods that you aren't likely to find elsewhere and I just love that personal touch when it comes to finding the perfect card for someone, as well as exposing smaller artists/designers to a wider market. Volumes is your one-stop shop for Christmas gift shopping too if you can't stand busy shopping complexes during the silly season. You'll find distinct ornaments, unusual nick knacks for the kitchen, stuffed toys for the kids and exquisite, handmade jewellery. For the person who has it all, you can't go past a book. While not as big as a commercial bookstore, there is the best of everything here from new releases, lonely planet guides, cooking books, children's picture books, biographies or gift books that may be humourous or inspiring.
Next time you're meeting up with an old friend and want to try somewhere new, come to Volumes, you won't be disappointed.
An artists impression of inside the cafe, with the veranda at the back
I love the coffee at Volumes but the last meal I had there about a year ago was very disappointing - rubbery tasteless scrambled eggs. I used to go there regularly and that last time my expectations were not met. Maybe I was there on a bad day. :)