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Martinborough’s heart is the Village Café?

June 25, 2010

Inside the Village Café resembles a cellar than it does a café. A place that looks like it feeds en masse than create a personal dining experience. But that is the point of “eating out” in New Zealand’s wine producing Martinborough region during the summer months — people go for the food and wine, perhaps spend a little time browsing through the small feminine boutiques or indulge themselves in the local vino before heading back to their Wellington homes on the other side of the Rimutaka mountains.

This Café is somewhere to hide from Martinborough’s searing dry heat, its concrete floor, open planned interior, benches and picnic table style reminded me of a student dining hall, the only difference being better tasting food.

by Cate

The kitchen closes early in the Village — 3pm — an odd hour to close during the busy New Year period. Wine continues to flow while coffee continues to be ground and frothed beyond the kitchen hours, but why go to drink when food isn’t available?

I made it in time to order a bowl of Lentil and Tomato soup, a favourite item on many cafe menus during the summer months along with the usual list of kiwi favourites: Paninis, open face sandwiches, burgers, salads and home style desserts.

by Cate

A drawcard to the café is the wine store, stocked with New Zealand’s finest pinot noirs, sauvignon blancs and pinot gris. Plus kitchen gadgets for the wannabe chefs of the world.

The Village Cafe is just one in a number of cafés packed into the tiny township of Martinborough. It isn’t flash and a little sloppy on the service and hygiene judging by the manner of the wait staff, but it is relaxing. The walls are filled with local art for sale adding some character to an otherwise barn like surrounding. Whether it has heart as it claims is a matter of personal view. I found it didn’t but other may dispute this.

by Cate

by Cate

Do I recommend it? Take a stroll around Martinborough township, and check out the other cafés first. If these are closed then head over to the Village Café, you can’t miss it for its vivid yellow sign and picnic table seating out front.

Caffeinated Traveller

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4 Comments
  1. June 25, 2010 8:47 pm

    I like the combination of a rustic interior and colourful paintings. But staff hygiene? I’d probably stick to just coffee…

  2. June 26, 2010 9:54 am

    Very charming! I’d visit this place just for the lentil soup if not for that sloppy hygeine!

  3. Lulu permalink
    June 26, 2010 11:42 am

    The cafe doesn’t look like it is sloppy on the service, but I like the atmosphere the cafe has, especially the paintings there

  4. June 28, 2010 9:59 am

    I think a lot of poor service has to do with the training of the staff and the age of the staff. But I don’t get into wait staff liking their fingers in between scooping out ice cream. It is a god place for a coffee, and as you can see light and airy.

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