I drive past The Herbert, which is just opposite Northcote Station every week as I take my daughter to gymnastics, and I always think it looks great from a distance, and it is always busy, and I say to myself ‘I should go there for a coffee’.
So the other week I did. And it was just as great up close!
What I remember as a boring old concrete car park now feels like an attractive concrete expanse with a little garden oasis.
The outdoor seating area has a great industrial mesh pergola for plants to grow up. The table I sat at had a super planter box in the middle, with herbs growing in it (how handy if you like fresh herbs with your food) and there were other recycled timber planter boxes around the cafe – which generally gives the impression of a renovated corrugated iron shed from the street. Actually inside and out it is pretty slick and swanky with a fab. concrete bench, lovely windows and great industrial feel.
And the bathroom was nice. You know sometimes you go to the bathroom and it puts you off the cafe, when everything is grotty (it always makes me wonder what the state of the kitchen is …). But I LOVED the bathroom at The Herbert. I would like it at my house, or at least at my (dreaming) holiday house.
it is not anything startling, but it is rustic with a bit of old and a bit of new, a great combination of concrete and wood … and brown glass! I think they had painted around the edge of the concrete sink with a metallic paint? It looked so much classier than the one currently in my laundry. And look, the mirror has come off an old dresser.
The other thing I really liked at this cafe was the fencing. The windows in the fence are an excellent device – you get a glimpse of your industrial surrounds but it feels like a view from a garden, and you gloss over the fact that you are sitting next to a derelict block.
And the garden beds in front are so effective. Maybe I need to look out for some old timber fence palings in my travels and build something like this at home (I suspect I would enlist my dad and his tools from some practical assistance … how about it dad?).
So, in summary … I would like a bathroom like theirs. And I would really like their recycled timber garden beds around my garden … And I would also really love someone to make coffee this great for me at home … Inspiration from The Herbert.