My anxious travels : The Front room, Waikanae Beach


Following a gorgeous wedding in the wonder and opulence of Otaki, the lovely boy and I met friends at Waikanae Beach for a post-celebration brunch.

Unfortunately my photographs of The Front Room are a bit shit. My wild over-use of photoshop to make them better has probably hindered more than it helped. You would never have guessed I had a design degree. Perhaps spending 5 years painting in oils, sulking and drinking beer wasn’t the best use of my time.

The Front Room is a genuinely lovely cafe in a random town by a rather nice beach (do I sound like enough of an Aucklander in that perhaps a little too patronising sentence??) Their aesthetic was something I could easily get into combining retro kiwiana and the current wave of hipster-esk pseudo industrial fittings and fixtures. The garden out the back offered something most Auckland cafe’s cannot; fresh air and space to avoid touching strangers or breathing their post respiratory air.


The building is laid out like an old house, in fact I’d bet it once was someone’s home with a decent backyard for kids to play kick-the-ball-at-your-brother’s-face or everyone’s favourite chase-the-cat-with-the-hose.


The garden had plenty of picnic tables and private feeling nooks and crannies created by clever use of shrubbery and pergola (or is it pergolas or pergolii?) There is a free standing bar out the back as well, unmanned when we were there but I imagine it would be very handy during the evening. Felt a little bit like a cabana bar, holiday-y, filled with merriment and prospective booze.


The bathrooms have been constructed from what was once the old outhouse or laundry, opened up to the main cafe and out to the garden. Two entrances limit the number of traffic jams and other stranger related physical awkwardness.



The bathrooms were a pair of single units, one male, one female. I liked that the loo was away from both the main cafe floor and the garden tables, it felt more private and we all know how much I like to be private in the bathroom, so no one can hear my muffled weeping.


I LOVE that they left a little ‘ladies’ basket for women who had been ‘caught short’. Pads, tampons and some hand cream made so much difference in the level of care take for the minuscule cost of 5 ish dollars.



This little hydrangea was gorgeous, my photo doesn’t do it any justice. Little touches such as this really make the space. They help so much more that most people realise to people like me who frequently require a chunk of calm and privacy to make it through the day.


The change table was a nice extra. I do like it when people make do with what they have and create something individual rather than go straight for the weird plastic Koala Kare things in many public bathrooms and malls.


As we were paying the bill I noticed a very nice lamp shade, ohhh glass, you so pretty.


Over all the cafe was very good. The staff were lovely, even our poor waitress who had to cope with possibly the most *shucky* group of men ever, all vying to be the most hilarious (my own boyfriend being one of them). Food wise it was all very tasty but the breakfast/brunch portions could have done with being bigger. It is two meals in one don’t forget and we were still hungry after we finished ours.


Cleanliness :  9/10  Clean, tidy and thoughtful.

Interior :  8/10  Marks for the ladies basket but down a little for one loo per gender.

Exterior : 8/10

Safety : 9/10  I was a little scared for my eye safety when I realised just how many old men in spandex bike shorts were seated close to us but that is not in any way the fault of the proprietor and more the fault of cyclists everywhere.

Snugglitude :  8/10  A solid establishment with a nice feel and lack of dickness.

Total: 42/50


One thought on “My anxious travels : The Front room, Waikanae Beach

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