Interiors

Winter hideouts: books and coffee

May 1, 2015

As we head into the winter months, Melburnians can be found seeking refuge not in the comfort of their own homes but in a café. Where do you head when you want to enjoy a good book?

Image above, Mr Tulk. 

As we head into the winter months, Melburnians can be found seeking refuge not in the comfort of their own homes but in the café. The European style café came alive in Melbourne in the 1950′s and we have collectively run with the concept ever since. It would seem there is a cafe for every occasion, the cyclist’s café, the raw organic café, we have even embraced the Japanese inspired cat café. But where do we head when we want to enjoy a good book? We profile three literary themed cafes around town known for melding the art of coffee, and keeping alive the intellectual roots of café culture.

Journal Cafe, image; Tourism Victoria

Journal Cafe, image; Tourism Victoria

 

Journal Café, by Nest Architects, is co-located in the same building as the City Library, offering a place to read and relax while contemplating the atmosphere of Flinders Lane. This popular hangout instantly creates a feeling of intimacy and comfort, with an element of social interaction achieved by two large communal tables and book-clad pendants suspended above them. Featuring dark wood floors, heavy wooden tables, slim line metal legged stools and metal decorative pieces, it’s a transparent, honest café with the kitchen bar in full display along with a fine selection of wines.

Mr Tulk

Mr Tulk

 

Mr Tulk café is located on Swanston Street inside the State Library. Mr Tulk’s spacious fit out, by Projects of Imagination, is respectful to the State Library’s 19th century origins while also referencing modern Melbourne through large graffiti art across several walls. The space features high ceilings, arched windows and a large central communal table complete with mounted lighting perfect for reading or study.

Chapter Too

Chapter Too

 

Colourful, quirky and full of literary puns and references, Chapter Too is a perfect winter escape or weekend brunch spot, in the leafy Eastern suburb of Heathmont. A large rear feature wall clad entirely in books treated with white transparent paint provides a unique canvas for a mural of birds and trees by a local artist. Featuring an eclectic mix of furniture, pops of colour and a blackboard wall running the length of the service wall, Chapter Too is the place to go in the Eastern suburbs for coffee lovers and avid readers alike.

Library at the Dock by Hayball.

Library at the Dock by Hayball.

 

Not yet known for its café culture but rather for an architecturally designed and sustainable approach, City at the Dock has quickly become a welcome meeting spot for Dockland locals. As the name suggests, the building is perched on the end of Victoria Harbour with panoramic views of Port Phillip Bay. Designed by Hayball it is the first public building to be made from CLT, making it 30% lighter than traditional structures and allowing it to sit on the original wharf. In the afternoon, the cafe fills with warm natural light, and most importantly it contains a bounty of reading materials. Here you can watch the winter storms approach, let your bookworm guard down and devour book after book in Australia’s most sustainably designed public building.

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