Earthquake update December 2011
The Coffee House has repaired its earthquake damage and reopened at its old site. There is even more outdoor space than previously.
Although the Coffee House has great food on the menu I have only tried it once (and it was delicious) because I do not go out for lunch a lot, and I must admit that sometimes I just do not think of the Coffee House because the name is a little misleading...
I always go there in the afternoon and the coffees and the cakes are fantastic. Such frothy milk foam on the huge variety of coffees - mmmmmmmh, and they are beautifully decorated. And with the cakes you are nearly not able to make a choice because they all look great.
Also the interior is nice with its old European coffeehouse flair, and there is also nice outdoor seating under a marquee. But some tables are very tiny, and in cold weather some seats are rather chilly. The service has always been prompt and friendly.
Favorite Dish: Cappuccino and mocchaccino because of the big creamy layer of milk froth on top of the coffee. And from the cakes the passionfruit cheesecake. But I have not tested them all... ;-)
Update 25 July 2010
I have not been there for about six months because there are so many other great places I like. In The Press (local newspaper) I read a very negative review, saying that the standard has dropped. Not even the coffees were considered exciting. So I wonder if I should sacrifice myself and my money to go there for a test visit for the sake of VT... ;-)))
Update 23 December 2011
I have been at the Coffee House several times since the earthquakes. Once I even went there for breakfast and had eggs benedict - which was not how eggs benedict should be. But coffees and cakes were of good quality, service very friendly and sitting there, inside and outside, very pleasant.
The buildings you see in the background of my photo do not exist anymore... The peachy-orange one (Elm Courts) was one of the first high-rise buildings that were demolished by wrecking ball. It had cracks all over the place.
Normally the domain for the suited variety of cliental, the Coffee House is a very nice spot to go for a coffee and something to eat. The seating is divided into indoor, outdoors and covered outdoors so you have plenty of options including sitting outside if you wish to have a ciggy with your coffee.
You can get most styles of coffee here including those with syrup (if you like that sort of thing) plus teas, wine and soft drinks. As you can see in the photo, the Coffee house roasts its own beans. Coffee is good so they must have the process down pat!!
The food is quite good if a bit limited and it's all priced similarly to other coffee shops in the area. Service is fast enough and everything seems to be done with a limited amount of fuss. If you want to have an evening meal then you're in luck as the Coffee House has an evening menu. Looking at what they have I'd recommend that you go over the road to the Dux de Lux.
The only minor issue here is car parking as the shop, being in the middle of town has other places wanting the vacant car spaces. Lots of parking however down on the corner of Montreal and Cashel St in a big car park that is under utilised.
At The Coffee House, you can choose to sit inside, or outside, or in a marquee where you can look outside but have the comfort and warmth of sitting inside. It has a bustling athmosphere, because the staff are ususally so busy because so many people love their coffees. But, the athmosphere from the customers is pretty laid-back. This place is so special because you can order coffees, hot chocolates, and teas, from a whole menu of hot drinks with many different and delicious variations! For example a shot of coffee with Kahlua liquor and vanilla ice cream... etc. Also, if you have enough money to eat breakfast here, do try the breakfasts, because they are delicious too. The staff can be busy but they serve you as soon as they can. Don' t come here for an instant coffee, but do come here to relax and chat over coffee!
Favorite Dish: mmmm....can't remember the name of the coffee, but it's the one with hazelnut and mint layered with coffee. Delicious! And they also serve different types of teas and hot chocolates. The Earl Grey Tea with caramel flavours is beautiful! So is their Vanilla Chai Latte. I have been to The Coffee House many times for breakfast, and they serve a good sized, yummy smoked salmon, with eggs, on french bread for under NZ$20.
Delightful old Victorian Architecture full of character
Favorite Dish: Ambiance and style, great place for meeting friends for suppers