Cheap Eats: Berkelouw Bookstore & Cafe, Paddington

Here’s something that seems to surprise people about me: I attend bookclub. Yes, the WRITER enjoys READING! SUCH A REVELATION! Seriously, why are people always so surprised when I mention that I read? I’ve been told it seems like I don’t have the attention span for a book, which is just about the most insulting thing you can say to me. Books are my everything, they even rank above food. Yes, for realz, something in my life ranks above food. I KNOW RIGHT?!

Anyways, we had bookclub today and one of the girls recommended we check out the cafe upstairs at Berkelouw, one of the bookstores on Oxford St, Paddington. It seemed like an excellent idea to me – and meant we could pick out our next read together while in store.

We managed to score a table with comfy armchairs, instead of standard restaurant chairs, at it. All we needed was a fireplace and it would’ve been exactly how I like to imagine myself reading… cos you know, an armchair by a fireplace is exactly what I need during an Australian summer.

The cafe has a great looking selection of cakes and slices, but it was lunch time and there was a pumpkin galette ($9.50) with my name on it.


I was kinda half way through before I thought to photograph it… Oups!

It was a bit slow coming out, especially compared to the girls meals, but was absolutely worth the wait. There were caramelised onions mixed through the cubes of pumpkin and a hint of balsamic brought the whole thing together. I only wish the side salad had more dressing, as I don’t do naked salads.

C ordered the caprese salad ($12.50), which looked pretty amazing and was clearly made from scratch, behind the counter. I was impressed, considering we were in a bookstore cafe. I appreciated their extra effort.


K ordered one of the delicious looking sandwiches in the display ($9.50?), which I didn’t photograph but hey, it was toasted on Sonoma bread, it smelt good and they didn’t stinge on the cheese. I love cheese.

It was an enjoyable lunch, made that little bit better because we were surrounded by my first love: the written word. After lunch we popped downstairs to check out the staff recommendations and latest fiction releases and, as I mentioned above, selected a book. The girls weren’t impressed with my first choice: The Guide to Farts, complete with a sound box that made different fart noises. But I’m happy with where we ended up and I can’t wait to bury my nose in The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (2011) – which will bring the pile of books next to my bed to knee-height. Well, I guess that just means I need to make more time to read.

Berkelouw Books is located at 19 Oxford St, Paddington

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