Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I first noticed Bees Knees by accident as I was on my way to pick up Japanese takeaway for dinner one night. As I scurried past with great intent, I caught a quick glimpse inside a newly opened vintage shop on the “old side” of Hornsby. Not a place you just wander about, off the main thoroughfare, it is a place you go with a destination in mind, so I was really interested to see that they had set up a cosy looking cafe in the back of this store and I immediately LONGED to go in. It took me a couple of weeks to actually get there, but I was so pleased I did. What a whimsical, wacky, and eclectic place! The first clue to its character is the shopfront, with display windows full of interesting vintage pieces, a homey white cane table setting piled with cushions and magazines (a nice sunny spot in the morning), and the sounds of an espresso machine and laughter drifting out. You really just stumble on to it before you realise it is a cafe which of course adds to the enjoyment of finding it. I was on a shopping expedition with my firstborn today, so just a quick morning tea for sustenance before “getting on with it” was our mission. We couldn’t help but smile on entering, the place is packed with furniture and vintage wares ranging from old books, art, bric-a-brac, handbags, jewellery, and even some re-worked denim garments given new life with some artful arranging and attaching of mens ties! Yes, I did go in for coffee and come out with an original new skirt! There’s nothing wrong with that is there? He he. Once inside, our biggest issue was deciding WHICH little cosy nook to sit in! Given the smorgasbord of styled spaces to choose from, we had to decide whether we were in the mood for “shabby chic”, “boho babe”, “nanna’s lounge” or a “psychedelic dream”! The owners have artfully arranged little clusters of furniture, lounges, tables and chairs to create many spaces with many personalities. It is a cacophony of style but strangely it all works! It is a delight to sit waiting for your treats and explore the strange and wonderful pieces for sale, this is how I found my skirt. Apart from the main cafe, there is the sunny spot out front (one table only so you have to grab it when you see it), there is also a cosy back room, and a cluttered courtyard, with a little display nook. The courtyard is full of quirky things, but not as pretty as the main room, I can imagine this would be a great place to hang on a summer evening with a group of friends though. It would be a perfect meeting spot before a night out. The whole place seems to have taken on the energy of the owners. They obviously have an arty or creative background and their passion for all styles of design is apparent. Both quiet, they take our order. The food is not as eclectic as the decor, this cafe offers a range of the usual suspects, croissants, friands, cookies, toast, scones, so the real inspiration is in the surrounds. We decided to share the waffles and ice cream. Lucky we shared as it was much more than one person should attempt! A hot choccie for the firstborn, and the usual chai latte for me, we enjoyed an hour eating, drinking and poking around the bits and bobs. I have to say it was one of the nicest spiced chas’s I have had for a while, and the owners were delightful, and delighted that we enjoyed their lovingly put together cafe. Only open for 2 months, I hope that word gets around that it is a great, quiet and interesting place to relax and recharge before tackling Westfield. Kids are genuinely welcome, and the cosy welcoming feel is certainly something I will be making the effort to experience time and time again. Bee’s Knees Vintage Cafe can be found at 14 Coronation Street, Hornsby.