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Death by bad cafe food? Death to bad cafe food!

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Sabine Schneider
Sabine Schneider

I'm sick of going into cafes for a bite to eat only to find ghastly sausage rolls, pallid savouries with WHATEVER (or nothing at all) under a pile of watery potato mash and day-old scones with a concrete lid of cheese - while everything else contains battery chicken. And while we're at it: I never again want to eat another cloyingly sweet banoffee pie (often called bonofi pie because the makers don't know that it's supposed to contain bananas and toffee). I also hate those hard nondescript slices covered with a ton of cracked icing and dusty coconut on offer in many establishments that smack of old tea rooms, but without the delicious traditional food and definitely without a good cuppa tea. Instead, a brownish coffee-look-alike comes gargling from a machine pretending to be the real deal. The worst cafes of all, however, are the ones that succeed to lure customers by imitating a trendy Jaffa-look and then don't deliver on the nosh. All that bad food, bad tea, bad coffee, served in an atmosphere reminiscent of hospital canteens isn’t cheap, either. Often it is just as pricey as the good stuff.

But it's not bad everywhere: The past three days I spent with friends in Thames. They own one of the country's few all-vegetarian cafes and offer a truly colourful choice of food. Now that's advertising, I hear you say. You would say that, I hear you cry. Believe me - I really wouldn't. But their cabinet food just looks so appetising, their coffee is so good (they also have a heart for tea drinkers), and the ambience is so friendly and warm - I simply can't resist telling you about it. Sola Cafe on the main drag in Thames is the exact opposite of the above-mentioned hell holes. They told me they don’t need advertising and I believe them. Their place is packed with people like me who want real food. And anyway - I don’t care if this is advertising for them because this is a blog and I can say what I like. If you visit don't forget to ask for those special nutty bikkies, they're to die for. (Mental note to self: Beg for recipe.)

I'm sure you know dozens of other wonderful cafes. Drop me a line if you have a recommendation - especially in Christchurch.

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