[ Article by Becky Watson ]
[ Photographs by Becky Watson ]

Nestled neatly on the corner of Victoria Street and Peterborough, you’ll find a place with charming mismatched furniture and rich killer coffee, to make those chilly mornings slightly more bearable. Black and White Coffee Cartel, owned by the cheery ‘Bink Bowler’, needs to be added to your ‘places to visit’ list ASAP.

It is the small things that captivate me about cafe visits, and Black and White delivers on all the tick boxes in my subconscious when I head for a warm beverage and bite to eat. The sweet tunes of Bobby Darin’s Beyond the Sea lull me into a comfortable mellow mood, as I observe the mismatched, yet supremely aesthetically pleasing, decor. Light bulbs hang warmly above the wooden tables that stand over a variety of homely chairs, and old vinyl adorns the wall I see as I glance over to the friendly cafe staff making my brew. Native Americans and giraffes sit in quirky frames hung in a charmingly crooked manner on the surrounding walls of the cafe. The high ceilings soak up the chitter chatter of satisfied customers, allowing me to continue bobbing along to the tunes as my mocha comes swinging over.

Havana coffee (hailing from windy Wellington) runs through all of their espresso machines and, for those looking for something a little more interesting, they also stock Proud Mary’s of Melbourne over at their filter bar. I’d drop them a visit to see what coffee delights in particular are on offer, as my words will do no justice to the selection at hand, although I can safely say they’re bound to serve you a cup that will make your taste buds dance. They also stock a sweet range of teas from Storm & Indian Tea Sisters, including a delightful coconut chai. I am more than pleased with the rich chocolatey taste of my warm mocha, and sadness looms as I reach the bottom of the cup.

Their food options are primo, with a cabinet lined with Cakes by Anna, and stocked with delicious salads by Simo. You could also opt for hot soup to warm a chilly belly, or perhaps, like me, you’re a sucker for a good bagel, which they also provide.

I linger for a fair while longer, as I am so thrilled by the playlist rolling out that I’m not yet ready to pull myself back into the cold breeze. Catching a glance of the funky takeaway cups, I pull myself up to the counter again to order a second beverage for the road. The perfect brew warms me from the inside as I farewell the Cartel, sure to return between the hours of 7 am and 5 pm any weekday, or perhaps a weekend visit between 8 am and 6 pm. There is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, so I would recommend you drop by Black and White sometime in the very near future to fulfil your cafe needs. Be sure to give them a like on Facebook while you’re at it, and stay updated with what the winter months have to offer at 83a Victoria Street, where “it’s always a pleasure, never a chore!”.