WHITE POST CAFE
You might remember seeing a post of mine last year, around September time about a bakery just outside of Wellington, you can see that post here if you haven’t spotted it before. Unfortunately shortly after, White Post Bakery closed it’s doors due to the winter being far too harsh (and understandably so) especially when having to wake up at a ridiculous hour to light the wood fired oven to bake the mornings bread. When I visited the Bakery, Fleur and Adam had an apprentice named Marlies who I met during my day photographing there. A few months after the bakery closure I had an email from Marlies telling me about her new business venture with her two business partners, just opposite where the bakery used to be.
They were renovating what used to be known as “Scarlett’s” into “White Post Café” where they were planning to cook seasonal local lunches, cakes and serve just as local coffee from Brazier coffee roasters outside of Wellington. Straight away I was taken by the idea of the café and we planned for me to visit shortly after it opened to photograph the new space, menu and take portraits of the owners.
The day I visited was a sweltering day in June, during the rather unexpected hot spell we had been having. The café is tucked away down country lanes, in an area that if you passed, you’d never expect there to be an incredible café in such close proximity, it’s situated in Langford Budville to anyone who is reading this with their ears already pricked…I know mine would be.
The exterior as you arrive is a wooden cabin-esque building, with a felled tree bike rack and large glass door at the entrance. As you enter the space the large glass window’s let the natural light ooze in and bounce off the walls. You notice a cake display too, which you can smell before you can see it, mixed with all the other mouth watering smells coming from the kitchen, the day I arrived, there was a curry on the menu that smelled divine! The shelves house glass jars of herbal teas and there is also a coffee machine serving Brazier coffee, as I mentioned before.
Lunch is served from 12-2.30, I had arrived at 11 and slowly watched the garden become filled with customers as well as the inside for those wanting to escape the suns glare. That day in particular was a Tuesday and I had assumed it would be quiet, as schools hadn’t yet broken up and the secluded location of the café…paired with the fact they had opened just a few months earlier. Well, those assumptions of mine were put to bed about 30 minutes from when I arrived.
Seeing the team spin around the kitchen and the focus on each of their faces, that would lift to a smile whenever someone caught their attention was lovely to see. I got a chance to see the food being served and going out, capturing a few photos before it was served. Being behind the scenes here was really special to witness.
Just before I started shooting, I had sat down with Sally and Marlies and talked about the sorts of shots they may want and we had said that I could take a few styled shots on a nearby table before the food went out…it was so busy there ended up being no time for this, so all shots were taken in the kitchen, other than the ricotta tart and my lunch which was photographed when the customers were fewer.
I tried the couscous, chicken, asparagus, yoghurt and harissa, it sounds rather simple but the flavours were stunning and all chimed with each other. Everything just tasted quality and fresh (a word I usually hate because it’s so overused, but here it needs to be used) which just goes to show where produced is sourced makes such a difference in flavour. They have a veg and herb garden which they use for garnishes and dishes. During the busy lunch shift Sally said she was just popping to get some mint, and came back seconds later with a handful of just picked sprigs to put into the salad. You can’t really get better than that.
Their whole ethos is everything that I am passionate about, so being there photographing and talking to them was super interesting, aside from photographing I wanted to learn. I got inspired with different ways of cooking and things I have since made at home. They also have a bench full of cookery books, which I stayed well clear of, as they would have lost me for the afternoon whilst I flicked through them and swooned…I’ll be back in for that soon!
I should also mention their seasonal feasts...but I think I should leave that for a whole other blog post as that was also incredible. A truly unique dining experience that was relaxed and simple...the food just kept coming too!
So if you find yourself close by Wellington, I urge you to go...it really is a special little haven where you can escape for the afternoon and feel very at home in their space eating the delights from the menu.