7 Park Rd
Monday - Friday
7am - 3pm
Saturday - Sunday
8am - 3pm
It’s a lovely word, ceremony. It’s a word that has the power to bring a sense of occasion to even the most mundane of activities. Given our modern fascination with the rituals of coffee and cuisine, Ceremony strikes me as a particularly apt name for a cafe.
This little Grafton spot is owned by Connor Nestor and Charles Williams, who were inspired to create a beautiful space where people could connect and share. They spent a couple of months searching for the perfect location, and more fitting it out – chipping plaster off walls to expose bare bricks, painting, curating. In keeping with the duo’s collaborative sensibility, every fine detail about Ceremony seems to come from a parnership with talented friends. Building work was done by a pal, Gus Dobson. Charles’ cousin, architect Nick Sayes of Daniel Marshall Architects, conceptualised the overall fitout, including the central concrete table which was poured on-site. The cafe is lit by beautiful pendant lights designed by Angus Muir and blown by Luke Jacomb. The ceramic mugs were crafted by Felicity Donaldson of Wundaire. The music is curated or created by various musical friends. It’s a considered, friendly affair.
The Flight Coffee comes from Wellington and is, as I expected, made with care and skill. My flat white was rich and creamy with a lovely nutty flavour – one of those rare properly great coffee experiences. Similarly, my soft brew had a complex cocoa/fruitiness that reminded me how much specialty coffee has in common with fine wine. I noted with some delight that those beautiful ceramic mugs were the perfect shape and size for warming cold hands on winter days.
The menu at Ceremony features three divine sandwiches and a daily special. I wolfed down a #2 and felt inappropriately bereft when it was over – pork and fennel sausage made locally by l’authentique, cheddar, a perfectly dressed slaw and sriracha mayo that added the faintest hint of fire and smoke to each mouthful. It really was a perfect thing. There is also bircher muesli, or brioche toast with nut butter, or soup or salad. In keeping with the space itself, it’s a thoughtful, concise selection.
I really like Ceremony a lot, it emanates such friendliness and warmth that I saw multiple passers-by stop to peer in, even when they weren’t looking for coffee or lunch.