Monday - Friday
7am - 3pm
Saturday - Sunday
8am - 3.30pm
Charlie & George is a glass box of happiness in a futuristic, almost other-worldly new housing development known as Stonefields. It used to be quarry, but now it’s abundant with boardwalks, freshly planted trees and young families. Given Stonefields is so new, there’s not a lot else here except Charlie & George, but the fact this beautiful cafe arrived first bodes well for the area’s future.
Owner Rebecca McRobie wanted to open a cafe for a longtime before she found this spot, and once she’d found it, she had to wait an even longer time for it to be built. It was worth the wait for this light-filled, cheery space. The lightness comes from the abundance of glass, with floor-to-ceiling windows enclosing the cafe on three sides. The interior is industrial and roomy, there’s a huge open kitchen and delightful orange accents throughout (even in the bathrooms). On warm days there is an open area outside to settle in, the outdoor tables have herbs in cool iron planters that Rebecca’s husband made.
The cafe is named for Rebecca’s two sons, which is so perfectly apt for a place that has so much heart. Everything in the cabinet is made from scratch in the kitchen by head chef Brian, and Rebecca herself runs the floor, smiling and chatting with everyone who steps through the door. The menu champions suppliers and artisans who care about quality and sustainability; Kokako Organic coffee, Freedom Farms bacon, Green Valley milk and Nice Blocks – just to name a few. It’s also the kind of cafe that welcomes families, there are kids artworks covering one wall, and a gorgeous installation of coloured pencils behind the brew bar which would fascinate any child (even big ones like me).
The spring eggs benedict is served traditionally on English muffins and served with asparagus and lemon hollandaise. The dish comes with a homemade hash brown and was creamy, tart and fresh all at once. The buttermilk pancakes with honeycomb butter, banana and maple syrup were so light and fluffy you could probably bounce on them like a trampoline if you were… really really little, or a fairy. They were also huuuuge, with a delicious salted caramel flavour about them.
When it comes down to it, everything at Charlie & George is done well. It’s so nice to come across a cafe with someone behind it who cares so much about quality, uniqueness and fun. We loved it, we thought it worth travelling great distances for.