Durham Lane has long been my favourite laneway in Auckland, and it made me so happy one Thursday morning to see a steady stream of people wandering cautiously down it, in search of donuts. The beautiful, tiny space that began its life as Nice Day cafe has now become Little & Friday’s long awaited CBD outpost. The interior, originally designed by Material Creative, hasn’t changed much – the walls are still covered with beautiful matte black hexagon tiles, the space is still dominated by a Douglas + Bec chandelier, the same machine is serving the same great Supreme coffee. The only difference is the smell of golden pastry that spills out onto the street and brings people running.
The entrance steps are steep. It feels as if your barista is peering down from a kind of urban treehouse. Once you reach the top you will find the most joyful sight, baked delights arranged neatly in wooden trays which are delivered fresh from Little & Friday’s Belmont kitchen each morning. There are custard and bay leaf donuts, savoury brioche, freshly made sandwiches, golden mince & cheese pies and sausage rolls. In a cabinet built into the counter are Little & Friday’s famous sweets – lamington pyramids, coconut and lemon cakes, chocolate and hazelnut baci.
It seems appropriate that Little & Friday, an Auckland food phenomenon that began in a tiny corner of a tiny row of shops on a residential street on the Shore, should open in such a small and hidden space. Just recently I was reminiscing with a friend about the joy of discovering Little & Friday for the first time – there was this sense of having arrived in the Auckland you’d always dreamed of, this misplaced pride, this almost emotional delight at the things you saw and ate. Little & Friday’s Tuck Shop brought all of that back for me. There aren’t many places in Auckland that make me feel as happy as Little & Friday does, and now I can have that feeling any day of the week.