Ampersand Book and Cafe, Paddington
I have walked and driven pass this Victorian house, café and bookstore, which is situated on the busy road of Oxford Street many times now. The café is always busy with people either queuing or dining. As the name suggests, not only is it a café, but also a bookstore. They have over 30,000 used books stretching from the ceiling to the floor and plenty of places to sit, either outside, by the window or downstairs. Two levels of books and check out the bottom floor – I would love to have a room like this at home!
B regularly comes here and she suggested we come here one afternoon for lunch. As expected, the place was busy and thankfully we managed to secure a table outside. It was just too nice to sit indoors. They have all day breakfast, which is a bonus, and lunch consists of gourmet sandwiches, paninis, risottos, pastas, soup and salads.
I couldn’t go pass the corn fritters with fresh avocado and tomato salsa ($11.90) – it was just too pretty to eat. Two perfectly round thin corn fritters – it was sweet, and delicious. The fresh avocado and tomato salsa were refreshing and a wonderful complement. It was filling and exactly what I wanted
B opted for something healthier, breakfast bowl ($11) – which consists of half bircher and half toasted muesli topped with fresh fruit and dessert yogurt. We both loved the combination of moist and crunchy muesli together.
I can imagine coming here one afternoon, sipping my coffee and reading a book from their collection under the sun. It would be very relaxing and a perfect way to spend an afternoon. I have always loved the idea of café with bookstore.
Ampersand uses allpress coffee, the coffee here is good, but I still do prefer Single Origin. Ampersand won ‘Wentworth Courier awards for Excellence Best Cafe in 2008, 2009, and 2010’, Service is friendly and efficient, and food is fantastic. Definitely keen to go back and try their lunch.
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
Ampersand books and cafe
78 Oxford Street