– by Tiarne Cook
As that time of year approaches the main city drags, bustling, beachside suburbs and suburban shopping precincts heave with Christmas craziness. And to be honest it can all become a little too overbearing – the difficulty parking, the screaming children, antsy shoppers and snooty cyclists. Especially when all you’re after is a good piccolo latte, something yummy in your belly and a quiet place to catch up with an old friend.
Well look no further than The Stranded Store.
Situated off the beaten track, this little gem is tucked away in the leafy suburb of Colonel Light Gardens, offering patrons a surprisingly ‘cheffy’ menu and delicious, locally roasted coffee. While it is clear the food and the coffee are at heart of this place – with a real focus on fresh, seasonal local ingredients – I think the atmosphere deserves a notable mention. Light, relaxed and super stylish.
The outside tables and chairs sprawl across the pavement sheltered by a lovely layer of greenery, while the interior is beautifully simple and fresh. There is a certain air of serenity about the place, as if the relaxed, homely nature of the surrounding sleepy suburb has been captured and added into the mix.
But this place is anything but sleepy.
Locals swing past on their way to work for their morning coffee; fresh, home-baked goodies lie in wait on the counter – evidence of the early hours spent in the kitchen, and wait staff flutter between the coffee machine and the dining room – seeing to it that their customers’ coffee cups are amply filled.
I take a seat inside by the window and amply fill my coffee cup twice before ordering. It’s a real toss up between the ‘brioche French toast served with banana caramel, roasted almonds and mascarpone’ and the ‘Kangaroo Island free-range eggs with your choice of sides.’ The eggs it is – and boy are they done well. Perfectly poached and complemented ever so nicely by my choice of sides – crisp (but not crunchy) asparagus tossed in olive oil, lemon and capers, wafer thin pancetta, and rich, balsamic-soaked mushrooms. I find myself devouring the sides before I’ve tucked into the main part of the dish!
Once I’ve finished I take a moment, just to sit – belly full with that glorious caffeinated buzz. I feel restored. Ready to face the world again.
So when the Christmas craziness becomes all a little too much, take some time out and take a trip to The Stranded Store – a sanctuary amongst the chaos (did I mention they are also licensed – espresso martini’s anyone?)
ADDRESS: 14 The Strand, Colonel Light Gardens, SA
PHONE: 8177 2220
HOURS: Tuesday-Friday (8am- 4pm), Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays (8:30-4pm)