Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thorps Coffee House, Napier (NZ) by Big Fil

On 3 February 1931 an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hit the west cost of New Zealand. Large parts of the towns of Napier and Hastings were destroyed and 258 people died. The cities were rebuilt in what were the modern architectural styles of the time. This resulted in two of the most extensive collections of low-rise Art Deco and Spanish Mission buildings anywhere in the world.

One of the things we had to do in Napier was eat in an old Art Deco café. The first one I spied just around the corner from our hotel was Thorps Coffee House. The menu didn't matter, quality of food didn't matter, price didn't matter, we were going there for breakfast.

Hungry Pete and I'd been to Napier before and knew that while most buildings around the CBD had kept their facades a lot of the old 1930s interiors had been gutted during the 1960s.

Thorps Coffee House has managed to keep some of its old interior decoration and lighting, or at least it has been replaced with similar items. In terms of how much of the old feel it had retained it was less than I'd hoped for but better than I'd feared.

While I wasn't that concerned about the food it was actually quite good. Not super sophisticated but flavoursome and generous. Hungry Pete went for the French Toast. This was light and nicely eggy, with firm banana and great crispy bacon.

My corn fritters were nicely moist and flavoursome with the same crispy bacon as the French Toast. The tomato salsa and sour cream was a bit uninspired and added no real zing to the dish.

Still a bit hungry I ordered a slice of the lemon yogurt cake. This was moist and warm with a slightly tart lemon flavour. Using yogurt as the side rather than cream added another element of tartness to the cake.

For me going to Thorps was all about the Art Deco (the major reason we went to Napier). In that regard it would have been good if it had of retained more of its art deco feel, for example some furniture from the period. However, the service was friendly and the food more than acceptable.

40 Hastings Street
Bluff Hill
Napier New Zealand 4110
Tel: (06) 835 6699

1 comment:

Lesley said...

Love your photos of the Art Deco Cafe in Napier. Would you like to share your story and photos on my page on Art Deco Cities? You can put a link back to your blog, and get comments there too. It will be your own page on my site.

Its at:

All the best

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