Monday, June 9, 2014

Paddington Station Coffee House | Brisbane

Would you believe until last week, I’ve never been to Brisbane. I’ve been to Queensland many times, mainly to The Whitsundays and Sunshine Coast, but never Brisbane. I was there for work for a day last week and thought I’d have to eat lunch at some point and thought where could I go? I heard about Paddington Station Coffee House in Rosalie Village through word of mouth of a friend who is almost a local there. Leaving Sydney on a frosty winter’s day for balmy Brisbane weather was a warm welcoming relief. It wasn’t too long in the day that I ended up carrying rather than wearing my Sydney overcoat.  

Location & Ambience

It seems Paddington Station Coffee House is a little establishment not even the locals are familiar with. I was in Brisbane CBD at the time and thought to cab it there thinking the cab driver should know the place or at least the street it was on. I thought wrong. The cabby dropped me at some place (corner of Petrie Terrace and Caxton Street) about 6 minutes away by car or another 30 minutes walk. There were cafes around the area I was dropped off and could have decided to go their for lunch instead. I resisted and took another cab to where I was suppose to be. So a journey that should have taken about 10 minutes from Brisbane CBD took about 20 minutes in total. Moral of the story is don't assume cabbies know where they are going and check Google maps before you get out of the cab!

When you reach Paddington and Rosalie in Brisbane, you will notice the rolling leafy hills, a contrast to the Paddington in Sydney which is known for its Victorian residential terraces. The area is speckled with quaint cottages, enticing shopfronts, and renovated Queenslander homes. It’s a pretty suburb. Visitors will love browsing for quirky keepsakes, vintage and designer fashion, antique and second-hand treasures, retro goods, homewares, and artwork. Rosalie Village is a pocket of streets tucked behind Paddington.

At 141 Baroona Road, Rosalie, Paddington Station Coffee House is a small casual establishment tucked inside a village complex. When you walk in, you will be captivated by the sophisticated vintage style décor that is aesthetically pleasing in this little space. Look around and you will notice the café is decorated in a 1920s London style, to replicate the feel as if you were on Paddington Station in London during that time. I had slight nostalgia when I went to this establishment as Paddington Station is not too far from the beautiful Marylebone in London West End, where I stayed in a little terrace apartment for a while whilst studying in London. Look up above the counter and there is a large Old Town clock and a departure and arrival board with the destination station names and platform numbers.

On racks against the brick wallpaper are dusty brown luggage bags stacked one on top of another, to give you the feel as if you are sitting in a train carriage. The walls are decorated with antique pictures, spoons and plates, probably to evoke the feeling that the train journey is one done in first class style. The centrepiece on the wall is a large mirror that looks like a late 19th century French Louis XV style, gilt pastille-work salon mirror, with its frame decorated with fine gilt pastille-work Rocaille motifs.

I was there around 1.45pm which is probably after the usual lunch hour rush and it was pleasantly not crowded. I ordered lunch at the counter from the friendly staff and took a seat at one of the old fashion arm chairs in beautiful neutral coloured fabric upholstery with the label 'child-free area'.

I was greeted by Les, the owner of Paddington Station Coffee House with his Scottish accent which is like music when he speaks. Brisbane is unlike Sydney and Melbourne, Les tells me. Whilst Sydney and Melbourne retains much of its historical features of their buildings, Brisbane is a more modern city. If you go to a café in Brisbane, more often than not a lot of them are contemporary in look and feel.  


Les and his wife, Jacqueline wanted to bring to Brisbane an establishment that retains that antique London feel of Paddington Station with “a touch of class” and delivering wholesome food made with the freshest ingredients locally sourced made the old fashion way - homebaking. All their food ingredients are of the highest quality and their menu offers a good range of mouth watering and healthy breakfast or lunch meals, ideal for people on gluten-free diets.

I had ‘The Victorian Salad’ ($16.90) for lunch which had turkey breast with cinnamon honey baked pumpkin, crumbled feta, cranberry dressing, chopped avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion and baby spinach. The freshest ingredients used in this salad makes all the difference as well as the interesting combination taste of cinnamon, honey, feta and cranberry.

When I go to Brisbane again, I will try the other wholesome food on their lunch menu. These include:

BLT – Crispy short cut bacon, fresh tomato, mayonnaise and lettuce on Turkish toast ($12.50)

The Big Ben – Tender rib eye steak, with their own caramelised onion jam, BBQ sauce, tomato, beetroot and lettuce on Turkish toast ($14.90)

Honey baked pumpkin and crumbled Danish feta, with their own caramelised onion jam and baby spinach on Turkish bread ($13.90)

Also, their range of cakes and scones will ensure you need to do many trips back to try them all.

I didn’t see their breakfast menu, but a friend suggested I try their porridge too. Having porridge in the afternoon is a bit strange so I will save that one for next time.

Les gave me ‘Apple & Almond’ muffin to try, “For the flight home” he warmly says, “It’s got to be better than the plane food”. It doesn’t even compare. The aroma of homebaked muffin from Rosalie filled the cabin air in the Qantas plane later that evening travelling from Brisbane to Sydney. I ate that muffin with a hot cup of tea when I got back home to a frosty Sydney later that night, and even then it was soft and fluffy. A beautiful and tasty homebaked muffin – oh, if only they deliver to Sydney!


This is a lovely warm establishment in the heart of Brisbane’s Rosalie village with beautiful antique décor that will ensure you take the time to look at each vintage piece; homemade food that is seasonally fresh, healthy, delicious and with variety to ensure you keep coming back; friendly service that feels like you are welcomed into a friend’s home. Despite being dropped off the wrong place by the Brisbane cabby, I'm glad to have pushed on and had lunch at Paddington Station Coffee House. I'll definitely be back.


4/151 Baroona Rd Paddington QLD 4084

(07) 3161 8543
Paddington Station Coffee House on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I have never gone to Brisbane. But it is interesting to know about this beautiful coffee house. Really have good varieties of food to eat. I will surly wants to come at this coffee house.

    Finn Felton
    Kopi Luwak.