I had seen something on Facebook about the Rangiora Showgrounds Cafe.  So a few days ago, on a slightly damp and cold autumn morning I headed out there for coffee with a couple of friends.

The cafe is a big space and on a midweek mid-morning, with only two other tables of customers, it felt a little soulless.  And also a little chilly, but I see they have a log burner so when the temperature drops hopefully that will be providing a bit of cosy atmosphere.  Otherwise – take a coat with you.

So, what have they got?  Well there’s a decent brunch menu but I was after something sweet to go with coffee.  There was a lovely looking, big square chocolate cake on the counter that looked too full of sugar and calories to miss, so two of us opted for that.  Whilst one of us went for the eggs benedict off the brunch menu.

My capuccino and a slice of cake cost me $8, which seems reasonable.

The cake was good.  It was moist, with a thin layer of icing and just sweet enough without being overwhelming.  My friend also rated her eggs benedict.  Served on a toasted, white roll they were well cooked – nice and runny in the yolk with no slimy bits of white.  Likewise coffees were good.

But the service, whilst polite, was rather patchy.  We had a short wait initially for two of our hot drinks.  Then the eggs benedict arrived.  About five minutes after that my cappuccino turned up.  We waited for our two slices of cake.  But they didn’t appear so I popped up to the counter to remind them.  A minute later one piece of cake turned up.  Then I had to ask again for the second piece.  Finally that arrived.

I always think running a cafe or a restaurant is a really tough gig – you’ve got to have good food, good service, a nice atmosphere.  And you’ve got to provide all that whilst smiling at annoying people who want their cake served with their coffee.  I’m not entirely sure this place has managed to pull all those aspects together yet.

On the plus side their food is nice.  That’s half the battle.  But the space itself could do with a spruce up and if the service we had is normal, then that needs some review.  Hopefully these are just teething problems for them.



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