The first thing that catches your eye at Arkwright & Co. is the adorable, 1950s British lunchroom fit out. The designers behind Seven Seeds and Kumo Izakaya — among others — clearly know a thing or two about clever construction and running a theme authentically. Lino and Laminex furniture, mint green cappuccino cups and a touch of British nostalgia all give this cafe a distinct sentimentality without going overboard on the kitsch.
The second thing you're bound to notice is the bread and baked goods on display. The danishes, cakes and biscuits are delicately displayed on top of stands and under cloches; we highly recommend the orange cake with a cup of tea, or a Monte Carlo and a takeaway coffee if you're on the go. The bread is $6 a loaf, and you can nab anything from a sourdough to olive bread to multigrain.
The coffee here is Seven Seeds, so you know you're in good hands. They have several tea varieties, and also offer freshly squeezed orange juice and brilliant milkshakes, if the weather calls for it. Arkwright & Co. is also located right outside a 96 tram stop heading towards the city — so if they're not too busy and you need a quick caffeine hit, it's highly likely they can have a takeaway ready for you before the next departure.
The food menu here is not greatly expansive, but perfect if you like simple things done very well. The avocado and feta on sourdough ($11.80) is our usual go-to, but they also do croissants and fruit bread if that takes your fancy instead. For lunch they have a number of super adorable sandwiches ($9.20) to choose from. A cucumber sandwich is on the menu, naturally.
Our favourite time to visit Arkwright & Co is definitely the weekend, where they offer Devonshire Tea with two homemade scones, strawberry jam from Cunliffe & Waters, and an (un)healthy dollop of clotted cream, as well as a pot of tea of your choosing ($12). They're easily shared, but if you want to demolish them all by yourself, no one is stopping you.
The relaxed and friendly atmosphere at Arkwright & Co makes the cafe a place we like to frequent. We feel very at home huddling up in one of the corner tables, as we find this lovely little local like a second home. If you want a quaint, comforting experience with simple but fantastic fare, look no further.