Talisman Cafe, Karangahake

Today was wet. Warm still, but wet. For the first 20 minutes, it didn’t rain. For the remaining 220, it did.

We set out on a bike ride from Waikino to Karangahake and back, on the Hauraki rail trail. Disused railway lines turned into cycle paths? Old railway tunnels lit up with disconcerting drips coming from the roof? Sounds familiar. It’s the Monsal Trail with some more interesting plant life, and a more impressive river.

And, much like Derbyshire, there are quirky cafes around. This is certainly one of them. For example, instead of a number for your order, you get a plastic animal.

There are also a random selection of local arts and crafts and souvenir tat available to buy.

Anyway, it was a good place to dry off, warm up a touch and have some lunch. It’s a simple menu, burgers, chips, pies, toasties and the like.

I had a tasty ham and cheese toastie, with good chips but a weird Chinese soup spoon full of tomato sauce, shown below…

As it was such a wet day, we needed a pot of tea to warm up. We might be turning into Hazel!

We decided to linger a little longer and had a tasty chocolate fudge cake. Just the kind of thing to cheer you up on a dreary day. I’m aware that the photo needs rotating, can’t do it on this dodgy Internet connection…

It’s fair to say that there’s more than a touch of the Grindleford station cafe about it (if you’ve been to Grindleford, you’ll know what I mean).

An interesting lunch stop!

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