A global field guide to shopping, style and hidden gems
est. 2007

Wee Birdy in New Zealand: Primo Cafe in Methven

I would never expect to find much in the way of (a) quirky cafes, (b) vintage clothes and (c) the kind of shopping that gets my heart racing in a small ski resort town. So I was surprised to discover that Primo Cafe in Methven delightfully ticks all three boxes.

Methven is a small town in the Canterbury region of New Zealand and is the base for nearby Mt Hutt during the ski season.

Part-cafe and part-junk-shop, Primo is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of retro Kiwiana, bric-a-brac, vintage clothes, jewellery, accessories, tablewear, books, prints, paintings, toys, magazines and furniture. Every available surface is crammed with the kind of trinkets you’d be thrilled to uncover in a country carboot sale.

The back wall is stacked with an impressive collection of vintage blankets, sheets and fabric, while the front window houses an assortment of glassware and crystal.

The kitchen counter is stacked with just-baked slices, muffins, biscuits and cakes, and the menu offers an assortment of delicious old-fashioned breakfast and lunch time options. Primo’s legendary bacon and egg toasted sandwich is not to be missed, but we also liked the avocado and tomato on toast. There was an adorable vintage enamel highchair for Harry, the kind which has a seat that slides out to reveal an in-built potty. He was happy with his avocado toast and a “little Fluffy” – Kiwi for babycinno.

There is no rush to leave – in fact, lingering is encouraged with the wood-burning stove in the corner, cosy crocheted cushions on the chairs and various vintage chess sets scattered around the tables. I was tempted to curl up in an old armchair by the fire for the day, but we had to get going to Mt Hutt. Still, it was a rather charming and unexpected way to start our day at the snow.

Primo Cafe
38 McMillan Street
Methven, New Zealand
Tel. 03 302 9309

And if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Methven, the Brinkley Resort was superb in every way possible. We had an apartment on the ground-floor so we didn’t have to worry about lugging suitcases, child and pram up stairs, and we also had two bedrooms, a laundry and a kitchen, so we could easily adapt to Harry’s familiar home routines. The accommodation itself was modern, clean and stylish, and it provided the perfect base for our adventures on Mt Hutt.

Wee Birdy travelled to Christchurch courtesy of the good folks at Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand. Head to www.newzealand.com for more information about visiting New Zealand.

Click here to read my post about Re:Start in Christchurch, including my top six shops.
Click here to read about The General Store at Re:Start in Christchurch.

Click here to read about HAPA at Re:Start in Christchurch.
Click here to read about Johnson’s Grocers at Re:Start in Christchurch.

  • http://twitter.com/LadylovesCake Katherine MacGregor

    Oooh! That is my favourite cafe in the entire world!! So glad you got to go – your NZ posts have been fabulous.

  • Sneaky Magpie

    Looks like heaven and the cake looks so delicious. Shame it’s so far from London!