Whileaway Bookshop & Café
2/43 Macrossan Street Port Douglas
So by this stage you can tell we’re living on Macrossan Street, yeah?
I finally had a chance to get to this union of café and bookstore on day 3 of our Port Douglas getaway, on a Monday afternoon. It was stinking hot and humid (nothing unusual in those parts) and the interior provided a chance to sit and unwind for a bit while I got excited about all the book purchase possibilities around me.
I had seen this place on Zomato before we holidayed our way over, and boy was I in anticipation of it. My dream would be to open a café/bookstore, so this for me was a special type of paradise (following the one we had visited earlier that day – swimming lagoon in Mossman Gorge. OMG. Stay tuned for an upcoming Port Douglas attractions post).
We promptly ordered up the back of the shop. It was all connected, but Whileaway is set up as if there are two sides to the store, with the café towards the back on the left behind all the seating, and the primary load of books was in the right of the store. Of course there was also seating on the right, not as much, and there were books upon entry as well near the majority of tables and chairs. There were books EVERYWHERE. You couldn’t escape (tee hee hee).
We ordered coffees, and some food.
A Cheddar Cheese and Onion Muffin
Chocolate Macadamia Tart
Mossman Pineapple and Banana Cake (considering Mossman Gorge had just blown my mind I had to indulge in a dessert of the same name)
And a cappuccino, latte and babycino.
The cheddar cheese and onion muffin was warmed up and quite tasty, a very big serve too to keep you satiated for a long time. Woe is me, I had to eat most of it since baby girl wanted none, deciding to overdose on the Pineapple and Banana Cake. That too was delicious and sweet, a mild flavour. The Tart was ok, and the coffees were strong. At first my cap had a different, unusual taste, and the caffeine hit me in my sweaty state… but then as I drank on I must have gotten used to the taste and it was ok. Probably not my preferred cup of coffee, even Hubbie agreed with his latte.
Where we were sitting was next to the children’s books and a children’s table play area, however despite the scene we still had to watch baby girl didn’t drop or damage anything. Yes, we were in the kids section, but it was that kind of shop – the look, don’t touch one. Which is difficult when you have a child and they can see trains and caterpillars and all the things they know and love, but is of a dearer and more exclusive value. There was a lady nearby sorting books who was onto baby girl, and when Hubbie said “baby girl don’t touch, the lady will get upset,” she was quite particular: “no I won’t there are just things that can break there.” Very choice with her words. I like it. Of course, she works in a book store right? (And I suspect she was a manager/owner).
I didn’t purchase anything of the reading variety during that visit, as baby girl was getting grumpy, and honestly I couldn’t even find something to buy as I was generally perusing. Not that there weren’t books aplenty, but I wanted to get something special, something different, something to remind me of our Port Douglas holiday.
We managed a quick stop over literally an hour before hitting the road for the airport days later. And after looking, and looking, and scratching my head, and sighing, to baby girl grabbing things and Hubbie following her around irritatedly, I finally settled on this:
The blurb at the back of the book intrigued me:
“We don’t want to tell you what happens in this book.
It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it.
Nevertheless, you need to know enough to buy it, so we will just say this:”
And then it continued with a brief description, which luckily further intrigued me. I won’t be reading it for a while but watch my book review space for when it does come up.
And the little plus with my purchase? My new Whileaway bookstore bookmark. Cute 🙂
Food: 7/10. Consisted of mostly savouries and sweet treats.
Coffee: 6/10. It didn’t really leave us yearning for another cuppa, but it did the trick. Strong.
Ambience: Think library! It was fairly quiet and chilled as you would expect a reading area to be.
People: There weren’t many that hot Monday arvo, but there was the solo wanderer and coffee enthusiast coming in, no rowdy groups here. There was another Mum who ventured in with her daughter, who was also trying somewhat successfully to keep her daughters hands from the pretty play things about.
Staff: Pleasant. Both women behind the coffee machine were friendly, and the studious book manager-type was… serious. About books.
Price: Reasonable, $20+ for what we had.
Advice: Come without your child. I know there is a children’s area there, but unless your child listens to every word you say and obeys every instruction given, or unless they are of an age to sit on the kids table there and just draw, perhaps best to leave them with Hubbie in the communal pool of your accommodation and come alone for an afternoon of exciting solitude and books.
In a nutshell: I would definitely love to come back on our hopefully one-day-not-too-far-away return to Port Douglas. The terrific book surrounds and cosy atmosphere is an ideal area to indulge in while having a coffee, however I do hope that the taste of the bean improves…
Coffee, and books? What a terrific way to Whileaway your afternoon.