Long ago when I was a struggling student, Taringa was a festering cesspit of rickety hovels and grim brick sixpacks, clustered cheek by jowl in the lowlands behind the Chinese restaurant on Moggill Road, untouched by sun in winter, or air in summer.
Actually, I’m pretty sure that was probably just the parts of Taringa that my colleagues and I could afford, a thought that occurred to me as I travelled along graceful Stanley Terrace recently, on my way to visit Abode Café.
Abode is part of the Hillsdon Road shops, the sort of corner enclave that every suburb needs, and sadly, every suburb used to have before shopping centres completely wiped them out.
The Hillsdon Road shops have been recently reinvigorated with a corner store, laundromat, art studio, pet pamperers, and more.
Abode occupies one stretch of the corner site.
Inside there’s a banquette with a clutch of tables, and a not-too-scary communal table. There are flowers on the counter, and plants in jars and pots tucked here and there.
Outside is the garden courtyard.
More tables and chairs gather on the lawn and bricks, under umbrellas, and shaded by trees.
Pooches lie about while their humans read the papers, occasionally nipping off for a drink of their own.
Herbs bask in the sun, within a few steps reach of the kitchen.
It’s all perfectly delightful, and let me tell you, on a glorious autumn morning, the place was heaving. Minutes after these shots were taken, so was every seat in the house.
If you’re into coffee, they use Black Sheep. If you like homemade jams and the like, they’re available too. They do gluten free and dairy free fodder.
The menu is small but delicious - hello savoury mince, my old friend - and the staff, led by owner Bronwyn, are supremely friendly and unflappable. They even offered to turn off the fluoro lights in the kitchen if I preferred that for my photos!
With charms like this, it’s pretty easy to see why so many are making Abode’s courtyard garden their home away from home.
Note: Abode is at 30 Hillsdon Road, Taringa. Open 7:30am-3:00pm. Check the Hillsdon Road Shops' blog for more info. PT users can catch the 415 bus to the doorstep.