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Hard Clay Cafè

sidestep the usual esplanade cafè culture to try something different

Shop 2/20 Brisbane Road, Mooloolaba, QLD

+61 (0)7 5444 2144

Waves are gently rolling onto the beach. Southern tourists lie scattered like driftwood along the sand, desperately drinking in the northern winter sunshine. Mooloolaba's cafè's are bustling with their usual early morning joggers and latte drinkers. Encouraged by a friend's referral I decide to step outside my comfort zone and head one street back from the foreshore. Today I am going to sidestep the usual esplanade cafè culture and try something different. Today I am a woman on a mission, eager to complete my brisk walk along the foreshore and take the plunge toward finding my creative inner self. Well that and meeting a friend for a coffee.

Taking a few hours out of my busy mum schedule, I am visiting the Hard Clay Cafè located on Brisbane Road in Mooloolaba (about 5 mins drive from Maroochydore on QLD's Sunshine Coast). Unlike the countless number of cafè's along the foreshore however, the Hard Clay Cafe is a cafè with a difference. Sure there is the standard selection of coffee's, the wicked chocolate cake, moist apple muffins and a delicious range of healthy snack and meal options. I opt for my usual skinny latte and the apple muffin, but perhaps more importantly and what makes them unique is their range of green ware. For the uninitiated, green ware is a term used to describe unpainted and unfired ceramic pieces. Customers wanting to create a hand painted piece may select from a range of traditional or funky teapots, wonky jugs, various shaped mugs, plates, platters, tiles and vases. Prices range from a couple of dollars for small tiles and magnets, through to $28 for a sandwich tray or $45.00 for a wonky jug. The purchase price includes use of glazes and special effect paints, as well as firing of the piece. After a lazy coffee, I find a funky picture of a sloping red wine bottle and a wine glass in a lifestyle magazine and decide to attempt painting the image onto the side of a wonky jug. I filled the spaces with hand drawn vine leaves and interweaved vine tendrils, and was more than delighted with the final outcome. My friend opted for a more traditional sandwich tray with a spray of burnt orange poppies... Whatever your taste, this is a great opportunity to let your hair down and try something different.

The cafè is set up with a couple of craft tables, a range of paints, glazes, brushes, magazines and example pieces. Perhaps my favourite pieces were the personalised foot and handprint plaques for new babies. I found the staff was happy to assist as required or leave you alone to delve into your inner self and express yourself on some poor unsuspecting noodle bowl. On completion the piece is fired and ready for collection within 5-7 days.

A generous number of outdoor tables allows visitors to sit in the sunshine reading magazines for inspiration, or you may prefer to duck indoors for a bottle of BYO wine and an afternoon spent creating a masterpiece alone or with friends. Whatever your choice, whether it's just coffee and a sticky beak or an afternoon spent creating a one-off piece of art as a gift or piece for the home, the Hard Clay Cafè is a definite must do activity for those visiting the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

contributed by Pania Brown

this page last modified on April 22 2007 ~ this site open since 23 August 2001 - © 2001 - 2023 shopworthy

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