American Novelist, Gertrude Stein once said, “coffee is a lot more than just a drink; it’s something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like yourself, and have a second cup.”
And that’s where Harvison Gallery/Art Starter Café begins, with the best combination of art and food. The food is simple with a focus on fresh produce and specialty coffee. This is a space where you can stand and see works by emerging artists and then, from the same spot, you can enjoy a savory bacon and egg brioche.
Many galleries have been diversifying into other areas such as homeware (similar to Eillo on Northbridge), and Mark Walker has taken to this new model by adding Art Starter Coffee to the front of Harvison Gallery. We took to it immediately once we entered the front door with the pop of colors that surrounded the walls of the café and shelves of delicious cakes and sweet treats.
We were greeted by friendly staff, which is always a key point. I decided to follow my sweet tooth and chose the brioche topped up with strawberries, rhubarb and dripping with golden maple syrup with a side of fresh cream (above). This was by far the most decadent breakfast choice I’ve had in a while. Whereas, the tomato bruschetta had plenty of savory notes but piled sky-high with salad and sourdough (below).
The shelves were also stocked with locally sourced coffee, gourmet hampers, hand-made preserves and chocolates galore. There were also plenty of homemade cakes, muffins, bagels, and treats. There’s enough to choose from, and I must say, the dishes were all priced well. These two dishes above are by far excellent value for money. Leaving satisfied without a dent in your wallet is always a plus in my books.
At the end of the day, it is particularly inventive to be able to see the relationship between food and art spatially in a way that you might not be able to see in traditional galleries. Art Starter and Harvison Gallery has nailed this balance perfectly. The coffee (flat white and cappuccino below) did a pretty good job as well since I did go in for a second round.
Photography by @rev_eller
195 Brisbane Street, Perth WA 6000
08 9227 6619
Monday – Friday (7am – 3pm), Saturday & Sunday (7.30am – 3pm)