The Backyard Cafe

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Nikki Harding grew up in a rambling home across the road from her father's Bergvliet furniture shop, Restorabilia. When the Harding family moved, the house became a second showroom for the business, with the addition of a delightful coffee shop that spills into the spacious back garden. 'My friend Ash and I decided to open the coffee shop together,' says Nikki. 'We'd just graduated and thought it might be a fun short-term occupation. We did our barista courses through Origin and launched our project on Valentine's Day, 2012.'\n\nIt's been a great success, so much so that short-term has become long-term, with the possibility of opening a second Backyard Café before long. The setting will have to be right, of course. This really is the back yard, shaded by two massive Eugenia trees that provide privacy from the surrounding blocks of flats, as well as an abundance of berries that are turned into a compote in the kitchen. There's a veggie garden, a fish pond, an eclectic mix of tables and chairs and a couple of comfy sofas tucked under a reed awning. Gift, who is employed in the workshop, maintains the garden. His wife works in the kitchen. The couple and their children live on the property, so you are quite likely to see the little ones trailing home from school if you are there around lunchtime.\n\nThe food is simple and healthy, making use of their own produce where possible. You can have a full, cooked breakfast or a fruit smoothie if your prefer. The lunch menu is built around salads, soups and quiches, with a distinctly Mediterranean flavour. The chef tests new options from time to time and refines the menu according to the season. When the weather turns chilly, there are blankets for the hardy outdoor types, or the option of moving indoors, to a cosy and inviting space. And on your way out, there's the irresistible array of Restorabilia's wares to drool over.