Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cafe Love - The Hardware Societe

Cafe love may be predominantly about the menu, but it begins with decor and vibe, then considers the service before the food even has a chance to seal the deal.

The Hardware Societe in Melbourne's CBD is immediately satisfactory with an unassuming yet enticing entrace lined with mini pots of greenery and marked with a small yellow 'cafe' sign. The birdcage sticker on the front window has my heart singing before I cross the threshold into the warm hum of this teeny city space.

The buzz continues as my attention is pulled from one pleasing feature to another. Exposed yellow cords crisscross the ceiling to dangle bare light bulbs in front of the wall of black and charcoal damask wallpaper.

Before I can feast on every other detail, a waiter is by my side to find me a table and make me at home. Water comes quickly and automatically. Coffee delights and also comes quickly.

Although homely, there is a fresh and professional vibe here. The professionalism oozes from the staff without pretension and the freshness comes from the light created by the big windows and the furniture. Lots of light, raw wood and white furniture (replica Eames DSW chairs and Eero Saarinen tulip tables). Note the wood on the large communal table and the rickety ladder displaying magazines. Delightlful.

The subtle splashes of yellow in the stools, the light cords and the coat hooks (or was that wall art?) create interest, as do the little French words and touches throughout. This is my kind of place. I only wish I could come here everyday. Don't be surprised if I tell you in a few months that I've modelled my dining room on this little gem. It's cafe love and I haven't even tried one of the macaroons that almost glow on the counter! Do you allow yourself to be swayed by looks when it comes to love of the cafe variety?

The Hardware Societe
120 Hardware Street, Melbourne 3000
Phone: 03 9078 5992

The Hardware Societe on Urbanspoon


  1. You have made our 'heart sing' too just reading your blog and making us more mindful that all our little touches are in fact appreciated and loved by not just us. We work hard to ensure that your experience with us is lasting and because we truly love what we do, I think you can see that. Thank you for making our day too. We love your blog! Di, Will and team THS.

  2. Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout ( Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog ( ). thanks, Josh

  3. Hi Ellise
    I discovered this cafe only yesterday and your blog this morning! I totally agree with all that you have said, I even purchased one of their aprons as I loved the style and bright yellow strings. I am a hospitality veteran who is looking to side step into a career in styling eg. interiors such as cafes and restaurants. So on my days off, I head out to whatever the 'Talk of the town' happens to be in Melbourne and soak up all the features, colours and design elements of the place. Marvelling at the seemingly effortless (but I know otherwise) time and thought that has gone into making the venue work for patrons & staff alike. I could do it all day...and the food is nice a bonus ;) Loved the story and will keep looking out for your 'Cafe Love' as I do too. Kristel :)




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...