On the northside of the central part of Lake Burley Griffin and just across the road from the Carillon a (to use that currently (2017) trendy term – at least in Canberra) ‘pop-up’ coffee shop (or for the not so hip among my small readership a coffee van or cart) has appeared, on and off, over the last five or six years. As far as I can ascertain it doesn’t have a name. It seems to be here with increasing regularity nowadays and is certainly here most if not all weekends. While I have no idea of its opening hours it opens much earlier (7.30am perhaps) than Dom’s Coffee Bar, located across the lake and also on the lake foreshore, so I tend to have better luck getting my coffee fix here than at Dom’s.
Putting last weekend’s experience, whereby the van operator decided that everyone should have a cappuccino irrespective of what type of coffee they asked for, aside as a one-off, I have always found the coffee here to be of a good quality and slightly better than Dom’s – though that is fine too.
In addition to coffee, other hot and cold drinks are available and one can choose from a selection of cakes, slices, muffins and the like and, if you are a bit more peckish, bagels, toasted sandwiches and ham and cheese croissants are also available.
The coffee van is somewhat cheaper than Dom’s and the cafes in the galleries on the southside of the lake.
Not least because there is a suite of modern clean toilets to the rear of the coffee van this is a popular spot for cyclists to have a break – though you need not be a cyclist to use the facilities or drink coffee here! Drinking water is available for you dog, should happen to have one with you.
A small amount of seating is set out on the grass, in front of and across the road from the van, affording patrons excellent views across the lake and to the Carillon – an excellent vantage point (or rather listening position) should there be a bell recital on when you visit.
In colder months blankets used to be available for customers though the few times I have stopped here or passed by this winter (2016) I didn’t notice any on the chairs. This side of the lake is less sheltered and consequentially feels, and probably is, colder than the other side, in winter.