cafe reviews, Writing

Writing in Cafes Review: Verve Cafe

It’s currently the heart of winter, which in Wellington means cold rain and wind. Lots of wind. The cats have become increasingly snuggly i.e. interested in sharing body warmth.

Wraith and Kestrel snuggled together

I feel the cold easily. The ambient temperature of cafes has thus become even more important to me than usual.

Wellington winter sunset
I do like the occasionally spectacular winter sunsets though.

For this reason, I’ve shifted my usual writing space from Mt Cook to Verve Cafe. Verve is located beneath an office/mall building in the CBD on Lambton Quay and gives the strong impression of being underground due to the complete lack of windows. I rather like the cosiness of this, but my friends have used words like “cave-like” to describe it.

Reasons to go there

Verve meets most of my key cafe criteria for writers, though the coffee quality is variable. There’s free WiFi, plenty of table space, comfy seats, many food choices. The staff seem relatively non-judgemental about my frequent presence as I desperately try to finish the last book in the Stariel Series.

Verve cafe
Verve cafe on a quiet Sunday afternoon in July.

This is both a reason to go and not to go: The interesting playlists. I’m not sure who chooses them, but sometimes they exactly hit my preferences – one afternoon they played the entire soundtrack of Mamma Mia; another time, a list of nostalgic 90s pop hits. Other times, they choose a playlist diametrically opposed to my personal preferences, but YMMV (“I Whip My Hair Back and Forth” tests even my legendary ability to switch off my ears when I’m concentrating). Today is a good playlist day. As I write this, Tainted Love is playing in the background.

Reasons not to go there

If, you like to have some idea what the weather is doing before you go out in it, this is not the cafe for you, my friend. Sometimes I’ve been messaging people while inside Verve, suggesting we hang out, and they’re like: ARE YOU KIDDING? IT’S FREAKING BUCKETING DOWN AND GALE-FORCE WINDS OUTSIDE; I’M NOT LEAVING THE HOUSE.

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