I love books. The only problem is, I tend to doze off whenever I'm reading something in my favourite chair at home. It doesn't seem to matter how exciting or interesting the story is, my eyelids will inevitably start to feel heavy and close over after about 20 minutes, or so.
Unless, I have coffee...
With a hot cup of coffee in my hand I feel like I can take on the world, or, at least finish the next chapter of my book. The problem is, I don't like those coffee pod machines, because they're incredibly wasteful, and a coffee bag will only get you so far.
The other problem is that I don't like reading much in public because my favourite chair is incredibly comfortable, always vacant, and waits there patiently for me at home. If only there was a place that made great coffee and was home to my second favourite chair...
Perhaps unfairly, Maitland's probably not the first place you'd suggest when trying to proffer a solution to my first world problem, and yet, that's exactly where you'll find great coffee, delicious meals, and, my second favourite chair... and, possibly, yours as well.
Hiding behind green shrubs and red umbrellas on the banks of the Hunter River, Favourite Chair Cafe in Maitland is a bookworm and coffee fiends' dream.
There's heaps of shade on the deck outside and it's cosy and cool (or warm if it's winter) inside, with plenty of spaces, tables and chairs to claim as your other favourite spot to spread out and chat with friends, or curl up and read about people you might wish were your friends.
And, if you forget to bring something to read, head over to the floor to ceiling, wall to wall bookshelf filled with lots of old favourites to keep you company while you eat something delicious from the all day breakfast and lunch menu.
There are lots of healthy menu options, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes for those of us who like to imagine flavour just like we imagine characters in a storybook.
Then, there are breakfast classics, like bacon and eggs, eggs on toast, and spicy eggs, and lunch dishes including meatballs, roast beef roll, and a beef and chorizo burger, which you can order with a side of bacon, chipolatas, or grilled tomato, smoked salmon, and avocado.
There are soft drinks, juices and milkshakes to help wash down your food, as well as a great selection of teas, chai, and, of course, coffee.
The last time, my dining associate went with the vegetarian option, ordering the pumpkin and beetroot bruschetta, while I smashed a plate of spicy eggs with a chocolate milkshake, which, despite lacking those classic streaks of chocolate slowly draining down the inside of glass, was very yummy.
There's only so much you can do to make a plate of fried eggs looks appealing, but I think the answer is serving them with visible spices, coriander leaves and slices of red chilli that rests on two slices of crunchy, toasted sourdough next to a couple of ripe avocado wedges on the side.
Two sunny side eggs run rivers of yolky gold across a deep blue coloured plate as my knife and fork work to separate a slice of eggy toast with all the trimmings. There's spice and heat and freshness and texture that makes for a hearty breakfast or light lunch, just depending on how you feel.
The pumpkin and beetroot bruschetta looked good from where I was sitting, but my dining associate said that the salad was a little too naked and fresh and could have done with a little bit of dressing and a bit more seasoning, but that the bruschetta was crunchy, the avocado was creamy, and it was a lovely light lunch, nonetheless.
It's quiet, they make great coffee, the food is delicious, and it's got a great view, no matter where you sit, especially if you’re reading a book in your new favourite chair.