For many, dining next to Ed Sheeran or Lorde could only occur in an upscale restaurant in New York or Los Angeles. For the locals of Devonport, New Zealand, it might be as casual as stopping in their favorite café and ordering a chai latte after a long day.
The airiest of cafés, Corelli’s offers that opportunity. It boasts a laid back vibe that draws in tourists, locals and the occasional celebrity.
“We had Ed Sheeran in here the other day,” Andrew Osborne, manager of Corelli’s, said. “He is always in New Zealand and he just cruises around. Lorde is from here, so when she is in town she pops in and we’ve got a couple of Olympians from Devonport who also come in.”
Opened in 2010 by Ann O’Sullivan after she moved from Sydney, Australia, Corelli’s Devonport wasn’t created to draw in an esteemed crowd. It was created so that she could “have a coffee after 3 p.m. and feel fine about going out for a cheap meal at night alone.”
Dine in Devonport Like a Local
Corelli's satisfies daytime cafe cravings and serves coffee for a late night fix
Corelli’s has a vast menu ranging from leek and goat cheese pie, to nachos topped with your choice of chicken, beans or beef, coated in avocado and sweet chili.
Ask Osborne what his favorite dish is and he’ll respond, “the butterball, a healthy dish, but it’s a little bit different from what you get from other places. It’s sort of an Asian fusion dish; it’s got a little bit of Thai and Vietnamese in there.”
O’Sullivan wrote Corellis Favourites, a cookbook customers can find scattered throughout her café as reading material to be consumed over a raspberry cocktail and a crumbling walnut bar.
Along with her homemade treats, O’Sullivan is passionate about pottery. She creates many of the serving dishes used in the café and her work lines the open-air rooms. She also hosts pottery dinners along with other community activities.
“We are quite busy throughout the year because we do a lot of stuff for locals,” Osborne explained. “Every Tuesday night we have live music here. On Wednesday nights we have free Spanish lessons. There are lots of things for the locals every night, so they feel like they are part of the place.”
"Every Tuesday night we have live music here. on Wednesday nights we have free Spanish Lessons. There are lots of things for the locals every night, so they feel like they are a part of the place."
For those not fortunate enough to be Devonport locals, a quick ferry ride from Auckland can satisfy a craving for the experience. Corelli’s Café is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is located on 46 Victoria Road, Devonport, New Zealand.