We came here because the Mt Albert Lodge has just opened its own on-site cafe, situated in front of the motel on Carrington Rd.
Parking was actually harder than we expected on a Monday, mid-morning. There is none on Carrington Rd, so you have to go up one of the side streets, which were all pretty busy on the day we visited.
We walked in and immediately thought the cafe is a light and airy space, with simple modern décor. We liked the low-hanging floral lightshades, the bench seating down the centre and the plastic chairs with a wrought iron aesthetic.
The most unusual thing on the menu wasn't an issue - everything is pretty standard.
We ordered the sweetcorn and feta fritters with cream cheese, tomato relish, tomato and cucumber ($16, or with bacon for $19.70), which were beautifully presented but a little bland and slightly soggy; and a bagel with South Island smoked salmon, cream cheese, spanish onion and lemon ($12.50) - again well-presented, but nothing out of the ordinary.
The service was good to start with, but we felt a little ignored later on when our plates weren't cleared and we weren't offered another coffee.
The coffee was Melba Espresso's New Zealand-roasted Melba blend, a South American blend based on three different types of beans.
We recommend if you come here and it's a nice day, you grab one of the sun- trap tables in the big windows facing Carrington Rd. However, be mindful that the kitchen closes at 2.30pm.
Overall we thought the Lodge Cafe has a stylish, modern feel and is a pleasant place to brunch - if they can iron out a couple of little kinks, it'll be a great neighbourhood eatery.