The Archive Café – A Place to While Away a Couple of Hours
Imagine what it would be like if you could sit in your local library, browse through hard to come by books, sipping a cup of tea or nibbling on a sumptuous breakfast, all while you can gaze out of floor to ceiling glass walls onto the quiet, green expanse of a park. In my books, the above description is apt for what I envision paradise to be like, and if you find yourself in Dubai, you can indulge in a couple of hours of pure paradise at the Archive Café located close to gate 5 in Safa Park.
The art books lining the shelves that cleverly divide the interior into different cosy spaces focus on the Middle East and North Africa, and include books on design, architecture, photography and history. You can either choose to while away time here with your nose in a book, indulge your creative senses in this stimulating environment, or meet up with friends for lively discussions.
The staff here are laid back and far more interested in socialising with one another than serving customers, and as I wanted to be left alone in my corner browsing, reading, and sipping tea, it suited me perfectly that no one was paying me much attention.
Breakfast is served all day long, and my French toast with mascarpone cheese and berry compote was delicious. Despite the inviting shade of umbrellas outside, the patio was deserted, as the air in June is laced with oppressive heat and humidity. The cool, air-conditioned interior, on the other hand, was buzzing with conversation. The glass walls that invites nature inside, transformed this old utilities building into a light, airy, creative space where time seems to slow down ever so slightly. It is a space where it is easy to forget that one is actually in the heart of a busy cosmopolitan city.
Safa Park is one of the oldest parks in Dubai, and has over the years seen many facelifts. She is a grand old dame, lush and well-maintained. It is a lovely place to visit, even though summer may not be the ideal time for leisurely strolls or picnics.
* Entrance fee to Safa Park – AED3
** The Archive Café organises many different community events – visit their Facebook page to see what is happening at the moment.