Riverside Cafe is situated in a 150 year old cottage and pretty garden on the site of Riverside Community. And the food is excellent.
When you visit Riverside Cafe, it feels a bit like entering another world. The cafe garden is a little "Alice-In-Wonderland-like", combining a massive cactus collection which was originally owned by a local collector and a rambling cottage garden. The hand-hewn outdoor tables and benches help create a feeling of the handmade. The cafe menu offers delicious favourites such as Smoked Brisket, Seafood Chowder and a yummy Haloumi Portobello Stack. The cakes are also very good.
Riverside Community was established in 1941 by a small group of Christian Pacifists who, in the face of the second world war, were eager to practice ways of communal living that were based on cooperation and sustainability. One member of the group donated 30 acres of farm and orchard land. Riverside has gained worldwide recognition as an example of cooperative and communal living and is New Zealand's oldest intentional community.
Today the community's main income comes from the farm and it runs a number of other businesses including a venue for hire, art gallery, hostel, short stay accommodation on the Great Taste Trail, organic gardens and workshops. Farm fresh raw milk is sold from a vending machine on the property, so you can fill your own bottle here any time.