Perched on a sloping hill in North Point, Relax & Refresh 舒房 is easy to spot with its distinctive light blue exterior. The small family-run café has an outdoor seating area with a photogenic flowery setting, making it a great place for selfie-lovers. With most pretty cafés like thiws, you’d expect to see the garden area crowded with teenyboppers, yet it seems like Relax & Refresh has never been much of a hit on social media despite having been around for years. Is it the location? The service? The food? Either way, it was a mystery that needed solving.
Well, I’m not complaining. The unusual lack of people at Relax & Refresh made my multiple visits all the better. My first time here was in the beginning of last year. I’ve been back several times since, usually after having lunch nearby. I’ll have to disappoint you because the mystery of missing selfie-takers remains. Each visit, for me, has been pleasant so far.
Split equally into an air-conditioned indoor area and an outdoor terrace, it’s hard to imagine that amongst the Hong Kong-style restaurants in North Point, you’d find a well-designed café that deserves more than just a quick glance. But that’s what Relax & Refresh is, and the floral-filled outdoor seating area earns it that merit. It’s best described as a private garden consisting of potted leaves, crawling greens and various plant breeds propped into reusable containers like used yoghurt cups. They not only contribute to a comfortable atmosphere to chill in but are also great examples of recycling and zero-wastage.
Contrasting the open terrace, Relax & Refresh’s indoor area is cooled with air-conditioning for those avoiding the sticky, humid weather. The interior sports several small tables as well as a line of bar seats overlooking the kitchenette. A small shelf featuring a collection of magazines and travel books are provided to visitors should they want to browse through. Relax & Refresh has everything on the list: food, wifi and entertainment, check.
For a small, family-run café, Relax & Refresh boasts a large, varietal menu. Food options range from the all-day breakfast, to toast with various toppings, to pasta and sweet pastries. On the particular visit I based this blog post on, I chose something from the café’s ever-changing special drinks menu and decided on a Lemon and Lime Soda.
Lookswise, the soda at Relax & Refresh doesn’t fare up to the magically coloured soda at Sow Vegan, but for a summer afternoon where the weather was at a boiling 40ºC, it was a refreshing welcome all the same. Fizzy and cool, it brought my sweating down a notch with its sweet, slightly sour taste. If you like lemonade, you’ll love the Lemon and Lime Soda.
When it comes down to it, I’m pretty damn grateful that Relax & Refresh hasn’t caught on on social media yet. I adore cafés with well thought-out interior design, but these cafés are almost always packed to the brim. I live close to North Point and there’s actually a minibus that reaches Relax & Refresh within 10 minutes from my home. But no matter your proximity to this little café, it definitely deserves your visit, especially if you like comfortable, outdoor seating – and who doesn’t?
Relax & Refresh
Shop 1A, G/F, Tanner Court, Tanner Road, North Point, Hong Kong
+852 2488 8011
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