Hattie and Joe turned five yesterday! To celebrate, we took Nanna and met up with Daddy (back at work now, sadly) for a special morning tea at the Rosedale HQ of Bondie Designer Cupcakes. We’re long-term Bondie fans. We ordered cakes for the kids’ last two birthday parties from Chanelle Bond and her team, and we were regular visits to the pop-up Bondie shop in Takapuna last summer, and when the Rosedale shop opened last year we checked it out early on. It’s amazing to see this young mum build her own incredibly successful cupcake business, and to go from baking at home to establishing this fantastic brand and setting up her own hugely popular shop!
Bondie only offers cupcakes, coffees, and freak shakes during the day, so I’m writing up our visit as a mini review. I think a café is very smart to offer a limited menu of deliciousness, rather than a long menu of sub-par items. And Bondie isn’t the kind of place you’d necessarily go to every day, but it’s brilliant for a treat.
Kiwi Café Kids Mini Review
The birthday girl and boy were very excited about their special morning tea:
It took a while to choose from the dizzying array of cupcakes on offer:
Eventually we ordered our drinks and cupcakes, and made ourselves comfortable in the conservatory-like room – warm and dry on wet days, and nice and sunny when the weather’s good. The food cost $4.50 per signature cupcake, and $5.50 for a deluxe cupcake (which I think was my one, because I have lavish tastes). I’ve had these cupcakes so many times, and they are worth every penny as far as I’m concerned: they are light-years away from the weird-tasting butter cream and dry cakes you get at so many cafés. You can tell that the Bondie team bakes everything fresh each morning, using the best ingredients.
Hattie chose the mint chocolate cupcake, Joe chose a rainbow cupcake (vanilla, with jam in the middle), mine was a Pics peanut butter and jelly cupcake, and Nanna chose a chocolate salted caramel cupcake. Daddy doesn’t eat sweet stuff, because he has far more willpower than me. Bondie has a portfolio of over 90 cupcake flavours, so you’re guaranteed to find something delicious there. They do gluten-free cupcakes, too.
At first, the cupcake-eating was fairly demure…
… but before long we were getting stuck in!
My cupcake was absolutely delicious, with subtle peanut butter-flavoured frosting and a jelly centre. SO GOOD!
The kids ordered mini hot chocolates:
They were delicious, and just the right temperature. However, they were $4 each, which is a bit of a jump up from what we would have been charged for fluffies, at $2 each. $4 a pop for a child’s hot chocolate is certainly more than we’d be happy to spend in most places, but it was a very special occasion – you don’t turn five every day, after all. I had a peppermint hot chocolate (lovely), and my husband and mother-in-law had a cappuccino and a flat white respectively. Big smiles from the caffeine addicts: the Bondie team knows their way around a coffee machine.
The café is very glam – all black and white, with gold accents and lots of sequins and fluffy cushions, and blankets available for your knees if the weather is cooler. And I love how the Bondie team all have a very cool look, with lashings of red lipstick. It is the kind of place that wouldn’t look out-of-place nestled in the fanciest street of shops of restaurants, so those of us on the North Shore are very lucky to have it on our door step.
I spotted two high chairs available. There’s one unisex loo, and it’s a decent-sized space with both paper towels and actual hand towels in a little stack to use and then biff into a dirty linen basket. However, there’s no change table – it would be wonderful if a fold-down wall-mounted one could be installed.
The Kiwi Café Kids Verdict
As far as we’re concerned this is THE place for a treat, especially if you’ve got preschoolers or school-aged children.
The café itself could be slightly more child-friendly by installing a change table in the loo. Another helpful thing would be to provide plates for children – we were given our four cupcakes on a cake stand, but then had to eat the actual cupcakes off napkins. It wasn’t a problem for the grownups, but it isn’t ideal for little kids who don’t want to lose half of their butter cream on their napkin as their cake flops over, especially if they’re like my two and tend to like using a cake fork once they’ve made it through the top layer of frosting.
There are no toys or other entertainment on offer for the kids, but I’m OK with that at this kind of place because you really aren’t there for long, given that it only serves cakes and coffee. There are some tall stools near the open-plan kitchen, so budding chefs could perch themselves there and watch the baking magic unfold.
If you’ve got school-aged cupcake fans in the house and would rather offer a smaller birthday treat instead of a birthday with a cast of thousands (which is the stage we’re still at with our two), you might be interested in their Shake and Cake Party:
During 2017 the Bondie team was offering a weekly ‘Mums and Bubs’ session with mini cupcakes and freak shakes for toddlers and preschoolers, so that would be worth checking out with coffee groups. Bondie has also offered ‘player of the day’ certificates to local children’s sports teams, so there might be opportunities like that available again in the future.
Follow the Bondie Designer Cupcakes Facebook page to stay up-to-date with new developments, school holiday programmes, and special offers. And don’t forget them if you need corporate cupcakes, special occasion cupcakes, or large cakes – you can order them all via the Bondie website (and they take gluten-free orders, too). I can speak from personal experience when I say that ordering a box of six Bondie cupcakes to be delivered to a friend’s house for this birthday is a sure-fire way to rocket to the top of their list of cherished friends! And you can’t go wrong with their special occasion cakes. Here’s what Chanelle made for Hattie and Joe’s third birthday:
That fairy was particularly amazing: it perfectly replicated Joe’s favourite princess dress-up dress from the previous year, as well as Larry, his favourite cuddly toy, and the rabbit from his favourite t-shirt at the time. Their fourth birthday cakes were equally brilliant:
And if they’re offering a special flavour in-store on a day you’re planning to visit, they’re more than happy for you to call through your order so they can put your cupcakes aside. Yay for Bondie!