The rain had been bouncing down all day as we made our now regular Sunday trip out in search of a coffee shop to while away a boring Sunday afternoon.
Any mention of the word 'bar' gets me excited!
Thailand is not short of coffee shops, most of them charming and chilled and the one that Jain had found online this week was no exception, but what a trek into the Chachoengsao countryside it was to get there but still only an hour away from Bangkok, the River Breeze perches on the banks of the huge Bang Pakong river that wends its way from Khao Yai and enters the Gulf of Thailand at Chonburi.
Restaurants are now open again after our extended hiatus due to lockdown but despite the exciting sight of the word 'bar' on the sign, the relaxation of rules has not extended to allowing bars to open, or even to be able to sell alcohol with a meal. No worries, happy family time with our friends on a Sunday afternoon was not really the best time to commence a huge 'sesh' in any case. No worries.
Down by the riverside...
As you may have guessed, this establishment was by the river, and despite the rain, was packed out with people mainly there for the photo opportunities, there were pouts and hip twists aplenty as everyone tried to 'out-insta' each other.
I as usual, I just took some pictures, much to the chagrin of my better half who can't understand anyone taking photos that don't have people posing in them!
No idea who the bloke was but as I was getting piss wet through, I wasn't hanging around for a clear shot!
It didn't look very big from the outside, but this was merely a portal to the riverside and the shack that housed the counter. As you can see, the nautical theme was exaggerated by the beautiful painted oars and the ducks on the patio! No blue skies for this trip. Throwing in a little 'art' always adds to the experience!
Inside the shack was the counter. They weren't allowing indoor dining but no one would visit there to sit inside. I liked the polished, epoxy, concrete floor and the watery theme continued with the addition of a nice mural of a typical Thai girl holding a big fish.
Stepping outside, we were greeted with a plethora of photo-ops with the lazy river as a backdrop. People will always frequent picturesque places, even though many of the photo opportunities are contrived. The photos are the primary reason for visiting with the quality of food and drink a far-off second. For someone like me who isn't a foodie, I prefer the ambiance and atmosphere and sat in the rain by a river in the middle of nowhere ticks all my boxes, despite the never-ending movement of people taking pictures. Perfect for people watching and it does make me smile when everyone suddenly starts busting their moves and turns into a supermodel!
And this is the view we'd all turned up for. Grey skies, dirty brown river and green trees!
I was more interested in the view looking away from the river. It was full of people on their first trip out after lockdown and the rain and cold wasn't going to put them off!
If you look closely, you can see the huge raindrops.
As I said before, the food and drink is secondary but we got some menus, took a seat and chose some food.
The menus were kind of cool being made from wood with metal hinges and was quite a simple menu. Ideal for simple people like me!
There were no fancy coffees, just cold brewed and drip, with or without milk. Latte and Capuchino lovers were out of luck. Again, the food choices were few but simple and well done. Not really the place for a huge dinner but we ordered a few dishes to share and they were fresh and tasty.
I know what you're thinking. BLUE RICE??? Yes, it's from a very rare variety of rice called 'indigous riceas', or perhaps it's flavoured and coloured using the blue flower you can see which appears to be some sort of sweet pea flower, the orange things were cheesy chips and brown stuff is sausage. The salads were a Ceasar and a salmon salad.
The food was fresh and considering the number of people there, quite fast. Nothing special but was just nicely done and presented. Admittedly, blue food does look totally unnatural but close your eyes and you'll get over it!
Oh, and there was ice-cream too.....on toast. Eating ice-cream with bread is really popular here and its something I'd never seen in the UK. It's not great to be honest. I much prefer an ice-cream sandwich in wafers.
The coffee? It was just coffee and I'd drunk most of it before I remembered to pull my phone out for a pic.
Now what was very interesting about this place is that it's also a venue for UFC and has its own octagon. To make it a little more interesting, to win, you need to push your opponent into the river...
I might have mentioned this before, just a few million times, but Thailand is not on the list of the top countries for their Health and Safety rules and just to reinforce this belief, we have a very nice pier for taking river selfies which was both slippery and unrailed. Thais hate rain so there were no people, apart from the 'crazy ferang' out there taking pics. Bonus points if you can tell me what the blue plastic water pipes are for.
For those staying under cover, there were a few photo opportunities set up as our friend's daughter Champagne will now demonstrate...
A Sombrero and a guitar, at a riverside restaurant. Why not indeed?
Hand painted chopping boards, a snip at about $10USD. Champagne was bored with me by this time and gone back to her ice-cream. Kids are soooo fickle......except when you're doing their homework for them!
Everyone sat watching the rain falling wishing they could go out and fight for the best spot on the octagon.
Brown water, grey sky, green trees and an It's A Knockout style slippery octagon.
As we left, I noticed a nice BBQ area on the patio, hopefully when bars are allowed to open again, it will be a lovely place to come back to for a beer as the sun sets...if it ever stops raining!
No idea what this little house was supposed to be but I persuaded little grumpy to pose for a picture again. That cost me a bag of gummie bears.
And that was my Sublime Sunday!
I wrote this post and I'm happy to say, I at least managed to pull photos left, not quite managed to do a left and right at the same time but I'm working on that! I also managed to create a three-picture frame on Canva so I'm learning, slowly but surely.
And finally, a serious Canva moment to finish...so until next time, thanks for reading.