The writing is on the wall at tiny little Cruise Espresso in Freshwater and it says “Do more of what makes you happy”. It’s a pretty good excuse to stop by on your way to or from the beach to grab a coffee and a bite to eat.

The menu here is conveniently compact, covering filled bagels by Brooklyn Boy Bagels, decidedly fudgy brownie slice, as well as organic maple granola or egg, prosciutto and aioli panini. However, it’s the fact that they turn out a pretty fine coffee so close to the beach that’s a real treat. Sure they’re up on the main drag, but it’s worth the little stroll, particularly if rotating single origins or Five Senses cold drip take your fancy when the weather is warm.

Owner Sam Gibson has grown up working in hospitality - from cafes to restaurants - in both Australia and New Zealand, so he knew what he wanted for his own place, which means it’s simple, friendly and backed by a whole lot of passion.

Gibson is in the house everyday from 5.30am if you need an early hit, but officially the doors open at 6am… just in time for an early dip at the beach.