Reggae house music on a rainy Thursday morning, smiling staff and a huge neon 'Peace' sign are the signs of the dystopic oasis that is Marlowe's Way in Sydney's CBD.
Their tag line is 'Everything tastes better with music'. It's probably true, but I couldn't check by asking them to turn off the music (which I was enjoying, anyway). They have a constant loop of vinyl playing and feature local artists on the walls.
Nestled in an unlikely laneway with dubious foot traffic, Marlowe's Way is packed to the brim even early in the morning serving Little Marionette's espresso blend and a house cold drip. No pour-overs so I ordered a macchiato.
It was done well - the espresso was sweet and bright and cut clearly through the textured milk. No awards for complexity but an atypically well-prepared macchiato of the modern Australian variety.
Marlowe's manages to architect a different world in the midst of a very barren urban part of the CBD. Definitely a welcome change of pace. Get there Mon-Fri from 7am to 9pm (they are also a bar, serving craft beers + an eclectic menu and playing jams) on the corner of Tank Stream Way & Bridge Lane.