Wonderful Wi’s Coffee Shop

For a long time Wonderful Wi had been wanting to add a little something extra to her already spawning village garden. Last year the green fingered country girl announced to the nicotine stained fingered town boy, ” Hus…band, I want make coffee shop our garden”.

It took a few questions and answers before I realised Wilai wasn’t about to take on Starbucks in a coffee shop war, but she simply wanted to have built what we in the UK call a summerhouse or wood cabin of sorts.

Calling Wilai a keen gardener would be an understatement because she spends the most part of her free time during daylight hours working away amongst her flowers, plants and trees. Her summerhouse would be an early morning refuge for a quiet coffee to start the day, and an early evening hangout to watch the sun go down. It would also double as an overnight room for any relatives who visited and needed somewhere to stay. It wouldn’t be a big structure but sizeable enough for two people to comfortably sleep the night.

It was late last year the build started and it was estimated the cost would be around 50,000 baht. One of Wilai’s uncles is pictured above helping out.

During my Christmas and New Year holiday the roof appeared and the coffee shop started to take shape. It was a small wood structured room with a balcony at the front and down one side.

Wilai kept promising the coffee shop would be finished by the time I arrived in Thailand for my October vacation and days before I landed she announced the project had been completed. I was quite surprised at how good the finished coffee shop looked.

The total cost ended up at near 70,000 baht but Wilai and myself are well pleased with the end result. I did have a few too many Beer Leo’s and Jack Daniels one afternoon and peacefully slept inside the coffee shop until well after dark. It was most comfortable and very very quiet, in fact I may have found the perfect place for my much needed early evening forty winks.


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

25 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    It looks great Martyn. I’d love something like that so hopefully one day we will own our own house.

  2. Hoo Don says:

    Paul the house is obviously all Wi’s but I’m quite happy with that. She’s really proud of it and she absolutely adores her garden. Each time I visit the village she has changed the garden around in so way or other. I”m waiting to see what her next garden venture will be.

  3. Catherine says:

    Sweet! And a great idea (as long as relatives don’t overnight and then stay and stay and stay).

  4. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine if the relatives do stay too long then I always have the option of heading to Udon with Wilai and booking into a hotel. Fending for themselves would soon have the relatives scurrying back to where they came from.

  5. Snap says:

    Martyn it’s so pretty, I’m envious! It looks like Wi has put her special touches to it…just lovely.

  6. Hoo Don says:

    Snap – Wi puts a lot of thought into her garden and is always changing things around. I dare not say I don’t like something because you can guarantee she’ll change it to please me, that’s happened a few times in the past. She does have quite a good touch for garden landscaping.

  7. Talen says:

    Martyn, Wi sure does have a wonderful coffee shop. It’s beautiful and looks to be a great place to while away the afternoon while sipping a nice cup of coffee or tea.

    Seems to me Wi could make a pretty penny designing gardens for others…gotta be a few rich falangs around town that need a nice garden.

  8. Hoo Don says:

    Talen I tend to drink coffee or tea early morning and more harder stuff come afternoon. The coffee shop balcony is a great place to chill out and have a beer. I’m sure she could make a few dollars landscaping gardens but to do that she’d have to get out of our one, that might be difficult for her to do.

  9. Malcolmt says:

    Martyn, Wi did a great job with this little place to relax and your guest will have a pleasent place to stay also , do we have to make reservations in advance???? Also makes a good Dog house when you have a little to much Leo’s . Malcolm

  10. Hoo Don says:

    Malcolm I don’t tend to get in the doghouse with Wilai because she’s pretty understanding and when I do drink I tend to stop (nearly always) before I’ve had too many.

    The coffee shop is nice to look at but I’m not too sure it’s up to standard for most westerners as far as rooming in it goes.

  11. Jon says:

    Looks great, a sanctuary of peace and quiet. My in-laws have one in Saraburi but sadly there isn’t the space for one in our Bangkok apartment. Perhaps a kiddie’s wigwham will suffice for now?

    Bet this makes you want to move over permanently as soon as possible.

  12. Hoo Don says:

    Jon I’d love to move over right now but that’s not possible, hopefully one day I’ll pull it off.

    I guess living in the Big Mango has its advantages but if you like a beautiful garden and some real chill out time, then village life is unbeatable.

  13. Lawrence says:

    It looks great, the perfect place for hus…band to relax. The garden too seems really exotic. You are one lucky hus…band, indeed.
    Pensri says her husband’s beer hut can not compete and is now fully covered by bougainvillea, a jack-fruit tree and various climbing plants. Nicely shaded, ideal for sitting down with a cold beer. Pity he can’t drink these days (says the doc).

  14. Hoo Don says:

    Lawrence your beer spot sounds very tranquil but the doctor is not always right. Years ago mine told me to give up drinking and smoking but a couple of weeks later I walked into a pub and my doctor was leant on the bar sipping from a pint glass and smoking a great big fat cigar. Sometimes you’ve got to take the doctors advice and then halve it.

  15. Adullamite says:

    Great ‘coffee house’ indeed!

  16. Hoo Don says:

    Adullamite thanks for the thumbs up, I think you’d probably use in the same kind of way as I intend to do so. Drinking den might be a better way to describe it.

  17. Catherine says:

    Martyn, by ‘fending for themselves’, do you mean paying for themselves? Or just their beer? 🙂

  18. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine you are clever, beer and whisky are exactly what I was referring to. Are you sure you haven’t experienced village life before.

  19. Catherine says:

    Hah! Nope, I’ve only heard you guys talk about it so you are my training ground. And seemed to me that with food being so cheap in Thailand, it has to be the alcohol… A large bottle of Singha is half a days wages for some. Khun Pissout doesn’t drink Singha, says it’s too expensive for the average working Thai so he buys one of the other Thai beers (but he won’t turn a Singha down).

  20. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine its nearly time for you to leave the temple. Grasshopper your training has gone well. Don’t think too much about the Bangkok wardrobe connection when you read that.

    The price of a large bottle of Singha is definitely beyond most rural folk, hence the popularity of lao khao (have you ever tried it, if not, don’t). Beer Chang is the most drank bottled beer in the villages because of its strength (6.4%) and price (about 35-40 baht). Singha is definitely priced outside of the rice workers purse strings.

    Khun Pissout has the perfect name for a beer drinker.

  21. Catherine says:

    No, I haven’t had lao khao. I have drank Chang though. It’s ok. I’m not that big of a beer drinker so I go through stages of what I do choose at the time. The light beers are good. My person choice is Cider from the UK. Pear Cider. I can get a version from Villa in BKK but it is nowhere near as good as the brand I get when in the UK.

  22. Mike says:

    Martyn, it looks great, if only I had the space! Would make a nice guest room too.

  23. Hoo Don says:

    Mike – Wi had the summer house built with a view to it being a place to chill out during the day and also as a guest house if needed. When you look inside it the room is much bigger than the photos do it credit.

  24. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine I have had the occasional bottle of cider in Pattaya and what a wonderful mix Thailand’s hot weather and the drink make. Ice was made for cider, it really is a refreshing drink unless you have one too many. It plays havoc with my indigestion if I drink too much.

  25. Catherine says:

    Yes, I hear that cider can come back to haunt you. I keep to the one bottle, then switch to wine. Two bottles is something I’ve never tried (don’t want to risk it).

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