Villi’s is a long-standing South Australian tradition, or so I’m led to believe. At least it was one of the first donuts I tried when I first came to Adelaide. Gracing the windows of most builder’s cafes the Vili’s logo is found on nearly every street in this fair city and it’s hard to miss or avoid. It wasn’t until I was en route to the airport following my second trip to Adelaide that I went to the 24-hour source of these large, fluffy donuts.
Driving down South Road in Adelaide is never a pleasing site. Adelaide can be, in my opinion, a beautiful city. With a meandering river, multiple parks and green, leafy hills and a border of white beaches it’s hard to beat. However, with any city, the human ability to destroy nature is evident – no more so than with South Road. It’s a four-lane affair, with grey asphalt blending into the grey buildings either side. A layer of dirt dusting all, including the bright and obtrusive billboards and peeling local signages of companies long gone. Continue North up South Road, an oxymoron I’m aware, you near the airport and nearby is a familiar Vili’s sign abutting a brick-walled factory and with an overly optimistic temperature gauge.
The first visit here in 2014 was on the way to the airport, with 24 hours of travel and airplane food awaiting me, I asked my friends to pull over. The 24-hour cafe is in no way special, formica tables and linoleum floors with the smell of grease and stale coffee filling the air – but be not quick to judge what comes from within these old walls. On this particular occasion I don’t think I took in the surroundings much, more focussed on the donuts and making my flight. I got two for the road, shoving them into my bulging travel bag and sprinkling my way through security.
Delightfully, and purely incidentally (I do not tell a lie) when we moved to Australia in 2016 I was overjoyed to find that the house we rented was less than a 5-minute drive away from this 24-hour bakery. It was a danger I recognised and vowed in my jet-lagged state would only be partaken in if I ran to the bakery and back as some compensatory exercise. One year, and at least 10 Vili’s donuts later, I’ve not run there once and honestly, I don’t really intend on ever running there either.
The occasion on which the following donut was enjoyed was a night in with my husband. Late in the summer we sat watching TV, whittling away boredom with Seinfeld. Bedtime rolled around but with neither of us particularly tired we sought further entertainment. A genius, who shan’t be named, suggested an 11PM trip to Vili’s followed by a large glass of Scottish Whisky and it wasn’t hard convincing the other party to agree. Within 10 minutes of vacating the couch we were back on it, Vili’s in one hand and quickly consumed.