Piemonte Cafe Restaurant

DT@Piemonte Cafe#

I’ve hit the jackpot and somehow time my Saturday arrival at Piemonte Cafe Restaurant at the Terrey Hills Flower Market perfectly. During a moment of calm between brunch and lunch I share the covered verandah area with only empty tables still holding evidence that there was indeed a lot of action earlier on. I can see the attraction for families as a large part of the verandah faces a kiddies play area, and I spy some chooks scratching about in a pen. The middle part of the restaurant looks more formal and is closed off from the noise and weather conditions. I guess you could say it’s the restaurant and the outside is the cafe, as it sure feels that way by the vibe. It’s a great idea as I’ve been to so many garden centre cafes and can’t converse because of a combination of bad acoustics and kiddies playgrounds that are basically in the middle of the dining area. The morning and afternoon tea deal: scones with coffee/tea is obviously popular as there’s a large batch of freshly baked scones on the counter. The scones are impressive, slightly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, but I’m just not a fan of the icing sugar sprinkled on top. It makes the whole shebang too sweet especially when the jam is cheap, sweet and syrupy, as is the case in this instance. The cream is really light and offers nothing to the quality or taste of the Devonshire Tea. There also isn’t enough jam and it gets a black mark for being served in a plastic container, as it makes the experience a little cheap and nasty.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A variety of loose-leaf teas served in a standard-sized pot.

Price: $$

Overall: A pleasant place for a break after shopping for gifts, flowers and plants.

Location: 287 Mona Vale Rd, Terrey Hills NSW 2084 Ph: 02 9486 3677 www.piemonte.com.au

Reviewed September, 2014

Chelsea Tea House

IMG_3553

The ‘closed’ sign is up at the Chelsea Tea House but every table in the place is taken, food is still coming out of the kitchen and it’s not even 2pm. Ignoring the sign, I sniff out the scones that are sitting on the counter, and the chef is happy to plate some up although the place is closing. Most of the seating is in the shady and leafy courtyard out the front, which is what captures your attention if you’re passing by. It screams, ‘I want to eat here’! The scones are unusual, and at first glance look more like scrolls as they are fairly flat and have lots of currants on top and are spiked with cinnamon. I usually like berry compote, however this one is high on the syrup with barely a berry in sight, which makes it really challenging to put on the scone. The cream is freshly whipped and could be a tad thicker but it’s still a pretty good all-rounder. Open Monday to Sunday 7.15am to 2pm, and Friday and Saturday evenings.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: An interesting selection of Tippity organic loose-leaf teas served in a pot.

Price: $$

Overall: Lovely outdoor eatery.

Location: 2/48 Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon NSW 2107 Ph: 02 9973 3090

Reviewed September, 2014

Cafe 47

DT@Cafe 47 - Rylstone#

When I first visited Rylstone 10 years ago, it was a sleepy village, and you’d be hard pressed to find any action after 5pm unless you were at one of the  pubs. These days, perhaps with the growing popularity of Mudgee and it’s vineyards, the place is buzzing. I was in this very same cafe munching on scones in 2011 when it was under different management and named the Bizzy Birds cafe. Not only has the name changed to Cafe 47 and the decor more solemn with plastic on top of the white table cloths, to me it doesn’t feel as cosy as it was. Sweets are written up on a white board, including scones if they have them. The cafe is on a sweeping corner, which allows good people watching opportunities, and the spring warmth draws us outside to one of the tables on the footpath. I order one scone, which is quite small and a bit chewy. The Chantilly cream is the highlight and adds something special to an unfortunately (this day), an underwhelming scone.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A small variety of teabags served in a plunger pot.

Price: $$

Overall: It feels soulless compared to the chirpy Bizzy Birds.

Location: 71 Louee St, Rylstone NSW 2849 Ph: 02 6379 1189

Reviewed September, 2014


Cafe On Louee

DT@Cafe Louee-Rylstone#2

It takes me a few minutes to find the ‘scones, jam and cream’ on the busy blackboard menu. Spacious and furnished with tables suitable for sharing or for parties larger than two, Cafe on Louee also has tables on the footpath and in the narrow courtyard that are more suitable for twosomes. Like many cafes in this neck of the woods, there is giftware for sale for shopaholics in need of a hit. When my scones land in front of me, a passing posse of women excitedly exclaim “oh scones,” just to reiterate to my reluctant tasting partner how popular they are. Surprisingly I am not asked whether I want a pot or cup of tea (I didn’t realise there was a choice), so my Lipton green tea arrives as a cup of hot water with a tea bag on the side. The scones are quite big, and there could be a bit more raspberry jam, although they have outdone themselves with the quality and quantity of the thickly whipped cream. Breaking the scones in half, I find the top half tastes markedly better than the slightly drier bottom half. The scones are sitting in the fridge, but I think if they were fresh from the oven they would have been hard to beat.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A selection of tea bags that’s either served in a cup or a teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Great for groups who like a bit of gift shopping on the side.

Location: 84 Louee Street, Rylstone NSW 2849 Ph: 02 6379 1147

Reviewed September, 2014

Gulgong Sweet Delights

DT@Gulgong Sweet Delights#4

I walked past Gulgong Sweet Delights on a previous visit to Gulgong where I stared forlornly at the ‘Devonshire Tea’ sign in the window. In small print it read ‘on Wednesdays and Weekends’, that was a Friday. So here I am again on a Sunday to try their sweet delights. The place is more shop than cafe, with lots of pewter condiment and salad spoons with gumnuts and koalas on the handles for sale and some second-hand clothing, shoes and books. There are jars of lollies and ice-cream sandwiches, and a few other items alongside the Devonshire Teas available. It’s all quite rustic and we choose a seat in the courtyard to enjoy the spring sunshine. The $6 spread has all the trimmings: butter (if you are that way inclined), rich raspberry jam, clotted cream and a wedge of lemon for the tea in case you don’t take milk. I have to say that I am immensely impressed with the cream. It may not be your British standard clotted cream, but it comes pretty close for us Australians. The only downfall is the scones, which is a real shame. They are stone cold and could do with a blast of heat to soften and bring out their flavour.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A pot of black loose-leaf tea with an extra jug of hot water for topping up.

Price: $$

Overall: Absolutely brilliant, but hopefully the scones are usually better.

Location: 75 Herbet St, Gulgong NSW 2852 Ph: 02 6374 1263

Reviewed September, 2014

Delumptious

DT@Delumptious Cafe - Gulgong#2

It’s funny. I didn’t even notice this cafe when I was here in Gulgong eating scones across the road at the Butcher Shop Cafe a week before. I guess with ‘patisserie’ written across the window, I just assumed it was a cake shop – that’s if I saw it. It’s after I go inside to scope out the place for scones, do I see the cafes bizarre name – Delumptious, which of course means both delicious and scrumptious (seriously, check the dictionary). Quite a cavernous space, it feels a bit like a burger and fish n chip shop with people lined up at the counter ready to order. But look closely and there are some yummy cakes and unusual ready-to-go meals available. If you want a good look at the kitchen and how your meal is being prepared, take a leisurely walk through to the rear of the building where courtyard seating has been set up. Otherwise sit out at one of the few tables on the footpath to watch the Gulgong action. There are both plain and date scones perched up on the counter, so I choose one of each. They are not made equal. The plain scone is lovely; light and creamy, whereas the date scone is super heavy, loaded up with too many dates. The jam is nothing extraordinary, and although the cream is freshly whipped, it is too light.

Scones:  for the plain  for the date

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A small variety of Lipton tea bags served in a cute cup/pot combo get up.

Price: $$

Overall: A no-nonsense cafe serving homemade scones.

Location: 114 Mayne St, Gulgong NSW 2852

Reviewed September, 2014

The Quaff Shop Cafe & Gallery

DT@Quaff Shop Cafe Gallery-Mudgee#2

You have to first know where Mudgee’s Quaff Shop Cafe and Gallery is, unless you’ll never find it. A big country block from the main town centre and opposite a high school, this unassuming group of businesses sharing an historic former business or residence (?) is a special find. I’m a fan of the renovated as opposed to modern shiny and new, it figures why I’ll soon be living part-time in a 1920s train carriage not far from Mudgee. The Quaff Shop’s well weathered floor boards are impressive, but I’m not sure who butchered the ceilings? Two large dining rooms and a shady courtyard out the back plus a few tables on the footpath, this place undeniably has soul. If it’s shopping you’re after, there’s a rack of preloved funky clothes, plus art, candles and jewellery for sale. It must be a favourite for Mudgee mothers as there is a corner dedicated to kiddies toys but was thankfully silent when I visit, leaning more towards a senior clientele. The young staff is cute, friendly and efficient and the scones are scribbled on the ‘sweet treats’ blackboard menu, so call before a visit if it is just the scones you are after. This Devonshire Tea is definitely a snack. The two scones are literally bite size but are fluffy and rewarding nonetheless. It’s a tad on the sweet side with the amount of icing sugar sprinkled on top of the jam (that’s average) and the slightly sweetened freshly whipped cream.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A small variety of tea bags served in a good-sized pot.

Price: $$

Overall: Quirky backstreet cottage that is worth a look in.

Location: 13 Lewis St, Mudgee NSW 2850 Ph: 02 6372 4940

Reviewed September, 2014