Poppy’s Cafe

DT@Poppys cafe-War Memorial ACT

Visit the Australian War Memorial late in the day and be sure to stay for the Last Post Ceremony. It kicks off when the Memorial closes at 5pm and begins with the Australian national anthem followed by the piper’s lament. Every day a different name is chosen from the Roll of Honour and their story is shared. The ceremony takes place around the Pool of Reflection, and after a few speeches, wreath laying and the sounding of the Last Post, you’d be one tough cookie not to feel moved. Literally a minute’s walk from the Memorial, the proximity of Poppy’s Cafe is a treat. Not just any old cafe, it’s part museum and part memorial, and feels more or less an extension of the Memorial. When ordering scones, what you’ll get is one well-sized scone that doesn’t look particularly appetising. However, when dissected and dressed, it’s fluffy centre hits the spot. The strawberry jam is rather ordinary but the slightly sweetened chilled whipped cream makes up for it.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Tea: A very small range of Tea Drop silk teabags served in a small pot.

Price: $$

Overall: Light and bright; it feels like a quirky gallery belonging to the War Memorial.

Location: Australian War Memorial, 5 Treloar Cres, Campbell ACT 2612
Ph: 02 6262 7380 awm.gov.au

Reviewed April, 2018

Advertisements

Busbys Cafe and Restaurant

DT@Busbys Cafe and Restaurant - Wisemans Ferry#

The deck of Busbys Cafe and Restaurant looks towards dramatic cliffs that tower over the Hawkesbury River and the quaint village of Wisemans Ferry. It’s quite a sight and creates an ethereal vibe, which I guess makes this north-western edge of Sydney so special. Access to Busbys is through a carpark off the main street behind the cluster of shops containing the General Store. Warm and cosy inside, diners have a choice of either timbered interiors or out on the covered verandah. Three oven fresh scones are served with a dish of whipped butter, double thick cream and chunky housemade strawberry jam. Crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside, for one person the three scones is quite a meal. I ditch the butter (not before almost mistaking it for cream), and although the super-duper chunky strawberry jam is a treat, there needs to be a bit more, as strawberry chunks don’t spread well.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A very small range of Tea Drop silk teabags served in a small pot.

Price: $$$

Overall: Great views but pricey.

Location: 12/5557 Old Northern Rd, Wisemans Ferry NSW 2775 Ph: 02 4566 4787 busbyscaferestaurant.com.au

Reviewed April, 2018

Meridian Cafe

DT@Meridian Cafe - Marulan#

Veer off the Hume Motorway and spend some time in historic Marulan. Since my first visit several years ago, the town has expanded its visitor options beyond the service centre hulks on the roadside. There’s an antique shop, a gentrified general store that does a bit of everything, a bakehouse, a pharmacy, and a handful of other businesses, and enough historic buildings to keep the history buffs occupied while stretching legs. What’s interesting is what the Meridian Cafe is up to. Most walls in the main dining area are covered with framed pictures of pooches with the odd cat, guinea pig and chook. Donate $20, along with a picture of your pet, and the cafe will frame and hang it, with all proceeds going to the Hearts for Makamba charity. What a great idea! Order a scone or two – they are light and fluffy – while perusing the pictures. The jam is average and the cream just a tad too light, but the whole ensemble comes together well.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Tea: A good selection of T2 loose-leaf teas served in a good-sized pot.

Price: $$

Overall: Heaven for pet lovers.

Location: 85 George St, Marulan NSW 2579 Ph: 02 4841 1126 meridiancafe.com.au

Reviewed May, 2018

Seasons of Kurrajong

DT@Seasons of Kurrajong-Kurrajong#2

It’s a warm day when I visit Seasons of Kurrajong, and I wish I’d chosen a table out in the courtyard. Instead, I sit and gaze at the expansive views of Sydney’s western sprawl, feeling stifled behind the floor to ceiling glass. It’s cosy inside (perfect for winter days) with more dining in the courtyard and out the front on the footpath. I don’t see the scones on display even though I’d called ahead to check, so they must be hidden somewhere in the kitchen. Worth the diversion, the scones are feather light and up there with the best of them. A big lump of jellied strawberry jam seems almost too robust for such delicate scones, and the particularly small dish of double thick cream needs to be at least double in size. The fresh blueberries are a nice touch.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A basic selection of tea bags served in a small teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Cosy interiors with smashing views.

Location: Ph: 02 4573 1797 facebook.com

Reviewed March, 2018

Feeding Frenze Cafe

DT@Feeding Frenzy Cafe-Kurrajong#2

It’s a tough choice deciding where to have a Devonshire Tea in Kurrajong village. There are three cafes literally side-by-side offering this delight, so which one to choose? I say go where you feel most comfortable and where the DTs are good (but that’s subjective). Feeding Frenzy Cafe differs from its neighbours in that it has a deck out the back, which is open sided in the warmer months but can be enclosed in inclement weather. There are also lots of tables indoors and some out the front on the footpath. There are no expansive views from the deck but it’s light and bright indoors thereby creating a cosy nook. The cafe attracts a lot of drop ins for takeaway coffees, so it can get busy at lunchtime. My two scones are dry on top and taste more yesterdays’ than freshly baked. The jam is better than most cafe jams and the thickly whipped cream has a hint of vanilla. Both have generous servings so you can load up the scones. Wherever you end up in Kurrajong, you can’t go wrong – the village has a lovely serene ambience overlooking the Sydney sprawl in the distance.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Tea: A small but interesting range of Dr Tea loose-leaf teas served in a small teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: A simple comfy cafe with deck dining out the back.

Location: 79 Old Bells Line of Rd, Kurrajong NSW 2758 Ph: 0402 209 665
feeding-frenze-cafe.business.site

Reviewed March, 2018

Frankie’s Food Factory

DT@Frankies Food Factory-Glenhaven

This is my second visit to Flower Power in Glenhaven for a Devonshire Tea. Although the cafe has new owners and a new look (and has done for some time), the atrium dining area still has the same acoustic issues. Dine in the dim interior if you prefer a quieter dining experience as the former is popular with large groups and kids. You’ll definitely work up an appetite, there is shopping galore! Not only is the garden centre huge, but also the attached shop has everything in the way of garden needs, homewares and gifts. Once done with the shopping, make your way downstairs to Frankie’s Food Factory. The place is an ideal gathering spot for large groups and families, as no doubt the indoor playground is a major drawcard. My tablecloth is a sheet of butcher’s paper and there’s a pot of crayons in case I feel creative, but more likely to keep kids occupied. Date scones are on the menu, and today, are slightly overdone in the microwave. Luckily the dates save them from being too dry. They arrive with a thimble-sized pot of mixed berry jam with triple the amount of thickly whipped cream. I promptly ask for another thimble, which is no problem for the attentive staff.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A basic range of loose-leaf teas served in a small teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Big and boisterous – great for families and large groups.

Location: Flower Power Glenhaven, 609 Old Northern Rd, Glenhaven NSW 2156
Ph: 02 9899 2299 frankiesfoodfactory.com

Reviewed March, 2018

Lichen Restaurant & Cafe

DT@Lichen Restaurant and Cafe - Binalong Bay#.jpg
The view from the deck of Lichen Restaurant & Cafe is mesmerising, especially in glorious weather. The powder white sand beaches and sapphire seas shimmer as the scallop shaped coves extend north to the heart of the Bay of Fires. Some say Binalong Bay is the southern end of The Bay of Fires, but it depends on what you read or whom you talk to – I can’t get a straight answer. Whatever tag you want to give it, the northeastern coastal area of Tasmania is paradise, albeit a cooler one. Last year the cafe changed owners, and they have decided to keep the scone container filled. The light serving of just one creamy fresh scone is ideal if you are after an in-between snack. Usually I’m a massive fan of homemade jam, but this raspberry jam is super sweet and too much like commercial varieties. Call me old-fashioned but I like my cream plain: unsweetened and to taste like cream. Although we are told that this is very special cream, I’m not a fan. It’s super sweet and more like soft and creamy icing sugar. At 10am, this amount of sweetness is way too much for even this sugar addict, plus it’s not the kind of cream I like on my scones.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A good enough selection of loose-leaf teas served in a good-sized teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: It’s the only cafe in town, and boy, what a view!

Location: Main Rd, Binalong Bay TAS 7216 Ph: 03 6376 8086 lichenrestaurant.com

Reviewed March, 2018