Woolwich Pier Hotel

DT@Woowich Pier Hotel, Woolwich#2

You wouldn’t expect to find scones on a pub menu, but if you’re heading to Hunters Hill or Woolwich Dock, the former dry dock and shipyard, for a stroll it’s well worth a stop. The place can get busy, especially when the weather’s fine and everyone is out to enjoy the harbour views, so if you want to grab a spot upstairs on the verandah of this 1885 hotel to make the most of the views, get in early (the restaurant opens at 12pm). The scones are served on a large bread board with a dollop of double thick rich cream and three small jars of Beerenberg strawberry jam. With three scones, two sultana and one plain, it’s a meal in itself and there’s more than enough jam and cream to go around. It’s a bistro style pub so you have to order at the bar and pick up when the buzzer sounds. Try the indoor bistro and courtyard garden if you can’t nab and upstairs seat with a view.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A selection of T2 loose-leaf teas served in a small pot. Be ware if asking for English Breakfast, my friend got standard Liptons.

Price: $$

Overall: Popular pub in a swanky Sydney suburb.

Location: 2 Gale St, Woolwich NSW 2110 Ph: 02 9817 2204  www.woolwichpierhotel.com.au
Reviewed in June, 2013
Advertisements

The Tea Cosy

IMG_1340

From Thursday to Sunday you can’t miss the huge Irish flag hanging proudly from the heritage-listed terrace. Nestled in beside the popular Mercantile Hotel in The Rocks, The Tea Cosy Irish Tea Room spills out onto the footpath and a blackboard sign proudly announces at what time the last batch of scones were baked, or if you’re lucky, when they are coming out of the oven. On Thursdays and Fridays they have three flavours with an extra one (usually a savoury) available on weekends. It’s all about the scones and the tea cosies, and depending on how hungry you are, in addition to the Devonshire Tea, they offer a Deluxe Tasting Basket as well as a reasonably priced High Tea in which yummy fresh sandwiches are added to the serving of scones. I have a friend with me so we make sure to try all three flavours, which today are plain, currant and winter spice. Personally, I am a bit of a Jane and prefer the plain scones, but I enjoy the others, which makes for a refreshing change. There are nine Hank’s jams to choose from, and the two I choose are tasty as quality jams should be. The cream is double thick just as the menu says, and in combination with the fresh scones and the quality jam, makes for a  ‘must visit’, especially if you enjoy a cosy tea room vibe. And, as the namesake suggests, the place is littered with tea cosy covered pots. You would be hard pressed to find two of the hand knitted variety alike that adorns every pot that comes out of the kitchen. All tea cosies are for sale (apart from the one on your pot, or you could always ask) and if you are on a budget there are few used ones going cheap.

Scones: 

 Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: 19 varieties of loose-leaf teas served in pots kept warm by cute hand knitted tea cosies.

Price: $$

Overall: The best authentic quality Devonshire Tea experience in Sydney.

Location: 33 George St, The Rocks NSW 2000 Ph: 02 92473233  www.theteacosy.com.au
Reviewed in June, 2013

Grandma’s Little Bakery

IMG_1320

I still find it weird going to Alexandria to eat out. It’s hard to get the ‘old Alexandria’ of last century out of my head when it was nothing more than a light industrial area with a bunch of sandwich joints that opened at lunchtime for local workers. These days Alexandria is full of thriving companies doing business in industrial parks and cool little cafes are sprouting up to feed the daily visitors. Grandma’s Little Bakery is one such place, having expanded from the original Grandma’s Little Bakery in Collector, outside Canberra. The cafe is full of contradictions. Firstly, the name itself conjures up visions of lace curtains and gingerbread style decor, but in actual fact is situated in the corner of a warehouse style block of businesses and is open and light, not a lace curtain in sight. Secondly, my menu arrives as a mini tablet and I ask my friend whether I am out of the loop and this is now the norm. I actually like this idea, although odd at first, as I can tap the item and see a pretty pic of what it is. My tea and scones arrive on separate wooden bread boards – a nice touch – and I can’t help noticing that my teapot matches the cheery red and white polka dot table cloths. The scones are fresh, tasty and slightly crispy on the outside and the homemade fig compote unusual, rich and flavoursome. To me the cream tastes like Chantilly and it is firm yet smooth. There is definitely not enough of both compote and cream, but the waitress is happy to get me another round. Reserve a table on weekends as I can only imagine how popular this place gets, especially now with all the residential apartments in the area.

Scones: 

 Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: Five choices of T2 silk bag tea bags served in a funky teapot and cup combo.

Price: $$

Overall: A buzzy and welcoming cafe serving wholesome fare with a shop selling lots of homemade goodies.

Location: 42 O’Riordan St, Alexandria NSW 2015 Ph: 02 9690 0069  www.grandmasbakery.com.au
Reviewed in June, 2013

Cafe Dolcetto

DT@Cafe Dolcetto

Conveniently situated in downtown Yass, Cafe Dolcetto sits snugly within the rooms of a renovated heritage building, one of many that line the main drag. It’s cosy inside from the Yass Valley chill and is a popular spot even late in the day. The scones are impressive; warm, light and fluffy, with a smidgen of icing sugar sprinkled on top. There’s ample jam and cream, and although the cream is freshly whipped, as opposed to being from a can, it’s quite light.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A few black and herbal teabag choices served in a good-sized pot.

Price: $$

Overall: A pleasant cafe in downtown Yass with friendly staff.

Location: 129 Comur St, Yass NSW 2582 Ph: 02 6226 1277 
Reviewed in June, 2013

Rollonin Cafe

DT@Rollonin Cafe - Bowning#2

I swear I’ve never seen the huge billboard on the Hume Highway blurting out that ‘Rollonin Cafe’ is famous for its Devonshire Teas. When did that go up? Was I always asleep when I passed the exit for Bowning? So when I see the sign I do just that, roll-on-in. The tiny village of Bowning has one of the first schools to be established in inland NSW and the antique shop on the opposite side of town has lots of trinkets. The traditional slab hut cafe was built a few years ago and has lots of seating both indoor and outdoor for passing highway trade. The chequered table cloths and staff dressed in maid’s bonnets and aprons gives it an Australiana bush cafe feel. It’s a difficult decision – should I choose the plain, date or pumpkin scones? The pumpkin scones win as I rarely get an opportunity to have them. They are huge so only one is served as part of the Devonshire Tea. The scone has no nasty aftertaste or is too salty and has a lovely texture. My tasting buddy is truly impressed and adds it too his favourites (he’s missed lunch and is hungry). Personally I wouldn’t go that far, but they are good. The jam is nothing extraordinary and the cream is fresh but a bit light. If you’ve got kids, it’s a great stop as there are emus, a Shetland pony, a Clydesdale and probably more animals roaming around in a paddock next to the cafe.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A good variety of tea bag teas served in a small pot. Be aware that herbal tea orders incur a 50c surcharge.

Price: $$

Overall: A stop off with a touch of Australiana.

Location: 144 Bowning Rd, Bowning NSW 2582  Ph: 02 6227 6507
Reviewed in June, 2013

A.C. Perch’s Tearoom

DT@A.G Perch's Thehandel - Copenhagen#4

A.C. Perch Tea Shop has been selling the finest tea since 1835 when Niels Brock Perch first opened it’s doors. Said to be one of the oldest teashops in Europe, the tea shop has since expanded to include a Tearoom upstairs to enjoy afternoon tea delights. Ferdinands Fryd or rather Ferdinands Delight is the Danish take on a Devonshire Tea. Far more sensible is to book a table for afternoon tea with food rather than just stop by for a pot of tea. A pot of tea in the tearoom is a whopping 85kr ($16.30) and a Devonshire Tea inclusive of the 85kr pot of tea is 110kr ($21) – go figure? It’s gloriously sunny the day I visit so there’s only a smidgen of people and I have the undivided attention of the waitress. After asking too many questions about 150 teas, I am invited to sniff my way through several canisters before making my choice. So vast is the selection and difficult the choice, the waitress kindly offers to give me two pots of tea with my scones so I could try the very expensive Japanese Green Tea I was eyeing off. My afternoon tea spread arrives served on Royal Copenhagen porcelain dinnerware and feels superbly decadent. Rich buttery scones are served with both strawberry jam, lemon butter and thickly whipped cream, the said clotted cream on the menu didn’t appear. Advice? Peruse the tea menu online before you arrive, so less time is spent pondering and more time for enjoying! It gets busy so bookings are essential.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: An incredible 150 choices of loose-leaf teas to suit every taste.

Price: $$$

Overall: The quintessential tearoom with a Danish twist.

Location: Kronprinsensgade 5, 1114 Copenhagen, DENMARK Ph: +45 33 15 35 62
www.perchstearoom.dk
Reviewed in June, 2013

Richoux Mayfair

DT@Richoux - Mayfair

Founded in 1909, the four Richoux restaurants, prestigiously situated in the finer corners of London, have been known for their patisseries. I try the Mayfair establishment, tucked away from the hubbub of Oxford Street and Park Lane. A lovely place for morning or afternoon tea, it emanates the classic tea room vibe although it is more lunch time when I stop by. There’s an array of clients; tourists, businessmen and women, and lingering locals. I have the Richoux Cream Tea, which consists of four warm baby scones with strawberry preserve and Cornish clotted cream. The service is pleasant and attentive and there isn’t a problem when I ask for a second pot of jam. The two plain and two fruit scones are gluey with a slight aftertaste, displaying the telltale signs of too much microwaving. A shame as I love the surrounds and the Cornish clotted cream. If you want to take something home with you, Richoux do a range of chocolates and biscuits, you can even get them to make your wedding cake!

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A choice of blended, green and herbal tea bag teas served in a good-sized pot.

Price: $$$

Overall: Cosy tea room vibe serving traditional English food.

Location: 41a South Audley St, London W1K 2PS ENGLAND Ph: +44 20 7629 5228
www.richouxmayfair.com
Reviewed in May, 2013