For me, the clincher is the quirky decor at Hatters Tea House, and that’s before I even see the tea menu. More akin to Sydney’s Redfern or Surrey Hills, I find Ettalong Beach an odd place to have such a funky cafe. There are several areas groups can sprawl out in including a semi private room and a sunny outdoor courtyard. If you manage to get through browsing the twenty-two teas on the menu plus the extra sixteen sold in the cafe, you can then admire the surrounds; pressed metal walls, hat boxes, retro tea sets and fancified gumboots, it’s an eclectic mix of 1970s furnishings and vintage trimmings. You have to order at the counter but at the same time get to salivate over the goodies on display. I want to try the creme brulee cupcakes and the gluten-free chocolate brownies, but then I remember I am here for the scones. The scones, although small, are tasty and fresh and worth the hike to this corner of the Central Coast. The cream is light but freshly whipped and the blueberry on top is a nice touch. There’s a choice of raspberry or strawberry jam. The Devonshire Tea is served with either English Breakfast or Prince of Wales tea, but I drink neither of those and choose the Japanese Lime, which adds and extra 50c to my bill.
Tea: 22 loose-leaf teas on the menu and a further 16 on the shelf that you can buy.
Overall: A top choice for girlie get togethers.
Location: 281 Ocean View Rd, Ettalong Beach NSW 2257 Ph: 02 4344 5525 www.hattersteahouse.com.au
Reviewed in August, 2013