Built in 1825 by a former convict on 50 acres of land given to him at the end of his seven-year sentence, Lochiel House, then named Ivy Lodge, operated as a farm and was the first accommodation available in the Kurrajong area. The property has passed through several hands since then, becoming a cafe in 1994. Much of the original character of the building remains with its low ceilings and cosy rooms and is a popular restaurant with both locals and travellers. You’ll find Lochiel House at the Sydney end of the Bells Line of Road, high above Richmond where the air is cooler and the road winds up through the fruit orchards to Bilpin. The place is booming on this particular Sunday afternoon, with a few large tables of Sunday lunchers. It’s quieter out in the courtyard with a garden view and only a bit of traffic noise. I am served three scones, which are crispy but unfortunately a tad burnt. My partner complains that they are too salty and I can see his point. Although they are out of the oven this morning, I’ve had better. The jam is rich with chunks of strawberries and although the cream looks like it’s double thick – it isn’t – and if the weather were warmer it would have been way too light. Afternoon tea is served until 4pm from Thursday until Monday.
Tea: Several choices of loose-leaf teas served in a pot.
Overall: A lovely historic building serving homemade style Devonshire Tea.
Location: 1259 Bells Line of Rd, Kurrajong Heights NSW 2758 Ph: 02 4567 7754
Reviewed in September, 2013