Just north of Port Macquarie, a turn off the Pacific Highway takes you to Ricardoes Tomatoes & Strawberries, a popular grower of – yes – you guessed it, tomatoes and strawberries. You can’t miss the two acres of huge greenhouses that are used to grow these red babies, and the tin shed, which doubles as a packing shed and shop/cafe. Browse and taste jams and relishes made from said items, plus anything else visitors may want to buy, like fresh produce, eggs, chocolates etc. Grab a bucket and pick your own strawberries. Cafe Red serves lunch until about 2 or 2.30pm, after that, it’s just afternoon tea. The blackboard menu says that there are plain and pumpkin scones, but when I order, I am not offered the choice and forget to ask. I’ve got to say the scones aren’t particularly tasty, with insufficient jam served to boost the flavour. Of course the jam is better than average, but not as good as you would expect at a strawberry farm. The cream is fresh, but very lightly whipped. A pleasant diversion for anyone who wants to buy fresh tomatoes and strawberries.
Tea: A variety of loose-leaf teas served in a good-sized pot. Try the strawberries and cream tea.
Overall: Stop if you want to buy fresh produce or do a farm tour.
Location: Ricardoes Tomatoes & Strawberries, 221 Blackmans Point Rd, Port Macquarie NSW 2444 Ph: 02 6585 0663
Reviewed in October, 2013