It’s easy to miss Tumbulgum, not only is it now bypassed by the new Pacific Highway, the historic village is also a short diversion off the Coolongatta to Murwillumbah road. But as soon as we see the House of Gabriel up ahead there’s a collective sigh of excitement in the car, and we’re glad we’ve made the effort. The imposing 100-year-old building houses a responsibly priced gift shop which doubles up as an art gallery, and Cafe Gabby. Most tables in the gorgeous semi covered pretty courtyard and verandah offer extensive views toward lush green hills and the Tweed River flows by out front. The place is a big hit with my friends, with one even asking whether she could buy the homemade forest berry jam because it’s so unique. The scones are fresh and crispy on the outside and just the right size for a snack. The cream arrives looking very impressive; thickly whipped with a shard of dark chocolate to add a twist of difference.
Tea: Woolworths tea bags stored in Madura Tea tins, served in a good-sized pot.
Overall: A surprisingly superb find.
Location: House of Gabriel, 106 Riverside Dr, Tumbulgum NSW 2490 Ph: 02 6676 6477
Reviewed in November, 2013