The Happy Berry House Cafe

DT@The Happy Berry Cafe - Samford#

Drive only 30 minutes west of Brisbane’s CBD and you feel as though you’re a world away from city life. The gateway to the beautiful Brisbane hinterland, Samford still has a village vibe. The Happy Berry House Cafe is set a little way back from the road and is dominated by umbrellas in the front garden, creating a canopy of shade for outdoor diners. I’m not quite sure why the house is a ‘happy berry’ as you won’t find any berries for sale or specialised jam, if that’s what you’re after. Plain and date scones are on offer this day, and you can buy as many or as few as you like. I opt for the date scone – it’s ok, acceptable, but nothing more. My friend has a plain scone and we agree that it is a slightly better choice. The jam looks good, but once again is average in flavour and quality. The cream is way too light and airy.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A selection of T2 loose-leaf teas.

Price: $$

Overall: A pleasant cafe in a lovely village.

Location: 16 Main St, Samford QLD 4520 Ph: 07 3289 2742 www.happyberryhouse.com
Reviewed in November, 2013

The Willows Tea Room & Cafe

DT@The Willows Tea Room - Mt Gravatt, Brisbane#3

Upon entering, The Willows Tea Room & Cafe looks like its name suggests – a tearoom! It’s quaint, feminine and what you expect a tearoom to look like. There’s a semi enclosed courtyard alongside and a cosy room out the back that’s designated especially for the prebooked High Teas. We have the attentive and friendly service all to ourselves, and relish it. After spending too much time pondering the extensive tea menu, the three of us decide on my all-time favourite brew, lime and coconut sencha. The teacups and teapots arrive to gasps of ‘oohs and ahs’ as we admire their prettiness. The scones, jam and cream appear on two-tiered serving plates, which impresses its guests again. The scones are lovely, soft and creamy, and we’re told the divine strawberry jam is made by the owners’ brother who is a chef. The only downfall is the whipped cream, which is a bit too light.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: Oodles of loose-leaf teas served in pretty teapots.

Price: $$

Overall: A pretty tearoom for those who love their teas.

Location: 1410 Logan Rd, Mt. Gravatt QLD 4122 Ph: 0435 845 141 www.willowtearoom.com.au
Reviewed in November, 2013

 

 

Vintage Aura Tearoom

DT@Vintage Aura - Holland Park, Brisbane#

Work up an appetite perusing Vintage Aura’s three rooms that are chock-a-block with giftwares. The best thing about the gift shop is the simple but quaint tea room that forms part of the business and does a great Devonshire Tea. The scones are baked daily and served with lashings of strawberry jam and double thick cream, and there’s a huge blackboard listing the teas available. I love the teaspoons, which have little teapots on the ends, and the cute tea infuser that dangle over the edge of the teapot. The crockery is a huge hit with my buddies.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: Good selection of loose-leaf teas served in gorgeous pots. Love the tea infuser.

Price: $$

Overall: A true blue tearoom feel.

Location: 815 Logan Rd(Cnr Birdwood Rd),Holland Park QLD 4121 Ph: 07 3847 2234
www.vintageaura.net
Reviewed in November, 2013

The Rendezvous Tea Room

DT@The Rendezvous Tea Room - Wooloongabba, Brisbane#

The Rendezvous Tea Rooms in Brisbane’s Woolloongabba is tucked away, and unless you stumble in to the sign on the footpath or are looking for it specifically, you could easily miss it. A small and cosy tea room offering ‘tea leaf reading’ by a daily tea-cup reader for $10, the place is reminiscent of 1940s inner city Brisbane when some tea rooms offered illegal fortune-telling. Today, the police no longer raid tea rooms as the laws changed in the late 1990s, so your future reading is safe. The menu suggests Bushells Billy Tea for the tea of choice for a reading – perhaps the message is conveyed clearer through this Aussie brew? However, the reader is happy enough to use my friend’s green tea leaves from the tea bag. It’s a fun ‘add-on’ to a tea gathering, and every one who has a reading goes in to a monthly draw for a high tea for two. Although we are initially excited at having the tea room to ourselves and are impressed with the impeccable and friendly service and dainty tea cups, the whole shebang; scones, jam, cream and tea, ends up being rather average. There’s nothing remarkable about the small scones nor the plum jam and the sweet cream is very light. I must say, the waitress did ask us a couple of times whether we’d like her to whip up another batch of cream, but she shouldn’t really have to offer, should she?

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: Some varieties of black loose-leaf teas and a few choices of green/herbal tea bags.

Price: $$

Overall: Tucked away bolt hole for scone fans.

Location: 787 Stanley St (ground floor), Woolloongabba QLD 4102 Ph: 07 3393 1101
www.therendezvoustearoom.com.au
Reviewed in November, 2013

Treetops Country Guesthouse

DT@Tree Tops B&B - Bundanoon#2

I wouldn’t normally review a Devonshire Tea that is only available to in-house guests at holiday accommodation; however, this one included in a 2-night stay at Treetops Country Guesthouse is way too good to be kept a secret. Bundanoon is nicely tucked away from the busier towns in the Southern Highlands such as Bowral and Mittagong, and is the gateway to Moreton National Park and at night, the Glow Worm Grotto shines spectacularly. The scones you can only have if you bed down under the same roof as the baker are finely balanced; just the right size so as not to spoil the appetite, fresh from the oven with an ever-so-slight dusting of icing sugar to give it a slight sweet kick. The rich strawberry jam is homemade, and you’ll only do better with the thickly whipped cream if it were clotted. Just thinking about it and I’m almost inclined to check in again for another stay!

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A choice of loose-leaf and tea bags covering black, green and herbal varieties served in small pots

Price: Included in 2-night tariff.

Overall: Stay here if you want a great Devonshire Tea.

Location: 101 Railway Ave, Bundanoon NSW 2578 Ph: 02 4883 6371
www.treetopsguesthouse.com.au
Reviewed in October, 2013

Ye Olde Bicycle Shoppe and Cafe

DT@Ye Olde Bicycle Shoppe - Bundanoon

I want the Devonshire Tea to be good so I can give it a great rap. Unfortunately it doesn’t cut the grade, which is a shame as Ye Olde Bicycle Shoppe and Cafe is cool. Outside on one of the walls of the 150-year-old building, you can’t but fail to notice the painted mural, plus the old-fashioned bike out the front, and dah, how about the cool name? In a town that only has one restaurant open 7 days a week for dinner (Chinese), this cafe is a hub of activity. The cafe doubles as a bike rental shop and is a magnet for cyclists, offering information on bike trails in the nearby Moreton National Park, plus you can buy any bike bits you may have forgotten. The bad news is that the scones are stale, too sweet and bread like, and the cream so light it’s almost liquid. I also find the peppermint tea a bit weak. As I said, I really enjoy the vibe, but they need to pick up their scone game.  I’m glad I asked for a half serve.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A selection of loose-leaf teas.

Price: $$

Overall: A hub for all manner of cycling stuff.

Location: 11 Church St, Bundanoon NSW 2578 Ph: 02 4883 6043
Reviewed in October, 2013

Old Farm Kitchen

DT@Old Farm Kitchen-Moss Vale

Only ever knowing Moss Vale to pass through on to somewhere else, I never knew that a whole shopping complex existed in the street parallel to the main thoroughfare. Once parked and on foot, I have a far better opportunity to peer in to shops and cafes. If you blink you may miss the Old Farm Kitchen on the corner in the nondescript small brick shopping complex. There’s nothing too flash about the place but the service is friendly, and this day I have the place to myself. It’s a little over-priced but I’ve got to say the freshly whipped cream is thick and rich. The scones are above average, but I think if fresh, would have been better. The jam is less than average and what is it with the minute serving?

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A small variety of tea bags served in small pot.

Price: $$

Overall: Not a bad cafe to try if you are passing through.

Location: Old Argyle Centre, Shop 8, Neletta St, Moss Vale NSW 2577 Ph: 02 4868 1050
Reviewed in October, 2013

The Olde Magpie Cafe

DT@Magpie Cafe - Berrima

After wandering through Berrima’s antique shops and a visit to the historic Berrima Gaol, stop by the graceful Olde Magpie Cafe. Radiating an air of elegance and sophistication, it earns it’s place among Berrima’s best. Slink back into deep comfy wicker chairs out the front or remain indoors and enjoy the indulgent interiors. With heavy white cotton table cloths, its more restaurant than cafe, but who needs more formalities in the Southern Highlands? The Devonshire Tea is top class, with melt-in-your-mouth slightly sweet scones dusted in icing sugar accompanied with double thick dollop cream that holds itself together well in the 35 degree heat.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A selection of loose-leaf teas served in a large pot with extra hot water.

Price: $$$

Overall: Elegant and refined, settle in for a few hours.

Location: 28 The Old Hume Highway, Berrima NSW 2577 Ph: 02 4877 2008 www.oldemagpiecafe.com.au
Reviewed in October, 2013

Settlers Arms Inn

DT@The Settlers Arms-St Albans#

The sleepy village of St Albans, tucked away in the beautiful Macdonald Valley, is somewhere between the Hawkesbury River and the Lower Hunter Valley. Surrounded by Yengo National Park, on weekends the village explodes with day-trippers and most descends on the Settlers Arms Inn. Built from convict-hewn sandstones, the Settlers Arms was established in 1836 and became a stopover for Cobb and Co. stagecoaches travelling between Sydney and Newcastle. It’s simple Georgian design and friendly staff makes the Settlers Arms a huge success, not to mention their superior pub food. The village is also close to the convict built Old Great North Road, which originally spanned 264 kilometres, and is open to hikers and cyclists – in case you’re up for an adventure. What the Devonshire Tea lacks in presentation, it makes up for in bucket loads of quality and taste. Creamy and fluffy scones, slightly better than average jam and rich thickly whipped cream – superb! Make a note that scones are not served between 11am and 3pm as the kitchen is too inundated with lunch orders, especially on weekends. A black mark also for the $6.00 pot of tea. I think it’s a bit steep considering it’s just a teabag and hot water. Loose-leaf tea, I can understand, but for a tea bag?

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: Choice of a cup or pot of tea. Not much variety, just standard tea bags.

Price: $$

Overall: Simple and friendly slapped in history.

Location: 1 Wharf St, St Albans NSW 2775 Ph: 02 4568 2111 www.settlersarms.com.au


Reviewed in October, 2013

Myalla Magic

DT@ -Buladelah

I don’t remember Bulahdelah looking so slick. I swear the town is looking better every time I visit, which is random and not very often. It’s abuzz with travellers stopping to stretch legs and grab a bite to eat. With several cafes to choose from as well as the pub by the river, I can understand why it’s so popular. I’ve only got time for one Devonshire Tea so I choose the attractive Myalla Magic that is in fact a handsomely renovated timber house with a verandah and shady garden out the front. The interior rooms have been kept intact as to give it a cosy vibe, and privacy if you have a big group and want to take over a room. It’s a warm day so I sit out on the shady verandah that wraps around part of the front of the building. Tasty and fresh date scones are on the menu today: crispy on the outside with a perfect soft texture on the inside. The jam and cream are quite average, and the cream is so light (it’s a hot day) that it melts before settling on the scone. If you need a break, Bulahdelah is the place!

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A selection of teabags served in a small pot.

Price: $$

Overall: Gorgeous renovated timber house with a lovely garden.

Location: 84 Stroud St, Bulahdelah NSW 2423 Ph: 02 4997 4900
Reviewed in October, 2013