Mogo Ice-creamery & Outdoor Cafe

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By the looks of it, Mogo Ice-creamery & Outdoor Cafe seems to have established itself in a former retro service station. With a lick of paint and lots of shady seating in the front garden and where once vehicles pumped fuel, the cafe is a comfy spot and a handy people-watching podium. The blackboard at the entrance announces what flavour of scones are in the house and today it’s plain, apricot and ginger – impressive, although I don’t know why I have to pay an extra dollar for the privilege of having two different flavours. Maybe it’s due to the extra jam as the plain scone arrives with strawberry and the apricot is matched with apricot jam. Sweet. I love the creativity in alternate offerings (it doesn’t happen enough), and apricot fans will love the chunks of dried apricot. In saying that the scones are a bit floury and heavy, and the cream fly away light.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A variety of loose-leaf teas served in a good-sized pot.

Price: $$

Overall: Nice shady outdoor area to watch the world go by.

Location: 38 Princes Hwy, Mogo NSW 2536 Ph: 02 4474 0190
Reviewed February, 2014

Our Book Shop & Cafe

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On weekdays Berry moves slowly. It’s when the locals come out to enjoy the cafes without having to jostle for a table with the waves of visitors at weekends. I like it – peaceful and relaxing. It’s easy to sniff out scones in Berry, so I try Our Book Shop & Cafe, a largish cafe that’s a combination of inside seating at the front and a rear courtyard that has an entrance from a carpark. Just off the shady courtyard a dining room has shelves of second-hand books, and out the front, next to the cafe entrance is a bookshop that also sells cool cards and children’s toys.  The scones are not long out of the oven, so I pace myself and settle for one. It’s fresh, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, but unfortunately the jam and cream are a little ordinary; too sweet and too light.  I try not to salivate over the lemon meringue pies and banoffi tarts as I simply couldn’t fit either of them in after my scones.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream:

Tea: A variety of tea bags served in a good-sized pot.

Price: $$

Overall: A chilled hangout with a kicking outdoor courtyard for warmer weather.

Location: 103 Queen St, Berry NSW 2535 Ph: 02 4464 1920
Reviewed February, 2014

Shingle Inn

DT@Shingle Inn-Westfield Chatswood#

I stumble across the Shingle Inn franchise by googling ‘scones in Chatswood’. Mall rats may already know the cafe chain, and by looking at the website, it has a strong presence in Queensland and in many Westfields in Sydney, with Chatswood having two! I must say that I struggle to find the cafe tucked in a quiet corner away from the hustle and bustle of the other dining outlets, which is a good sign if you want some peace. The comfy lounge chairs and booths covered in plush velour teemed with dark overtones in the cafe are a welcoming sight. The service is quick and professional, and in no time I am tucking in to my scone, which is basically a sweet bread roll. The strawberry jam is nondescript and the cream, straight out of a can, is light and sweet. The $4.30 for a small pot of Lipton’s tea annoys me. I have better quality tea at home and it’s a shame you only have a choice of supermarket teas at a cafe, especially since you are paying enough for it. Coffee drinkers usually get quality coffees, so why can’t tea drinkers? Anyway, enough said!  Shingle Inn franchises can be found throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

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

Price: $$

Overall: The dark decor creates a cosy atmosphere.

Location: Westfield Chatswood, Level 3, 1 Anderson St, Chatswood NSW 2067
Ph: 02 9411 6946 www.shingleinn.com
Reviewed in February, 2014

Alice’s Tea Cafe

DT@Alice's Tea Cafe-Westfield Chatswood#
With a name like Alice’s Tea Cafe, it’s hard not to associate the mad-hatterish decor with Alice in Wonderland. Looking very bright and cute with an I-want-to-check-you-out vibe, Alice’s Tea Cafe doesn’t disappoint with piquing the interest of passersby. I see many stop to flick through a menu as diners sit amongst birdcages, harlequin painted walls and a mish-mash of coloured furniture. The glass cabinet is filled with sweet treats that find themselves on to three-tiered plates for the popular high teas. Considering the theme, there are a few children’s tables and toys spread about the cafe to keep kiddies amused. The day I visit, there seems to be some confusion as there are lots of staff behind the counter with a few in training. I am told to take a seat, but after being overlooked I am told I have to order at the counter, a tad annoying. I end up with a plain scone, although I do see sultana ones in the cabinet, and wonder why I’m not given a choice. The scone is warm, large and soft with a semi-burnt top, and the mock cream melts straight away. There’s also not enough of the jam that is sickly sweet rather than sweetly fruity.  The concept and decor blows me away, but not enough for me to suggest the Devonshire Tea.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A variety of loose-leaf T2 teas served in a good-sized pot.

Price: $$

Overall: The Alice-in-Wonderland-esque theme is great for girlie chats with added fun for kids.

Location: Westfield Chatswood, Level 3, 1 Anderson St, Chatswood NSW 2067 Ph: 0433 018 632
Reviewed in February, 2014

Cottage Point Kiosk

DT@Cottage Point Kiosk - Cottage Point#

It’s a glorious summer’s day and there’s no better place to be then on one of Sydney’s beaches or waterways. Whether you arrive by private boat or road, The Cottage Point Kiosk and General store is popular with yachties and Sydneysiders looking for tranquility. Lying deep in the heart of the Ku-Ring- Gai Chase National Park, the Kiosk is perched on the edge of Cowan Creek that runs off the Hawkesbury River and is the perfect place for a chilled lunch or snack. A friend told me about the Devonshire Teas, so I was excited to try them and even more excited when I arrive to see Devonshire Tea signs plastered all over the Kiosk. I miss out on the date scones but the plain scones look homemade and crusty. However, within a few minutes of cooling down, the scones are little more than rock cakes and inedible, the jam is average and the cream too light for me, which is a shame considering the million dollar views.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A few varieties of tea bags served in a small pot.

Price: $$$

Overall: A magical Sydney escape.

Location: 1 Notting Ln, Cottage Point NSW 2084 Ph: 02 9456 3024 www.cottagepointkiosk.com.au
Reviewed in February, 2014

Cousin Jacks Pasty Co.

DT@Cousin Jacks - Bondi Junction#2

Cousin Jacks Pasty Co. situated on the mall in Bondi Junction is no doubt a popular institution with the Eastern suburb Brits who feel homesick for traditional Cornish pasties, and in this case a Cornish Cream Tea. Delivering award-winning pasties for over a year, Cousin Jacks have only recently added the Cream Tea to their menu, and as it is co-owned by a true blue Brit from Cornwell, expect to get the taste of the county. I try both the plain and sultana scones, which are served with plenty of strawberry jam and double thick dollop cream. The scones aren’t particularly light and fluffy, but more erring to the tough side. Maybe this is how they do scones in Cornwell? What do I know? I only know that I, and my tasting companions agree, we like our scones light, fluffy and creamy.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A small selection of teabags served in a large teapot. Try the Cornish tea, Smugglers Brew – all the way from Cornwell.

Price: $$

Overall: Drop by for authentic Cornish fare.

Location: 5/175- 181 Oxford St, Bondi Junction NSW 2022 Ph: 02 8096 4304 www.cousinjackspastyco.com
Reviewed in February, 2014

Cosmopolitan Cafe

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The Cosmopolitan Cafe has been around since 1985 (according to the menu), but I’ve never noticed it before. It’s not surprising as it’s not in my hood for a start, and I don’t generally hang out in cafes. Today the knowledge that there are scones to be had has drawn me in from the Bondi Junction end of Oxford Street. It feels like stepping back in time with the walls lined with retro booths and the clientele that seem as though they have been coming here for the last 30 years by the familiarity they have with some of the staff. In regards to the Devonshire Tea, I had an idea what I was in for from a photo I saw on a blog post. How else did I know that they had scones? The small scones arrive bearing a sweet smell and become quite dry as soon as they cool down from being microwaved. I leave most of the crumbly remains as the cheap jam and lighter than light spray can cream doesn’t do them justice.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A small selection of some loose-leaf tea and teabags served in a small teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Booths win me over every time.

Location: 203 Oxford St, Bondi Junction NSW 2022 Ph: 02 9387 6011
Reviewed in February, 2014