Escarpment

DT@Escarpment Eatery-Blackheath#2

I am surprised to see the sign saying ‘Devonshire Teas’ outside the front of the swanky Escarpment. Well, that’s what I always thought about this eatery in Blackheath, which is a testament to the glorious art deco era with timber floors and subdued warmth. Earlier this year the eatery gave their menu a major overhaul and now offer Tapas, which I am told has been a huge success with Friday and Saturday night reservations highly recommended. The Devonshire Tea comes with one scone that looks much like a muffin, no surprises there as it’s baked in a muffin tray. According to the signage out front, these unusual babies are made from the same award-winning recipe that got them a feature on Channel 7s Queensland Weekender some years ago. Not sure how to tackle my ‘scoffin’, torn in half like a scone or whichever way you eat a muffin, I try to break it apart without getting too many crumbs on the floor. Although the jam is quite average, the cream is rich and thick with just enough of both for the scone if you are liberal. The offer to top up my teapot with hot water is much appreciated and very much welcome.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A small variety of tea bag teas served in a lovely teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Love the gorgeous cosy and stylish space.

Location: 246 Great Western Hwy, Blackheath NSW 2785 Ph: 02 4787 7269
www.escarpmentblackheath.com

Reviewed May, 2014

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Piccolo Caffee Expresso

DT@Piccolo Caffee Expresso-Katoomba#2

Situated in the previous digs of Sugar & Spice Cafe on the Big W/Woolworths side of the Katoomba Arcade, Piccolo Caffee Expresso looks pretty much the same apart from the roller girl mannequin out the front. The cafe is warm and the service friendly, if not quiet the Friday afternoon we visit. I’m impressed when a teacup and saucer arrive rather than a thick-rimmed coffee cup, which is obviously not a hard thing to do, I just wished other cafes could follow suit. Both plain and orange and current scones are available, so I take one of each, looking forward to something slightly different. The scones have that microwave warmth to them, and any longer being nuked would be too much. I do prefer the flavour and texture of the orange and current scone, whereas the plain is a bit chewy. The strawberry jam is quite average and doesn’t add any quality to the spread. The lightly whipped cream is sweet and erring towards Chantilly cream. Great if that’s your preference.

Scones:

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A small variety of tea bag teas served in a good-sized pot.

Price: $$

Overall: A quiet cafe tucked away from the tourists tramping the main street.

Location: Shop 6, 147 Katoomba St, Katoomba NSW 2780 
Reviewed May, 2014

Ben Roberts Cafe & Gallery

DT@Ben Roberts Cafe - Lawson#

I was surprised to find this bright cafe tucked away behind the Lawson pub, which seems to dominate the village when you are arriving from the east. A lonesome sandwich board points potential customers in the right direction if you are walking down from the Great Western Highway, otherwise heading down behind the pub is the easier option to find the Ben Roberts Cafe & Gallery. While I sit waiting for my scones to arrive I wonder who is Ben Roberts? Apparently it’s the guy who built the original cottage in 1893, which housed local tradesmen of the time like the local boot maker. There’s no remnants of the old cottage anymore as the place is fully renovated and is a bit of an art gallery, although I don’t really notice much art as I am sitting in the glass-enclosed verandah, but I’m sure it’s there. It’s fairly quiet during my visit so I can hear what’s going on in the kitchen. I smile when I hear the whizz of the eggbeaters because that means fresh cream, but my shoulders slump when I hear the ding of the microwave. When my spread arrives it looks pretty good, although I’m not really impressed with the Nerada tea. I drink this at home as a basic standard tea, so I don’t want to pay for it at a cafe. The jam is pretty ordinary, but as I thought, the cream is freshly whipped. The scones aren’t bad, they are a little dry on top and have that microwaved thing going on, but they’ll definitely do.

Scones:

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A variety of tea bag teas served in a pot.

Price: $$

Overall: A pleasant place to chill out.

Location: 10 Benang St, Lawson NSW 2783 Ph: 02 4759 1511

Reviewed May, 2014