During a recent ‘girls weekend’ in Leura with a bunch of highschool friends, I notice a brochure for The Gingerbread House Cafe & Store in Katoomba. Although open since October 2013, this is the first time I have heard of it, despite countless visits to the Blue Mountains. Housed in an 100-year-old restored church which was previously home to a jazz club, a cafe and a French restaurant, the Gingerbread House itself is built within the cavernous structure. Owned by Josophan’s Chocolates from Leura, the shop (within the Hansel and Gretel Gingerbread House) is filled with chocolate goodies and sweets as well as some elegant tea ware. The young staff is friendly and welcoming, and work well with the creaming soda spiders, ginger beer floats and malted milkshakes on offer. Share large tables with other diners, or sit in the courtyard when it’s warmer and watch kiddies play in the garden. My table of six unanimously votes the scones as sensational. Scones with too many fancy ingredients can sometimes come across as ‘too busy’ and miss the mark, but these date and choc scones with a hint of ginger and cinnamon have nailed it. The balance of soft and fluffy on the inside with a crispy outer is enhanced by the perfect combination of just the right amount of dates and chunks of chocolate without overpowering the suggestion of ginger and cinnamon. Scoring extra brownie points is the exquisite housemade berry jam, which is beefed up with fruit rather than sugary syrup. The top quality scones and jam even have me ignoring the freshly whipped cream that’s sprayed out of the same canister that is used for topping up drinks. I can only imagine that whipped cream by an eggbeater would blow this Devonshire Tea through the church roof! Considering they sell cute tea ware (teapots, cups and saucers), it’s a shame that diners can’t enjoy similar tea ware with their scones.
Tea: Six varieties of loose-leaf tea served in a small pot.
Overall: Eat top-notch scones in a Gingerbread House themed historic church.
Location: Cnr Lurline & Waratah Sts, Katoomba NSW Ph: 02 4784 2031
Reviewed July, 2014