Residents of Parramatta not only have a gorgeous park to run, cycle or meander through, but two historic locations to enjoy scones that are in spitting distance of each other (see review of Lachlan’s Cafe in Old Government House). The UNESCO World Heritage Listed Gatehouse was built in 1887 during Parramatta’s colonial heyday, and now houses the Gatehouse Tea Rooms that have been in operation since October 2013. It’s a gorgeous property with seating in a couple of restored rooms, along the verandah and in the garden in good weather. It’s a popular venue for High Teas, but also specialises in morning and afternoon teas including a pricey Devonshire Tea. Some scone fans sitting at the next table are raving about the scones, saying they are tasty and with no aftertaste. However for me, these ‘American style’ scones (so says the cafe owner) are not my favourite kind. They are baked in a tray and sliced in squares, more cake-like than traditional scone. They are also slightly toasted, which to me, changes the scone and disguises things that I contribute to a good scone: fluffiness etc. The cafe owner says that they changed to a traditional scone recipe but received so many complaints that they changed back to this style. The jam is very average, but the freshly whipped cream is lovely and thick, and to me is the stand out of this spread. The dainty teacup and saucer and thick white tablecloth and napkin make the experience feel special, however I feel it is quite expensive at $19. Open Tuesday to Sunday.
Tea: A good selection of black, green and herbal loose-leaf teas served in a pot.
Overall: The perfect setting for a relaxed morning or afternoon tea.
Location: Macquarie St Gatehouse, Corner of Pitt St & Macquarie St, Parramatta Park NSW 2150
Ph: 02 9635 1515 www.gatehousetearooms.com.au
Reviewed September, 2014