Considered the grandest house in Kempsey, Netherby House B&B is a 1922 heritage art deco house offering four guest rooms overlooking the Macleay River. I’d like to say it’s a peaceful location, but the traffic roaring across the bridge to and from the town centre is hard to ignore. What stands out is the alfresco dining in a shady garden overlooking the river and that noisy bridge, which, on a sunny day is glorious. Although I’m only passing through, I wish I had the time to spend several hours reading or writing, as its a lovely place. The scones aren’t your average and mine arrives looking flat, not pancake flat, but shaped more like a rock cake. It has an unusual flavour and is similar to a muffin in texture once pulled apart. Bonus points for being fresh, and the presentation is impressive – is that a ‘N’ for Netherby House on my plate? I still can’t understand why scones are served with such disproportionate amounts of jam and cream. This one has about four times the amount of cream – weird. The jam is a let down, a low quality and sickly sweet strawberry, although the cream is so thick I ask, “What’s the secret?” The cream reminds me of my childhood when I had a dollop of Nestle can cream on hot chocolate custard (you can still buy this cream, it’s near the sweetened condensed milk). I’m right; this is cream from a can and whipped for extra thickness. Touché! Closed Mondays.
Tea: A good selection of black and herbal loose-leaf teas served in a good-sized pot.
Overall: Although a diversion from the Pacific Highway, the riverside location is sublime.
Location: Netherby House B&B and River Cafe, 5 Little Rudder St, Kempsey NSW 2440
Ph: 02 6563 1777 netherbyhouse.com.au
Reviewed April, 2015