Mavis’s Kitchen and Cabins

DT@Mavis's Kitchen-Uki#2

The majestic Mt Warning rises from the rainforests of the Wollumbin State Forest and looms over Mavis’s Kitchen. Day-trippers heading to hike the summit, pass by the gates of Mavis’s empire, which includes a restaurant, a Providore, kitchen gardens and a range of accommodation options set on a gorgeous lush tropical property. The restaurant is in a restored Queenslander style house, which offers lovely views and helps catch a breeze on summer days. A smart business is a successful one, and Mavis’s Kitchen is definitely that. Why? Hungry hikers, even if they have eaten their packed lunch, will always want to stop at a café for something decadent as a treat for spending hours hiking a mountain. It’s embedded into the human psyche. And this is where Mavis’s shows it’s business savvy, advertising their “Devonshire Teas” on their sign outside. No thinking by would be diners, “do they, or don’t they serve scones?” Just a, “let’s do it!” As I mentioned in an earlier post, these guys run the Art Gallery Cafe at the Tweed Gallery, if you thought I messed up my images. It’s basically the same spread but with a few differences. The presentation is much cooler as scones arrive on a breadboard – tre rustic! The homemade scones are hearty, perfect for hikers coming off the mountain, and the jam is the same organic paw paw/pineapple/ginger variety, although my friend and I feel that it is tastier, but is that possible? The difference is in the cream. The firm i.e. not too light Chantilly cream gives the scones an extra little kick of sweetness. Open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and of course Devonshire Teas!

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A variety of organic loose-leaf teas served in a small teapot.

Price: $$$

Overall: A beautiful location conveniently close to the Mt. Warning walking path.

Location: Mavis’s Kitchen and Cabins, 64 Mount Warning Rd, Uki NSW 2484 Ph: 02 6679 5664
www.maviseskitchen.com.au

Reviewed April, 2015

Flutterbies Cottage Cafe

DT@Flutterbies-Tyalgum#3

The historic village of Tyalgum is set against a stunning backdrop of the wall of the Mt Warning Caldera and has a cluster of lovingly restored quaint old buildings. It’s the kind of village you want to pack up and move to, all green meadows and dramatic mountains. Including an old pub and a general store, there are a few other businesses to potter around in. Flutterbies Cottage Cafe has an extensive menu for breakfast and lunch dishes, as well as a host of items for morning or afternoon tea. It’s a cute yet elegant (kitsch for some) tea room with waitresses in period dress to look the part and to match the pastel colours of the furnishings. If you have a phobia of rooms full of teddy bears, sit outside or in the semi covered alleyway between the two buildings. For an extra dollar on the Devonshire Tea, I order a “mixed plate”, which gives me one plain and one lavender scone. Although the scones share the same strawberry jam, they each come with their own cream. Both the lavender scone and cream are infused with lavender, which works really well together and the flavour is not overpowering at all. Overall the scones are fluffy and just the right size, however I do find the lavender scones slightly dry – it is 4pm after all!

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A selection of loose-leaf teas served in a good-sized teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Cute, atmospheric and tops off a perfect afternoon drive in the country.

Location: 23 Coolman St, Tyalgum NSW 2484 Ph: 02 6679 3221 www.flutterbies.com.au

Reviewed April, 2015

Flamingo’s Cafe

DT@Flamingo's Cafe-Murwillumbah#3

You can’t miss Flamingo’s Cafe on the main street of Murwillumbah. The huge blackboard sign on the footpath advertises their homemade scones and is a surefire way of attracting scone lovers. The pink interiors and little flamingo statues outside are a nice touch too. The weather is balmy on the NSW north coast so take advantage of the outdoor seating. To be honest I didn’t expect much, but I am so surprised by the quality of the scone that I don’t even mind the average jam and cream. Brownie points to the tea cup and saucer, the better than average teapot and the lovely little strainer for the tea.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A selection of loose-leaf teas served in a good-sized teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: An unassuming café in downtown Murwillumbah.

Location: 91 Murwillumbah Rd, Murwillumbah NSW 2484 Ph: 02 6672 5492

Reviewed April, 2015

Art Gallery Café

DT@Tweed Valley Gallery Cafe#2

It’s not just the attractive art that attracts the hordes of visitors to the Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre in South Murwillumbah. I think it also has something to do with the large picture windows in the foyer that are a piece of art and offer sweeping views of the Tweed Valley towards Mt. Warning. Serendipitously these views are the same that diners at The Gallery Cafe have, which is probably why you need to book a table at lunchtime. Run by the boys from Mavis’s Kitchen in Uki, the Devonshire Tea spread is almost identical to what you can get at Mavis’s. The hearty scones are large and good for sharing (unless you are really hungry), although they could do with more jam and cream. They’re fresh and slightly crispy and pair well with Mavis’s Kitchen’s organic paw paw/pineapple/ginger jam. The jam is an unusual combination but a refreshing change, although I can’t really taste one distinct flavour. The cream is freshly whipped but a bit too light. The real winner here is that magical view!

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A variety of organic loose-leaf teas served in a small teapot.

Price: $$$

Overall: A very busy café with sensational views of the Tweed Valley.

Location: Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre, 2 Mistral Rd, South Murwillumbah
NSW 2484 Ph: 02 6670 2790  www.artgallery.tweed.nsw.gov.au

Reviewed April, 2015

Dandelion & Driftwood

DT@Dandelion and Driftwood, Hendra, Brisbane#2

Dandelion & Driftwood’s mission statement is to deliver high quality coffee and teas to Brisbane’s northern suburbs. A barista stands behind a coffee cart on the footpath, while customers who want to hang around squeeze into the Tea Garden or cosy up indoors. If you can make it past the cakes, jams, teas and coffee beans for sale, you’re in for a real treat. The scones are creamy, buttery and silky smooth – can a scone possibly be described like this? Wowser! I could eat a batch of these lovelies. The Meander Valley double cream has the consistency and taste of clotted cream, but the waiter says that some batches of the same cream can be more like double cream, so I guess it’s a lucky dip. The Paul Grainger raspberry jam is exquisitely rich and super thick with raspberries, a sit shold be. With high quality scones, jam and cream, it won’t be too long until DT lovers start flocking to Dandelion & Driftwood.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: An excellent tea menu of loose-leaf teas are sold under the ‘Dandelion and Driftwood’ label and served in a hip teapot and cup. Each tea as well as coffee comes with a small laminated card with a beverage description and brewing directions.

Price: $$ to $$$ (depending on whether you want two of the delectable scones)

Overall: Although it can get cramped, this café does every aspect of a modern Devonshire Tea excellently!

Location: Shop 1/45 Gerler Rd, Hendra QLD 4011 Ph: 07 3868 4559 www.dandeliondriftwood.com

Reviewed April, 2015

Bacchus Restaurant and Bar

DT@Bacchus Southbank Rydges Brisbane#

It’s Saturday afternoon and Brisbane’s South Bank is buzzing. This busy-ness flows into the Rydges South Bank and up to Bacchus on the pool deck. The bar/restaurant is decked in brown and gold hues that are reminiscent of the club scenes in Austen Powers’ Goldmember, I’m almost expecting an Afro wigged Beyoncé to come out and perform to the harem of women knocking back champagne and nibbling on High Tea goodies. Our waitress is surprised that we want the English Cream Tea, then tries to talk us into upgrading to the High Tea, which incidentally costs only $6.00 more. It doesn’t make sense to have it on the menu at this price. In the end and to appease the confused waitress I say that I am doing a review and the vibe instantly switches to embarrassingly accommodating…sigh. So what do you get? Two small plain and a date scone served with Chantilly cream and Bonne Maman French Raspberry Preserve. The jam is lovely, but I can still buy it at my local supermarket and the Chantilly cream is firm and plentiful, considering that there are only three small scones. It all sounds far fancier than what it actually is, and is definitely not worth the hefty price tag that you would expect on the menu at a Palazzo Versace.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A selection of Harney and Sons Fine Teas pyramid silken sachets served in a large teapot. Unlimited refills are included.

Price: $$$$

Overall: Wildly overpriced at $30 per person, why would you?

Location: Rydges South Bank, Cnr Grey St & Glenelg St, South Brisbane QLD 4101 Ph: 07 3364 0843
www.bacchussouthbank.com.au

Reviewed April, 2015

Brasserie by the River

DT@Brasserie on the River -Stamford Plaza Brisbane#

Scones at the Brasserie by the River at Stamford Plaza in Brisbane nearly didn’t happen. My friend and local scone source had called up, was called back and told to come by for scones anytime between 9 and 2.30pm. We arrive at 1.30pm, just as diners are finishing up with the buffet lunch and a wedding is being set up outside in the garden overlooking the Brisbane River. After much too-ing and fro-ing (no one could decide who was to blame for the misinformation?), we are allowed in but are advised that we must be out by 2.30pm, difficult, as our scones don’t arrive until 2.30pm. We are fussed over and a lovely man is given the task to look after the ladies who refuse to leave until they have had their scones! The three flavours; treacle (an instant winner), white chocolate and currant, are straight out of the oven. They are just the right size for afternoon tea, without being too filling, and are served with lashings of apricot and strawberry jam and double thick cream. This spread was definitely worth waiting for, and couple it with an outside table overlooking the boardwalk and the Brisbane River. My advice to call a few times and check with a couple of different people at the Brasserie, and don’t let them turn you away especially when you have been given the information.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A good variety of loose-leaf teas served in a nice teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: When the staff knows what they are doing, it’s a lovely place by the Brisbane River.

Location: Stamford Plaza Brisbane, 39 Edward St, Brisbane QLD 4000 Ph: 07 3221 1999
www.stamford.com.au/spb

Reviewed April, 2015

Passiontree Velvet

DT@Passiontree Velvet-Carindale, Brisbane

Passiontree Velvet is not in your face when it comes to signage. It’s one of those open plan cafes that position itself in the middle of the mall. It’s macaron tower and counter filled with just enough exquisite bite size cakes that gets our attention, and of course tables of customers indulging in high teas. The place isn’t full, but we’re told that there aren’t any teapots left and do we mind having an endless cup of tea instead. I find this disconcerting, a café that specialises in high tea, isn’t even full, and doesn’t have enough teapots? Not a great start. We say we’re happy to wait for teapots, and in the end it doesn’t take long. The plain and fruit scones are bite-size, small and crispy and although they are better than average, they are nothing unique. The jam is better than average as well, but the cream, which is thick dollop cream is the clincher in making this a pleasant spread. Currently there are franchises at AMP Macquarie in Sydney, Robina Town Centre and The Strand in Coolangatta in Queensland.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: Good quality Harney & Sons Fine loose-leaf tea is served in a plunger teapot.

Price: $$$

Overall: A great option if you are shopping at Westfield and have a hankering for scones.

Location: Passiontree Velvet, Carindale Westfield, 1151 Creek Rd, Carindale QLD 4152
Ph: 07 3395 2947  www.passiontreevelvet.com.au

Reviewed April, 2015

Woolloongabba Antique Centre Cafe

DT@Woolloongabba Antique Centre-Brisbane

Woolloongabba Antique Centre is brimming with funky retro and vintage furniture, jewellery, clothing, and home and kitchenwares. The range is so extensive that it can take several hours to make your way through the individual shops that are housed under one warehouse-sized roof. Collectors of all that’s old is new again, will love the variety and quality of what’s available. All this shopping can make you hungry, and conveniently located within the antique mecca is a 1950’s Milk Bar style café, with booths and all. I instantly love it as I have a soft spot for American style booths. Another delight is the kitsch but cute teapots in the shapes of houses. They are all unique in style, and have my friend and I squirming in delight. A lot less impressive is the food. The scone, jam and cream are average. The scone is fresh but doesn’t make an impression on us, along with the ordinary strawberry jam and the super light cream. The fresh strawberry is a nice touch, but the real winners here are the teapots.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A small selection of T2 loose-leaf teas served in gobsmackingly gorgeous and unique ‘house’ teapots.

Price: $$

Overall: A quirky 1950s cafe surrounded by an antique/bric-à-brac shopping haven.

Location: Woolloongabba Antique Centre, 22 Wellington Rd, Woolloongabba QLD 4102
Ph: 07 3392 1114 www.woolloongabbaantiquecentre.com

Reviewed April, 2015

Tea Garden Cafe

DT@Tea Garden Cafe, IndigiScapes, Brisbane#

When I suggested to a friend who has lived in Brisbane for more than 25 years, a Devonshire Bush Tea at Redlands IndigiScapes Centre, she had no idea what I was talking about. Redlands Shire is the gateway to North Stradbroke Island and I guess, for inner city Brisbane folk, is not really a place they hang out in. So an enlightening afternoon followed. The IndigiScapes Centre is an environmental education centre and has botanic gardens featuring only plants locally native to the Redlands area. There’s a Visitor’s Centre where you can pick up brochures on the area and Stradbroke Island and a gift shop selling indigenous themed products such as lillypilli and rosella jams. The menu leans towards dishes using indigenous herbs and spices, but also offers a variety of café fare. The stand out is the Devonshire Bush Tea that along with their plain scones offers a lemon myrtle variety. I suggest the latter as the plain are heavy, dry and crumbly, plus the subtle lemon myrtle flavour pairs beautifully with the array of jams available. Choose from flavours such as quandong, Davidson plum, strawberry and wattle seed, and of course lillypilly and rosella, as well as mango and pineapple. The cream is fresh but very light. Although we snagged a table after the lunch rush, bookings are advisable.

Scones: 

Jam:

Cream: 

Tea: An interesting selection of loose-leaf teas served in a lovely cast iron teapot. I suggest the wattleseed tea, which pairs well with the lemon myrtle scones.

Price: $$

Overall: A lovely garden setting with an indigenous twist.

Location: Redlands IndigiScapes Centre, 17 Runnymede Rd, Capalaba QLD 4157 Ph: 07 3824 8611
www.indigiscapes.redland.qld.gov.au

Reviewed April, 2015