After the fine dining restaurant Le Kiosk closed in 2014, it took another year until the former stone tearoom to finally open its doors. Opening earlier this month, The Boathouse Shelly Beach is the latest offering in the Boathouse portfolio. Beginning with The Boathouse Palm Beach and another at Balmoral Beach, this property takes a three-in-one approach, featuring a kiosk, café and restaurant that’s open in the evening. Built in 1923, the tearoom not only provided refreshments for visitors to Shelly Beach, but also in the 1920s doubled as a dance hall. So it’s only fitting that a former tearoom should serve scones, and by the looks of how quickly the scones are selling, the popular traditional British pastime lives on at Shelly Beach. The presentation is impressive. The tea arrives first with a small separate jar housing the tea leaves that are to be deposited into the teapot. Sweet. The scones are served on a breadboard and little glass jars are used for the jam and cream. Considering the size of the scones, there definitely needs to be more jam, which disappointingly is very ordinary. The cream is fresh and whipped, but could be thicker. The winners are the buttermilk scones: buttery and crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside – delicious! Points also go to the fresh strawberries, a nice touch. Make sure you get a table that looks across the beach towards Queenscliff, even on a rainy winters day the view is simply sensational. This is the only Devonshire Tea I have managed to find in Manly, proving that this hip beachside community is not too cool for scones after all.
Tea: The standard variety of loose-leaf teas served in a cast iron kettle (Tetsubin in Japanese). It looks good but doesn’t hold much tea.
Overall: Superb ocean views and buzzing atmosphere make this a winner.
Location: 1 Marine Pde, Manly NSW 2095 Ph: 02 9934 9977 www.theboathousesb.com.au