On my recent visit to Wellington, 50 kilometres southeast of Dubbo, I discover that in 1823, Wellington became and was the most western colonial outpost in Australia. Although you have to use your imagination as there isn’t much left in the way of infrastructure, a stop off at Maynggu Ganai Historic Site contains relics of a convict agricultural settlement that was later replaced by a religious mission for Aborigines, existing until 1845. Such are the interesting things you discover in small towns. The caves tea rooms are closed for renovations so I head to town and find Cactus Cafe & Gallery, which looks like a Spanish hacienda and more suited to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The former Sacred Heart Infants’ School built in 1929-30, still retains the architecture, high ceilings and salmon coloured exterior. These days, children’s desks are replaced with clothing, home and giftware, and a dining area which spills out on to the verandah and in to the garden. There’s a steady stream of customers, and it’s obviously a popular dining spot. The scones are homemade, but have a rubbery texture from being heated up in the microwave. The jam is average and cream freshly whipped. It’s not a bad combination and the surrounds and heritage building definitely add to the value.
Tea: A selection of Twining tea bags served in a small pot.
Overall: An interesting café that combines history, dining and boutique shopping.
Location: 33-35 Warne St, Wellington NSW 2820 Ph: 02 6845 4647
Reviewed July, 2015