Out of the 500 odd Devonshire Teas I have consumed over the years, the Kitchen Cafe at Mayfield Garden and a centuries old tea room in Copenhagen, are the only establishments that have served lemon butter with my scones. The waitress in Copenhagen even assured me that this was traditionally English, so I guess that’s why the Kitchen Cafe has decided to serve it as a tribute to its 160-acre English inspired garden. Sitting within a 5,000 acre working farm, the privately owned cool climate garden started taking shape in the mid 1990s and although another 50 years of growth would be ideal, the gardens are well-worth the drive for a look at the ponds, follies, 80 metre cascade and the many follies embedded in the landscape. I visited the gardens in 2011 when parking was in a paddock and the café was in a tent. Since then, much has changed, and I park on fresh gravel and dine on fluffy and slightly crisp scones in the semi-industrial styled Kitchen Cafe. Mayfield branded medlar jelly, strawberry jam and lemon butter arrive still in their jars, so you can help yourself to as much as you want. The medlar jelly is a first for me, and its smooth and subtle flavour is a winner. Lemon butter fans will be content and so too will be traditionalists. All spreads are good quality and the freshly whipped cream although not too thick, is just right on this cool day. The café also caters for shoppers; selling Borne in Bathurst Chutneys, Bilpin Bush Honey and Mayfield Gardens’ own range of chutneys and jams, with the addition of hand creams, homemade soaps, and tea towels. Behind the café, the nursery has a good range of cool climate plants for sale and a children’s playground blends in well to the landscape. The water garden ($10 per adult), café and nursery are open daily, and the private English gardens can be visited during the biannual open days.
Tea: A small choice of loose-leaf teas served in a small pot.
Overall: Industrial cool meets country chic.