Amelia Kate’s

DT@Amelia Kate's- Kogarah#2

With not a skerrick of vacant land around the traffic congested Princes Highway, it’s hard to imagine that Sunnyside mansion once presided over 179 acres of farmland in Kogarah Bay. Built in 1860, the sandstone beauty has had many lives, but fortunately in the last 20 years it has been restored to something close to its former self. No longer a home, the mansion is the home to patchwork, quilting and sewing classes, a place to buy arty-crafty gifts, wool and haberdashery, and a tea room serving a top notch Devonshire Tea. However, Amelia Kate’s is really about spending a few hours nattering over a fancy High Tea, but the owners are smart enough to realise that some of us are happy to settle for a couple of scones rather than the whole shebang (bookings are essential for High Teas). Once you’re spat off the highway, entering the property’s garden behind the high fence is a godsend, and even better is losing yourself in one of the many rooms set up with white tablecloths and Wedgewood teaware. After you are done exploring (like I did), settle in for a touch of decadence. The scones are sensational! Not only do they look pretty, they are slightly crispy and if scones could, these would melt in your mouth. There’s an interesting range of Alpine Berry jams from the Southern Highlands. I try the rhubarb, vanilla and raspberry, which isn’t too sweet and has a smooth subtle flavour. The cream is fresh and thickly whipped, just how I like it. It’s hard to fault this spread. For the price, it is beyond a bargain! Unfortunately, Amelia Kate’s is not open on Saturday afternoon (unless booked for High Teas) or Sundays. NB: I sat outside in the garden, hence, perhaps the standard teaware, however, sit in one of the tea rooms, and no doubt you’ll be sipping from Wedgewood teacups.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A fine selection of Tea Drop pyramid tea bags (I ask for a specific flavour that they only have in loose-leaf, and the staff are happy to oblige), served in a teapot kept warm by a tea cosy. Sweet!

Price: $$

Overall: A well-utilised historic house that does a smashing DT. What a find!

Location: 186-188 Princes Hwy, Beverley Park NSW 2217 Ph: 02 9553 7457
ameliakates.com.au

Reviewed in January, 2016
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The Long Arm Farm Cafe and Produce

DT@The Long Arm Farm Cafe & Produce-Oberon#
Several years ago, I sat in almost the same seat in this very same building eating scones. Back then it was called Cafe Savannah, but now with a new lick of paint it’s known as The Long Arm Farm Cafe and Produce. In one corner, shelves are stocked with homemade jams such as yellow cherry, sour plum, peach, strawberry, mango, plum cherry and fig – the list is endless – plus chutneys and honey. It’s a popular spot and I don’t recall the very-cold-in-winter-town of Oberon being so busy. There’s a table of sweet treats, including a cake stand full of scones. Although they look good, the scones are like rock cakes and particularly dry. It’s a hard choice with the jams but I settle for something slightly different, the nectarine jam, which is quite syrupy. The cream is super light and sweet, and it’s very kind of the staff to voluntarily bring me more. I really need extra jam as well; the dishes are thimble sized plus the dry scones need a bit of help today. I do have a gripe, and it’s about having to pay for a pot of tea that’s only half filled with water (and the teapot isn’t particularly big). Seriously folks, it’s only hot water!

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream:

Tea: Four standard choices of organic loose-leaf tea served in a pot and a pretty dainty teacup and saucer.

Price: $$

Overall: A relaxed vibe with lots of take home edible goodies.

Location: 133 Oberon St, Oberon NSW 2787 Ph: 02 6336 1661
Reviewed in January, 2016

Bathurst CWA – Bathurst Farmers Market

DT@Bathurst Farmers Market - CWA#2
It’s my first visit to the Bathurst Farmers Market, and it’s happening simply because we are passing by. If I’m honest, I don’t do these types of markets. For one, I’m a freelancer, and for most of the month I don’t have any cash in my wallet, so it’s far easier buying food at a supermarket where they are happy to take plastic. Plus, many of these places can be expensive. The funny thing is, there never seems to be any farmers! Well, at this one I bought a $2.00 cabbage from a dinky di farmer who was selling them from a trailer; it’s good to see they are still about. Actually, I’m intrigued by the historic timber buildings built for the showground, that look as though they were built more than a century ago – probably more, considering the site has been used for agricultural purposes since Bathurst’s settlement in 1815. During my ‘building inspection’ I spy the CWA ladies lined up behind a swag of Tupperware containers. I’m spoilt for scone choice; plain, apple and cinnamon, pumpkin and rosemary, and cheese and chives. I stick to the sweet and go with a plain and an apple and cinnamon. As it is a Farmer’s Market, my scones are handed to me on a plastic plate, with a squirt of sickeningly sweet cream from a can, and a couple of sachets of jam. My plain scone has a five-star look but is a bit salty and rubbery from the zap in the microwave. The apple and cinnamon scone comes out in front in taste, but is quite small and chewy. The Bathurst Farmers Market is held on the fourth Saturday of the month.

Scones:  to  (plain & apple/cinnnamon)

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A surprisingly big range of tea bags served in a takeaway paper cup.

Price: $$

Overall: Quite disappointing. I thought the CWA were the leaders when it came to scones.

Location: Bathurst Showground, Kendall Ave, Bathurst NSW 2795
Ph: 0409 924 182 (Bathurst Farmers Market) bathurstfarmersmarket.com.au
Reviewed in January, 2016

 

Bud Cafe

DT@Bud Cafe-Taren Point Flower Power#3

Last year I planted an herb garden, and since then I’ve come to really appreciate garden centres. The good thing here is, garden centres are notoriously famous for having cafes attached to them that serve scones – I’m talking about nine times out of ten! And Flower Power in Taren Point is no exception. It sells all the usual goodies needed to plant and grow a successful garden, and has Bud Cafe, which is open and airy and just a few metres from the front door and carpark. Relaxed and friendly, the cafe is well-priced for good quality fare, and I can see why there is a steady flow of customers. Served with a dusting of icing sugar, the homemade scones are superb: creamy, fresh and totally more-ish. Accompanying them is a dish of chilled and firm Chantilly cream where you can actually taste the vanilla. The only let down are the two sachet’s of jam, which are insufficient and really, should never be served with good quality scones, or any scones for that matter.

Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A small selection of T2 loose-leaf teas served in a standard sized teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Well-priced and convenient, just what you want after an exhausting shopping expedition.

Location: Flower Power Garden Centre, Cnr Holt Rd & Taren Point Rd, Taren Point NSW 2229
Ph: 0415 283 283 flowerpower.com.au

Reviewed in January, 2016

Ellie-Cats Cafe

DT@Ellie-Cats Cafe - Bell#
Located on the Sydney side just 18km from Lithgow, Ellie-Cats Cafe (formerly known as Monkey Creek Cafe) has the Bells Line of Road market all sewn up. Well, at least the Lithgow end of it, anyway. What makes this a popular spot is not only it’s prime position on one of the major thoroughfares linking the Blue Mountains and the Central West to Sydney, but also the abundance of car parking, and the views across the Blue Mountains are always a hit. I also notice an enclosed fire pit with said views, and a few sculptures scattered around the property. The unusual curved building which houses the cafe is considerably cosy inside, and although the name conjures up a cafe favouring cats, I see no felines. Instead a water bowl for visiting canines and an outdoor seating area where they are welcome to hang out with their owners, fronts the building and commands those lovely views. In the cafe I’m met with a sign in the shape of a teapot advertising “Tea & Scones $12.00” – love it! The scones are fresh, but don’t have much in the way of taste. The homemade strawberry jam is more chunky compote than smooth jam with chunks of cooked fruit. It doesn’t taste sweet or tart and is quite unusual to have on scones. There’s a generous serving of cream, but it’s light and super sweet, and if I had to guess, out of a can. I leave most of it. Just thinking back, it feels unbalanced, with too sweet cream and not sweet enough compote. The fresh flowers on each of the tables are a nice touch.
Scones: 

Jam: 

Cream: 

Tea: A small selection of standard and a few specialty loose-leaf teas served in a good-sized pot that could be a little stronger.

Price: $$

Overall: A handy stop enroute to or from Sydney.

Location: 227 Chifley Rd, Bell NSW 2786 Ph: 0435 879 435


Reviewed in February, 2016