I arrive at Tanwarra Lodge B&B Cafe with Oscar, a blue cattle dog, which causes a ruckus as the resident hounds sense an intruder. Once the canine excitement dies down, I begin to enjoy the tranquil bush setting that envelope Tanwarra Lodge. I hate to say it, but it’s probably too quiet, as I the only one there, as it almost feels as though I am intruding. Although only a few minutes drive away from the historic mining village of Sofala, Tanwarra Lodge feels a world away from civilisation, and I can imagine a few nights at the B&B could revitalise tired city slickers. My Devonshire Tea arrives quickly and on a clever glass plate that seems specifically designed for such a spread. A generous dollop of thickly whipped fresh cream sits snugly beside plenty of ‘better-than-your-average’ strawberry jam. The scones are definitely homemade but are slightly chewy today – maybe they are frozen and reheated? They are also smaller than usual, and considering the amount of cream and jam served with them, it feels there should be at least three. The cafe is open from 5 – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9 – 9pm on weekends.
Tea: A standard selection of Twining loose-leaf teas served in a pot.
Overall: A tranquil bush setting, which feels a long way from anywhere.
02 6337 7537
Reviewed in February, 2016
First time visitors to Leura will feel overwhelmed by the vast number of eateries that, in the warmer months, spill out onto footpaths, into carparks, arcades and pretty gardens. To steer away from the usual tourist strip cafes is to discover some truly special gems that those not in the know, including me, might easily miss. Lily’s Pad Cafe is down a short walkway that leads from the Woolworth’s carpark, directly to the (now covered) outdoor seating area. Although I frequent the supermarket I have no idea that such a quaint cafe exists over the hedge from the bitumen carpark. Wedged between an apothecary and a hairdresser, the cafe has a relaxing vibe, and is away from the madness of Leura’s main drag. In addition to a vibrant and health driven menu are fresh housemade scones. They are slightly crisp on the outside with a soft fleshy middle, and are so lovely that I am happy to overlook the burnt bottom on one of them. The strawberry jam and tangy lemon curd are made on the premises, but both err on the runny side, and are more sauce than spread. The fresh cream could be a bit firmer, but considering it’s the middle of summer, it’s doing extremely well, and I am tempted to ask for a top up.
Tea: A good variety of black and herbal loose-leaf teas, served in a small pot.
Overall: A chilled cafe, tucked away from the tourist strip.
Reviewed in January, 2016