Just a few minutes off the M1 (Sydney to Newcastle motorway), is Ourimbah. A sleepy Central Coast town that sees a few drive throughs from the motorway or locals doing business. Lee Rowan’s Gardenworld is easily accessible, and if you are looking to stock up on garden plants and bags of soil, and the odd piece of costume jewellery, then this place is as good as any. The large and slightly sterile Gardenia Cafe is embedded within the nursery, so like me, you’ll probably enter and leave via the gift shop. There is lots of seating indoors, with some tables outdoors lining two sides of the building. After I order at the counter and settle, my scone promptly arrives – but where is my tea? Hence the lack of silver tea plunger in the photo. There’s at least a 10-minute wait for my tea after my scone arrives. Due to the buzzing flies and my scone cooling down, I give up the wait and dig into the scone. The scone tastes as though it has been baked to order, but has a distinct ‘scone batter’ flavour – but I could be wrong. It’s good but not great. The average strawberry jam is coupled with super light cream that’s been whipped up (but not enough) in a cream canister, and both don’t do the scone any justice. However, with a scone and a cuppa under your belt, why not peruse the nursery and the gift shop before hitting the motorway?
Tea: A handful of standard teas served in a plunger pot.
Overall: Large and slightly soulless, but handy for plant or giftware shopping.
Location: Lee Rowan’s Gardenworld, 72 Pacific Hwy, Ourimbah NSW 2258
Ph: 02 4362 2822 leerowans.com.au
Reviewed in March, 2017