Dessert Cafe

DT@Sunnyridge Strawberry Farm#

Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm is heaving with visitors and the small buses just keep coming. The shop sells the usual strawberry themed things like jams and syrups, berry ice-cream, and freeze-dried strawberries either au naturel or rolled in white, dark or milk chocolate. Of course you can buy a punnet of strawberries for $7 (from somewhere else), while a fruit barn further down on the Peninsula has them for 89 cents. Get your hands dirty and pick your own 500gm punnet with Upick, which is available during strawberry picking season. The Dessert Cafe has a range of decadent sweets based – you guessed it – on strawberries. They all look irresistible, but I stay with the Devonshire Tea. The scones are way too big for a snack, so they are best shared or alternatively, go on an empty stomach. Robust like a damper, the scones are super fresh and considerably light. Seeing as though it’s a strawberry farm and there is jam galore for sale in the shop, this jam is runny and not particularly good. It is better than the corn syrup sweetened cheap varieties though – but still. You can’t fault the double thick cream. For 50 cents, grab extra jam and cream, as you need at least three times the amount of the runny jam to make a dent in the scones. Check the website for opening times as they vary throughout the year.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A selection of Sir Lipton tea bags served in a teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Crowded and popular shop/cafe, ideal for super sweet treats.

Location: Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, 244 Shands Rd, Main Ridge VIC 3928
Ph: 03 5989 4500 sunnyridge.com.au

Reviewed in September, 2017

The Boulevard Cafe

DT@The Boulevarde Cafe- Poyntons Nursery - Essendon#2

Apparently Poyntons Nursery was established 80 years ago. I can only imagine back then, the Maribyrnong Valley was a lot less built up as it is today. Nowadays houses sit cheek by jowl and the nursery feels compressed onto a corner block, although I am told this block covers 3.5 acres. The space is used well with plants and flowers of all descriptions and a range of homewares, gifts and furniture. Situated on the second floor above the homeware shops, Poyntons Outdoor Living and Poyntons Interiors, the Boulevard Cafe has a prime position. Floor to ceiling windows creates a bright and cheerful space, with the seats by the window especially viable for the lovely view over the Maribyrnong River. It’s close to closing time when we rock up, and the plain scones still taste fresh, and are not only visually appealing but are light and creamy. Those who prefer ‘stuff’ in their scones can opt for the date scones. The average jam is the only downfall here, and the double thick cream a real winner.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A selection of loose-leaf teas served in a good-sized teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: A suburban nursery cafe with water views.

Location: Poyntons Nursery, 98 Vida St, Essendon VIC 3040 Ph: 03 9337 8111 poyntonsnursery.com.au

Reviewed in September, 2017

The Old Oak Tea Rooms

DT@Oak Tea Room-Ballam Houe-Frankston#

Ballam Park Homestead on the edge of Ballam Park is the head office for the Frankston Historical Society. The French-style country farmhouse was built in 1854, and along with the gardens, museum and the Old Oak Tea Rooms, is maintained by a posse of volunteers. Take a guided tour, visit the on site museum, or take tea in the Tea Room – but only on Sundays. There are more than just scones on the menu, and all made by volunteers. Choose from plain or date scones, but we stick with the plain, which are a bit overcooked and on the dry side. We know for a fact that they were baked the previous day, and are given a verbal list of the ingredients. There are two of us, so the portions of jam and cream reflect this; there’s more than enough. Unfortunately the jam bottled by the volunteers that is for sale, is not the jam served with the scones. We’re enthusiastically told that it’s too expensive to use the homemade jam, so we’re stuck with the very average nondescript strawberry jam. No corners are cut with the cream though; it’s thickly whipped and delightful. Open Sundays from 1-5pm (but not the 5th Sunday).

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A very basic range of Twining tea bags served in a small teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: A pleasant place to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Location: Ballam Park Homestead 260R, Cranbourne Rd, Frankston VIC 3199
Ph: 03 9789 3116 frankstonhs.org.au

Reviewed in September, 2017

Linton’s Cafe

DT@Lintons Cafe-Eden Gardens, Mt Eliza#

Eden Gardens is an all-rounder. Shop for your garden needs, as well as peruse the large collection of home and giftware items, and fuel up at the cute and cosy Linton’s Cafe. Located in a renovated heritage cottage, the cafe has some undercover seating overlooking the plant nursery, and a semi enclosed dining area attached to the back (or is that the front), of the cafe. It’s a cold and drizzly Saturday morning when I visit and anyone who is out and about at Eden Gardens is inside the cottage. The benches are laden with gorgeous sweets and treats, and even though scones are on the menu, there is not one in sight. I try both a plain and a fruit scone, and both look as though they have been put through the wringer. Heavily microwaved, these babies taste as though they have come out of the freezer rather than from the oven. Served with both strawberry and raspberry jam, which errs on the side of ordinary, the thickly whipped cream is definitely the golden child in this ensemble. The sweets on offer look truly irresistible.

Scones: teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Tea: A range of loose-leaf teas served in a teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Cosy cottage cafe with a garden centre at the door.

Location: Eden Gardens, Canadian Bay Rd, Mount Eliza VIC 3930 Ph: 03 9787 3244
edengardens.com.au

Reviewed in September, 2017

The Hart of Tyabb Cafe

DT@The Hart of Tyabb-Tyabb#2

The Hart of Tyabb Cafe is literally in the heart of the Tyabb Antique Centre; so don’t waste time scouring the Mornington-Tyabb road. A magnate for antique lovers, the humongous shed housing every conceivable antique and collectable on the Mornington Peninsula, also sits conveniently next to the Tyabb train station. Upon entering the rabbit warren of antique, vintage and collectables, keep heading right and you’ll eventually be funnelled in to the cafe through a corridor of second-hand books. A spacious and bright cafe, it’s a pleasant place to decompress after all the browsing. Even at closing time, the scones are fluffy with a how-much-better-can-these-scones-get creamy aftertaste. The raspberry jam is rich and the chilled cream thickly whipped. Don’t forget the shops out the back of the main building.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A good selection of Tea Blossom loose-leaf teas served in a teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Shopping and eating under one roof.

Location: Tyabb Antique Centre, 14 Mornington-Tyabb Rd, Tyabb VIC 3913
Ph: 03 59773166 thehartoftyabb.com.au

Reviewed in September, 2017

 

 

 

 

Flowergirls

DT@Flowergirls-Mornington#2

It’s hard to say whether Flowergirls is a florist first or a cafe. The two entities are so well intertwined that it’s hard to know which dominates. Small tables designed mainly for two, foster intimate catch-ups rather than large gatherings, which makes it rather lovely. Sit amidst a plethora of flowers where hushed conversations create a chilled out space. If the scent of fresh blossoms is too much, there are a few tables on the footpath. Order as many lemonade scones as you like – and I suggest a couple as they are light and fluffy, with a light creamy aftertaste. The raspberry jam, although not rich and fruity, punches well above average, and the thickly whipped cream is exactly that. If the ‘scones’ are in the house (the chalk sign out front will let you know), then I suggest giving it a whirl.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: The standard Twining tea bag staples served in a small teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: A cute little florist with a cafe embedded within the flowers.

Location: 66 Main St, Mornington VIC 3931 Ph: 03 5977 0057 flowergirls.com.au

Reviewed in September, 2017