It’s a bit weird eating a Devonshire Tea at a wine bar when there is a fabulous tea room one level up. That’s the Queen Victoria Building (QVB), full of interesting possibilities. The higher you go towards the QVB’s ornate ceiling, the more the busyness of the city dissipates. Cicchetti Wine Bar attracts those wanting wine with lunch. You might say it has a split personality; lunch and afternoon tea haven by day, then turns into a chilled hangout for a wine or two from Thursday to Saturday evenings. They do plug High Teas, but it is possible to just get a Devonshire Tea – so don’t be pressured into or put off by thinking you have to have the whole shebang. The fresh creamy scones hit the spot, and I think that perhaps it’s okay to eat scones in a wine bar after all! The blueberry compote is fruit rich with only a hint of sweetness, and the slightly sweet and thickly whipped cream is the perfect accompaniment. Great effort with the pretty tea ware and the iron tea pot that is one size up from the usual teeny tiny one used in some cafes.
Tea: A slightly better than basic range of loose-leaf teas served in a decent sized Japanese iron teapot.
Overall: It’s a lovely spread, but for the price, it’s not quite the quality or the ambience of some other tea rooms in the QVB.
Location: QVB, Level 2, 455 George St, Sydney NSW 2000 Ph: 02 8084 5470 cicchettiwinebar.com.au
Reviewed October 2018
It’s prime location at the entrance to one of Gosford’s busy shopping malls makes Frangipani hard to miss. Its bright and light countenance is inviting for not just its location for people watching possibilities, but also because it’s genuinely an inviting space. The sign says that the scones have just been baked, but the plain ones looks terrible, so I opt for the date one. It comes out after spending a tad too long in the microwave, but it still looks better than the plain scones. The strawberry jam is the average stock standard cafe jam, and the cream is fresh but super light, the type you get from a cream-whipping canister. If you find yourself stuck in Gosford, Frangipani is not such a bad place to hang out.
Tea: A basic selection of Twinnings tea bags served in a small tea pot.
Overall: A simple place well-placed in the heart of Gosford.
Location: Imperial Centre, Shop 45, 171 Mann St, Gosford NSW 2250 Ph: 02 4324 2558
Reviewed September 2018
I do love tagging on a cafe visit after picking up a plant or two at a Flower Power Garden Centre. The most recent reincarnation of this cafe space at Flower Power Terrey Hills, The Vines Cafe, still serves scones to hungry shoppers. The layout of the cafe is little changed, with the kiddies playground at one end of the cafe, and a section around a corner that is far enough away kiddie activity so it’s possible to still have a conversation. Choose from plain or date scones, which are served with thick whipped cream, but unfortunately cheap jam. The scones are buttery and slightly crispy on the outside and are delicious, and it’s a shame that the jam is lousy.
Tea: A small variety of tea drop silk tea bags.
Overall: A pleasant place to rest while garden shopping.
Location: Flower Power Garden Centre, 277 Mona Vale Rd, Terrey Hills NSW 2084
Ph: 02 8401 7555 flowerpower.com.au
Reviewed October 2018