The Big Green Cup Cafe

DT@The Big Green Cup Cafe-Bungendore

My first thought is why isn’t my tea served in a big green cup? It is The Big Green Cup Cafe after all! Set in a horseshoe shaped plaza off the man road means it’s not as obvious as those right on the road. The cafe is quite extensive and includes a mini gallery and a cool home and giftware shop at one end selling retro style goods. The outdoor seating out the front is a sun-catcher in the afternoon and perfect for cooler weather. The scones look impressive with a light dusting of icing sugar, but have the tell-tale taste that it’s spent too much time in the microwave. A bit on the rubbery side, the deliciously rich raspberry jam makes an effort to save the scones, but the too light cream dispensed from a cream canister doesn’t. Make time to browse the store and gallery.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3

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

Price: $$

Overall: A spacious cafe with a funky vintage-style giftware shop attached.

Location: 7/10/23 Malbon St, Bungendore NSW 2621 Ph: 0400 123 179 thebiggreencupcafe.com

Reviewed July 2019

The Hive Berambing

DT@The Hive Berambing#2

A renovated 1950s apple packing shed, The Hive Berambing is one of several newly renovated sheds along the Bells Line of Road. With a name like ‘The Hive’, expect an array of Bilpin bush honey products for sale plus other Bilpin apple specialties such as cider and of course apple pies! Its refurbishment is fresh and simple and there are tables outside for good weather. The waft of freshly baked apple pies holds a promise of the scones to come, and they don’t disappoint. They are slightly crispy on the outside and all fresh goodness within, accompanied by a strawberry jam that tastes ‘real’: tart and fruity. Although the cream is fresh, it’s very light, from a cream canister. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3

Tea: A small range of pyramid tea bags served in a small pot.

Price: $$

Overall: A subdued roadside cafe with house baked goodies.

Location: 6-18 Bells Line of Rd, Berambing NSW 2758 Ph: 02 4567 2590 thebilpinbushhoneycafe.com.au

Reviewed August 2019

 

 

 

 

Whale Beach Deli

DT@Whale Beach Deli- Whale Beach#2

I know there’s been a drought for the past few years, but I’m not sure how business will be at Whale Beach Deli when the rain finally comes. Predominately an outside venue with only an indoor row of stools at a bar along the wall, I hope the shady umbrellas outside are waterproof. Unlike the other cafes in the Boathouse portfolio, Whale Beach Deli serves the same menu to a much smaller group of diners and without the ocean views (although poke your head around the side of the building and you can see the ocean). I have been to three of the Boathouses in Sydney, and this has to be the best serve of scones, jam and cream yet. To be honest, it’s usually quite ordinary. This time round the lightly toasted buttermilk scones (not sure why they have to be toasted) are creamy and fresh, and the jam is now made in house. Today it’s raspberry, and it’s tart and fruity like a good-quality jam should be. The cream is now the only weak link; too light and airy, and dissolves in the August winter sun. You can take home a jar of The Boathouse jam if it impresses.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Tea: A basic range of loose-leaf teas served in a Japanese iron teapot. My Earl Grey tea is served with a mound of lemon zest. Bonus!

Price: $$$

Overall: A laidback offshoot of the notoriously popular Boatshed conglomerate.

Location: Ph: 02 9974 5440

Reviewed August 2019

Cafe Woodworks

DT@Cafe Woodwork-Bungendore

A popular rest stop for Canberrans making the trip to the South Coast along the Kings Highway, Bungendore is buzzing. Cafe Woodworks is easy to find on the main drag as it’s attached to the rather large Bungendore wood works gallery. The gallery takes up a good part of a corner block so it’s hard to miss. If you’re in to wood, its well worth a visit for the extensive range of home and giftware, and wooden artworks available for sale. Back at the cafe, there’s a spacious interior dining area and a smaller outdoor area spilling out to the road, which is ideal if you want to sit outside or if you are travelling with a pooch. The square scones are cake-like, a bit crumbly and sprinkled with icing sugar. They are fresh and light, but feel more like Australiana scones than the dainty British kind. The yummy apricot jam (a favourite) is a great change from the usual strawberry that’s normally on offer. The cream is double thick, and a blessing.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A basic range of black and herbal teas served in a good-sized pot.

Price: $$

Overall: A hearty spread with plenty of room to spread out.

Location: 20 Malbon St, Bungendore NSW 2621 Ph: 02 6238 1688 cafewoodworks.com.au

Reviewed July 2019

Harvest Cafe & Store

DT@The Harvest Cafe-Bathurst

Although located right next door to the Bathurst Visitors Centre, Harvest Cafe & Store feels like a locals hangout. I hear meetings happen, see employees from nearby businesses, and hear friends reunite and talk about the old days working at the university. It’s a lovely spot looking over a well manicured sporting field, brightly light by natural light on the inside while there’s a cluster of seating for those who prefer the outdoors. I try the half serve of scones, which is basically one scone instead of two. There’s a massive tray of scones in the cake display cabinet, but they don’t look particularly appealing. The scone is small and dry and not particularly fresh – I don’t enjoy it. The rich and fruity Langs Farm raspberry jam can’t save it, and the light and synthetic dairy whip style cream just makes it worse. Don’t let this put you off, as the menu looks good. All these locals can’t be wrong! Pick up goodies produced in the Central Tablelands such as honey, jam, coffee, tea, relishes and olive oil.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapothalf

Tea: An interesting and better-than-average range of Tea Karts loose-leaf teas served in a teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Nice to see a cafe pushing local produce, but shame about the scones and cream.

Location: 1 Kendall Ave, Bathurst NSW 2795 Ph: 02 6323 1811 harvestcafestore.com.au

Reviewed Jul 2019

The Potager

DT@The Potager - Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens#

My first visit to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden was a while ago when both the gardens and the restaurant were going by different names. The cool climate gardens, featuring 5,000 species of plants, are stunning during all seasons, so there’s never a bad time to visit. I’m lucky today as the weather is glorious and the Blue Mountains are framed beautifully by the cobalt sky. The Potager is a classy restaurant with enough floor to ceiling glass so that if you’re sitting inside there is no chance on forgetting your location. The outdoor area that is shaded by wisteria in the summer is my favourite, and offers little luxuries like blankets and heaters in winter. The scones look great but are heavy and gluey – almost raw, like they need a tad more time in the oven. I guess this is better than stale dry scones, but I can’t say that I enjoyed them. A shame, I am hoping this is a one off. The strawberry jam is ordinary but the saviour is the double thick cream, which there is plenty of. Open Wednesday to Sunday.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A small range of Silver Tips loose-leaf tea served in a small pot. I didn’t ask, but a hot water top up would have been good.

Price: $$$

Overall: I am hoping that the gluey scones this day is a one off because in good weather it’s a splendid spot to hang out in.

Location: Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens, Bells Line of Rd, Mount Tomah NSW 2758  Ph: 02 02 4567 2575 potagermounttomah.com.au

Reviewed Aug 2019

Caramels@Cathie

DT@Caramels-Lake Cathie

Nestled between Port Macquarie and Bonny Hills, Lake Cathie is a small seaside settlement that swells when the summer holidays hit. Perched on the exterior of the Lake Cathie Village Centre, Caramels@Cathie won’t win any awards for its location, as it basically looks over the shopping centre’s car park. The plus is that you get to see the sky as all the seating is outdoors (and undercover), but the bitumen is only a stones throw away. Don’t worry, the beach and foreshore, and the promise of a dip isn’t too far away once you’ve had a DT fix. The very fruity scones are huge, so you’ll only need one (unless you are really hungry). The strawberry jam is on the ordinary side, but the chilled and firm whipped cream is a bonus.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A basic range of Twinning tea bag teas served in either a cup or a teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Not a particularly inspiring location, but it seems popular.

Location: Lake Cathie Village Centre, 8/1613 Ocean Dr, Lake Cathie NSW 2445
Ph: 02 6585 5963

Reviewed June 2019