Jumping Jumbuck Restaurant

DT@Jumping Jumbuck-Euroa

The Hume Freeway is a double-edged sword. While it whizzes along at 110km/hr connecting overland Sydney to Melbourne travellers with as least hassle as possible, it also bypasses the cute and character-filled towns along the way. Euroa, just one of many Victorian towns in bushranger country, is a delight for weary travellers. It’s pretty parks with meandering waterways are perfect for leg stretching, and if you are more interested in history there are a few heritage-listed sites and monuments, and the infamous National Back that was robbed by Ned Kelly in 1878. In the northern part of town, Jumping Jumbuck Restaurant is a height of activity this Sunday morning. If it is warmer weather I’d sit out the front at one of the tables on the grassed area, otherwise there are a few rooms to choose from inside. One large already dressed scone arrives at my table. It’s definitely fresh, but the jam and cream make it a bit difficult to really decide on its full merits. The two massive dollops of thickly whipped cream are more than enough for coverage. Actually there is such an over-abundance of cream that it’s hard to notice the strawberry jam at all. It’s the average cafe kind: good enough for most things except scones! In saying that, at least there is enough jam to cover both sides.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A good range of T2 loose-leaf teas served in a small teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: A lovely Devonshire Tea and well-worth the diversion off the Hume freeway for a touch of swagmen and bushrangers.

Location:  Ph: 03 5795 1181

Reviewed September 2019

Gundagai Bakehouse

DT@The Gundagai Bakehouse-Gundagai

If you can tear yourself away from the Dog on the Tuckerbox and the roadside fast food outlets that surround it, motor on in to the main drag of Gundagai and check out some of the town’s history. After checking out the old bridge and generally wandering down the main street, stop at the historic Gundagai Bakehouse. It’s been around since 1864 when a German immigrant and baker, William Bibo, built and opened the bakery. The history books say it is the oldest working bakery in Australia – so they must be doing something right! You have to remember this is a bakery and the scones, jam and cream reflect this. The scones are good; fresh, although a little overcooked on top. The jam is a weird syrupy concoction, which I guess is used in bakery cakes like cream buns etc. The cream too is the typical bakery kind: but I like it. It’s firm and chilled (although has a glutinous texture), and is better than the featherlight ones served in many cafes. There are a few simple tables indoors, but try the ones on the footpath out the front.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A basic choice of Sir Thomas Lipton teabags served in a small teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: A simple country bakery on the main drag of Gundagai.

Location:  Ph: 02 6944 1192

Reviewed September 2019

 

Elephant Boy Cafe

DT@The Elephant Boy-Bowral#2

I’ve always wanted to go to the Elephant Boy Cafe in Bowral, as it looks intriguing through the window – all those books! Feeling like a library with a cafe embedded within, it has a definite den-like masculine vibe, cosy even. What it has in ambience certainly doesn’t transpire in the Devonshire Tea. The one large scone is more like a bread roll, but what it has going for it is that it’s fresh, light and fluffy. The sachet of Zoosh strawberry jam is not only appalling that it is a sachet, but also that there is only one. Ridiculous considering that the scone is so big. The whipped cream is quite runny and again, not particularly appealing. Although the teapot is a good size, the cup and saucer is more basic than what most cafes have these days. It goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3

Tea: The range of loose-leaf teas are more varied than at most cafes

Price: $$

Overall: An atmospheric cafe, but forget the scones.

Location: 329 Bong Bong St, Bowral NSW 2576 Ph: 02 4855 2921

Reviewed August 2019

The Roses Cafe

DT@The Roses Cafe-Mittagong

In the old Gilberts Cafe space, The Roses Cafe forms the trio of businesses trading under the same name and who have venues in Yass and Goulburn. It’s a large space, and it’s a big job to create a cosy ambience. Also, considering the saturated Mittagong cafe scene, it’s considerably busy. The deli set up looks the same as the other The Roses Cafes. Today, the scones are very average, dry with a slight aftertaste. They look good, but that doesn’t always mean much. The strawberry jam is the standard cafe variety and the whipped fresh cream is a plus but isn’t particularly thick, lacking any body. As always the fresh strawberry garnish is a lovely touch.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Tea: A basic range of The Wood Roaster silk teabags served in a small chipped teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: A spacious venue that has the same offerings as the other The Roses Cafes.

Location: 86/88 Main St, Mittagong NSW 2575 Ph: 02 4871 3668 therosescafe.com.au

Reviewed August 2019

 

Burrawang General Store

DT@Burrawang General Store

In small villages, the general store is often the central hub for locals and visitors alike, and Burrawang General Store is no different. Tucked away from mainstream Southern Highlands, Burrawang is a cute mellow settlement just a short diversion off the Moss Vale/Robertson road. The 1867 built and rather overly spacious (think cavernous interior) general store feels more stark than cosy. There are some bits ‘n’ pieces to interest visitors, including some local products, and although restored, you get a good feel of the stores’ earlier years. I love the deck out the front, as it is a wonderful place to chill and suck up the Burrawang charm. We are the last patrons of the day and the scones are still hanging in there. Although not as fresh as we had hoped, they still retain a quality that’s well deserving of the accompanying jam and cream. The homestyle strawberry jam is tart rather than sweet, and is matched perfectly with the double thick cream. As always, the tea cosy covered teapot is a kitschy hit!

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A variety of Tea Corporation loose-leaf teas served in a pot for one or two and kept warm with a tea cosy.

Price: $$

Overall: A chilled place to hang out and watch village life.

Location: 11 Hoddle St, Burrawang NSW 2577 Ph: 02 4886 4496 bgsc.com.au

Reviewed August 2019

The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop

DT@The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop-Berrima

The Little Hand Stirred Jam Shop is definitely more than just a jam shop! There are an enormous choice of jams, including the savoury kind, as well as chutneys, pickles, honey, relishes – the list goes on and on.  I can’t even begin to list the jams that are available in the shop, but just a few include apricot, fig and ginger, cinnaberry, blackberry and blackcurrant, plus many more. These jams are made onsite and are seasonal. There is a separate dining section as well as some tables imbedded within the shop. The menu is simple but fresh and interesting. The two very small crusty scones are straight from the oven. The scones and the whole experience are so good; I wish the scones were bigger so we could stay longer and savour the experience. There’s a choice of jam but I bypass them, as lemon curd is hard to resist as an alternative to jam. Rich, smooth and silky, this lemon curd is one of the best I have ever tasted. No pesky lemon rind, just perfection. I even take a jar home! To compliment the lemon curd, double thick cream is served. This Devonshire Tea is definitely one of the best in the Southern Highlands.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A small range of the south-coast’s The Berry Tea Shop loose-leaf teas, served in a pot for one or two. Some unlikely teas include the South Coast Breakfast and Australian Billy Tea.

Price: $$

Overall: Excellent! The cute shop where you can dine amongst the jars of jams and condiments.

Location: 1/9 Old Hume Hwy, Berrima NSW 2577 Ph: 02 4877 1404 handstirred.com.au

Reviewed August 2019

Coffee Culture

DT@Coffee Culture-Mittagong

I’m sure there weren’t this many cafes in Mittagong 10 years ago! The number of these cafes serving scones can also have you spending more time here than you thought. This over supply is a good thing for us scone lovers as it drives the quality of the humble Devonshire Tea skywards. Across the road from the other offerings, Coffee Culture allows you to spread out, take a roadside seat, and watch the world go by, or more likely the traffic heading to Bowral. Choose as many scones as you feel inclined to eat. My solitary scone is a bit chewy, but a good jam and cream can make that go away. Coffee Culture really has their scone condiments sorted! The rich Cuttaway Creek raspberry jam (you can buy it there), is sensational, and the cream is thickly whipped and chilled to make it seem even thicker.  I like the texture and colour of the crockery and tea ware (although a proper tea cup would be better), as it’s a massive step up from the usual standard cafe stock.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A basic range of Tea Journey loose-leaf tea served in a good-sized teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: A light, bright and large space with a few sunny spots in winter.

Location: Shop 1/118 Main St, Mittagong NSW 2575 Ph: 02 4871 3573 facebook.com/pages/Coffee-Culture-Mittagong/254561815447730

Reviewed August 2019

Cafe Landseers of Leura

DT@LAndseers of Leura

What a sneaky cafe you are Cafe Landseers of Leura! On the corner of a well-used arcade, I had no idea that you were there. It feels European with cosy bench seating alongside the walls, and with just enough tables as to not feel overwhelmed with the Leura crowds. My Devonshire Tea spread looks impressive, and the black and gold trimmed tea ware and gold-plated teaspoon makes it all feel a bit posh! The scones are quite gluey, and I’m guessing it’s from heating them in the microwave. The raspberry jam is better than the average cafe jam and is served with a small amount of double thick cream. A bit more cream would be appreciated.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

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

Price: $$

Overall: A quieter option in the centre of town but far from the madding crowds.

Location: 178 Leura Mall, Leura NSW 2780 Ph: 02 4784 1992

Reviewed October 2019

South Hill Kitchen

DT@South Hill Kitchen-Bowral

South Hill Kitchen must be a popular place for scones, as we are lucky to get the last one, and it’s not even lunchtime. The endless seating is another dead giveaway. A vast section of heated and covered outdoor seating on the footpath, that I would imagine opens up to a shady and cool space in the summer. Once indoors, you are met with a ridiculously long refectory table that would even be too long for a large group! The cafe comes highly recommended as being one of the best in Bowral for scones, jam and cream. So I go in with high expectations. Although the scone looks good in the above photo, it doesn’t taste particularly fresh but shows promise of a creamy texture. On the other hand, the homemade berry jam, which is more coulis than jam, is delicious, and the sweet thickly whipped cream, unusual. We all have off days, and maybe I dropped by on a lousy scone day. Give it a try, as you may be luckier than I with the scones.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Tea: A small range of T2 loose-leaf teas served in a small teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: If the scones were fresher, this would be a splendid spot for a morning or afternoon tea.

Location: Shop 1/350 Bong Bong St, Bowral NSW 2576 Ph: 02 4861 7411 southhillkitchen.com.au

Reviewed August 2019

Billy Tea Rooms

DT@Billy Tea Rooms-Glenrowan

There are lots of reasons for stopping for a break in Glenrowan. Ned Kelly fans will enjoy brushing up on the bushranger’s last stand, as the town really makes the most of the bushranger’s notoriety. Wander around town using the interpretation signs for guidance, or part take in some of the kitschy activities on offer. The quaint Billy Tea Rooms serve fresh damper style scones, served with a standard strawberry jam and a big dish of slightly sweet cream. It’s always a pleasure to have more than enough jam and cream. There are tourist treats to buy such as souvenir tea towels, jams, sauces and honey.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Tea: A decent selection of loose-teas served in a pretty teapot with extra hot water on the side.

Price: $$

Overall: An Australiana tea room with good old-fashion food and service.

Location: 39 Gladstone St, Glenrowan VIC 3675 Ph: 03 5766 2496 www.facebook.com/pages/category/Australian-Restaurant/Billy-Tearooms-Glenrowan-248309925707384/

Reviewed September 2019