ETC Bakery

DT@ETC Bakery Cafe - Elizabeth Town

If you prefer more low-key locales, you’d probably drive straight by ETC Bakery. The business has commandeered the ginormous building that was once an inn, and has transformed it into a bakery/cafe that can hold a few coach loads at once. The upstairs section has been repurposed as conference rooms, which is not only handy for catering purposes, but for the bright rooms and the views overlooking the surrounding farmland. However, normal clientele are relegated to the spacious downstairs area. Also filled with light, there’s a kind of sunroom that runs the length of the building that is sunnier still. There are plain or date scones available, and I stick with the plain. They punch well above average, which I’m guessing should be the case when buying from a bakery. They are fresh and firm, better than many I have tried. The jam is average, and there are a few sachets of butter thrown on the tray just in case you like a double hit of lubrication on your scone. The cream is impressive; slightly sweet and chilled to be firm. The bakery/cafe is open from 6am until a civilised 6pm. Perfect if heading to Devonport for the departure of the Spirit of Tasmania or if arriving from the mainland.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A basic variety of Tea Drop pyramid tea bags served in a small teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: A surprisingly good spread for a bakery on the tourist route.

Location: 5783 Bass Hwy, Elizabeth Town TAS 7304 Ph: 03 6368 1350 facebook.com

Reviewed May 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Murrumbateman Winery

DT@Murrambateman Winery - Murrumbateman

If heading north from the ACT, it’s an easy trip to the cool climate wine-growing region in the Yass Valley. Just a short drive from the hub town of Murrumbateman, I am welcomed at the Murrumbateman Winery cellar door by the vocal kelpie/husky rescue dog, Mollie. I’m the first customer for the day, so it’s pretty quiet in the simply decked out wine tasting room, so Mollie keeps me company while I wait for my scones. It’s too early for wine tasting, but I am told Mollie has a Sauvignon Blanc named after her with the sales of her wine supporting the ACT RSPCA. Cool. At first glance, the scones remind me of those made by CWA ladies, but I’m sorry to say, these taste a whole lot better. The perfection is subtle and they taste like they were baked this morning. Although the chunk of strawberry jam is nothing more than average, the thick whipped cream is slightly sweet and is a lovely addition to the spread. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A basic range of Diplomat teabags served in a two-cup teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: An understated vineyard with a chilled vibe and Molly as a welcome mascot.

Location: 131 McIntosh Circuit, Murrumbateman NSW 2582 Ph: 0432 826 454 murrumbatemanwinery.com.au

Reviewed May 2019

The Barracks

DT@The Barracks-Lanyon Homestead

The restored 1850s Lanyon Homestead on the outskirts of the ACT is surrounded by a superb series of convict-era outbuildings and well-established gardens. The homestead is presently a house museum managed by the ACT Historic Places. It still retains its homestead feel overlooking pastures and The Brindabellas. The original barracks have been transformed into a cafe and aptly named The Barracks. The place is popular for weddings and there’s a huge marquee set up out the back of the cafe ready for the upcoming weekend. There’s a cosy indoor area but it lacks much natural light, so if it’s warm out, there’s plenty of seating with views. I know this sounds silly, but the scones taste very colonial; simple and floury. The strawberry jam is average but the whipped cream is lovely and thick. Guided or self-guided tours of the Homestead are available. Closed Mondays.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A range of Twinnings loose-leaf teas served in a two-cup pot.

Price: $$

Overall: A quaint and relaxing country experience not far from the city.

Location: Lanyon Homestead, Tharwa Dr, Tharwa ACT 2620 Ph: 02 6237 6500 historicplaces.com.au

Reviewed May 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yarralumla Gallery and Oaks Brassiere

DT@Yarralumla Gallery and Oaks Brasserie-Yarralumla

The Yarralumla Gallery and Oaks Brassiere is nestled in a leafy section in Western Parklands just of the cycle path and spitting distance from the Heritage Nursery. The Yarralumla Gallery commandeers the little cottage rooms with art and jewellery, while the Oaks Brassiere spills out into the gardens surrounding the cottage. It’s Saturday when I visit, so after placing my order inside at the counter, there’s a bit of a wait for the scones to arrive. The ‘Devonshire Tea Special’ is on the menu and a daily occurrence. The two small lemon scones are dense rather than light and fluffy, and flecked with lemon zest. Where it gets ‘special’ (I think) is in the jam and cream. A major disappointment is the two small Kraft sachets of raspberry jam, and the two huge dollops of freshly whipped cream are unnecessary. It would make sense to replace a dollop of cream with a dollop of jam, and ditch the sachets. Who am I to say? But the whole thing is imbalanced.  If you are after some new plants for the garden, be sure to pop into the Heritage Nursery, which was established over 100 years ago. The cafe and gallery are closed Mondays.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

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

Price: $$

Overall: Perfect in fine weather as most of the seating is scattered out in the gardens.

Location: Western Parklands,Cottage 1 Weston Park Rd, Yarralumla ACT 2600
Ph: 02 6260 5253 ygob.com.au

Reviewed May 2019

Sansko Cafe

DT@Sansko Cafe-Merriwa#

Merriwa is a good place to take a break when travelling on the Golden Highway. There are a few cafes and a bakery to feed and water passing motorists with Sansko Cafe offering scones. The cafe has a ‘bare to the bones’ feel about it, and to me, feels like it was a former takeaway fish ‘n’ chip/hamburger joint. That’s just the feeling I get. There are a couple tables out on the footpath, a comfy lounge section in front of the window plus a few standard dining tables. The homemade scones are slightly crispy on the outside, and probably the highlight of this spread. The strawberry jam is below average in quality, and although the whipped cream is fresh, it’s too light for my liking. If it’s open, check out the small museum a few doors away.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Tea: A basic range of Twinnings teabags served in either a small or large teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Not a bad choice if this is your only stop.

Location: 112 Bettington St, Merriwa NSW 2329 Ph: 02 6516 7710

Reviewed April 2019

 

 

 

Cafe on Queen

DT@Cafe on Queens-Binalong#2

Binalong is not on the way to many places, so you’ll probably have to make a diversion to visit. The small village north of the Hume Highway has a cluster of businesses, with the lovely Cafe on Queen one of them. Don’t be fooled by the cafe’s size (like I was), as there is a whole garden to spread out in, plus few sculptures to check out. I nab the last of the scones – lucky. They have a lot of potential, and to me, they don’t taste like they were baked today (hence the lower score). They are quite flat but kind of creamy as well, and as I said, if they were fresh from the oven, I think they would have been pretty good. I know jam is meant to be sweet, but this one tastes super sweet. The cream could do with a bit more whipping or refrigeration as it collapses when spooned onto the scone, but it’s still better than most. Love, love, love the teacup and of course the garden setting. Homemade goodies such as chutneys and jams are for sale. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Tea: A basic range of teabags served in a cute teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: If you are passing through, it’s a nice place to take a break.

Location: 13 Queen St, Binalong NSW 2584 facebook.com/cafeonqueenbinalong/

Reviewed May 2019

Canon Food, Bar and Espresso

DT@Cannons-Warners Bay

Just across the road from Lake Macquarie, the popular Canon Food, Bar and Espresso spills out onto the footpath along Warners Bay’s cafe strip. The venue is large and attracts the crowds, offering something for everyone; food, booze and coffee. It’s a small diversion (across the road) from the walking/jogging/cycling path that encircles Lake Macquarie, so a handy spot to factor in a break. My scone spread arrives looking cool on a breadboard and with a dusting of icing sugar. Sadly, the scones are a bit soggy on the bottom – too much time in the microwave perhaps? There’s barely enough of the ordinary strawberry jam and the light cream from a canister to cover the two generous scones. Probably fine for those who like a skerrick of toppings, but annoying for those who actually like to taste the jam and cream on their scones! The location is a bonus.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3

Tea: An interesting but modest range of loose-leaf teas served in a large transparent teapot. No points for the lousy coffee cup.

Price: $$

Overall: A large buzzy cafe.

Location: 460 The Esplanade, Warners Bay NSW 2282 Ph: 02 4948 0049 canonfoodbarespresso.com.au

Reviewed April 2019