Frankie’s Food Factory

DT@Frankies Food Factory-Glenhaven

This is my second visit to Flower Power in Glenhaven for a Devonshire Tea. Although the cafe has new owners and a new look (and has done for some time), the atrium dining area still has the same acoustic issues. Dine in the dim interior if you prefer a quieter dining experience as the former is popular with large groups and kids. You’ll definitely work up an appetite, there is shopping galore! Not only is the garden centre huge, but also the attached shop has everything in the way of garden needs, homewares and gifts. Once done with the shopping, make your way downstairs to Frankie’s Food Factory. The place is an ideal gathering spot for large groups and families, as no doubt the indoor playground is a major drawcard. My tablecloth is a sheet of butcher’s paper and there’s a pot of crayons in case I feel creative, but more likely to keep kids occupied. Date scones are on the menu, and today, are slightly overdone in the microwave. Luckily the dates save them from being too dry. They arrive with a thimble-sized pot of mixed berry jam with triple the amount of thickly whipped cream. I promptly ask for another thimble, which is no problem for the attentive staff.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

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

Price: $$

Overall: Big and boisterous – great for families and large groups.

Location: Flower Power Glenhaven, 609 Old Northern Rd, Glenhaven NSW 2156
Ph: 02 9899 2299 frankiesfoodfactory.com

Reviewed March, 2018

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Lichen Restaurant & Cafe

DT@Lichen Restaurant and Cafe - Binalong Bay#.jpg
The view from the deck of Lichen Restaurant & Cafe is mesmerising, especially in glorious weather. The powder white sand beaches and sapphire seas shimmer as the scallop shaped coves extend north to the heart of the Bay of Fires. Some say Binalong Bay is the southern end of The Bay of Fires, but it depends on what you read or whom you talk to – I can’t get a straight answer. Whatever tag you want to give it, the northeastern coastal area of Tasmania is paradise, albeit a cooler one. Last year the cafe changed owners, and they have decided to keep the scone container filled. The light serving of just one creamy fresh scone is ideal if you are after an in-between snack. Usually I’m a massive fan of homemade jam, but this raspberry jam is super sweet and too much like commercial varieties. Call me old-fashioned but I like my cream plain: unsweetened and to taste like cream. Although we are told that this is very special cream, I’m not a fan. It’s super sweet and more like soft and creamy icing sugar. At 10am, this amount of sweetness is way too much for even this sugar addict, plus it’s not the kind of cream I like on my scones.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3

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

Price: $$

Overall: It’s the only cafe in town, and boy, what a view!

Location: Main Rd, Binalong Bay TAS 7216 Ph: 03 6376 8086 lichenrestaurant.com

Reviewed March, 2018

Purple Possum Wholefoods & Cafe

DT@The Purple Possum Cafe & Wholefoods#2

It’s on the unusual side to tuck into scones, jam and cream while surrounded by what is essentially a health food shop. At Purple Possum Wholefoods & Cafe you can have your scones and pick up some quinoa or coconut sugar from the self-service plastic bins on your way out. If you’re like my bloke and is put off by ‘whole food’ and ‘cafe’ used in the same sentence, then don’t be, this is no vegan hippie hangout, but rather a cafe serving simple healthy food. The garden grows many of the herbs and vegetables used in the cooking, and there’s also a mini gallery indoors amongst the buckets of psyllium husks and raw cacao. Choose from date or ‘Devon’ scones. I go with the plain ‘Devon’ scones, which are smooth and creamy and paired well with the fruit rich and tart raspberry jam. The cream is on the light side: fresh but whipped and dispensed from a cream canister. I like the personalised Purple Possum trivet for the teapot, it’s cute!

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3

Tea: A handful of black and herbal loose-leaf teas served in a good-sized teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: A quirky cafe-come-health-food-store in a sleepy village.

Location: 5 Story St, St Marys TAS 7215 Ph: 03 6372 2655 purplepossum.com.au

Reviewed March, 2018

Glebe Cafe

DT@Glebe Cafe-Glebe Gardens-Launceston#

As a city, Launceston in northern Tasmania is mellow. So it’s no surprise that Glebe Gardens on the northeastern edge of the city centre follows suit. The garden centre and Glebe Cafe embodies that same chilled out vibe, and it doesn’t take long for a big city dweller like me to surrender to it. Sitting beneath the shady branches of what is a large cluster of well-established Tassie trees, I wonder whether they have been strategically planted or placed to create this ‘mini forest’. A wander through the ‘forest’ may only take 30 seconds or so, but the impact of it being there in this very manmade space is crazy. The cafe is a simple affair, serving up pre-prepared items such as sandwiches and pies, and of course scones. Fresh and delicate, it’s unfortunate the scones aren’t served up with the homemade jam that’s sold in the cafe. The commercial raspberry jam is much better than most, but with a little help from the thickly whipped cream, all can be forgotten. It’s a small garden centre but the gift shop is as big as those on the mainland!

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

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

Price: $$

Overall: A basic cafe in a small mellow garden centre.

Location: Glebe Gardens, 166 Henry St, Launceston TAS 7250 Ph: 03 6334 5335 glebegardenslaunceston.com.au

Reviewed March, 2018

The Sanctuary Cafe

DT@The Sanctuary Cafe-Erina Heights#2

Erina Heights on the Central Coast is not where I would expect to find a Ken Duncan Gallery. This purpose-built facility has not only spacious viewing rooms where you can ponder over your favourite image, but a 45-seat theatre that’s used for audio-visual presentations such as the current showing; Chasing the Light. Surrounded by bushland, the place is set back from the main road and fronted by a large carpark, which adds to the serenity. Under the same roof is the Sanctuary Cafe. A modern, bright and airy cafe that’s a good place to deliberate over the Ken Duncan acquisition you have in mind. There is an option to order either one or two scones, which is handy when you aren’t too hungry and there’s no one to share with. The scone is delicately light and is served with a sprinkling of icing sugar. The jam, although average, is accompanied by a pot of chilled thickly whipped cream that matches the quality of the scone, so any shortcomings of the jam may be forgiven.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: A basic range of T2 silk teabags served in a small teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: Relaxed and stylish, with some great art to peruse next door.

Location:  Ph: 02 4365 6955 

Reviewed February, 2018

The Little Teapot Cafe

DT@The Little Teapot Cafe-Davistown#2

The Little Teapot Cafe conjures up visions of lazy morning and afternoon teas and more scones than you care to eat. It’s an unusual name for a cafe, considering that all day breakfasts of eggs, muesli and pancakes, and lunches of salads and sandwiches are popular. They do serve High Teas and scones are embedded on the menu in dried ink, so lazy morning and afternoon teas are possible, but before 3pm. I find the indoor dining area hectic on a Saturday morning, but a more relaxing experience can be had out in the large back garden at umbrella-shaded tables. The scones are definitely fresh. Although light and fluffy, they crumble at the slightest touch. The average jam and very light but fresh cream don’t do the scones justice. The portion of jam is on the small side considering the scones are fairly big, but all in all it’s a lovely diversion to a less visited corner of the Central Coast.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapot3teapot3

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3

Tea: A decent range of Tea Leaves loose-leaf teas served in a good-sized teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: A popular cafe with the locals, that’s a hop, step and a jump from Brisbane Waters.

Location: Ph: 02 4369 6186 facebook.com/TheLittleTeapotCafe/

Reviewed February, 2018

The Old Chiltern Bank Teahouse

DT@The Old Chiltern bank Teahouse-Chiltern

The gold rush in the late 1850s attracted miners and all sorts of shady characters to Chiltern. The town’s heyday lasted until the early 1900s when the gold deposits dried up, causing a mass exodus, leaving behind an architecturally rich town on the Melbourne to Albury train line, as well as the road linking Sydney and Melbourne. The buildings, most lovingly restored, are still there, and so is the train line, but the Hume Freeway’s buzz is kept well away from the sleepy town. The Old Chiltern Bank is one such well-preserved building from this era. It’s beautifully kept by owner Marcia, and trades as a BnB and Teahouse. The outdoor seating area in the garden is a delight in warmer weather, and indoors, the high vaulted ceiling in the dining area is set up for tea. I’m excited when everything arrives on vintage crockery, including said bone China tea cup (I sit in the garden). The two small scones are at room temperature, which is fine, but are on the dry side. Reviews on Tripadvisor suggest that the jam is homemade. To me, on this day, it is super thick, sliceable even, reminding of the type I had from a can as a child. I make my own jam, and this doesn’t seem like homemade jam – but I could be wrong. It’s a warm day, and the whipped cream isn’t chilled and is struggling to remain intact. It’s a good place to stock up on Adore tea, jam, chutney and crafts made by local ladies.

Scones: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Jam: teapot3teapot3teapothalf

Cream: teapot3teapot3teapot3

Tea: An amazing choice of Adore loose-leaf teas served in a big teapot.

Price: $$

Overall: A gorgeous historic property with a matching menu offering homemade goodies.

Location: 28 Conness St, Chiltern VIC 3683 Ph: 03 5726 1685

Reviewed December, 2017