Posts tagged ‘cafes’

October 22, 2011

Would you like a cappuccino with that withdrawal madam?

Wandering somewhat aimlessly around Richmond last week, (it was a lovely sunny Spring day), I came across a very cleverly designed and beautifully executed new hybrid. The owners have taken the old National bank building and turned it into a very glam antique shop merged with a coffee shop that offers a snug reading/sitting corner, indoor and outdoor seating, and a very pretty garden area. I couldn’t resist…

Cleverly called ‘The Bank Bazaar’

 it is open Mon – Fri from 9.30am until 5pm, Saturdays from 9.30am until 4pm and Sundays 10am until 4pm.

This sitting area looked so inviting but since it was such a nice day I opted to sit outside in the garden…

How cool…you can have lunch next to the original vault…

The courtyard area outside is shaded by a huge Jacaranda tree, which will look gorgeous in summer when it flowers…

I chose the smoked salmon and dill rissole, (poor MD had to work so I was flying solo), which was interestingly served with both salsa and a delicious youghurt and cucumber sauce…

And, of course I couldn’t let the opportunity pass to try one of the tempting cakes on show…this one was a coconut and lime…it was quite dense and not overly sweet…

July 20, 2011

Wentworth Falls: a cool place to visit

both literally and figuratively! MD and I drove up for the day on a sunny but really cold day in winter…it’s definately pack-your-thermals up there, so we had the perfect excuse to while away some time in a warm, cosy cafe. First on the agenda, however, was a visit to the oldest bridge still standing on mainland Australia – Lennox bridge. It is a little way off the beaten track but worth a visit…first head to Glenbrook, turn right at the McDonalds and follow that road towards Mitchell’s pass…you’ll almost literally bump into the bridge, unfortunately the road behind it that was the main route up to the Blue Mountains is closed now due to falling rocks.


The bridge was designed by David Lennox, a master mason with plenty of experience building major bridges in England and built by him and a party of 20 especially selected convicts using locally quarried stone – it took from November 1832 until July 1833 to build. Apparently David was taken by the good work of his men, as he petitioned for the pardon of 8 of them after work was finished! 

About a half hours drive up towards the Blue Mountains themselves lies the picturesque town of Wentworth Falls – it seems to specialise in cute, quirky little shops and enticing looking cafes – and we all know how much I like that particular combination!

This antique shop had not only lovely objects inside but beautiful tiles on the outside of the building:

 The original Wentworth Falls post office has been turned into one such cafe – I don’t know where the post office went to…but it certainly makes a lovely place to eat…

Inside was eclectic, cosy and warm, with a roaring open fire set in an antique grate…

 Although it was quite small that only seemed to add to it’s charm…there were a few tables scattered outside, but they were all taken, (plus it was a bit too nippy for me to eat outside, even in the sunshine!)

MD ordered a toasted turkish pide with bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, it was fresh and delicious and at only $11.90 a good value lunch…

I went for the potato pancake with smoked salmon, the pancake was thick and chunky, just slightly sweet and the salad accompanying it had a really yummy whole grain mustard dressing…this one cost $14.50

Because we were too full to pack in dessert I took some photos of them just to show you, (even though I got some very strange looks from the other patrons)…

April 13, 2011

Millthorpe – the grand old dame of the Central West.

Now I like a bit of history maybe slightly more than the next person so when I found out that there was a whole town classified by the National Trust I was dead keen to go there! Millthorpe lies almost exactly in between Orange and Bathurst and is a cornucopia of historical buildings, quaint shops, delicious eateries and country scenery. Unfortunately, it’s cute size is also a little bit of a drawback in that there’s not a lot of options when wishing to stay the night somewhere. MD and I tried in vain to get accommodation but the town was full, (we found out later that there were a couple of weddings on that weekend), so we settled for a day trip on our way back from Orange.

This artistic shot was taken by MD, I was a tad worried about getting run over but as you can see, the road was lovely and quiet.

The main street could be a set straight from the movie ‘Australia’, the two-story buildings complete with enticing shady verandahs and black slate cobbled streets vying with the pretty countryside for attention.

And if you’re feeling a little peckish, of course there are lots of choices, all showcasing the wines and produce of the local area.

This old shop now houses a cafe…

This lovely little house is owned by the nicest lady…I’m afraid I didn’t get her name but we talked for ages. She and her husband bought it recently and she sells beautiful handmade paper products, cards, photo albums, journals etc, as well as offering tea/coffee and the yummiest looking homemade cakes in her back room. It is all fitted out with eclectic chairs and tables painted in pastels and overlooks a riotous garden complete with hundred year old fig tree. I was sorry we had couldn’t stay as the following day she had arranged for an Elvis impersonator friend to do a concert in the garden to benefit a local charity.

Another interesting shop we discovered is called ‘galvanised’ and was originally an old potato storage barn, the owners bought it, (complete with a yellow dart hanging from the highest wooden beam in the ceiling – which they kept of course), then took 18 months to completely renovate it and turn it into this amazing place which sells an enticing mix of homewares, furniture, books, antiques, art, lollies, soaps and bath products, and soon they’ll add jewellery.

Of course, just for the sake of research we had to check out the local hotel for you…aptly named ‘The Railway Hotel’ it sits in front of…you guessed it…the railway station…how cute is the matching colour scheme?

Millthorpe Station…

Inside the hotel has been modernised whilst still retaining its period charm…

 Charcoal sketches done by a local artist hang on most of the walls, this one shows the hotel and surrounds blanketed in snow one epic year…

This antique shop was a great, dusty, higgeldy piggeldy mass of the most authentic antiques I have ever seen, not necessarily beautifully presented but real and old!

And how come my hydrangeas never flower like that?

Sorry this post seems to be getting longer and longer and I haven’t even shown half of the town proper…I’ll finish with a view of the main street from a grassy knoll, well…more of a hill really but knoll sounded so much nicer…

March 31, 2011

Goodie Goodie Gum Drops

Man, this one’s a cinch! Why spend ages trying to come up with an interesting title for this post when it has (literally) been handed to me on a plate? Goodie Goodie Gum Drops is the name of the cutest lolly shop I’ve ever seen, and it just happens to be down the road from me at Kurrajong, is that the result of good karma or what? The shop itself is a cool revisiting of those halcyon days when lollies were bought one or two at a time from separate jars – I know I’m showing my age but I can remember when you could get the classics like milk bottles, red frogs, freckles and musk sticks for the princely sum of two for a cent. The poor (usually young) shop assistant would have to patiently dole out lollies from each jar, then, of course, you would change your mind, and he or she would uncomplainingly put them back again!

Of course, there’s more than just lollies in this shop…lets’ see…there’s hand made chocolates you can buy individually…lollipops guaranteed to get you peace for the rest of the day, (although then there’s the sugar high to contend with), imported English chocolate biscuits, boxes of nougat, big, big cookies, and there’s even a little cafe for if, (God forbid), you need something non sugar related!!

And, like all shops in Kurrajong, there’s unusual little things to buy, how sweet would these be for a wedding or housewarming present?

March 1, 2011

Feel like afternoon tea with the interred?

Have I got the place for you – and, no, it’s not as morbid as it sounds! On the banks of the Hawkesbury river, about a fifteen minute drive out of Windsor lies the sleepy little town of Ebenezer, famous for being the home of Australia’s oldest church. I know… I was surprised when I found out too, what about all those old piles in Tasmania? But apparently it’s true, and the street sign says so, so it must be true. There is a slight caveat in that it’s Australia’s oldest Presbyterian church, but that’s a small distinction really when you have a historical landmark practically on your doorstep!!

It has been used as a church continually from 1809, and reminds me somewhat of a doll’s house:

Of course it is free to look at, wander around in and soak up the atmosphere, and the graves surrounding it are really interesting in a sad kind of way. The oldest one is for poor little Sarah Gilkerson who died at 3 weeks old on May 14th 1813. The churchyard has a lovely peaceful vibe and the pretty scenery of the bushland and the river adds to that.

Adjoining the church itself is the old schoolmaster’s house, (even more like a doll’s house than the church), it now houses a miniature museum and a shop with all sorts of interesting bric a brac, locally made goods and souvenirs for sale. They even have those silver teaspoons with a picture of the church on the top, speaking of which, I found some girls up in Byron Bay who make bracelets out of those spoons – they are so cool! Anyway, enough of jewellery, back to the subject – the house is an interesting combination of museum and historical display. Up the steepest set of stairs I have ever come across, (and my sister used to live in a terrace house in Paddington), lies the attic bedrooms all made up as if the poor convict servant girl had just gotten up.

Finally, here comes the bit about afternoon tea, (sorry to make you wait for it), outside the schoolmasters house in a paved courtyard with views down to the river a few tables are set up and Devonshire tea/coffee is available for $5. A lovely volunteer lady sets up a tray with all the fixings and you can relax and have a nice spot of tea… and don’t worry, the graves are all on the other side of the buildings. The church still runs as a Uniting Church and is open for services at 8.30am, whilst the house is open from 10am until 3, (or 4pm in the warmer months), on all days except Christmas and Easter.