Sunday, December 5, 2010

Colenso Country Shop & Cafe, Whitianga (NZ) by Big Fil

Recommended as the best café on the Coromandel Peninsula, we drove past Colenso Country Shop & Café twice before actually finding it. Set back from the road, it really needs more signage for visitors passing through although the locals certainly seem to know where it is. It filled up pretty quickly after we arrived.

The first thing you notice is the beautiful garden setting. Seriously, this has possibly the nicest setting of any café I've been to. Lots of trees to sit under, flowers in bloom and an area for kids to play (far enough away from the eating area you can keep an eye on them but not so close to disturb other patrons).

Because the weather was a bit dodgy we sat on the front veranda, but with the sun out eating in one of the several gardens would have been my choice.

The interior of the café has a bit of a mixed vibe but generally consistent with the country café look. Clean and well lit, there are lots of interesting things to look at for sale including different jars of food you could use to make your own hamper as well as other bits and pieces.

The food itself is pretty standard in style with a few New Zealand adaptations. For example, my tarte/quiche came with bacon, leek and kumara. Kumara is what sweet potato is called in New Zealand and I prefer it to the normal potato we get here. The quiche itself was a good and generously sized home-style effort. I suspect it may have been prepared the day before though, as it was a little dry.

Hungry Pete went for the Devonshire tea which he enjoyed. It used real tea leaf rather than tea bags, the jam was of good quality and the cream properly whipped and not from a can. Most importantly, the scone was fresh and made a reassuringly hollow sound when tapped on top.

Still a bit hungry, we finished with a shared piece of the homemade chocolate cake. The cake looked decadently rich but was a little dry and needed the sauce and cream served with it.

A nice café in a magnificent setting with good but not outstanding food. The service was a little slow but I did learn something when I asked for a skinny milk chocolate which was translated as a 'hot chocolate with trum (trim) milk'. Somewhere I definitely would be willing to revisit if I was back in the area.

RD 1 Whitianga
Tel: (07) 866 3725

1 comment:

Bureaucrat said...

That cafe looks great. Reminds me of one in Tasmania - a raspberry farm/cafe.

How I miss the green and the sunshine...

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