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Tag: cafes (Page 1 of 2)

Kongwak. We went back.

I’ve been wanting to go back to Kongwak Market for what seems like aeons. We awoke in the caravan at Loch at about 7am, and left at around 8am via Korumburra.

Here is a minor tangent. When Small Z and I were coming back from northern NSW about a year ago we sat in front of a woman I had met once before, and her two daughters. I had met her when going with J to pick up Not-So-Small C from a playdate. Anyway, while we were on the plane I asked her where she was going. She told me I wouldn’t know the town, it was too small. Try me, I said.

Bena, she said, and waited for me to look blank.
Oh, I said, that’s right near where my dad lives, I know exactly where it is.

She then told me about friends of hers there that they were going to stay with, and how they were opening an organic cafe in Korumburra. I was floored. The words ‘Korumburra’ ‘organic’ and ‘cafe’ had never before sat together in my head. But it’s true! We drove into Korumburra at 8.30am, missed our turn-off, did a u-turn – and in doing so spied the ‘Green Door’ cafe.

They weren’t open, but inside were about 10 people all filling cardboard boxes with fruit and vegies. One of them saw my pitiful face at the window – it was pouring with rain – and said that we should come in anyway. We tucked ourselves down at a little table at the back, ordered scrambled eggs and coffee, and basked in that glow that comes with finding somewhere unexpectedly excellent. And the eggs and coffee did not fail us…

We got another round of coffee, which left me like an amphetamine reptile (I hardly ever drink it, but the soy-lattes were SO nice), and I picked up some Madame Flavour tea and some decent bread. Drove on to Kongwak Market, where M was kind enough to take over all toddler wrangling and leave me to rifling through all the clothes, bags and trinkets that were there. I regret not getting a pair of shoes, but did score a clock for the caravan and a vintage-cool sleeping bag, both for the caravan and both within my $20 budget.

Kongwak Market
Kongwak Market
The Haircut Caravan at Kongwak

Tea Totaller

Ever since M and I have been an item I have borne a small envy of his coffee addiction. Actually, of most people’s. Coffee just doesn’t do it for me, much. I love a good soy-latte, but that’s a relatively recent phenomenon. The thing I envy is the comfort that they derive in a good coffee. The kind never seen in Tooradin…

Coffee addicts sip their nectar like it’s some kind of liquid benediction. I like that. I like how they ‘need’ their coffee in the morning – but it’s always hit or miss, because you can do a bad job making coffee. Tea is much easier. But it’s SO easy that cafes usually don’t bother with it, assuming you’ll be happy with them whacking a Twinings tea-bag in a stainless steel teapot with too much water in it.

This is my problem with cafes. I understand that coffee people go to get a coffee made by some coffee-pro with a machine that you would never have in your home. For me, I am always in a dither about what hot drink to get in a cafe. I seldom go for tea, because… well… why go for the weak cup of Twinings when you’ve got Nature’s Cuppa at home in the cupboard? And hot chocolate? Unless I’m at Sugardough I don’t bother – it’s almost always disappointing.

If M says the coffee is good then I’ll order a soy-latte, but what really captures my admiration is a place with DECENT TEA. Preferably loose leaf. Made by a tea drinker. With milk in a jug on the side. In the last few years, whenever I get Earl Grey in a cafe, it never comes with milk. I know it’s a black tea, I also know it’s lovely with milk. Gah.

Over in the US, the state of the coffee and tea was dire. Luckily, in the excellent Atomic Cafe in Marblehead, they had something called Mighty Leaf Tea (which, just then, I found available in Australia!). The girl there was British, and lamented the state of tea with me when I asked for a two-bagged cup.

The other day in Korumburra I bought a box of Madame Flavour – similar, but better. I thought it looked like it came from somewhere on the north coast of NSW, but no – it comes together in Highett – just down the road from my work, and old high school. It’s seriously great tea for the tea bag situation. I think I’m going to keep a few tea-bags in my handbag, and merely order a cup of hot water next time we’re at a cafe. That way I won’t be disappointed.

The morning became the day

We began at a garage sale where I bought excellent roof racks for five dollars, took in a crappy market, and then drove to summon a nap out of Small Z until we hit Somers. We bought the paper and hung on the beach for a couple of hours before hitting the cafe there. It reminded me a bit of Martha’s Vineyard…and I’m always impressed by a classy, shabby chic bathroom – this one had crystal door handles, chunky square basins and antiquey looking mirrors…

And the banana smoothies were sublime.

Somers - the cafe


Sunday I stuffed the slow cooker with kangaroo stew, made a cake and stewed some rhubarb. Late in the afternoon She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Blogged, She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Blogged’s partner and Small Brother came over. We drank tea, ate cake and blueberry muffins and then went for a long meandering walk to both show them around and tire out Small Z.

The wind was chilly and Small Z was generally ebullient. We walked along past the marina, the pool, stopped for swinging at the park and then hit the main drag to pick up milk and soda water. Small Z played tigers-in-the-grass and Small Brother stumbled gracefully over an errant shot glass on the pavement. We must have been gone for almost two hours.

A lovely night. The rain was occasionally tumultuous and we had to educate She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Blogged about a possible caravan window leak. Small Brother and I failed at trying to network our computers (Mac/PC). She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Blogged made crumble to top my rhubarb and Small Brother made custard to finish it off. It was a cookery metaphor for our gathering.

Nattered until around 10pm when everyone began to fade, and in the morning we took turns having showers before heading off to reprise our breakfast of a few weeks ago at Merricks General Store. The rain hammered on and off. Small Brother paid for breakfast before anyone could stop him, for which we were all thankful but mildly frustrated.

Head of the table

A wander through Flinders, where we sheltered in the op-shop and kitted out Pikelet for the first three months of its life in a timely half price sale. We visited a gallery in between showers and saw some wild and wondrous teapots as part of the 6th Annual Melbourne Teapot Exhibition. They were lovely. A drive around bits of coast and to show She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Blogged and partner our favourite camping spot…and then it was time to begin driving back to keep an appointment with the parentals in Pearcedale…

Mum had suggested a ‘family meal’ to get us all together in one spot, so we convened for lunch at a cafe near to the boat, so Small Brother could go and monitor its progress. It was good to kick back and not think too hard about when it might happen again. Next time, there will be an extra little tiny person present…

The gathering

I took Small Z home after lunch as she was fading due to nap-lack; M took Small Brother and mum to see the Very Large Catamaran. They were gone a long time, and I assumed they were just whiffling around and waiting for Small Z to wake up. I had put my phone on silent while I had tried unsuccessfully to get her down…and looked at it an hour later to find six missed calls from an unknown number.

Mum’s car had broken down and Small Z and I drove to the rescue with our dazzling personalities and a length of blue rope. The blue rope was sufficient for Small Brother in my 300D to tow mum’s Datsun ZX with M at the wheel back to our house. This had prolonged the day a bit, but in the end mum and Small Brother headed back to her place in my car. I had to endure saying goodbye to Small Brother, which in my pregtastic state was even worse than normal. I continue to feel wrung out…

Meanwhile, the RACV came and diagnosed the Datsun, and then towed it away last night. Small Brother is in town for another day or so, but not near here. New York has never felt more far away.

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