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Road trips & coffee shops

You can’t do a road trip without sampling a few coffee shops and bakeries along the way. A small handful deserve mention for providing outstanding food and friendly service. Remember, many of these coffee shops are located in very small towns, far from the plentiful supplies of the capital cities. That they’re able to serve such good, wholesome food is truly wonderful. Well done!

Coonabarabran, NSW – Coona is a very small town of around 3000 people. Top marks go to Cardians Coffee Lounge at the river end of the town. Much to my sister’s delight the coffee shop not only had lovely fresh scones, they served chai with soy milk. Local artworks are displayed along the wall, some creative people in this small town, the walls are worth browsing.

Peak Hill, NSWCino 86, this has to be the tiny village’s best coffee shop? The coffee and teas were terrific, soy milk was an option thoroughly enjoyed by the Playwright. The toasted sandwiches were not only scrumptious (and oh so perfect for a super chilly day), they also arrived with perfect timing with the coffees. Not bad for a lone operator who was filling in for the owner before the lunchtime rush which started early! Special mention too about the village’s beautiful garden beds along the main street – the flowers were all in luscious bloom and the plants look incredibly healthy. Hearty congratulations to the town for coming up with the idea and for obviously putting much time and effort in to maintaining these very pretty gardens.

Jerilderie, NSWthe bakery. Again, soy milk was available, and the coffees were good. The teas were fine, not the best, but very welcome and tasty. Food was fresh and delightful. We bought a loaf of bread there and it saw us through some very fine toast over the next few mornings at breakfast.

Warracknabeal, Victoria – the Warrack Hot Bread Bakery & Cafe. Very plain, just looks like your average small town bakery, we didn’t expect too high a standard. Well, were we surprised! Coffees and teas were perfect, soy milk was available, and the sweet buns were lovely. Terrific tucker for an early lunch and very friendly service. And to top off the Warracknabeal experience, there’s a wonderful op-shop with a great range of second hand books. We managed to fill any empty spaces in the car’s boot with books! The town has some lovely heritage buildings, many in the art deco style.

Ouyen, Victoria – home of the Vanilla Slice apparently. We just missed the annual bake off, held in early September. Look, select any of the open eateries (and there are many, the service stations are not to be overlooked here either), choose your vanilla slices and you’ll be well satisfied. A great little town. Will be back. Not just for the vanilla slices.  One of the best motels we experienced was Ouyen’s Hilltop Motel. If you’re passing through, I cannot recommend it highly enough! A very relaxing stay in a beautiful setting. Thanks to Phil & Julie.

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