Scones of the Hunter Valley & New England Tribes
Rather than eat ourselves silly on Christmas Day I simply made a batch of scones using the CWA packet mix and was heartened by my family’s joyous response of *****5 stars. Fortunately, they were entirely unaware that my hand mixer had died & I’d hardly mixed them at all. I had tried to cut them with my Christmas Tree cutter but it proved too tedious so I just slapped them on the baking trays and prayed instead.
Having just completed my New Year Escape on the Southern Aurora, without consuming a single scone, I am determined to hunt some down for whenever I return to the elusive Barrington Tops area and beyond. On the train, we first passed through Scone before stopping at Gloucester, Dungog & Taree with a foray down to Foster before returning to Taree. Next day, we stopped at Werris Creek, Wallabadah & Tamworth before an after dark foray to Walcha Road.
What can I find by simply searching google? What have we missed?
There’s a website with a map here for Scone, Gloucester, Barrington & Dungog. Scones at Tocal Homestead, Paterson on 28th July is a long wait. The best option seems to be the Wilderness Cafe at Riverwood Downs in the Foothills of Barrington Tops where there’s also a wide range of accommodation and there’s specials on facebook. The Tops Organic Retreat does very well on Trip Advisor but there’s no scones. Otherwise, I’m not doing well for this area. Even the Dungog Visitors Centre doesn’t answer their phone today but there’s lots of cafes and activities listed here.
Scone is in the Upper Hunter Valley and here’s a map. Hard work so far but at least I found a good recommendation for Scones at Scone from Dan Schaumann for the Crowded House Cafe which also does well on Trip Advisor.
Not at Werris Creek or Wallabadah but at Willow Tree
I came across what looks like a great place for a good meal but no scones. Graze Restaurant is in the Willow Tree Inn which is half way between Scone & Tamworth. By now you’d probably be starving looking for a good feed so this looks like the ‘Revive & Survive’ stop. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Pub Food Guide Willow Tree Inn was awarded it the Best Country Pub in NSW for 2014!
Here’s a map for Foster & Taree where I had better luck here with Devonshire Teas at Artisan’s Retreat where you can stay or do wood or craft workshops as well. They’re very happy on Trip Advisor too and also recommend Tropical Coffee for the best scones in town amongst other options.
Here’s a map for Quirindi & Tamworth but there doesn’t seem to be much besides the Old Bell Tower where they even have High Teas. Reviewers on Trip Advisor suggest it’s the ‘Best coffee & cakes in Tamworth’ and keep coming back.
The winners are…
My vote would go to scones at the Crowded House Cafe with a walk around Burning Mountain Reserve followed by a hearty lunch at the Willow Tree Inn before staying and exploring the ‘dramatic landscape’ of Barrington Tops National Park. If your returning south there must be a compulsory stop at Sabor in the Hunter at Lovedale, near Cessnock which has scones amongst it’s treasure trove of delights. Sadly, I discovered too late that it is only open Friday, Saturday & Sunday. If you know somewhere else worth considering please get in touch. I’d love to Know.