Scones in Sassafras

As you all know I’m not a food blogger. I don’t review restaurants and cafes or breakfasts and dinners, because I don’t do it well and there are people out there who really know what they’re talking about when it comes to food. But sometimes a place is so memorable that I just have to say something.

As regular followers will know I recently spent a few days in Melbourne. Now I’m not that bright when it comes to choosing my time to travel to Melbourne, the weather is generally less than ideal and so it was this time (could have something to do with me going in winter I guess). The Dandenong Ranges though, with misty rain and the temperature a lot lower than I am currently used to, provided a wonderful atmosphere, evocative of many happy Sundays spent exploring the villages in the English countryside.

Sorry, I am getting back to the point of this post. On the Sunday we took a drive up into the ranges and enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Snooty Fox in Olinda but, after browsing through some quaint antique shops and pretty gift shops in Olinda and Sassafras we felt the need for a cream tea. Scones, jam and cream seemed like a perfect way to end the afternoon. The cafes were busy and, after popping our heads into a few, we settled on The Black Kettle, mainly I must admit because they actually had a table for us. As I said this was a memorable experience, but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons.

We placed our order and settled comfortably near the warm fire for what turned out to be an interesting episode. Ok, it was busy when we sat down but really, a nearly thirty minute wait for two cups of tea, two scones and a piece of chocolate mud cake? After what seemed like an inordinately long time this is what happened:


  • One pot of tea arrived, with one cup and one saucer – we pointed out that we had ordered two. Off went the young man (a pleasant young man I must admit).
  • The second pot of tea arrived a few minutes later but with a cup half the size of the first one (more like an espresso cup).
  • The cake and scones arrived. The two scones were on a very nice rectangular plate with little pots of jam and cream.
  • Sounds good but – no individual plates. We asked for some.
  • Plates arrived, except – they were saucers.
  • Could we have cutlery maybe? Please? Knives to spread the jam?
  • A knife arrived. ONE knife. Could we have two please, oh, and maybe a fork for the mud cake?
  • Once we had the required crockery and cutlery we set to the pleasant task of consuming what turned out to be very nice scones.
  • We never did get napkins but we didn’t feel like we should push our luck any further at that point.

The strange thing is that no other table seemed to be experiencing the same issues that we were having. They even got napkins. It had obviously been a long day in café land and luckily we were in the mood to see the funny side of the situation. Hopefully this was an isolated instance but seriously guys – not good for business.