Top Ten Tuesday -10 Cakey Delights (aka – cafes with yummy cakes!) (1)

This Top 10 comes with photos – it just has to, self explanatory really. It’s my mission, as I see it, on holidays to research cafes, as a public service for those who don’t have the time. You can go to any one of these places and be assured of a cakey delight every time.

As I’m planning & writing this post it’s threatening to become far too long, as I enthuse over the cafes and cakes on offer and the photos necessary to prove the point and make you drool. So, I’m splitting it in to 2 parts – part one today, part two for you to look forward to next Tuesday. I mean, you shouldn’t have too much cake in one week, should you?

So, in no particular order – except maybe the first one, here’s my recommendations.

1. Station House Tea Rooms, Holmsley, UK – This is in the beautiful New Forest in the south of England and is my absolute #1 place for scones – in the world! A big statement I know but you cannot go past them. They are baked on site, they are huge and the strawberry jam and clotted cream that comes with them cannot be bettered.

2. Poppi Red, Hawkeshead, UK – a beautiful shop in the Lake District that combines gift shopping with a small cafe. The cakes, including a scrumptious Victoria Sponge, are all home-made and in the summer you can enjoy a Pimms with strawberries while seated at the pretty wrought iron tables and chairs on the outdoor patio.

Poppi Red’s cakey delights

3. Corfe Castle Tea Rooms, UK– nestled below the ruins of the 11th century castle built by William the Conqueror, the National Trust’s 18th century tea rooms have an awe inspiring view from their gardens. It’s a busy place, very busy in the summer, but the staff remain unflustered and the scones are yummy.

4. Soda Sun Lounge, North Beach, Western Australia – A local favourite of mine and I do believe I’ve mentioned it before. It’s the first place I had churros and now I’m hooked. They come with hot chocolate sauce and a scoop of ice-cream. Yuuuum! The view over the Indian Ocean is excellent too.

5. Hopetoun Tearooms, the Block Arcade, Melbourne – Established in 1891 these tea rooms are a Melbourne must. I had them planned in to my itinerary when I visited Melbourne earlier this year. But, as I stood outside gazing at the amazing array of sweet things temptingly displayed in their window, my mind went into cakey overload.

Decisions, decisions. The service here was absolutely impeccable. This is what I finally opted for.

6. The Convent, Daylsford, Victoria – the mist was hanging low and the temperature somewhere around ‘damn cold’ when I visited this renovated 19th century Convent earlier this year, but what a place. The café is just part of this lovingly restored building that includes a gallery, accommodation, function venue and much more. We were there for lunch but did manage to sneak in some dessert.

Memories lead to ……… Bournemouth?

You know how sometimes your mind just starts to wander. Well, mine does anyway and very often this wandering mind is triggered by the weather. Lately it has been rainy and cool and I started to think about the cold, rainy times I’ve experienced before. Every winter there’s rain and cold so why does my mind pick out certain times and places? This time my mind took me back to England (pretty normal I’d say when it comes to cold, wet weather) and a short period of time in late 1997 when we were living in Bournemouth. I’ve spent a lot of time in England but again, why did I think back specifically to that time? Is it because the mind says – hey, you enjoyed that, let’s give you another go at it? I’d like to think so.

Anyway, Bournemouth in winter. We were there for a few months and needed to work. I was lucky enough (?) to get a job in the Christmas shop at BHS, one of the department stores (ring any bells anybody?). It was hard work but it was fun. I worked with a couple of girls who lived close to us and would pick them up on the way to work. If my memory serves me correctly we had a 6.30am start. I know it was dark, cold and often wet at that time of the morning and we would be bundled up in coats, scarfs and gloves. By Christmas we had moved to Milford on Sea and I had a long (and I’m talking 90 minutes) bus trip back from work. Also by Christmas we had snow and I do love snow.

Snow. Switzerland, Scotland, England. Cornwall and the New Forest.


Snow in Cornwall

We spent a few Easters in Cornwall and Easter there does not appear to be conducive to good weather. Yes, we had snow one year and then there’s the year that we nearly got blown off our feet in Boscastle while battling the sleet.

Blowing away in Boscastle



And did I mention that we were staying in a caravan. But I guess I enjoyed those times ’cause the memories do keep coming back.

New Forest ponies in the snow

The New Forest under snow simply cannot be beaten for picturesqueness (I know it’s not a word, but deal with it because I like it). On our first morning in the New Forest (back in 1989), the heath across the road from the 200 year old stone cottage we were staying in was covered in bright, white snow. The ponies stood forlornly, bearing the cold and wet with considerable resilience. Having left a hot Australian summer only days earlier, the sight mesmerised us and we couldn’t wait to get out in it and build a snowman!

New Forest in the winter

The winter creates an almost magical scene on the heaths and in the woodlands and, even after nearly twenty years back in Australia, I still think of that beautiful landscape that would change with every passing day.

Now, where was I? Ahh yes, wondering how and why my mind wanders the way it does. Who knows, but stay tuned, there will be more wanderings to come.

Reminders of travels past

Something that fellow blogger Remarkably Unremarkable said in a recent post got me thinking, he decided that he needed to focus on the positive aspects of his job rather then the negatives, and this struck a chord with me. I’ve been in a bit of a fug lately. I have no plans at the moment for a holiday and this is not like me. Planning my next trip is what tends to keep me going, and when I have nothing to work towards I tend to wallow. That post sparked a period of thought, not always a good thing, but in this instance it has resulted in this post, so it can’t be all bad. My somewhat convoluted thought processes took me initially through my own inability at times to see the positives, but landed me in the realisation that I have such wonderful memories of the trips I have taken and the places I have seen.

We just need to remind ourselves sometimes that we have led amazing lives and are privileged to have seen and done all that we have. So, please stay with me and allow me this moment of self indulgence as I take you on a journey through my own travel memories.

Tintern Abbey,Wye Valley

The shafts of light speared through these high, ancient portals long since fallen to ruin. They seemed to ceremoniously connect with the remains of those walls still standing to create a surreal atmosphere. The lack of any form of roof meant that the interior was flooded with light and the shadows cast by the stone pillars created a ladder like effect on the grass. This is a place of beauty, serenity and spirituality.


The caldera, Santorini






Very high on my list of travel musts for many years it was a thrill for me to finally be visiting this famously blue and white island. Sailing across the Caldera, a huge lagoon created around 1600BC by a major volcanic eruption, was the highlight of my trip to Greece. Knowing that there is a still active volcano below the surface that, so many years ago, distorted the landscape and resculpted it into what we see today, was an emotional experience.


Rooftops of Paris

Paris – what more can I say!!

Let me have cake

Hawkeshead in theLake District

Summer's evening in Hawkeshead

It was an evening of pure calm, twilight as only England can do it.  From the graveyard above the church the view took in the surrounding valley and distant mountains. The final rays of the sun picked out the whitewashed walls of the cottages, surrounded by an array of lush greens. It was one of those moments you simply need to share in silence.

Trajan’s Column, Rome

Trajan's Column, Rome

Detail on Trajan's Column





Amongst the ruins of this ancient city Trajan’s Column, at one end of Trajan’s Market, stands out for me. The skill and patience of the stonemasons who created this masterpiece, depicting the emperor’s military exploits against the Dacians in the first century A.D., holds up against the backdrop of the impatient and always in a hurry 21stcentury.

The New Forest

The New Forest under snow

Our back garden

Memories of our five year stay in this beautiful area in the south of England.

New Forest ponies


Kalbarri gorges




Revisiting this coastal resort in Western Australia, that I had holidayed in as a teenager, made me realise that, in the short span of time allotted to us, nothing really changes. These gorges were created over millions of years and in our four score and ten only a few pebbles will have moved.


Sunset off the coast of Broome

A great holiday with a really good friend.


My first solo trip to Bali

Smoke not mist but effective all the same

Makes your day easy by comparison