An adventure in dessert

Unexpected enchantment in beautiful Balhannah

Unexpected enchantment in beautiful Balhannah

Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.

But don’t go past, do a U-turn.  Cuddling the outskirts of the beautiful Adelaide Hills town of Balhannah and set back off the road, is the delightful cottage cafe, Kelsey Cottage.  A piece of history stemming right back to colonial Australia in the 1870s and restored by the Oakbank Area School, it is not hard to imagine country life as you step through the heavy wooden door.

Run by well-known and loved locals, Bronte and Ali, residents have been coming here for the hot coffee and freshly baked Lumberjack cake for over 15 years, and from all reports, the delicious, decadent cake hasn’t changed in just as long.

Inside the cottage, it’s barely big enough to squeeze 3 small tables, but toasty warmth flowing from the open fire and and friendly atmosphere will not only warm your hands, but your hearts, as well.

Walking in, you’re greeted and made to instantly feel a part of the family by Bronte and Ali and the smell of freshly roasting coffee.  Kelsey Cafe offers a wonderful menu including traditional delights such Devonshire tea, sticky date pudding, and chocolate brownie. 

I’ve been wanting to try the famous Lumberjack cake for quite a while, and it was most definitely worth waiting for. It arrived at our table, devilishly warm and coated with hot, sticky butterscotch sauce, I closed my eyes and took my first mouthful.  

The heady combination of chopped dates, baked apple, and crunchy toasted coconut soaked in butterscotch sauce defied expectation.  The huge dollop of pure cream on the side is the  perfect way to enjoy this delicious, satisfying dessert.  My youngest daughter also made light work of the decadent and delicious chocolate brownie.

Being first thing in the morning, I’d held off on my usually morning Nespresso, knowing I was heading to Balhannah to meet a friend for morning tea, and my mug of cappuccino was strong and hot and it’s rich flavour in perfect harmony with the luscious cake. 

If you weren’t looking for it, you wouldn’t even know it was there, this small, unassuming stone cottage, but don’t be deceived, it is well worth take the time to stop for a brew.

Kelsey Cottage opens at 7:00 am, so you can get your caffeine fix before work or enjoy a treat from the all day breakfast menu.  It’s open Friday nights where you are can be treated to wood oven pizza al fresco.  If you’re looking for function catering, I’d be putting this high on my list of choices.

Only 30 kilometres, or a rough 25 to 30 minute drive from central Adelaide, you can take your chances by walking in, but while small in size, it certainly isn’t small in popularity, so I’d strongly suggest calling first to make a booking.

If you’ve been to Kelsey Cottage, comment below and let me know what your thoughts!

FB: @kelseycottagecafe

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