Location, location, location.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Exactly how much do views influence your dining experience? On our recent camping trip, we took advantage of a grey and drizzly afternoon to  explore the nearby locality of Smiths Lake and found a quaint little place called the Frothy Coffee boatshed. Surrounded by water and trees, you couldn’t ask for a more picturesque setting for lunch.

The vibe is extremely laid-back, and don’t be too surprised if one of the “locals” wanders in to check out what you’re having.

 Hello bush turkey.

And what we had was a menu that is only one page long and a little bit retro. When we first arrived in Sydney over 12 years ago, it seemed as if every cafe did a toasted focaccia number. Over time, we noticed the focaccia less and less, until that afternoon at the boatshed, where we again came face-to-face with such classics as the chicken and avocado focaccia combo, and the racy smoked salmon and caper mix. I even got myself a prawn baguette! And of course, all the food wore little garnish hats.

The focaccias

My baguette

Kids meal - tomato and cheese sandwich

Don’t get me wrong, the food wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t earth shatteringly delicious either. It was...nice.  The coffee was more than drinkable and our dessert was certainly worth having, but again, nothing to write home about. Price-wise, we averaged $12 a head for drinks and sandwiches (not including desserts) which isn’t cheap but not too exorbitant. All in, if this cafe had been situated in a nondescript place, I wouldn’t have bothered blogging about it.

Oreo cheesecake - not something I'd order normally but I let Mr. Kicthen Hand choose (we were sharing). I was surprised at how good it tasted!

 After I scoffed cheesecake, I looked up to see someone swimming laps in the lake!  See the splash?

But, the location is what makes this such a great place to drop into. As we whiled away the afternoon, the kids amused themselves by feeding the fish over the side of the boatshed. A friendly waiter had given them surplus charred bits of focaccia. And it isn’t every day you get to watch your fellow diners get up and leave by motor boat! After lunch, we strolled along the water's edge  to the nearby playground so the kids could work off their dessert energy. Bonus!

Trying to look at the fish between the floorboards.

If it rains next time we’re camping this way, I know where we’re heading for lunch :).

Frothy Coffee Boatshed
Amaroo Drv, Smiths Lake, NSW 2428
Great Lakes, Hunter Valley, Mid North Nsw Coast
p: (02) 6554 4202  


Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Even though the food was not great. But I think they have great view. A nice place to relax and for kids to enjoy.

Hungry Dog said...

I think location is important--particularly so when you're on vacation. The food has to be decent, of course, which it sounds like this was. But a good view and nice atmosphere can really elevate your experience. I love the picture of the single blue boat, by the way--lovely!

Anh said...

what a view!!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Oh, I think location is sooooo important. I'd love to eat in a place where a little turkey just pops in. That is divine. I'd want to sit him in the chair and put a bib on him.
*kisses* HH

shaz said...

Malay-Kadazan - it was very relaxing.

Hungry Dog - you're right, the food was decent, but the atmosphere just made it such a great afternoon.

Anh - it was really lovely :)

The Cooking Photographer said...

Hi Shaz,

What a beautiful place. The “kamikazi kookaburras” sign makes me laugh. We don't have any bold birds at home. Although Austin has some very brave, loud black birds of some kind. Oh and hungry pidgins. How do pidgins survive without people feeding them anyway? I think they gave up there native diet years ago.

I'm glad your husband attended SXSW. I hope he had a good time. Next year can you go with me? If you can get away it would be a total blast! I think I’ll be attending every year from here on out, so you have lots of years to think about it.


Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

Looks like a great relaxing place for a vacation! Lovely photos.

JT @areyouhungary said...

Shaz, there are so many places like that, with 'nice' food...good to know about the ones with the spectacular view too!

Barbara said...

I can put up with mediocre food if the location is divine. Love these photos, Shaz!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

What a blissful place Shaz! And glad to hear that you had fun there even if the food wasn't quite as special as the view :)

grace said...

the sight of a random turkey would make it all worthwhile for me! the cheesecake, however, wouldn't hurt... :)