Rua das Padarias 8, 2710-623, Sintra
Business meetings done, it was time to get on to the vacation part of my trip to Portugal. Rather than spend all the time in Lisbon, Mrs Snot Block & Roll and I took a 40 minute train ride out to the village of Sintra, just outside the sprawling suburbs of Lisbon. Sintra lies nestled in a range of hills where the old royal families of Portugal built their castles and palaces, so it’s both a natural scenery wonderland and a cultural and historical site worth visiting. The village has several steep pedestrian paths, often with steps required to climb up or down the hillside. At the top of one such street we found a cozy cafe to stop for lunch: Pasteleria Vila Velha.
We chose quiches for lunch, and for a sweet treat afterwards I got one of the mil folhas (Portuguese for mille feuille; i.e. a vanilla slice) sitting in the display.
Continue reading Pasteleria Vila Velha, Sintra
239a Victoria Road, Gladesville, New South Wales
I was passing through Gladesville late one morning when I felt the need to stop and have a break, and a snack. After parking the car, I used Google Maps to search for a bakery in the strip of shops that runs along the main artery of Victoria Road. It showed Baker’s Delight (a bread bakery chain – no hot food or cakes), Sunny Vi Huong Hot Bread, and Art of Baking. I tried Art of Baking first, but discovered it to be a super fancy wedding cake place, with no actual cakes for sale – just a door leading to a tiny room with enough space for maybe three people to stand, with a counter where you sign up to place an order for a $1000 cake. I clearly wasn’t going to get a sausage roll here.
So I walked down a block to Sunny Vi Huong Hot Bread, nestled on a corner spot by a narrow laneway. Now I’m not one to judge a book by its cover, but I was not particularly surprised to find that this was a Vietnamese bakery, almost indistinguishable from the dozens of others that populate suburbs all across Sydney. They usually do a good range of French style breads, plus the odd pastries. The better ones use the bread and fresh ingredients to assemble banh mi pork rolls, as this one offered from a display case at the front of the shop.
Continue reading Sunny Vi Huong Hot Bread, Gladesville
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Dunn Place, Hobart, Tasmania
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is the premier museum of Tasmania, and so a logical choice for spending a few hours when visiting Hobart. As such, I sought out its hallowed halls to peruse the natural history, human history, and art displays, spread over two floors and two different historical buildings.
The interiors of the buildings have been modernised and hold state of the art displays and visitor amenties, including a cafe in the courtyard, aptly named the Courtyard Cafe, complete with Muttaburrasaurus skeleton outside. Sitting here for a rest and to eat the sandwiches we’d brought for lunch, Mrs Snot Block & Roll returned from inspecting the food for sale to report that there was a tray of vanilla slices!
Continue reading Courtyard Cafe, Hobart
1110 Middle Head Road, Mosman, New South Wales
I was taking a Sunday drive to Middle Head for some leisurely outdoor activity, walking along the shoreline and enjoying the scenic views. To refresh people engaged in such pastimes in the area, the Middle Head Cafe sits right by the side of the road, conveniently near the car park. We went in for some lunch, looking to sample the home made quiches, which have rave reviews on several sites.
The cafe is in a detached weatherboard building with a wooden verandah, simple but neat and modern. On entering, it looks slightly fancy, with an upmarket menu of cafe items and drinks. Unfortunately they have already run out of quiches by the time we arrived, so we had to make do with a selection of sandwiches and a salad. However, in the cake display they had some vanilla slices. So naturally I ordered one for dessert.
Continue reading Middle Head Cafe, Mosman
12/450 Miller St, Cammeray, New South Wales
Pattison’s is a small chain with a dozen patisseries scattered across the northern suburbs of Sydney. This one at Cammeray has a long glass counter stuffed full of delicious looking cakes and pastries. As well as the traditional Aussie favourites, they do trendy new things like macarons and fancy cupcakes. They also bake bread and muffins and other such things.
The first day I tried to review this establishment, they had sold out of vanilla slices, so I had to delay my tasting to another day. The next time I was in the area, I ordered one of the sausage rolls from their hot savoury selection, and a slice. I took them out to sit in the sunshine in the adjacent courtyard as I ate. This area has a bit of restrained buzz from the other shops and cafes in the complex.
Continue reading Pattison’s Patisserie, Cammeray
Erina Fair shopping centre, Terrigal Drive, Erina, New South Wales
Went for a drive up the coast today, and did some exploring of new places. While I was out, popped into “the biggest single-level shopping centre in the southern hemisphere” for some shopping. Now there’s a drawcard.
Now, usually, shopping malls in Australia just feature the same 50 shops cloned from every other mall, and aren’t the sort of place you would expect to find an actual bakery that makes its own products. You might find a little cafe that gets baked goods delivered from an off-site commercial kitchen. But I found this little place amongst the standard clothing outlets and homewares stores.
Gleaming red and white decor, with immaculately presented hot and cold display cases. Behind the drinks display there’s a small commercial kitchen where they make the products fresh on the premises. Store signage lists “Slices” and “Sausage Rolls” as the top-billed items – hey, this place is perfect for Snot Block and Roll! I ask for “A sausage roll and a vanilla slice, please”, they ask which type of slice I want, leading me towards “just the standard one?” I go with their suggestion, leaving the fancier-looking one for another time. The total is just $3, this is certainly a bargain.
Continue reading Darby’s Fresh Bake, Erina