Miss Marple’s Tea-room

Miss Marple's Tea-room - Streetview

Miss Marple’s Tea-room – Street view

We decided to go on a scenic road trip to Mt Dandenong. Perfect weather for it! We went around the winding roads and found ourselves at Miss Marples, which is a gorgeous cottage style teahouse.

Miss Marple's Tea-room - Venue

Miss Marple’s Tea-room – Venue

The floral tablecloths, framed black and white photos on the wall, shelved teapots, traditional English lamps, fireplace and 1930’s music playing in the background made you feel like you were taking a step back in time.

Miss Marple's Tea-room - Scones w jam & cream

Miss Marple’s Tea-room – Scones w jam & cream

Miss Marple’s are well known for their Devonshire scones. Scones and tea is a match made in heaven. The scones were yummy on their own but with a liberal layer of Miss Marple’s homemade raspberry jam and lashings of freshly whipped cream it was heavenly. You can choose the plain scones or the fruit scones or one of each if you can’t decide. They look like tall squares of scone, which are light and fluffy. Gone are the days when each scone was baked individually. They now make a whole tray of scone and cut them into squares. Which is fine by me because they still taste great.

Miss Marple's Tea-room - 'Yorkshire Gold' tea

Miss Marple’s Tea-room – ‘Yorkshire Gold’ tea

The tea was Miss Marple’s own house blend called “Yorkshire Gold,” which was voted ‘best cup of tea in England’ by the British tea council. And it was pretty amazing and yep it went perfectly with my jam and cream scone too.

Miss Marple's Tea-room - Miss Marple's Famous fingers (chicken, cheese & pineapple)

Miss Marple’s Tea-room – Miss Marple’s Famous fingers (chicken, cheese & pineapple)

We got Miss Marple’s Famous Fingers, which are little open tea sandwiches with different toppings. We got chicken, cheese & pineapple fingers which were delish. It had a generous amount of shredded chicken on each piece, with creamy mayo, topped with grilled cheese and pineapple. Garnished with some alfalfa sprouts. Yum!

Miss Marple's Tea-room - Cottage Pie

Miss Marple’s Tea-room – Cottage Pie

The home-style cottage pie is nice and comforting. They have a chicken or beef version. We got the beef cottage pie, which was yummy. It tasted like a homemade cottage pie. The hearty beef mince meat and veg topped with fluffy potato was baked in a mini ceramic casserole dish. And it was served with tomato sauce (didn’t even have to ask).

Miss Marple's Tea-room - Fruit salad

Miss Marple’s Tea-room – Fruit salad

My friend got the fruit salad, which was like a healthy version of a sundae, which you can get with cream or ice cream. It was fresh and colourful, and fruity of course.

Miss Marple's Tea-room - Miss Marple's Sundae Best

Miss Marple’s Tea-room – Miss Marple’s Sundae Best

We got Miss Marples “sundae best.” When the sundae came out, our jaws dropped. Oh my. The sundae was mammoth! It’s what a sundae looks like in movies, in cartoons, in my dreams. It was amazing! Masses of vanilla ice-cream and whipped cream topped with chocolate fudge and fresh berry sauce, then sprinkled with roasted flaked almonds and two thin pieces of almond biscotti. I shared it with a friend but the feat was insurmountable. We tried to eat the whole thing but were sadly defeated. It was too massive for the two of us. However it is not unachievable, my friend’s dad can eat the whole sundae on his own even after eating Miss Marple’s fish and chips. Now that is impressive.

It’s very popular and often packed so you might have to wait a little while to be seated. But it’s fine because it gives you time to browse the little shops in the area. The staff are really lovely and make you feel at home. I assured our waitress we would finish our sundae but it was one of those ‘eyes too big for your stomach’ moments. Ah wells. Maybe next time.

I heart Miss Marples Tea-room!

Olives x

Miss Marple’s Tea-room
Address: 382 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Sassafras VIC 3787
Phone: 03 9755 1610
Trading Hours: Mon–Fri: 11am – 4pm, Sat-Sun: 11am-4.30pm

 

 

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Happy Easter – Choc Cross Scones

Easter Pup and the Choc Cross Scones.

Easter Pup and the Choc Cross Scones.

Happy Easter! Hope you’ve had a lovely day filled with chocolate, family and fun stuff.

This year for Easter I decided to make Choc Cross Scones. Sort of like hot cross buns but a scone version. Good for those who don’t particularly like spiced bread or sultanas. I personally love hot cross buns (with tons of butter) myself, but this is a fun change to the old favourite. This recipe is so simple. Best Choc Cross Scones ever!

Ingredients 
3 cups of self-raising flour
1 cup of lemonade
1 cup of cream (and a little more to glaze the tops)
1 cup of chocolate chips (plus half a cup extra for the crosses)
A pinch of salt

Method
1. Preheat oven to 220C
2. Sift self raising flour about 3 times (makes them lighter) and add the salt.
3. Make a well in the middle and add the lemonade, cream and chocolate chips.
4. Mix together with a knife, knead gently until smooth (try not to handle the mix too much so they stay fluffy).
5. Cut the mixture into rounds (you can cut the circles using the top of a drinking glass) and place them on a lightly greased tray or on tray lined with baking paper.
6. Brush the tops with cream (to give them that golden colour)
7. Bake for 10-12 mins at 220C or until golden
8. Melt extra chocolate chips and pipe crosses over the top of the baked scones.

So simple and super delicious!

This is what they look like in the making. These are the little chocolate scones getting ready to go into the hot oven.

Choc Cross Scones in the making.

Easter – Choc Cross Scones in the making.

Here is the after oven shot. Yum! These Choc Cross Scones are delicious and can you see how they sort of look like hot cross buns. So cute and so Easter. This is a great after Easter recipe too. When you have too many chocolate eggs leftover, you can break up your chocolate Easter eggs into pieces and use them instead of chocolate chips. You can also melt down some chocolate eggs for the chocolate on top.

Easter - Choc Cross Scones.

Easter – Choc Cross Scones.

Here is me wanting to eat all of the Choc Cross Scones myself but I decided it’s best to share, since its Easter and all. They are best eaten fresh out of the oven. Yum!

Easter Mel - This Easter bunny likes chocolate and lots of it.

Easter Mel – This Easter bunny likes chocolate and lots of it.

And here is young Max feeling a little deflated after realising the Choc Cross Scones are ready for departure and will not be shared with him today. I’ve tried to tell him that chocolate is one of those ‘not for dogs’ foods but he doesn’t want to hear it.

Easter Max - Choc Cross Scones ready for departure.

Easter Max – Choc Cross Scones ready for departure.

Hope you had a fantastic Easter!

DId you make yummy treats this Easter?

I heart Easter!

Olives x

Madame Brussels

Madame Brussels - Sandwiches and sausage rolls.

Madame Brussels – Sandwiches and sausage rolls.

Usually when winter hits I automatically morph into a hermit in response to the icy cold weather outside. Ideally I like to stay indoors with the heater blasting, tucked in a warm blanket with lots of yummy food sitting on the coffee table within arms reach from the couch. But it was my friends birthday so I manned up, emerged from my warm shell and went out into the coldness for afternoon drinks. Upon my arrival at Madame Brussels I was given a cosy blanket from my friend, similar to the one I had just been in at home (had she read my mind?).

I was thankful but confused. I know that some people use their jacket as a blanket to cover their legs or some people put their hoodie on and pull the jumper up to cover their mouth like a ninja to feel like they’re in a blanket, and more obviously some people wear blankets ponchos, which is basically a big blanket with arm-holes in it (I know I wear my poncho/blankie out all the time).  But this was different, my friends just straight out brought their blankets to the bar. I hadn’t been out for a while and wondered if it was suddenly socially acceptable to bring your actual blanket from home out to bars. And if this was the case hey, I was all for it. My friends soon explained that the bar provided the blankies (awesome and less akward). With the heater blazing above me and wrapped up in a blanket, I immediately felt right at home.

Blankie

Snug as a bug in a rug.

Third floor up we walk inside and the floor is covered in astroturf AKA fake grass and there is a curvy tiled pathway down the center of the room that leads you to the bar. The white outdoor tea settings scattered around the room made it feel like an enchanted tea party. The inside décor looks like your outside (this can become confusing especially after a few too many drinks). The real outside was the spectacular outdoor terrace overlooking our beautiful city of Melbourne.

Madame Brussels - The Outdoor Terrace

Madame Brussels – The Outdoor Terrace

The choices of drinks were mouth-watering, they had Jugs of Pimms with fruit and cucumber (my fave), Ameretto sour, Sangria etc. yum yum yum! We had these delightful little toasted sandwiches (no crusts) with poached chicken, chives and mayo. They were delicious! They had teeny bits of lemon rind in the sandwiches so each time you took a bite there was a hint of lemon. So refreshing! A sandwich refreshing?, who would have thought. Delicious! We also had Mother of Pearl’s homemade sausage rolls dunked in “dead ‘orse”. Dead ‘orse, tomato sauce, same same. Tasty! A table near us had the scones and the fondue, we viewed them from a distance and ate them with our eyes from a table close by.  They certainly looked delicious.  The tea was served in silver teapots with adorable knitted tea cosies aside mismatched vintage teacups.  Aww so cute even the teapots had a blankie. Before we left we couldn’t restrain from trying the lemon sponge cupcakes with hot pink icing displayed at the bar.. they were average but they looked pretty and had hidden raspberries inside yay.

Madame Brussels - Lemon sponge cupcakes with hot pink icing.

Madame Brussels – Lemon sponge cupcakes with hot pink icing.

I had a blast on a winter afternoon but I heard it’s even better in the summer. It gets really busy so you need to go early to score a good seat and apparently the nights on the weekend get super packed so go early to avoid sad-faces.

I heart Madame Brussels!

Olives x

Madame Brussels 
Address: Level 3, 59-63 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Website: http://www.madamebrussels.com
Phone: 03 9662 2775
Trading Hours: Monday-Sunday (Everyday) 12pm (noon)-1am

Madame Brussels on Urbanspoon

Cookies and Markets…

Markets have this down-to-earth ambience, where strangers are but friends, live music is for free, fresh produce is available straight from the farm and cookies are baked from the heart. The way the world should be.

In a venture to make some extra cash, my friend and I decided to rent a stall at our local market. I certainly have a new appreciation for market folk. When I initially entered into this enterprise, it seemed like a piece of cake. That, it was not.

After committing to a stall, we started to plan. So came the question, what to sell? Well my friend’s sister is a chef and makes the most scrumptious white chocolate and macadamia cookies on the planet. so we decided to ask her if she could spare a recipe for some market noobs.  Luckily she was kind enough to lend us the recipe (thanks Nicky). So then we got our bake on.

We made slight renditions to the original cookie recipe and created a batch of trial cookies. We picked only the best flavours and agreed on sizes. It was necessary to taste test them frequently to make sure they were perfect. There was often the odd-looking cookie which  needed to be eaten, the marginally cooked one that needed to be eaten, the slightly over cooked one that needed to be eaten. The ones that looked too delicious
that needed to be eaten. They all wanted to be eaten but with great effort we restrained ourselves from eating the warm, chocolate melting, cakey, cookie goodness. It
wasn’t easy.

After eating numerous batches of cookies, we were all cookied out and could begin cooking the cookies for our market stall (oh yea that’s what we were doing). We were
up till 4 in the am baking our little heads off. And then to wake up at 7am to set up shop? What had we gotten ourselves into? We were tired zombies but made it to the market armed with delicious cookies ready to rock ‘n’ roll.

It was fun, it went well, and who knew you could make money just from baking cookies. With a bunch of lovely friends to lend a hand and a sure-fire recipe in our pocket, it was hard not to be a success.
Olives x