|Afternoon Tea Table, Piggery Cafe|
1 Sherbrooke Road
Sherbrooke, VIC 3789
Ph: (03) 9691-3888
You may remember when I first went to Shannon Bennett's Piggery Cafe for lunch, back in July, I told myself (and y'all) that I simply had had had to come back to try their afternoon tea. Well, it didn't take me long to organise another visit, and on one of the first warm Sundays of spring we took a little road trip with Ashley and sweet-toothed Daisy to try it out! (You know, on my previous visit, when I saw the afternoon tea table, my first thought was: "Oh my God, Daisy would LOVE this!")
We arrived at two thirty, which is when the afternoon tea starts - good driving, Sarah! - and it didn't take us long to get a seat. (At that time, there wasn't a queue and there were some free tables, but it took some time for the host to appear and seat us - it seemed like they were quite busy despite it not being full to capacity.)
So, the afternoon tea. For $25 per person, you receive a selection of five savoury items, "Chef's Selection" of cakes from the cake display (which you see above), scones with jam and cream, and unlimited hot drinks (coffee, tea and / or hot chocolate). That is a huge amount of food, and incredible value! We also ordered a bowl of house-made fries to share because we're greedy!
Daisy and I both got the Valrhona hot chocolate, which was rich and chocolatey, and came with a house-made chocolate marshmallow. I don't often have sweet drinks, as I find them a bit sickly, but I totally loved this and happily drank the whole cup. (I was pleasantly surprised that it was included in the afternoon tea offering seeing as it's $5.50 when purchased separately).
|Valrhona traditional hot chocolate - $5.50 purchased separately, included in the Afternoon Tea|
|Cappuccino - $3.80 purchased separately, included in the Afternoon Tea|
The platter of savoury items was very impressive. Unfortunately they didn't tell us what the individual items were - similar to our last visit, the food was just placed down on our table. Each item was of a very high quality, and I'm sure a lot of work and thought went into making them all, so it seemed like a bit of a shame not to explain what they were.
From left to right we have quiche (tuna, I believe), terrine with pickle on baguette, a beautiful garlic dip with hunks of grainy bread, smoked salmon roulade on black bread (their Facebook page tells me that this is smoked trout on squid ink brioche with fennel), and hot mushroom pasties. My favourites were the mushroom pasties, with their flaky flaky pastry, and the moreish garlic dip - I kept going back for more! (With apologies to everyone in the car with me on the way home).
Here are the cakes we received. Again, no explanation provided by the waitstaff, but I figure that the items were: pistachio canelé, coconut macaroon, mini chocolate ganache tart, frangipane tart (with candied orange slices), carrot cake, and baby pink macarons.
|Chef's Selection of Cakes|
We thought we'd be getting lemon meringue tart as well (there had been a beautiful platter of them on the afternoon tea table), and when we asked the waitress about it, she said she'd go in and get some. However, she came back out and explained that the afternoon tea cakes were "Chef's Selection", so you essentially just get what they choose. This wasn't a problem, but it would have been great if this had been explained to us when we made the order, as we'd seen the lemon meringue tart on the table and had really been looking forward to it! However, seeing how cheap the afternoon tea was, we didn't think it was worth making a fuss. If you visit the cafe and see anything on the afternoon tea table that you really want, I'd suggest specifying this when you place your order.
The highlights on the cake platter were the pistachio canelés, with their custardy innards and burnished chewy-crisp edges, and the fragrant coconut macaroons. I thought the carrot cake looked beautiful, with its very precise corners and sloping edges, but found it too sweet, and would have loved a sharper cream cheese icing. I wasn't a fan of the candied orange slices in the frangipane tart either. (Although this is simply a personal preference, and nothing to do with the quality of the tart).
Both plain and fruit scones were provided, and they came with lightly whipped cream and jam (orange, I believe).
|Scones, whipped cream, orange jam|
These were really good - fluffy and light and the perfect dainty size. I liked the hint of spice in the fruit scones, and although I normally prefer super-rich double or clotted cream (55% fat and a buttery top crust? Yes please!), I found that the lighter whipped cream matched the fluffy scones really well, and was particularly nice on a warm spring day.
The chips were great, but obviously we did not really need them with all that other food we had!
|House made fries - $8|
We had so much fun at Piggery Cafe - we spent a long and relaxed afternoon giggling and chatting, enjoying the warm weather, the sun, and the views of the grounds. At some high teas around town, you're rushed out for subsequent seatings, so we really appreciated that we could keep the table for as long as we liked. The food was delicious, and we couldn't get over the excellent value.
I feel like the service doesn't quite match up to the food - yet! Even though every waitperson we dealt with was very friendly and polite, we still had some minor quibbles with the service, like the lack of explanations with the food, and difficulty flagging down waitstaff. Hopefully these small issues will work themselves out as time goes on, as I imagine that Piggery Cafe will only get busier throughout spring and summer. I still think it's a great venue and definitely worth the drive out.
Thanks to Daisy and Ashley for roadtripping and indulging with us!