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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lynwood Cafe, Collector


EDIT: Lynwood Cafe closed in spring of 2009. Their preserves are still available through the Lynwood Preserves website.

Oh my god, I love this place.

We were on our way home from the Balloon Fiesta, and in one of those funny coincedences, I'd just been checking the handbag to see if I'd missed any calls when my mobile rang a nanosecond later.

"Where are you guys?" asked MangoMan.

I looked about at the scrubby bush. "Um, outside Canberra somewhere. We're heading back to Sydney."

"Well Pig Flyin' is having lunch at some place in Collector. He reckons the food is good."

About three minutes later we approached a road sign with an arrow pointing towards Collector. We couldn't believe our luck, and turned off the Hume Highway with a grin.

private room

Collector is a tiny town 45 minutes from Canberra. From Sydney it's about two-and-a-half hours, or 228 kilometres. It feels like a two-shop town and I'm curious about the homestead-like Lynwood Cafe with its dusty dirt car park. To the left of the entrance is a huge pile of firewood, neatly lopped and stacked, and as we enter I immediately note the stacked jams and preserves on display on a shelf, as well as the muffins and brownies under rustic netting covers on the counter.

Jams, relishes and preserves

Blueberry muffins

There's plenty of old-fashioned country charm here. There are green and white gingham tablecloths covered with squares of butchers paper, a working fireplace in the corner, white-washed walls, sensible cutlery, wooden chairs and plenty of light and air. Out the back is a private dining room with more jams in painted glass-fronted cupboards, and a collection of blue-trimmed enamel kitchenware hangs from a suspended wooden ladder overhead.

enamel ware

Outside in the grassy garden are more tables and chairs filled with brunching locals. I even notice a pile of complimentary picnic blankets stacked neatly on a low stone ledge.

But we're here for a lunch, and not long after we arrive, Pig Flyin' and his wife join us at our table. We're impressed by the delightful feel of the place, the traditional dishes and the galoshings of charm and hospitality that enhance our meal.

tasting plate
Taste plate antipasti for two $21.50
terrine, salami, prosciutto, smoked salmon, olives, rocket and chutneys
served with toasted triangles

corned beef
Corned beef with Dutch carrots, peas and mustard sauce $25.50

ploughmans lunch
Ploughman’s platter $18.00
Carved ham off the bone, pickled onions, cheese, celery,
chutney and sourdough bread

pear and rocket salad
Rocket, pear, pinenut and parmesan salad $14.50

roast lamb
Roast lamb with vegetables $25.50

We enjoyed all our mains. The roast lamb was fresh out the oven and deliciously soft and moist. The corned beef was the only disappointment--a little overcooked and dry--but I really enjoyed my ploughman's lunch with hearty slices of leg ham carved off the bone, and especially the Top Paddock brie and a crumbly bitey vintage cheddar from Yea.

poached pear
Poached pear with pannacotta $12.50

Desserts are another plane of happiness.

The five of us share three desserts and there's a display of restraint not to push everyone else's forks out of the way. The poached pear is a beautiful cinnamon in colour, a generous portion of vanilla bean-specked pannacotta huddles to one side.

Creme brulee with Grand Marnier oranges $12.50

The creme brulee is smooth and satiny, the rink of toffee gleefully smashed to get to the custard within.

chocolate macadami tart
Macadamia nut and chocolate ganache tart $12.50
with butterscotch sauce and King Island double cream

The knee-buckling winner for me is the macadamia nut and chocolate ganache tart. A crisp pastry shell is lined generously with thick sweet caramel studded decadently with macadamia halves. The top layer is a rich dark chocolate ganache, and we combine them all with dabs of King Island double cream and lashings of golden butterscotch sauce.

G-man and J-girl are so besotted they order two more serves to take away. I'm wishing now I did too.

duchy originals
Lynwood Cafe shop

We seriously roll ourselves back into the car for the trip back to Sydney. There's a little detour to Goulburn for the Big Merino, of course. The double-neck look is coming in, I hope!

big merino
The Big Merino in Goulburn

big merino

driving home
Back onto the Hume Highway to Sydney

lynwood cafe
Lynwood Cafe
1 Murray Street, Collector, NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 4848 0200

EDIT: Lynwood Cafe closed in spring of 2009. Their preserves are still available through the Lynwood Preserves website.

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Canberra Road Trip Part 1: Berrima
Canberra Road Trip Part 2: Canberra
Canberra Road Trip Part 3: Balloon Fiesta Nighttime Spectacular
Canberra Road Trip Part 4: Dinner at Les Rendezvous, Manuka
Canberra Road Trip Part 5: Balloon Fiesta at dawn, Old Parliament House
Canberra Road Trip Part 6: Breakfast at The Pancake Parlour, Civic
Canberra Road Trip Part 7: Lunch at Lynwood Cafe, Collector
10 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/22/2007 07:23:00 pm


  • At 4/23/2007 2:46 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    aww that place looks so charming! I love the net-thingy they use to cover up the baked goods.

    I never shoulda clicked open your blog. Now you've made me so hungry at almost 1am!!

  • At 4/23/2007 10:32 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great pics of a wonderful place! It's the sort of place that makes you want to move to the country.

  • At 4/23/2007 7:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lynwood has a *fabulous* reputation. For a few years they had a retail shop on Queen St in Woollahra (I bought pate there) and I have always meant to visit it at Collector but who knows, I may never get there if I can't convince someone to go with me because I don't drive :D

  • At 4/23/2007 9:58 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Lynn - It was very charming, and delicious too. Foodblog-surfing is a dangerous thing, especially late at night! :)

    Hi Stephanie - It's true. The air is so much clearer and cleaner too.

    Hi Y - I had no idea about Lynwood but now I've had a few friends mention it once I talked about Canberra.

  • At 4/25/2007 5:56 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Helen and Y - Lynwood used to be owned by the Broadbents, but as far as I know they still have got a stake in the cafe and products, although Robyn has long since not been at the cafe herself, and sadly with the demise of the Queen St shop, so too my regular supplies of their fabulous produce.

  • At 4/25/2007 2:42 pm, Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said…

    That place is fabulous, we had a big family lunch in the Jam Room once - everyone, even the grumpies, loved it. They used to have an outlet in Norton St, Leichhardt too, it broke my heart when it shut down.

  • At 4/25/2007 11:16 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi gobsmack'd - Their jams and chutneys did look good. It's a wonderful cafe. No wonder it's so renowned.

    Hi dancingmorganmouse - I can just imagine how wondrous it would be to have a function in the jam room. I think it would convert even the hardened "grumpie" into a very relaxed "smilie". lol

  • At 6/15/2007 12:25 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Oh my!
    As a former Goulburn girl now living the wine-drinking, food-loving life in Hobart, you got my heartstrings!

    I have never been to the Lynwood Cafe - I thought the Broadbents still owned it. My mum frequents there quite often.

    When in Goulburn next - go to the Rimbolin Cafe. Can't say better words about it.Fresh, organic house roasted coffee - dessert to die for.

    Food food food!


  • At 8/05/2010 5:16 pm, Blogger Zapjelly said…

    On Sunday August 30 2009 the Lynwood Cafe closed.. :( found this on their site.

  • At 8/11/2010 5:41 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Amy - Thanks for the tip on Goulburn. Will have to remember it for next time!

    Hi Zapjelly - Yes it was so sad when it closed. It will be sorely missed :(


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