Where cars once queued for petrol bowsers, Taroona folk now perch on retro chairs and sip good coffee.
The old Channel Highway service station had a conversion experience and now it’s a hip cafe and market store.
You get sea glimpses driving along the Channel Highway. It is also the scenic route to some beautiful southern Tasmanian countryside.
When owners Kelly Vova and Simon Lyons established the Picnic Basket around two years ago, they had a vision of providing picnic baskets for a day at the beach or a drive in the country. Picnic baskets now hang from various places inside the cafe.
The Two Girls chose a beautiful Saturday morning to discover a groovy, light-filled cafe, and enjoy brunch. Seating is at two shared tables, an outdoor eating area and a bench in the front window that overlooks it, a couple of tables for two and a little nook just for one.
Interesting bits and pieces and some local art work are displayed, provisions to purchase are in baskets and on shelves, and there’s a recycled library; borrow a book, write up your thoughts and return it so someone else can enjoy the read and your review.
Sweet treats line the top of the counter; rolls and savouries are refrigerated below.
The Two Girls were enchanted immediately. Mouths open, it took us a few moments to compose ourselves enough to remember to check the menu, instead of ordering everything within arm's reach.
We chose one of the shared tables. After our meals had arrived we worked out that the other shared table doubled as a blackboard which seemed like a whole lot of doodling fun. It was quickly grabbed by a six year old with a fist full of chalk.
This Girl chose the baked eggs with spiced tomato, chickpeas and labneh for $14.
The Other Girl chose the breakfast burrito with scrambled tofu, black beans, mushroom, spinach and cheese and a side of avocado, salsa and orange juice for $16.50.
The serving size is generous however the meals are so tasty, you’ll want to push yourself to finish them. Which is what we both tried to do, but failed.
Even though we’d declared ourselves completely full, one of what seemed to be a flock of wait staff offered us a sweetie and a brown paper bag for leftovers. We decided on a caramel slice and a Berliner (German doughnut with custard) for a small taste with coffee and the rest for a treat later in the day.
Packing picnic baskets are not so much the cafe's thing du jour but there’s nothing stopping you from picking up supplies before heading on your travels and out into the great outdoors. Alternatively, the Picnic Basket is a great place to stop and refuel on your way somewhere else or as an event itself.