As you make your way down the steep, winding and narrow road - the overwhelming beauty teasingly trickles into your being. Breathtaking! It modestly unveils for you - tastefully twinkling from behind the persistent and protective privacy screen - that is nature. All the while - simultaneously humming a lulling lyric for the very core of your soul. Is it its beauty I wonder? Or is it more?
Its fictitious name could well be 'the secret river' as the poignant award winning historical fiction novel - written by Kate Grenville (and later adapted to a mini-series) might like to have it. But on the map it is called Berowra Waters - part of the iconic Hawkesbury River and the stunning home to the impressive A Chef Secrets. Safely cocooned away from the hustle and bustle (not an hour from the 'big smoke' of Sydney), Berowra Waters is a place that many have called, and continue to call - their home.
The traditional custodians, from as far back as 47,000 years were the Aboriginals. 'The latest evidence from carbon dating remains found below Nepean gravel beds indicate that the Aborigines have been in the Hawkesbury area for at least 47,000 years'. Fast forward a couple of hundred years since the arrival of the early settlers and you get the distinct feeling that the spirit of the Indigenous lingers on. And rightfully so. If it's not in the perception of the surrounding space, amidst the wise old, ever observant sandstone gorges, it's in the more physical sense - written whispers in the form of rock carvings and the like - skilfully speak of their foregone residency.
One such 'alluring' day trip for us - had us firstly seafaring aboard the 'fun-in-itself-ferry'. This enabled us to then park our car in the car park allotment which is located on the opposite side of the 'waters' to that of the café. Eagerly, we then caught the free ride back - happy in the knowledge that we'd soon be seated in the quaintness of our chosen café and would subsequently be basking in its glistening sun.
Friendly buckets of fresh flowers and 'on trend' Kale greeted and charmingly received us like a colourfully displayed welcoming mat of sorts as we made our way around to our 'table for two' on the pontoon like seating platform. Splendid!
Boho, 'alternative' types - happily, familiarly and unhurriedly boarded and exited the sunny eatery via small boats. A most memorably beautiful and relaxed café with tender views - sweetened further by the confident, colossal yet intimately warm and settling hug from Mother Nature herself. If it wasn't for the fact that I was fully dressed and could hear the footsteps of the approaching Wait Staff, bearing welcome wafting gifts: roasting cups of organic coffee and begging-to-be-buttered and bitten banana bread - I might have mistakenly thought that I was lying on a warm towel on a balmy beach. Soft slackened chit chat and 'cheating' cackles echoed from a family board game in action just behind.
Another endearing quality and which also refreshingly impresses is the fact that A Chef Secrets prides itself on and proudly states that they 'believe in slow food not fast food' (hooray). So don't go being in a hurry if you choose to dine here - not that you'd want to go 'scrambling' off with such scenery on offer and, of course, the succeeding 'real-deal' meal.
So regardless of what you decide to order (check out their menu) or when in fact you do decide to come to this place of pure beauty and charismatic tranquillity (and whether it's for breakfast, brunch, lunch or afternoon tea), one thing I encourage - is that you savour every zesty mouthful of what this significant, perhaps sacred water world so generously 'serves' you up.
* Please also note that A Chef Secrets also offers exclusive private cooking classes by appointment