I'm a mother, wife, writer and online store owner. I've lived in the southern suburbs of Adelaide all my life.
Published April 29th 2012
There's something to be said for a small town bakery; they have something that a large city bakery just doesn't have. Sure they often have the same types of products, but a country bakery has charm, ambience and that relaxing feeling that can't be found anywhere else.
Clarendon Bakery lives up to this town bakery feel, and is one of the nicest bakeries I have come across.
Clarendon is situated approximately 30 kilometres south of Adelaide; a beautiful town where the birds sing and the streets are quiet. At least the streets would be quiet if cars didn't line Main Street every Saturday and Sunday as hungry customers head to the bakery in search of the perfect lunch or afternoon snack.
Clarendon Bakery has been operating in Clarendon for many years and although you don't often see it advertised commercially, it's the word of mouth of its long term, and newly found customers that make it so popular.
The bakery offers a large selection of savoury pastries including the usual sausage rolls, pies and so on, but if you are looking for something a little different why not try a chilli con carne or satay chicken pie?
For us vegetarians there are far less options, but the vegetarian pasty makes up for the lack of selection with its fresh vegetables, well cooked golden pastry and that home cooked taste.
My meat eating friends tell me the pies and pasties at the bakery are perfectly cooked and the flavours are just right.
Whether you're a sweet tooth at heart or simply looking for something to give you that necessary sugar rush, there are many choices; perhaps you could try one of the huge chocolate or sprinkle doughnuts, or a vanilla slice, or a custard fruit flan, or a rocky road slice; the list goes on.
Like all good bakeries, fresh bread is also sold as well as freshly baked bar cakes which are great for cutting up and taking for morning tea at work or putting into lunchboxes for the kids. The bar cakes average around $5 to $6 which if you do take slices to work or school, is a lot cheaper and often more tasty than buying a slice of cake with your morning coffee. Cold family sized savoury pies and quiches are also available for purchase; just in case you don't feel like cooking after eating all the sugary goodness at lunchtime.
The bakery is always busy whenever I go there but the staff are friendly and efficient, meaning the line clears quickly and you can be on your way. EFTPOS is available for those of you, like me, who never seem to have any cash.
Tables and chairs are located next to the bakery if you want to sit and eat, or alternatively there is a beautiful shady park across the road with picnic tables so you can sit, relax and watch the world go by; or if not the world, at least the hungry customers coming and going from the bakery.
I lived in South Australia until my early thirties when I went into the mining industry and haven't been back since. For the ensuing 30 years I have been on the lookout for a great pasty but have never found anything to rival the Clarendon standard meat and vegetable pasty. It's on my to-do list if I ever return for a visit. Good to see they are still there, in the same main street shop and presumably with the same recipe.