Pick up a pot of happiness and have some coffee and cake
I have found the perfect spot to take your mother, grandmother, great aunt or that someone who enjoys having green thumbs. It's out at Middle Dural, which could almost be Middle Earth as it is just so lovely and lush.
Geranium Cottage is both a nursery and café. Obviously from the name you can gather that it specialises in geraniums – those brightly coloured flowering plants that love a harsh climate, like that of the Mediterranean and also Australia.
When you arrive at Geranium Cottage, you walk through the nursery that is jam packed full of geraniums in every colour. Geraniums are happy plants, by that I mean, because of their beautiful bright colours you cannot help but smile when you see them. Even if your thumbs aren't green, you will still appreciate the beauty of this quite common plant. Geraniums are so easy to grow, so make sure you purchase a plant or two as they require loads of sun, not much water and are ideal grown in the garden en masse or just in a pot on your balcony. They are also prolific breeders - if you plant a small plant now, within a year or two, they will have doubled if not tripled in size.
From the nursery you pop down a few stairs into the café. The café is literally housed in a timber cottage. The cottage has a long veranda perfect for lazy lunches as well as a sunny courtyard where you can appreciate the beauty of all of the geraniums planted around the cottage. There is also limited seating inside which would be ideal on a chilly winter's day.
The cottage has been constructed out of recycled timber with parts of an old bridge being used as the main supports – you can still see some old barnacle holes that are now home to some very cute wildlife.
The seasonal menu at the Geranium Cottage is simple fare ranging from salads ($18) and burgers to pot pies ($27). Our large group decided on mainly the deep fried choices from the menu. All meals were very tasty but the consensus was that they were a bit pricey for the size of the meals served.
The table next to us were on a coffee and cake date, and I would most definitely return to sample one of the delights that they were served. Cakes and desserts are $10.00 and include decadent sounding Hot Chocolate Sponge with Chocolate Kahlua Sauce and Cream as well as Meringues with Cream and Berry Compote. All of their sweet treats are made in house and are most definitely worth the drive to Middle Earth (Dural) to sample.
Geranium Cottage is licensed with a reasonably priced wine list, however they also allow BYO for $2.50 per person. It is recommended to book ahead as this is a very popular dining destination for ladies who lunch and those of us who enjoy a drive to the country. There are ramps around the cottage to make access for wheelchairs and prams easier.
After lunch make sure you visit the slab hut next to the café. The jam and pickle hut is over 100 years old and has been lovingly restored by the owners. You can pick up some locally made preserves, honey, jams of all flavours and some old world pickles just like your Gran would have made. If the girls have been laying you might also be able to score a dozen eggs as well.
Geranium Cottage is open 7 days a week from 8.00am - 4.00pm. They serve breakfast until 11.00am and lunch from 12.00pm. Morning and afternoon teas are available in between times. It's only a 50 minute drive from the the city to this beautiful part of the world, so go on, hop in the car and take Nanna for a spin.