A day trip to the Blue Mountains saw a friend and I having lunch at a cafe in a unique setting that of a 100 year old restored church. With lovely stained glass windows and tin-like soldiers guarding the entrance, we strolled into The Gingerbread House, a world of sweetness created by award-winning chocolatiers, Josophan's Chocolates.
Very much fairytale-like inside, picture long elm tables on the sides separated by a large scale decorative gingerbread-like house in the centre. Complete with its own windows and entrances, running almost the entire length of the church, you'll be entranced within as you peruse the display of gorgeous cakes at the cafe counter. From caramel to red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and an ice cream counter full of delicious flavours, there's surely something to whet your appetite. Turn around and you have a shop with rows of sweet treats organised by colour. At the end of this centrepiece are comfy leather lounges and a very cute Christmas display.
As one might guess, ginger features widely here in cookies and decorated gingerbread houses for purchase. But that's not all. Also available are bottles of Rochester ginger beer in a variety of fruity flavours and gingerbread dust in glass, gingerbread man-shaped bottles adorned with soft pink ribbon bows. In the cafe, you can order ginger-infused drinks, floats and spiders served in jam jar glasses. Outside there are more tables and chairs and the ginger theme continues with a playground containing a children's gingerbread cubbyhouse.
If you don't like ginger, don't despair as there's plenty of non-ginger food, sweets and drinks to indulge in. They do malted milkshakes, sarsaparilla and traditional creaming soda, coffee and tea, handmade lollipops and candy canes, muffins, banana bread and brownies, and selections of fine chocolate.
The savoury food in this establishment is contrastingly healthy consisting of soup, toasties and fresh open sandwiches with side salads. I tried the Spiced Pulled Pork open sandwich with apple slaw on sourdough bread served with a dressed garden salad. Very filling along with my Hansel washing it all down, speaking of which, was iced salted caramel swirl ice cream topped with whipped cream and Manuka organic honey popcorn. All very nice, unfortunately, I couldn't fit in the red velvet cake I eyed earlier.
Open 7 days and with exclusive car parking, they welcome children's parties and the construction of your own gingerbread house. They will whip up the icing and you can choose any combination of lollies to decorate your house. During school holidays they have cookie decorating workshops and for something a bit different, there's Cello and Chocolate nights where you begin with chocolate and some of the drinking kind, and follow with a concert performance by cellist Georg Mertens. You then move to table seating to enjoy a special dessert plate prepared by Josophan's owner, Jodie Van Der Velden. The night finishes with a second performance and a chocolate treat to take home. This evening event is available for both adults and children. Full details can be found at www.gbhousekatoomba.com.
All in all, the Gingerbread House is a charming little gem of a place to relax at in one of the quieter streets away from the main shopping area.