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Published June 18th 2014
Made Fresh For You When You Order
Every little detail has been thought of to create the feel of the era
I don't know what I was most captivated by when I drove up to this Heidleberg café/ gift shop. The first thing I noticed was Nanna's underwear is hanging in the windows. There's a baby green bike parked out the front with a basket full of flowers next to the white picket fence and an old photo booth set up made from an antique picture frame.
Got to get on your bike into Jam and Cream
It's in a most unlikely location. If I were making a recommendation about where to set up such a business, this would be one of the last places I would suggest. It's not visible by passing traffic, few people would walk by and it's in a semi industrial position… but what do I know? After being vacant for thirty years, this shop has now been open for two years and is a thriving little business. I'm guessing that its unique style and best ever scones are enough to attract repeat customers from miles around. But you don't have to be a Devonshire tea lover to go there to Jam and Cream. They have lots of other homemade treats and the café is plain fun.
It is obvious that an enormous amount of thought has gone into creating the atmosphere. It feels just like what it was like to visit Nan in the good old days. The walls are adorned with historic treasures recreated as home made memorabilia displays. Take time to have a good look around.
I spent ages looking at the sewing memorabilia. A collage of reels of cotton, needles, mushroom shaped sock darning tools (what are they called?), cross stitch embroidery, doilies and knitting needles all framed. It brings back childhood…experiences lost on many children today.
How clever are they to glue a completed scrabble game to a game board and mount this on the wall? The table numbers are also made from scrabble tiles. The geraniums stand in milk bottles… of course.
Plenty of good old fashioned gifts for sale
It occurred to me that this would be a great place for a school excursion to learn about history. Sue and Viv have collected old historic items and now many customers are donating artefacts so they keep developing their displays. At first glance I was admiring the fancy hats on the wall, then my more observant friend pointed out that the display was actually created from old suitcases we might have once put in hard rubbish and the hats hung on rolling pins.
There are plenty of tables and chairs out the front, up the sideway and out the back. They are all hand screen printed with individual old-fashioned names. Indoors the table has been decoupaged by the owners. The articles and pictures have been selected specifically for particular themes, for example: fashion, beauty, cooking, cars. You could spend a whole day just reading and admiring these.
What clever caravan stylists
The pink caravan out in the back yard (right next to nana's veggie patch and the chicken pen as you would expect) is adorned with crocheted cushions and art typical of the era. It makes a cosy spot for a private group of about 8 people to dine. I was taken right back to my primary school days when I noticed one of the paintings was a well sought after swap card. This card was always at the front of the pack in my collection proving I was the queen of the swappies.
Even if you have been to Jam and Cream before, if you admire the displays/art, it's worth going back. Customers are donating items that so Sue and Viv keep adding to their collections. Some old handiwork is about to go up on the ceiling.
A short chat with Sue, the owner reveals her love of this previously neglected property. This cafe is also a gift shop. They have an array of edible and historic gifts for sale that you might never find anywhere else. She is proud to tell me that they have are mostly made by locals.
Got to get a hand made button bracelet
If you are looking for a tea cosy, handmade fold out card or button bracelet, then this is your shop. There's a personal story behind every one of them. The cookies and home made food goods are all made in store but the others are on commission and crafted by members of the community. I can imagine some old nannas knitting goods for Jam and Cream that they might not otherwise sell. Sue said 'We are all part of the community and it's great to work together and help each other.'
This is a café so I guess I should mention the exquisite food. They have sixteen varieties of scones. It sounds extravagant and perhaps unnecessary but now that I've been I want to try more. It is obvious that these scones are made fresh for you when you order. There are no prepared products that are heated in the microwave at Jam and Cream.
Who would have thought of scones with chilli sauce?
The menu consists of unique varieties of scones with old-fashioned names. The sweet scones are named after ladies from times when ladies dressed to impress for afternoon tea. The savoury scones are named after men. For example, Beryl is cherry and coconut, Bertha is a Mars bar scone, Winifred dark chocolate chip and May is lemon and poppy seed. Plain Jane is the traditional scone.
We choose Basil (tomato and cheddar), and Montgomery (sweet chilli cheese and lime served with chilli sauce). Honestly I never knew scones could taste that good. Of course they have spiders and milkshakes and a list of teas and coffee.
Melt in you mouth scones to die for
I must admit that it seemed indulgent and limiting that the menu mainly consisted of scones until I tried them. Now I know why. They are clearly experts at making the softest, melt in your mouth scones. They might as well stick to and specialise in what they do well. Having said that they also sell fresh pies, quiche and homemade soup.
They also cater for whippersnappers. From $8.95 the kiddies can enjoy pinwheel fairy bread and a selection of adult food as well.
I really want to go back to try the Jam and Cream Tea Party. It sounds like a good old-fashioned high tea with a montage of sweet and savoury morsels including dainty sandwiches, petite quiches, sausage rolls and scones (of course) and cakes. They promise that there are delightful surprises with a different selection every time you visit. It's $29.50 per person but why not spoil yourself with a taste of yesteryear. The tasting plate consisting of 10 baby scones for $28 is also very tempting. That way I get to try several in one sitting.
I just want to take the middle one!
If the scones were not so stunning I would have said that Sue and Viv had missed their calling. The atmosphere is superb. My quotable friend has the final words, "This is a happy place." To put the icing on the cake there's a discount shoe shop right next door! Could life get any better?
I have driven past these shops for many years. As I was reading I was imagining it was somewhere on Bell st. As soon as you mentioned shoe shop, I knew where you were talking about.
But, it was always referred to as Bundoora as its opp Latrobe uni.
Will save up to have a special treat with a special friend.