Kerry has been writing radio copy for donkey's years, & also dabbles in short stories & travel writing. She works, plays and explores largely in the CDB and inner suburbs, gets everywhere by public transport and is the self-professed Zone One Queen.
Published April 22nd 2013
A 'berry' nice place for a refreshment stop
"If you're driving up the east coast way, you must stop into Kate's Berry Farm, it's really nice," said the Salamanca Market stall-holder as she bagged my new sandals purchase.
I'll look out for it," I said.
Two days later, we had just stopped at Swansea on the east coast to refuel the tank and the stomach. As a halfway point, this small coastal town was a-buzz with many drivers and their families doing the same. However if you'd like to take a refreshment break that's a little different, mouthwatering, and not too far out of the way, look for the Kate's Berry Farm sign on the Tasman Highway, just three kilometres south of the Swansea township.
Had it not been for the market vendor's recommendation, we might have tootled on past the sign when it came into view. But as it was, we curiously directed our hire car up the sweeping driveway. It lead us onto a small ridge above a field rowed with plants, and to the carpark where a long cottage-like building crouched, overseeing fields and views.
Tasmania has ideal growing conditions for berries, with the cool climate allowing the fullest bouquet, flavour and colour to slowly develop. During the picking season, November to May, you can buy punnets of Kate's organically-grown berries from the Just Desserts Café, as well as delicious berry produce: jellies, sauces, chutneys and fruit pies, and desserts to enjoy in the cosy café lined with wood and paper stars. Chocolate lovers can also drool over Kate's Handcrafted Chocolates.
A cheerful woman took orders and dispensed food—was this Kate? I think it may have been.
Just Desserts Café has plenty of berries on the menu and the shelves.
On this mildly sunny day, the outdoor shaded seating was even more enticing. Having already filled our bellies at Swansea, we looked enviously at other patrons' hot baked scones with berry jam, and crisp Belgian waffles with poached berries. We did however indulge in a creamy dish of home-made berry and vanilla ice-cream, and tried the sparkling elderberry juice, sipped happily with a view to feed the soul.