Is Olinda in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges too far for great Coffee? I guess it depends on where you live, but as coffee is one thing I won't compromise on - it's not too far.
I'm willing to travel any distance for good coffee, and a trip to Kelly's Café coffee cart in Olinda is well worth the trip. Part of its appeals is that the coffee comes from a coffee cart within a photographic art gallery. So not only do you get a great coffee you get to see the amazing and incredible photography of Gareth Kelly.
Kelly's Café which is part of Gareth Kelly's Photography Gallery is a great find. Located at 10 Parsons Lane Olinda, it's quirky and rustic in a solid stylish way, fantastic ambience. The photography is amazing – limited edition prints of the most brilliant landscapes.
I checked out Gareth Kelly's website when I got home and it's no wonder the photography is amazing, Gareth's photography experience extends around the world from the Amazon to the top end of Australia.
Outside the Gallery under the wide rustic verandas in Parsons Walk which runs between the main street and parking on Parsons Lane, there are a few chairs, small tables and other interesting perches. There are more tables and chairs under the trees on the lawns. If you're bringing the kids there is plenty of lawn space for the kids if they need to run off the sugar hit from the candy you bought them at the boutique lolly shops.
Now the enjoyable thing about places that serve take-away coffee is that I can bring Bobby, there is a water bowl for the dog, with plenty of places to hitch the lead when the shops beckon. (My little Bobby got on well with Bear... that's Gareth's dog in the doorway).
And, another thing that people generally don't talk about – because it's casual, perch where you will it's a place that is comfortable for single people like me. I don't have to feel guilty about taking up a table and don't have to share a table with a large group of strangers and Bobby doesn't look out of place.
Back to the coffee experience – Jasper's organic, which anyone who knows coffee, knows that Jaspers have to be confident you can make great coffee before they let you sell it. So it's a no brainer – great coffee. And for me the other attraction is the very simple food offering – big fruit muffins or organic fruit buns, simple yummy choices. And lots of shops to browse while I'm walking the dog.