I love the name of this cafe. It implies warmth and familiarity, abundant in this quaint little town 423 kilometres south-east of Perth. Attached to the Old Butter Factory Art Studios, Mrs Jones pumps out home-style, cafe meals with a twist - think yellow split-pea fritters with tomato relish, or squid and white bean salad with chorizo and smoked paprika. On offer are also muffins, biscuits and cake made in-house, as well as fresh juices and smoothies alongside loose-leaf tea and coffee.
There are a few seating areas within the place, being on the grounds of the old butter factory, with plenty of character and charm in the old establishment's rooms. The ceiling has the characteristic wooden beams, with bright lights hanging down, and artwork and different media is placed throughout, some available for purchase from the gallery adjoining.
As it was a cold, autumn day, we chose to sit inside to suit our two little ones, although sitting on the verandah on the edge of the forest would have been sublime had I been armed with a warm drink and a thicker jacket. Having to order and pay at the counter, I made my way up, being informed there would be a 30 minute wait. I was a bit baffled as to why this was, as the place didn't seem at all close to capacity, but knowing that it would take just as long to walk to another cafe in town, we thought we'd order anyway.
We ordered two glasses of Castelli 2010 Pinot Noir ($7), which came out swiftly, as did our cutlery, crockery and water. The wine, and our two energetic children, kept us entertained whilst waiting for our meals.
I ordered the free-range chicken, fig and saffron tagine with pearl cous-cous ($18), served in a mini tagine. This was warming, the perfect mix of sweet and savoury, with melt-in-your-mouth tender chicken. A sprinkle of green herbs, maybe coriander, is all this dish needed to break up the dark colour that dominated. My other half ordered the crispy pork and new potato salad, with pork and fennel meatballs, and a seeded mustard dressing ($14). He devoured it - the flavours were well married, a welcome change from your conventional salad. Fantastic value for the price.
The kids shared the chicken strips and chips ($8), which came with a tower of chips and good quality chicken, crumbed and fried to perfection. There was not a crumb left on the plate - again, well worth the price.
There are numerous cafes to choose from in the town centre, as well as the various restaurants and wineries that are a little drive out, but have a wander through town and delve into the little nooks and crannies this beautiful place has to offer. There is a strong focus on health foods and even raw meals are offered, although on a cloudy, windy day like yesterday, I couldn't think of anything better than sinking my teeth in to a warm and salty-sweet tagine on the egde of the forest.