Wander through the Old Government House carriage way, on the edge of the City Botanic Gardens, and you will discover a culinary and an historic gem rolled into one. The Pantry Cafe is located in the spot where the iconic Aussie lamington was actually invented.
Local legend has it that in 1901, in the kitchen of Lord Lamington, the eighth Governor of Queensland, a sponge cake was accidentally dropped into some chocolate sauce. Lord Lamington suggested that it be covered in coconut and served as a unique treat - and so the world's first lamington was created. These days, while lamingtons are on The Pantry Cafe menu, there are many other dishes to choose from, such as the QUT student-friendly cheese toastie ($4.50), or a range of cakes, quiches and quality snacks to enjoy for brunch or lunch.
As I ate my flavorsome lasagna and salad, sitting in Lord Lamington's sandstone courtyard, it was not difficult to imagine the Governor's colonial staff busily cooking, cleaning and preparing life. After lunch, we explored Old Government House itself, from the underground cellar to the Governor's bedroom. We stepped back to a grand old world and enjoyed every minute. The kids especially enjoyed the interactive displays and they even learned a bit about life in colonial Australia.
On the first Sunday of each month, The Pantry Cafe hosts a special high tea event, where you can sit on the Old Government House verandah in elegant style listening to live classical music while nibbling delicate sandwiches, and of course lamingtons. After your visit, I highly recommend a wander through the neighboring City Botanic Gardens and be sure to take the kids to the amazing sensory playground there too.