Originally built in the early 1920’s on Middle Head in Mosman, this historic sandstone mansion overlooking Sydney harbour was built by the Mosman Golf Club to serve as their clubhouse.
The café is surrounded by a wide verandah which is spacious and airy. Clear café blinds on all sides meant it was still nice and warm on the winter day we visited. We can only imagine how lovely it would be in the warmer months when the blinds are up and the warm summer breeze is blowing through. High tea is only served on the verandah too, so that every table can take in the lovely harbour view across to Rose Bay in the Eastern suburbs.
Burnt Orange takes its name from the Irish owner’s first impression of the Australian landscape. The feel of the place is anything but burnt though! The bushland surrounding, the harbour views, the heritage house all lend themselves to a vintage beach house feel. The tables are set with lovely Avoca crockery from Ireland, which is also for sale downstairs in the retail outlet.
But, enough about what the place looks like… more importantly, what does it taste like?!
Let’s start with the scones first this time. They’re pretty much perfect, a good size and shape with a beautiful texture. Served with the house made mixed berry jam they’d have to be in our top 5 list.
The savoury tier was well thought out with a little tradition and a little new. The boat-shaped pumpkin and goats cheese tart was a lovely little quiche-based morsel. The pastry was perfectly thin and crisp without the filling making it soggy. My favourite of the savoury was the disc of toasted brioche with a roll of smoked salmon topped with a little caviar. A nice twist on a salmon sandwich, and quite pretty too.
The chicken sandwich was served on Avoca (Irish soda) bread and had a lovely hint of tarragon to it. I’ve not had this particular style of bread before. It was a nice slice of brown bread with, funnily enough, a slight sodary feel to it. Interesting. I’d love to see how well the bread toasts.
With savoury finished, we started on sweets, a tough gig, I know. Whoever makes the pastry out in the kitchen really knows what they’re doing. The tart shells on the salted caramel tart and the lemon curd tart were fantastic. Thin, crisp, slightly buttery, yet strong enough to hold up to the filling without softening.
The fillings were both delicious too. We couldn’t decide which we liked best. The salted caramel was nice and thick topped off with a dark chocolate top and a sprinkle of black sea salt. While the lemon curd was super tangy like the lemon butter my mother makes. See the dilemma? Just eat both!
The large tea selection and the coffee are both Single Origin brand.
Overall, it’s a great spot to relax and share a high tea with friends. It feels like you’ve escaped the big city for a bit, but in reality, it’s just around the corner. Make sure you book in advance though, as this one fills up quickly.