“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?” “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.“It’s the same thing,” he said.
First stop on a lazy Sunday by the beach was Harvest Cafe in Newrybar. Newrybar is a tiny town, just off the highway, not far out of Byron Bay. For years I have passed off the Byron Bay region as too touristy. Now I find the eclectic mix of people and lifestyles, fascinating and inviting. The beaches and forests are beautiful and at night, flashes from the Byron Bay light house, can be seen for quite a distance.
Harvest Cafe is a laid back but trendy and sophisticated establishment. It has the perfect balance between being hip but also genuine and authentic.
On arrival I could see the Chefs busy making things on the open bar bench. Relaxed but focused they were only too happy to share details of what they were doing.
The menu at the cafe is seasonal, the emphasis is on local, fresh and organic produce. All the bread is baked on the premises in a wood-fired oven.
The staff at Harvest Cafe are really friendly. The place is warm and welcoming and offers attentive service that makes you feel a little bit special. We arrived around 9.30am and by the time we left, the verandah had filled up.
Years ago we had a breakfast at a cafe ( now closed down) in Bellingen. It became the measure by which all subsequent breakfasts were compared to. I have decided to now pass the measure stick on to Harvest Cafe. Every part of our breakfast was keenly devoured.
After breakfast, I went back up to see what was being created on the bar bench inside. It was good timing as Shannon was about to go down and check on the roasts, in the wood-fired oven. He offered to show me the old bakery.
I was already impressed with Harvest Cafe but the old bakery made my day.
At the back of Harvest Cafe is a 99 year old bakery that has been refurbished. The original wood fired oven was huge, so it was dissembled and a smaller one installed. Bricks, tiles and elements of the old bakery have been used in the new oven and building, which is now primarily a function venue.
The old bakery is available for private hire but the cafe also regularly holds events. Shannon told me about the last few functions, a Spanish themed night with wood fired paella and also a seafood degustation. You could see the passion Shannon has, as he explained some of the details.
Tomorrow night, the 4th August they are having a Nose to Tail event. There is limited seating so you have to book. On the menu is pea & ham soup, calves tongue, fish & bone marrow, homage to the pig, pigs ears, cheeks, whole baked suckling pig, offal sausages and boozy trifle. It is a slow food style feast with the philosophy that if you eat meat, it’s only polite to eat the whole animal.
If tomorrows dinner is too short notice, keep and eye on their website for future events. The use of the wood fired oven, traditional cookery and the historical building venue, all adds a little intrigue to their foodie events.
Newrybar is bypassed by the highway, so don’t miss the turn off. The Harvest Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch daily and for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.