It was the perfect summer’s Sunday yesterday. Searing sun, bright blue skies, shrieking cicadas and humidity that could choke a kookaburra. It was a day that deserved our full respects, so we headed out for a country drive and somewhere to have a late morning breakfast.
Can I take a moment to officially pronounce the Northern Rivers of New South Wales as 'Best Place to Live' in the whole, entire world? Yes, I do love this country despite my occasional criticisms.
You have these low concrete causeways over rocky streams, rolling green fields and shady waterholes with long rope swings, cattle that chew their cud and stare at you with circumspect gazes (what are they really thinking?), homesteads with wide verandahs just crying out for you to sleep on them under mosquito nets and fresh cotton sheets, the mystical blue mountains of the caldera calling out to you … I just love it.
Our destination was the tiny country town of Tyalgum, and our cafe of choice, one of my favourites! Flutterbies is otherworldly. It’s swirling with pastel pinks, lavenders and gold, and has acres of vintage lace. You get to choose whether you want to sit in the prim tea room, or outside in the shabby chic barroom, or beyond that in the vine shrouded garden among the woodland fairies with the picturesque cottage set at the end of a stone pathway. The maître d' with the charming accent and impeccable manners, and the menu with French champaign and old-world delights (OMG soufflé!) makes Flutterbies the perfect getaway for mums and daughters, girlfriends, arty types, lovers and motorcyclists.
That’s right — I said bikers! One of the best things about going to Flutterbies Cafe on the weekend is that you get this long row of Ducatis, Suzukis, Harleys and hogs lined up wheel to curb outside the pretty pink cafe with the curlicue writing over the front.
If you haven’t been to Flutterbies yet, you need to understand the incongruity of motorbikes and leathers in a place like this. These photos may help you understand what I’m saying:
They were taken inside one of the two gift shops attached to the cafe.
Honestly? I would never display nicknacks of this kind in my own home, although I've been known to dabble in it in the past. Don't let me put you off though. If you love it, go for it. It could be the concentration of pink that makes me feel a bit weak at the knees. It’s just way too … pretty. (Okay, I’m going to need to look away now.)
So as you may have guessed, it's not the 'pretty' that does it for me. What makes Flutterbies such a great place to go for a late brekkie on a hot summer’s Sunday is the whole scene.
It’s all of that prettiness balanced by tough guys drinking tea. It's the pink and gold with the sweaty leather, helmet hair and half-shaved faces. The fairy gardens with middle aged men struggling to fit knees and guts under tiny round picnic tables covered by pretty lacy tablecloths, tilting small china teacups decorated with clusters of cabbage roses, brushing the crumbs from moustaches of delicate desserts served by waitresses in long flowing skirts!
PHOTO: borrowed and obviously American!
Yup, I'll be back. Love the place.
Bikers and Flutterbies: the perfect foil. Kind of cool, kind of disturbing, but certainly a great summer’s Sunday experience! Do yourself a favour…
(Now, please excuse me while I write up that marketing invoice! Not really.)
PHOTO: Baz and I at Flutterbies for Sunday brekkie