Grandma’s Little Bakery, Collector

Soy and I travel to Sydney quite a lot- it’s only 3 hours from Canberra, and we usually try to avoid driving on an empty stomach because there’s really very little good food along the drive and if we’re hungry, we inevitably end up at some fast food joint. Waste of calories! When we were driving last Saturday morning, without having had breakfast, I was trying to think of where we could stop to have some real food. We considered stopping at the farmers’ markets before getting on the highway, but I knew we would be distracted and take too much time. We considered going through Gundaroo, but also, that would take time and we needed to be in Sydney as we had a lunch booking. My final plan was to stop at a bakery in Goulburn, but then I suddenly remembered driving past a huge sign advertising a bakery the last time we were driving back from Sydney. That time, it was quite late in the afternoon so we didn’t stop. Soy was very impressed I remembered the bakery, but then the question was…. where was the turnoff from the highway?

Turns out we needn’t have worried cos there are huge billboards at the side of the road with “Grandma’s Little Bakery” 200m and 50m before the turnoff in both directions. And if you’re coming from Canberra, there’s a small road leading across the lanes into the property, so you don’t even have to do a U-turn. Grandma’s Little Bakery is situated in the Fedra Olive Grove in Collector, which is a few minutes away from Goulburn.

We drive up past the olive trees and stop just outside the bakery. It’s windy and absolutely freezing so Soy and I rush inside into the warmth. It’s early in the morning so there aren’t any other customers yet. A lovely lady (we were so taken with the food we didn’t even get her name!) tells us what the different pie flavours are and talks us through all the pastries and breads available today. Almost everything is ready, except the scones that are still in the oven. I don’t mind, since there is such a feast set up!

It takes me a while to decide what to have, but I finally decide on an apple strudel. Soy gets something savoury, of course, and we get a coffee to share. Unfortunately as we are on a tight schedule, we takeaway our food. While we wait for the coffee to be made, we wander around the dining area, that is open, airy and bright with floor to ceiling windows and a view of the olive grove. Antiques are also a large part of the décor, and each table has a quirky piece on it.

I notice that there is a row of bain maries set up, and we are told that there is a Mediterranean buffet on the weekends. The lovely lady tells us that the buffet has been booked out for weeks and families come up from around the area for a weekend lunch out together. She also tells us that the bakery and restaurant is about a year old, and is becoming more and more popular. The olive grove though, is about 12 years old.

There’s a table set up with olives and olive oil for sampling. I’m not a fan of olives, but Soy enjoyed the olives that she tried. I know she ate quite a few!

I dip some bread in the olive oil, and I love the crisp, grassy taste of it. The olive oils are for sale, of course, and farm tours can also be arranged. We are also told that they are about to have their first wedding at the olive grove! There’s also a mint-new chapel on the property (Soy and I were wondering about that as we drove up!) so it’s a beautiful all-in-one venue with an amazing view. And great food of course! I was getting to this…

Soy gobbled up her cheesey filo pastry before I could take a photo of it, but this is my apple strudel. The pastry was crisp and golden, and flaky and chewy, just the way I like it. And the apples were plump and succulent, with a sprinkling of cinnamon. And it wasn’t too sweet! The only gripe that Soy and I had was that the pastries were a tad cold. But we had turned up very early and I don’t think the food would have been in the warmers very long beforehand, so it really wasn’t the bakery’s fault. And we should have asked for them to be zapped in the microwave, but we didn’t think about it! Another thing we were really impressed with was the soy coffee. We’ve had our fair share of bad coffees and especially bad soy coffees! To me, the mark of a good barista is one who can make a good coffee with soy milk such that I don’t have to have it with sugar. And this one was really good. No sugar! :)

We’re so glad that we now have Grandma’s Little Bakery as a stopover for real food on our drives to and from Canberra and Sydney. What do you normally eat on a road trip?

Grandma’s Little Bakery, Collector

5796 Federal Highway, Collector NSW 2581

(02) 4848 0240

www.grandmasbakery.com.au

Opening times:

Open 9am – 4pm, 7 days a week & some public holidays. Best to ring up and confirm.


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Update: April 2012

Grandma’s Little Bakery is now in Sydney!

42 O’Riordan Street

Alexandria

02 9690 0069

Open Monday- Saturday 7 am to 4pm

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  • http://wayfaringchocolate.wordpress.com/ Hannah

    At first, I was thinking “I’ll have to tell Mum about this place for our next family trip away”, and then I remembered that my Mum and Grandma are allergic to wheat and dairy, amongst a million other things. Sadness.

    I’m seriously impressed by the good soy coffee thing, though. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ended up with split/curdled soy milk here in Australia…

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Aww no! It might be worth ringing up and see if the restaurant can accommodate special dietary requirements. And ugh we have gotten so many foul tasting soy coffees. Another place we like in Canberra that does a great soy coffee is Deli Marco, in Dickson.

  • http://darjeelingdreams.blogspot.com Indie.tea

    That bakery must be wonderful! The photographs of the breads you posted are certainly stunning.

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    It was good! We only sampled 2 things though… But this means we have more reason to go back! Love the photos on your blog!

  • http://www.michelle-chin.com Michelle Chin

    Wow 3 hours. That’s quite near in Australia terms I guess. Envy!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Yeah 3 hours to Sydney! But to Collector (where this bakery is) is probably 45 min.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Hehe having done that drive, I have to agree, the fast food places are such a disappointment (and a waste of stomach space and calories). What a cute little find! I love how generous the amount of apple is in the danish!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Hehe we have had our fair share of chips and fried chicken, believe you me! So I’m glad we have an alternative of good, real food so we won’t be tempted with stomach wasters :)

  • http://intolerantchef.blogspot.com InTolerant Chef

    It is really hard to get a good soy coffee anywhere. I used to take little 250ml uht lactose free milks with me, but they don’t make them anymore-sigh. The food does lookk good though.

  • Lollcakes

    What a wonderful little place Honey! We’re taking my mom down to Canberra in November, so we’ll be stopping there on the way back. And I totally agree about the soy coffee, it is so easy to get wrong that it is a sign of a good barrista when the soy coffee is delicious. :)

  • http://anediblemosaic.com Faith

    This place is such a lovely little find! I would leave home on an empty stomach on purpose just to be able to eat here. :) The pastry looks divine!

  • http://annajohnston.com.au Anna Johnston

    I love this little place & its only a relatively new ‘find’ for me too this year. Mum used to work in Sydney a few years ago and that road trip was always one you had to start with a full tummy because of (like you say) all the awful food stops. You have to try the Mediterranean buffet too.., its not that great…, but nice for a catch up with friends & family ‘day in the country’ sort of deal.

  • Yuki

    That place looks awesome, i should stop by there next time =)

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Oh my goodness are you serious! We have had many bad soy coffees, but there ARE good ones out there!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    I hope you love it as much as we do 8). It’s very scenic too, hope you make it for sunset.

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Lol, it does taste divine too, I think we’re going to go back to try the pies.

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Wow, I’ll take note of that, thanks for the tip 8)

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Hee, hope you get to try more than we did!

  • http://www.myrestaurantsmelbourne.com My Restaurants Melbourne

    nothing beats a nice country bakery. good find

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Totally agree!

  • http://twitter.com/IronChefShellie Iron Chef Shellie

    mmmmm I love bakery goods… any time of day… anywhere!

  • Rachel

    Hi Hannah – still worth telling your mum about – we had our wedding reception at GLB and had 2 coeliacs, 1 wheat allergy and a non dairy. They were able to cater for everyone and we all went home very full :)