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
Open 9am – 4pm, 7 days a week & some public holidays. Best to ring up and confirm.
Update: April 2012
Grandma’s Little Bakery is now in Sydney!
42 O’Riordan Street
02 9690 0069
Open Monday- Saturday 7 am to 4pm