If it’s been a while since your last visit to Old Parliament House, here’s a good reason to add it to your to-do list.
Old Parliament House’s Terrace Café is now open for business. Serving handmade breakfast dishes, pastries and savoury meals, the café is the ideal location for sharing a sweet treat or sipping a creamy espresso while taking in the heritage-listed surrounds.
Terrace Café’s Sean Buttrose says the space has undergone significant refurbishments over the last twelve months. The resulting design provides Canberrans with a relaxing venue in a unique, contemporary space.
“From day one our common goal has been to enhance this space. The director, Daryl Karp, really wanted to activate the front of this amazing building and we have done just that,” he says.
The retro purple carpet is gone, new furniture is in and a mezzanine level has been added to take advantage of views of Anzac Parade. In the warmer months, the café will also spill out onto the front terrace.
If you’re expecting standard tourist attraction fare from Terrace Café, leave your expectations at the door. Instead of stale cakes trucked down from a factory in Sydney or pre-packaged sandwiches, the Terrace Café serves fresh, handmade items including elderflower cupcakes, gluten-free egg muffins and daily pulled meat rolls.
When I went to check out the café for the first time last week, the glass display domes at the front counter were piled high with freshly rolled truffles, hand crafted tartlets and traditional meringues amongst other items.
If you have a sweet tooth and work in the area, this is one place I’d recommend adding to your morning tea rotation. On top of this, the quirky light meal menu of salads served in a jar, daily pulled meat rolls and soups will ensure everyone finds something to suit their tastes.
“If you visit other attractions in Canberra most of the food is the same. We wanted a unique offer that guests wouldn’t see elsewhere,” Sean explains.
I’m certain it’s the only place in Canberra where you can order a cocoa powder and maple syrup flavoured milkshake, for example.
“People kept coming in and asking for milkshakes. We thought, well, we don’t want to do boring flavours like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Let’s create something different.”
The adventurous beverages don’t stop at milkshakes. I’m told Terrace Café’s award-winning barista Chelley Penn also makes a mean matcha green tea latte.
A great way to sample the best of what Terrace Café has to offer is to drop in for high tea, which is available on Saturdays and Sundays at $49 per guest. Enjoy three tiers of handmade sweets and savouries accompanied by Darjeeling tea, sparkling wine and sparkling water. Bookings are essential.
The Terrace Café is open 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Sunday. For bookings, call 1300 870 433 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit http://moadoph.gov.au/visiting/cafe/ for more information.