Leura has a stunning new property. Sorensen's Glasshouse and Gardens is located away from the action of Leura Mall on a quiet suburban street. Here you'll discover a plant nursery, cafe and picnic area with somewhere to shop and eat and enjoy nature in all its Autumnal glory.
Sorensen's Glasshouse was established in 1920 by Danish-born landscape gardener Paul Sorensen and lay dormant since 1985. Sometimes timing can change your course in life. It was around one year ago exactly that Ali Munro and John Klugt first looked at the property in a different light.
"John and I used to drive past the Glasshouse as it sat empty for years. We always wondered why no-one had done anything thing with it and how beautiful the property was. One day we happened to be walking past and looking in at it as the owner stopped and offered to show us around the property. Before we knew it, we signed a deal and have been working on the restoration and concept for the last year," she explains. The couple also own Caffeine & Gasoline in Leura Mall.
It's a bit of an all purpose space. They host events, have a shop, a nursery and a cafe. They also stock locally made produce. Pastries are made by Black Cockatoo bakery and they are the first stockists of Dave Ja Vu ice cream, a locally made ice cream made the old fashioned way with plenty of cream. Ali makes the soup and there are also baguettes and waffles on offer too as well as cakes. And if you're up for it, people can order a picnic selection to have on the grounds that comes with the use of a picnic blanket and all utensils.
While we wait for the food I browse the shelves. The atmosphere here is calm and unhurried and you feel like you can stay for hours. I try out the locally produced soaps, sprays, skincare and look at the gardening accoutrements, plants and bouquets.
Dear Reader, you know me, I always order a chai latte and this has a really good hit of spice that's a bit different from the usual chai latte mix. It's just the right amount of sweetness for me too. The almond croissant is crispy and filled with a caramelised almond filling inside and on top. I think next time I'd ask for it to be warmed up.
It's nippy in the air because of course we are in the mountains and a nice steaming hot bowl of cauliflower soup with buttered Black Cockatoo bakery sourdough is just what we need. It warms us up from the inside and is deliciously wholesome and tasty.
The cinnamon scroll is also very good and goes perfectly dunked into the chai latte. Mr NQN enjoys his long black with coffee from Reuben Hills.
We can't resist Belgian style waffle and vanilla ice cream with fresh raspberries, strawberries and honey. It's gloriously sweet but the berries help to give it a good balance of tart and sweet.
They stock three varieties of the locally made small batch Dave Ja Vu ice cream and we had to try them all. The "purevanilla" is intensely sweet and creamy. We try that first and love the creamy, dense texture unlike many ice creams that are light and full of air. The "honeycrunch" chocolate has big chunks of chocolate and honeycomb and is Mr NQN's favourite while my favourite is the "chocchocchip" studded with plenty of chocolate chips. And there's nothing in these ice creams that you wouldn't use in a home made one! Just enough sustenance for the drive home or further up the mountains.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have picnics during Autumn? Do you often marvel about timing coincidences? And do you believe in fate?
Sorensen's Glasshouse and Gardens
8 Herbert St, Leura Blue Mountains, NSW 2780
Open Thursday, Friday 10am to 3pm
Saturday, Sunday 10am to 4pm