Scarborough Fair

It’s weird returning Down Under from the old world and seeing all these old English place names, now that I’ve been to the original places. Over the past few days in Brisbane I’ve been to Margate,  Ascot and Scarborough and yet I’ve not left the Southern Cross behind. Scarborough is the weirdest one of all as it is my Mum’s new home and also my Englishman’s town of birth.

“How weird to see Scarborough QLD” he commented on Facebook chat.

Scarborough, Queensland

Scarborough, Queensland

It was weird enough being there. I have no idea why the settlers called it Scarborough, as it looks nothing like the place in Northern England, save for the beach. Both places have a beach. That’s about as close an affinity as it gets. And as for Margate, which is just up the road from Scarborough (QLD) the only similarity between the Aussie version and the English place was the dour weather on the day I visited.

Which was unusual for Brisbane, but perhaps not unusual for me. It seems I attract cyclones, storms and even tornadoes every where I go. I arrived in Auckland and there was a tornado, I go to Brisbane and there’s tornadoes. I think it would be only right for me to make a public announcement advising my travel plans well in advance so people can make the appropriate plans.

One thing in Scarborough Queensland that was very different from Scarborough UK, was the brilliant eclectic cafe I found on the main street, called The Sugar Deli. Managed by the delightful Sara Ciancio this little cafe with the chairs on the roof and Nonna’s old plates on the walls must have the best coffee I’ve tasted in Australia and at a very reasonable price.

And what a cute wee place it is.

The Sugar Deli  serves the best coffee in a gorgeous eclectically styled space.

The Sugar Deli serves the best coffee in a gorgeous eclectically styled space.

We visited on a grizzly old day with Cyclone Oswald doing its best to dampen our spirits, and yet the brilliant styling and humungous lamingtons went a long way towards cheering us up. The Sugar Deli is a destination in itself, with an intimate private lounge and fireplace at the back of the long narrow building, and cool tables and chairs out on the boardwalk overlooking the road and the children’s playground across the road.

Iconic Australiana - the biggest lamingtons I've ever seen.

Iconic Australiana – the biggest lamingtons I’ve ever seen.

sugardelicollageMum tells me that on sunny days (which is most of the time in Brisbane) yummy mummies get their coffee delivered across the road to the playground so they can sip whilst watching the kids play. Sounds perfect to me.

It reminds me of when I lived in Brisbane when the kids were little, and how I used to scarper to the bayside when the humidity levels in town became unbearable. I can imagine a clutch of Brisbane Mums doing the same even now, especially as Scarborough offers a fuss-free day by the seaside. Great coffee, fab playground under the shade sails and (usually) calm swimming waters for the littlies. Later in the evening you could even BBQ a few snags on the free gas-fired beachside BBQs.

That’s what I love about Australia. How many countries in the world pander to their national obsession by providing free BBQs at the beach? How very cool, and chilled out. I love it!

And even though the place was named long before The Sugar Deli Cafe opened, now I understand why the place is thus named. I reckon Sara Ciancio, through her fab little cafe, put the ‘fare’ in Scarborough Fair.


Where – The Sugar Deli, Scarborough (just north of Brisbane, bayside)

Why – Go to grab some cooling sea air and to scoff lamingtons the size of your head


NB/ I promise to advise my travel plans well ahead of time so that you can be sure to make arrangements and not be there, unless of course you enjoy natural disasters!



'Scarborough Fair' has 12 comments

  1. January 29, 2013 @ 8:38 am Cathy

    Wow Vix, decent coffee and massive lamingtons. Definitely a must go to location 🙂


    • January 31, 2013 @ 1:37 am vegemitevix

      They are seriously huge lamingtons. I mean humunguous. Definitely going again. I wonder if they do pies too, and if so how big would they be?


  2. January 29, 2013 @ 3:26 pm little red hen

    What’s a lamington?


    • January 31, 2013 @ 1:38 am vegemitevix

      A lamington is a type of sponge cake which has been covered in chocolate and then dipped in coconut. Delish, moreish and as Aussie as the ‘oi, oi, oi’.


  3. January 29, 2013 @ 4:33 pm uniquenique01

    my gosh had you not said lamingtons were some kind of eat I would have thought something so furry could maybe have taken a bite of you instead 😀 so glad you are re-discovering your birth country


    • January 31, 2013 @ 1:39 am vegemitevix

      Oh no this is one big dark furry thing that doesn’t bite, in Aussie. 😉 I’m only half Aussie I was actually born in NZ. But I do enjoy my close ties with Mum’s homeland.


  4. January 29, 2013 @ 10:27 pm Dan Collins

    Nice one Vx. Oh, I do miss the free bbq. I have to buy a disposable one from Aldi for £2 – can only get them in summer. I’m going down to Brighton next month and will be keen if it’s anything like the Brighton in Melbourne.


    • January 31, 2013 @ 1:41 am vegemitevix

      Very much doubt you’re going to find similarities between Melbourne’s Brighton and the British one. And I wouldn’t bet on finding a free BBQ. We also bought one at the local hardware shop and did Beer Can Chicken on it in the snow, one Christmas, as my Englishman wanted to give me an Antipodean Christmas. Very funny. Hardware sales folk thought we were nuts.


  5. January 30, 2013 @ 10:11 am Michelle Garrett

    Coffee delivered to the playground? Free BBQs on the beach? Sunny most of the time? I’m feeling more than a bit envious of the people there!! And as for placenames in the colonies, I always think it’s weird seeing the British names in the States as well.


    • January 31, 2013 @ 1:42 am vegemitevix

      I know isn’t that civilised and get this…apparently the medical centre gives mums pagers for their kids’ appointments so they can all go and wait down at the playground (sipping their coffee) until it’s time to see the Doctor!


  6. January 31, 2013 @ 6:56 am Di

    The Sugar Deli sounds like my kind of place.. now I am craving a big fat lamington stuffed full of fresh cream! 🙂


    • February 2, 2013 @ 1:34 am vegemitevix

      I know Di. I need to find a recipe to satisfy my cravings too.


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.