Just a quick hop from the M1 Pacific motorway, Warnervale is home to a range of acreages, a small aerodrome, a couple of private high schools, a railway station, and very little else. There are ambitious plans afoot to construct a brand new town centre in the near future, however, as well as build a Chinese theme park, complete with Tang and Song Academy and Thanksgiving Temple. But, for the time being at least, the lead contender for the place’s social hub has to be Warnies Café.
Nothing to do with the famous Australian cricketer of the same name*, Warnies is conveniently located next to Warnervale’s train station in a building that once belonged to the local station master. It’s an attractive federation-style building, comprising both a general store, with a vast range of chocolate and sweets (or lollies, as they say over here), and a café/takeaway.
Inside especially, Warnies is a quirky place with mismatched chairs and tables, granny’s crocheted blankets slung over comfy old couches, and an assortment of vintage tea cups and saucers. But it works, and not just by catering to ladies in search of a quintessential afternoon tea experience.
It’s the ideal place to take your littlies, too! There’s a huge, grassy lawn off the main road, with various farm animals kept behind enclosures on the far side. This time, disappointingly, there were just a few chooks and a rather dishevelled miniature pony who made Ickle run for cover as soon as he approached us.
We spent most of our visit in the lovely little wooden playground. And there’s plenty of outdoor seating nearby, so, if the kids are willing, you can sip a coffee and munch on a muffin while they expend their energy and excitement in your clear view. And, being a café, of course, there are a fair few treats on offer for the little ones too, including the most enormous cookies you are ever likely (not) to offer them.
The takeaway menu serves up classic fare, such as bacon-and-egg rolls, burgers, chips, and the like. There’s another, more expensive, menu for eating in, including many of the takeaway options plus a few more, and daily specials too. It’s not fancy, wow-amazing food by a long stretch, but the prices are fairly reasonable, as are the portion sizes. And, when we were there – on a quiet Friday morning – it all arrived in good time.
* Shane Warne aka Warnie: famous Australian cricketer, also known for promoting hair-loss treatment and his highly-mediatised relationship with Liz Hurley.