The Baron – a gem of a spot in the Hills

The Baron – Shop 461, 4-16 Castle St, Castle Hill. http://whoisthebaron.com/

I had heard about a new cafe opening up in Castle Hill called ‘The Baron’. What really got my attention was a recent SMH slideshow on 10 cafes you should be at right now (link here). I thought it would be perfect for a lunch date with a good friend who lives nearby that I hadn’t seen in ages.

The address threw me off. Officially “4-16 Castle St,” there’s no Baron on Castle St. It turns out it’s actually on Old Castle St, right next to the entrance to Castle Towers, by the bus bay. My guess is that the address refers to the Castle Towers complex, which is set on Castle St even though it is surrounded by 4 different streets. Take note!

I fell in love with the Baron as soon as I walked in. This place oozes with character – everything from the charming entrance, the stools, large chests used as tables, blackboard to the little details – the flower vases on the table, the water bottles, sugar container and plates. LOVE IT! The staff are also very friendly and attentive, welcoming you in as you walk in and asking you for drink orders as soon as you sit down – a refreshing change to cafes where you have to wait 10 minutes just to get someone’s attention to order a coffee. Another bonus – there’s free wifi.

Oh – and it turns into a wine bar on Friday and Saturday nights from 6.30 – 11pm :) I’ve heard they have great dinner specials that are usually tweeted beforehand. Both L and I were bummed that the special listed on the blackboard – the blood orange and ricotta donuts with dark Belgium chocolate – was no longer available as it was only for last weekend – sounded incredible!

Clockwise from top left: sign by the entrance, outside seating by the entrance, the charming interior, the counter area

It’s all about the details: the charming spot, the vases on the table, the seats by the window, the colourful plates

All the drinks we had hit the spot – mocha, hot chocolate, chai tea latte and english breakfast loose leaf tea served by the pot (all $4 each). A great touch to the chai latte was the honey in it, which just enhanced the flavour so much. I totally loved the little cup the hot chocolate was served in!

Clockwise from top left: chai latte, mocha, hot chocolate, english breakfast tea

What we ate:

  • Warm porridge w honey and spiced fruits ($9.50): was so nice and comforting on a cold winters day, loved the spiced fruits, including pomegranate :) I found the dish a little dry – would have loved more milk (I probably could have asked for some actually).
  • Mushrooms on toast w wilted baby spinach & persian fetta ($9): really yummy, loved the combination of the mushrooms and fetta.
  • Pulled pork sandwich w cabbage slaw ($13): we were told the pork is slow cooked for 8 hours, so that sold me straight away. It didn’t disappoint – the Pork was sooo well cooked and tasty.
  • Caramel slice ($4): was so yummy! The caramel wasn’t too sweet (a problem I often find with caramel slices) and the crust was light and crunchy. Perfect!
  • Coconut & almond cookie ($3): was understated, in that it wasn’t too sweet and the flavours did not bounce out at you. Was a bit too heavy for my liking.

Clockwise from top left: the menu, mushrooms on toast, pulled pork sandwich, warm porridge with honey & spiced fruits

Sweet little somethings: caramel slice, sugar, coconut + almond cookie, the cookie jars

So who is the Baron anyway?

The Baron was named after frenchman Baron Verincourt de Clambe, who was the first freeman to live in Castle Hill.

The Baron grew Coffee Beans & Grapes and thats all we really have to say about that.

the verdict: 8/10 – an incredibly charming and rustic cafe that has taken the Hills by storm. would love to see some more egg-sy items on their menu for weekend brunching.

dont forget to order: the pulled pork sandwich – the slow cooked pork is really a delight!

to try next time: the wine. i will come back at night to experience The Baron’s avatar as a wine bar :)

The Baron on Urbanspoon

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