Love at First Bite: Maitland’s sweet spots

Life is sweet in Maitland thanks to an irresistible selection of patisseries and cafes. What better way to bring romance to your date than indulging in rich buttery croissants for breakfast, diving into deep dish hotcakes for brunch or sitting down to a luxe high tea. Maitland is home to many talented and creative chefs, including those who wake before dawn to ensure their treats are fresh out of the oven for you to enjoy with your morning brew.

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For a coffee date paired with delectable, housemade tarts and pastries, look no further than Jane & Mae on Maitland’s High Street. The newly opened cafe has been many years in the making, with owners Claudia Allen and Maddy Birch dreaming of starting their own business since they first began working together 12 years ago. It’s easy to fall in love surrounded by the stunning assortment of pastries. Think roasted quince and brown butter frangipane tarts, date caramel, chocolate and peanut tarts, and plum and custard galettes featuring produce from Maitland’s Slow Food Earth Market.

If you’re after the newest foodie experience in town for your next romantic rendezvous head to Acacia Dining. Set in the city’s stunning Riverlink Building, Acacia Dining brings together a winning collaboration between Newcastle’s ‘Cakeboi’ Reece Hignell of Masterchef fame and locally renowned chef Tori Tokpah. Here, they celebrate local growers and suppliers with a seasonal menu, a cool cocktail list and a wine list showcasing the Hunter Valley’s best drops. With ‘Cakebio’ himself at the helm, you won’t have to look far to satisfy your sweet tooth. Be sure to try his delectable cakes and the deep dish hotcakes finished with Biscoff mascarpone, seasonal berries, candied almonds and maple syrup. Another breakfast favourite is the crispy sweetcorn fritters served with chilli jam, smashed avocado and romesco. Finish with an affogato made with Floozy espresso, vanilla gelato and Frangelico.

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Across the Hunter River In the quaint town of Lorn, you’ll find Icky Sticky Patisserie. We recommend making this an early affair as it’s not uncommon to see a queue snaking out the door as eager customers wait patiently to get their hands on the handcrafted pastries, desserts and cakes.
Owner Lillian and her pastry chefs make everything in house and say the magic ingredient in their dough is quality butter – and lots of it! They estimate they go through about 70kg per week! Woo your lover with their famous croissants. A true labour of love, the croissants undergo three days of rolling, resting and folding. Each month, a new croissant flavour is on the menu from Nutella and crookies (croissant cookie hybrid) to Biscoff and cherry ripe. Other delicacies baked at Icky Sticky can include lemon meringue brioche, profiteroles, cinnamon scrolls, cherry ripe brownies and tarts that look like works of art and taste even better and a decadent selection of cakes.

There are few things more romantic than ice cream, and it’s nearly impossible not to fall for the freshly made gelato and sorbet at Jubilo Gelato. They use only local and Australian ingredients to create their scrumptious assortment of flavours, which include everything from Nutella, tiramisu, and Turkish Delight to brandy custard and white chocolate blueberry. There are also milkshakes, spiders, warm drinks and house made cakes and slices to tempt you. If you feel like a cosy night in with your lover instead, opt for the take home gelato pack.

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Take a trip to Morpeth for sweet delights at Cupz N’ Crepes, set in a charming original 1850s building. This is the place to indulge in pancakes, waffles and crepes all served with a generous scoop of ice cream. Choose from tempting toppings like strawberry and Belgian chocolate, housemade caramel, banana and pecan pie. Turn the romance up a notch by trying the fondue for two. Take turns dipping fresh fruits and sweet treats into the velvety Belgian chocolate dipping pot.

Treat your date to a royal three tier high tea at Heritage Gardens Nursery. Hidden away in a garden oasis you’re welcomed with a glass of bubbly before enjoying a spread of sweet and savoury delicacies from dainty fresh finger sandwiches and mini scones with vanilla cream and homemade jam to a delicate selection of petits fours sweets. Savour your sweets with a warming pot of T2 Tea or mug of Darks coffee.

Maitland has you covered whatever you’re craving, from an early morning date eating pastries still warm from the oven to enjoying a sweet cocktail with your lover by the Hunter River as the sun sets.

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