Always room for dessert

Maitland is a mecca for the sweet stuff with a variety of retailers offering up delectable delights. We road tested a sweets pilgrimage around Maitland and handpicked the best (tough gig) to share with you.

Sink your sweet teeth into delights from Icky Sticky Patisserie in Lorn, Dragonfly Foods and Sweet Retreat at The Levee, Palm Court Tea Salon in Central Maitland and Donarch Fine Chocolate in Tenambit.

Donarch Fine Chocolates, Tenambit
If you can dream it, you can have it at the family run Donarch Fine Chocolates. From the second you step inside the beautiful store you are transported to another world, one that is made entirely of chocolate.

With Donna Archer at the helm as chief chocolate maker, the only limit to what you can have is her imagination and yours. Trained in traditional European techniques, Donna hand crafts each delectable treat, using the finest of implements to decorate in sprayed gold, sparkles, intricate painted designs or expertly placed nuts and other adornments. It’s a passion for perfection that is second to only her love of chocolate.

Sweet Retreat, The Levee
This café is found at The Levee and is a must see simply for the epic menu items that look like they belong at a tea party with Johnny Depp (think Mad Hatter, not Captain Jack).

Enter the SUPERSHAKE. It’s decadent, over the top and absolutely brilliant. Each comes in a towering milkshake mug that is pimped with as many toppings as you can handle including fairy floss, whipped cream, cakes and even whole donuts! Sweet Retreat also does standard (but still yummy) milkshakes and has vegan and gluten free treats.

Dragonfly Foods, The Levee
Not on a cheat day yet but craving a 3.00pm sugar hit? Don’t worry, me too. Lucky for me I happen upon Dragonfly Foods, selling these delightful mini cupcakes and sparkly meringue bites. I get talking to the owner who explains after 12 years on the markets trail this passionate baker decided to set up in a fixed shop, and recently moved into The Hatch at The Levee. Her passion is for unique flavours that you can really taste and they come wrapped up in the most beautiful of packages. My only problem was it looked too pretty to eat. Almost.

The Icky Sticky Patisserie, Lorn
This small patisserie in the village of Lorn is an absolute gem. With artfully decorated treats that taste even better than they look, it is hard to go past this sweet little spot. The owners are passionate about bringing flair to their work and create some show stopping mini glazed slices and tortes. Their melt in your mouth butter pastries and croissants are divine also. The pièce de résistance here has to be the chocolate brownie though.

The Palm Court Tea Salon, Maitland
A man in a bow tie and white gloves welcomes me to what is now called The Palm Court Tea Salon as I am seated in the dining room of the historic Mansfield House. From the silver teapots and tongs through to the dainty tea cups, I am transported to a time, mood and place far from the bustle of High Street on the other side of the big bank doors I entered. The mini sandwiches are super cute and rate a mention, but this is a sweets trail and I am here to sample the petit dessert creations that are gaining so much popularity. The temptations flow and each bite is richer than the last. The whole experience was downright delightful, Palm Court Tea Salon does not disappoint.

Story by Tess Campbell.