Walking into this beautiful laneway café in Ellenborough Street is like entering a secret garden. Rafter and Rose is as much about the antique shabby chic furniture, lime washed brick walls and rustically quaint garden as it is about the coffee and food. The atmosphere is as enjoyable as the food.
I have eaten here many times, as have most locals. It is a favourite weekend breakfast haunt, and the pet-friendly policy adds to the comfortable atmosphere. The café is a labour of love and combines the talents of Ellie, her aunt Candy (aka the Queen of cakes), and her mother, Lisa.
So, how would I describe the food? Good, honest, homegrown and homemade, with a twist. There is a simple respect for quality ingredients that resonates in each bite. The meals are filling and delicious. The food is grown with care, made with love, and served with a smile.
My real difficulty with Rafter and Rose is that I am always coming away from lunch wishing I had left room for dessert. If you love sweets as I do, I recommend a dedicated morning or afternoon tea at Rafter and Rose. If you are able to pass up on the famous choc-macadamia brownies, you may be tempted by the array of scones with homemade jam, the fresh almond croissants or the rosewater and pistachio cake. But beware! If you opt to share these generous serves you’ll wish it was all for you.
The coffee is equally divine and is sure to please the fussiest of coffee drinkers. There is no shortage of beverage options to satisfy everyone. Even my notoriously fussy son loves Rafters, particular the homemade iced tea, which comes with fresh cut fruit.
If you love the ingredients, you have the option of buying seasonal fruit or vegetables from Lisa’s garden, local honey, or homemade jam and preserves.
The popularity of Rafter and Rose it well deserved and it definitely rates as an Ipswich favourite.