Miss Marple's Tea Room, Sassafras

Miss Marples is a cute little tea room in the town of Sassafras, located in the Dandenong Ranges about an hour drive from Melbourne CBD. The tea room is most well known for its scones, and is a popular destination for day trips or a nice lunch spot after doing the 1000 steps nearby (about a ten minute drive).

The restaurant is funished in a Tudor style, and the name Miss Marple is actually based off a famous character from Agatha Christie's novels. Miss Marple memorabilia and teapots line the walls of the restaurant, which has a very homely feel, with its floral tablecloths and simple lighting on every wooden pillar. The staff were friendly and attentive, and our food came in about 15 minutes. We went at 12pm on a Sunday and luckily only had to wait about 5 minutes for a table for three, however a friend who went on the same day about an hour later had to put their name down for about a half an hour wait.

There's a good range of simple sweet and savoury dishes to try at Miss Marples; and there's a section near the entrance where you can actually purchase the homemade jams that they are so well known for. Between three of us, we ordered the chicken finger sandwiches ($16.50 for 6 pieces), the beef cottage pie ($17), quiche lorraine ($18.50) and of course, the famous scones (2 for $10.50).

The Famous Fingers were open toasted chicken, cheese and asparagus sandwiches that had a really crispy bread which didn't get soggy under all the chicken and melted cheese. The alfalfa sprouts on top added a nice touch of freshness to the dish, which was quite light in general.

The cottage pie had a good ratio of beef to potato mash, though was slightly bland, even with the tomato relish on the side (which actually tasted more like tomato sauce). The mash had good consistency, and the portion was good.

The quiche lorraine consisted of egg and bacon, and was served with hot chips and a garden salad on the side. The quiche was quite crumbly compared to a lot of other ones I've had, but still had a crispy and flakey outer. There was a good bacon flavour and the salad had just the right amount of dressing to compliment it.

The scones you can get at Miss Marples are either plain or fruit ones, served with homemade raspberry jam and freshly whipped cream. We went with the plain ones, which were really soft though quite dense. The scones did become quite dry when they cooled down, so definitely have them as soon as they come out! The raspberry jam was a little on the sweet side, but still really great. The scones were also more square in shape, and not like usual round once I'm used to seeing, but a must try at Miss Marples.

I probably wouldn't drive all the way out to the Dandenong Ranges just to have this again, however if in the area, it's definitely worth a try, and the atmosphere really adds to the experience itself.

Ambience: 8.5/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 7.5/10

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