Heather’s House of Cake, Belconnen

19 Mar

I hear a lot how people would love to see better use made of beautiful Lake Ginninderra. More recreation. A variety of accessible water sports. More sophisticated paths and cycleways.

But the number one desire seems to be for restaurants and cafes – existing or new – to make better use of the lake. Along Emu Bank, many of the restaurants face the street, not the lake. (Ha Ha Bar and La De Da are notable exceptions.) The access point for the restaurants is from the car park next to the road, not the boardwalk which frames the water. People find the lake paradoxically energising and relaxing: there’s more and more going on around the lake, and it’s fun to be part of it, and to watch it – not to mention just enjoy the beautiful views.

I’d heard rumours about Heather’s House of Cake opening up for a little while. You might recognise the name: Heather’s been around the market scene for quite a while and creates – as you might have guessed – a wide range of pretty cakes. On the Friday of its opening week, I walk around the building which also houses 2 Yummy, Princes Palace, Sanur’s Balinese and London Burgers to the side which has Up 2 You restaurant.

And there is Heather’s House of Cake, with two storeys-worth of glass windows facing out onto the lake. Out the front on the deck are cable reel tables and wooden chairs underneath flowering umbrellas.

It’s close to 5 on a Friday afternoon and the sun is streaming into the large space inside. Tables dot the inside on the first level – you can eat in (with coffee and ice cream) or takeaway. Up a rainbow of stairs is a kid’s play area or party area – or a meeting room (!) depending on the time of day. There are doll houses (along the lines of what I remember coveting on Play School) and other toys, with long tables – and great views.

Serious doll houses!

I walk around the space with a big grin on my face – it’s a bold location with a bold space, with each embracing the other.

But okay, what about the cakes?

Surprisingly, in the very large space the cupcakes display is dwarfed; its size almost like an afterthought. It’s smartly in front of the kitchen, but separated from the coffee and cashier counter.

People gather around the cupcake display

Regardless, it’s not a small display, filled with plenty of different cupcakes, tarts, rocky road and other sweet treats. Most of the chocolate cupcakes have a dark, not milk, chocolate base.

The salted caramel popcorn is fun and sweet, and I adore the apple pie (with apple filling!), but I actually also find myself really enjoying a good old-fashioned vanilla buttercream cupcake. While the icing is a little hard for my tastes, this is from the refrigeration in the cabinet: at home it softens up beautifully. They’re a very generous size – but it’s hard to stop at one!

The verdict? Heather’s House of Cake nails it. Lovely location (okay, I’m biased. But it is!), making great use of said location, and who doesn’t love cake? Did I mention the opening hours? 7am-5.30pm every single day – with hopes to extend trading hours. And keep an eye out for less sugary stuff (and I’m not just talking about coffee!).

Date: Friday, 6 March 2015

Where: 114 Emu Bank (facing the lake – go around to the lake side) – where Up 2 You restaurant is

Cost: Four takeaway cupcakes costs $16

Value for money: Reasonable

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile

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3 Responses to “Heather’s House of Cake, Belconnen”

  1. cbrfoodie March 19, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    Reblogged this on CBRfoodie and commented:
    Another beautiful Canberra food destination reviewed beautifully by Tara (inthetaratory.wordpress.com). I’ll have to add this to the “must-do’ and ‘must-eat’ lists! Thanks Tara!

  2. Nicole- Champagne and Chips March 21, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    What a great name for a store. My nanna’s name was Heather and she loved to baked- funny coincidence.
    The cupcakes look lovely.

  3. lizzygoodthings April 19, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    Great location! REALLY great location! Belconnen has certainly come of age since the days when I lived and worked there.

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