Just the other day, I was chatting with my friend Peggy and the topic drifted to what a great place the Swan Valley (Western Australia) is. Then she asked me if I went to Taylors. Yes, I did thanks to Shasa Stone from the City of Swan who hosted us. But, my point is, the subject of Taylors kept popping up when I speak with different people about the Swan Valley.
It seems anyone who has been to the Swan Valley remembers Taylors.
So, what is Taylors Art & Coffee House like?
Taylors' entrance looks more like a rustic family home than a typical restaurant or cafe. Leafy tree branches arching across the entrance, weathered wood cladding, rusty zinc roof, chunky wood furniture and blocks of stone paving the slightly uneven floor.
The only clear sign that this is a cafe was the menu boldly handwritten in chalk on a black painted side wall at the entrance.
Stepping in, customers were enjoying breakfast in the yard. The leafy trees provided shade from the peering orange morning rays and casted dancing shadows on the ground. Part of the floor was covered with tiles and part was just raw red earth. I felt a connection to the land and Mother Earth while I am here.
Taylors is family friendly (they also have a kids menu). Taylors is also pet friendly. This welcoming place is so filled with love and warmth.
The Taylor family home is a humble zinc and wood cladded house right on the Great Northern Highway in the Swan Valley. The Taylor family children grew up right here in this house where the restaurant is today.
Inside, there are still traces of the family home like the wallpaper. The decor is
Large windows allow the morning sun to bathe the cafe with showers of orange rays and let us see the beautiful yard outside while we enjoyed our food and coffee.
It was matriarch Jude Taylor who started it all at the family home.
Now, Jude devotes herself to her lino cut designs and prints which she makes into fabrics, dresses, wallpaper and paintings. Her studio and gallery are right here at Taylors.
Today, daughter Caroline helms the kitchen at Taylors (since 2006).
Caroline is a fervent advocate of humane eating - that the animals we eat must be treated right. For example, Taylors use only chicken and pork from free range animals. Many of the ingredients at Taylors are also home grown at the family's own 4.5 acre property.
(Caroline is an ambassador of the Swan Valley's Humane Food Region initiative.)
The food here isn't fanciful, just special.
Special not because it is technically exquisite or elevated with expensive premium ingredients, but it's just back-to-basics, authentic food - that is special to me these days.
(I use the word authentic in the sense of sincerity, honesty and lack of pretence.)
This lightly seared bacon tastes so much better than the usual pen raised pig that it's like a pork epiphany for me. It's like how free range (kampung) chicken tastes different from battery raised chicken (which could not move from the same spot during it's miserable hormone fed lifetime, from chick to the slaughterhouse in 30 days).
The down-to-earth menu changes frequently at Taylors depending on the season - Caroline comes up with something new all the time :-D
Caroline bringing out an empanada stuffed with kale, currants and sautéed red onion.
Son Michael Taylor behind the espresso machine makes a mean cup of coffee - some say he's the best barista in the Swan Valley.
My usual - flat white.
No latte art, just robust savoury caramely Arabica flavour and aroma in a nice round body. (I never add sugar to my coffee.)
Another customer's mocha.
Taylors have a good selection of cakes for tea and coffee :-D (Didn't try the cakes this time - must come back for them!)
When you are in the Swan Valley or Perth, do check into Taylors for a unique and delicious local experience. And, we can talk about it when we meet :-D
Restaurant name: Taylors Art & Coffee House
Address: 510 Great Northern Hwy, Middle Swan, Western Australia
GPS: -31.848523, 116.014993
Hours: 7:30am to 4:00pm (closed on Monday & Public Holidays)
Tel: 0447 441 223
Date visited: 29 Aug 2015
Acknowledgement: I had the opportunity to visit the Swan Valley thanks to our gracious host Sasha Stone and the fine hospitality of The City of Swan.
Follow me as I explore the fascinating Swan Valley:
Day 1 itinerary <- click
Day 2 itinerary <- click
Day 3 itinerary <- click
Day 4 itinerary <- click
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