The Parsley Pot Cafe

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Halfway between Warkworth and Snells Beach is a café that ticks all the boxes. It certainly did so recently for Madonna's backstage crew, who stopped in for directions on the way to Pakiri Beach Horse Rides. They liked the café so much they returned for lunch. Star chef Jaime Laurita wrote on Instagram: "Most incredible family farm to table restaurant… So fresh and homegrown… The family vibe is beautiful. It will make you cry it’s so good.”

The owners, who chatted with the crew for some time, couldn’t understand why they got a call from the Herald later that afternoon asking if Madonna was there… they’d spotted Laurita’s Instagram message, as had half of New York.

The family in question are the Lovells. Mum Hester and Dad Shaun are usually in the kitchen, daughter Lydia covers baking and front of house, and son Corby is a gun on the coffee machine – as well as making his ‘Twisted Nut’ peanut butter.

The food is fresh and flavourful, with smoked pork hock with beans, lamb burgers and avocado smash included on the menu. “We grow as many fruit, vegetables and herbs as we can for the café,” says Hester. Drop in for a Kokako coffee and bring the kids (there’s a lawn with a mini football goals!). Dogs are welcome too, amiably hosted by the family’s bearded collie, Squire.

The Parsley Pot Café | facebook.com/theparsleypotcafe | T: 09 4258486