by Carol Haberle

At 20 Gilbert Street, Latrobe, you will find yourself standing before a beautiful old Heritage listed three-story brick homestead, (not two story as photos will have you believe, for a third story is built into the roof cavity). This home was built in 1886 for Stephen Kelcey, a man who came from Kent, England, in 1852 along with his family, and brought with him all the equipment to set up a tidal flour mill near Latrobe, using the power of high tide to run the mill. Stephen Kelcey also had a tidal sawmill, with both the flour mill and sawmill being in operation from the 1850’s to the 1890’s.

Cafe Zeta - 20 Gilbert Street, Latrobe
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Cafe Zeta, 20 Gilbert Street Latrobe Tasmania

The ground floor of the home was originally used as a Tailors shop, and in more recent years has housed restaurants… today however, this building has come to life once more, it is now home to Café Zeta, a true labour of love. Six years ago Kathryn Bramich purchased the property of 20 Gilbert Street, Latrobe, and began restorations. After months of hard work and help from family, Café Zeta was opened, and in 2008 Kathryn received the “Business of the Year, 2008, North West Tasmania” award.


 

Kev and I dined at Café Zeta recently, an experience that can only be described as one of pleasure. The mood at Café Zeta is one of complete relaxation, where customer service is second to none. Kathryn prides herself on ‘old fashioned’ service, from the moment you enter the café genuine customer service begins as you are greeted, then given your choice of where to dine, either inside, outside in a delightful sheltered courtyard or in an area which truly is a combination of both having one wall completely open to the elements.

Cafe Zeta - Kathryn Bramich
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Top: owner of Cafe Zeta, Kathryn Bramich
Bottom: beautiful courtyard for outdoor dining

Once your decision is made you are shown to a table and given time to make your menu choices, not easy given the variety of meals one can order. The staff at Café Zeta are truly a credit to the owner, nothing being too much trouble, and so very warm and welcoming. Special dietary requirements (i.e. allergies, gluten free etc.) can be catered for, just let the staff know… and if there’s something in a dish you dislike, then they are only too happy to prepare it without or discuss a suitable substitute.

Café Zeta… What’s On the Menu?

Some items you will find on the menu include:

  • Toasted Focaccias
  • Turkish breads with various fresh fillings
  • Frittata
  • Fettuccines
  • Prawns with garlic or chilli coconut
  • House platters and more.

A wide variety of mouth-watering sweets and cakes are available, including scones made from a recipe Kathryn Bramich has used since she was 14 years old. A great range of both hot and cold drinks are on the menu, and Café Zeta is licensed to serve alcoholic beverages with your meal.

Cafe Zeta - Cakes & Scones
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Delicious cakes and scones home made by Kathryn Bramich

Kev and I chose to dine inside and, while browsing the menu, started with a lovely drink of ‘lemon, lime and bitters’, it was served icy cold, and truly appreciated being a very warm day. Minds made up, my choice was to go with a Turkish Bread, upon which a lavish topping of ham, cheese and pineapple was grilled, and completed with a delicious side salad. I had no complaint, it was delicious, full of flavour.


 

Kev chose a Ploughman’s Platter consisting of cured meats, assorted cheeses, gherkins and pickled onions accompanied with Turkish bread. His word, “awesome!”. Servings are certainly generous, and all produce used is fresh and locally grown Tasmanian where possible. We truly could not fault our meal.

Cafe Zeta - Dining in Latrobe
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Ploughman’s Platter, Turkish Bread with Grilled Toppings and beautiful desserts

Great Food and A Shopper’s Delight

Not only is Café Zeta a café, as you walk in the door a wonderful surprise awaits you… shelves around the walls hold an amazing variety of gift lines, from the eclectic to the chic, from books to toys, a gift for anyone can be found here. I found it a delight to wander around looking, cards, clocks, candles, china, knick knacks great and small, all lovingly displayed for the prospective buyer. One could spend hours alone just browsing.

Cafe Zeta - Shopping in Latrobe
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Cafe Zeta in Latrobe sells giftware for every occasion

If you are visiting the Latrobe region, then I highly recommend having a meal at Café Zeta, you won’t be disappointed. In chatting to some diners we were quick to learn that Café Zeta is fast becoming a very popular choice to the ‘locals’, and a couple of tourists are certainly leaving our beautiful island with nothing but praise for this delightful café.

Cafe Zeta - Locals Lunching in Latrobe
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‘Locals’ Margaret Elliston and Rosemary Cornish recommend Cafe Zeta!

Café Zeta Trading Hours

Café Zeta is open Wednesday to Sunday from 9:00am to 4:00pm (closed each Monday and Tuesday as well as public holidays). Phone (03) 6426 3139 for more information and bookings, or visit 20 Gilbert Street, Latrobe. You can also follow Café Zeta on Facebook.

Cafe Zeta - Giftware
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A great variety of giftware at Cafe Zeta

Note: Kathryn Bramich introduced herself and Café Zeta to Think Tasmania during one of our Best in Tassie Challenges… our first actually, for cupcake makers in Tasmania. And now thanks to a first-hand, follow-up visit by Carol and Kevin Haberle, we are able to share this review with all our readers. ~ Tania

22 April ~ in further news, Kathryn has now offered two $25 gift vouchers to readers of Think Tasmania…

All photos strictly ©Carol Haberle, H&H Photography.
You can follow Carol on Facebook at Haberle Photo Cards
Carol writes feature articles for this website about all things Tasmanian.
If you’d like Carol to visit you, please contact Think Tasmania.

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Map: Cafe Zeta, Latrobe Tasmania