It’s marvelous what you can see when you open your eyes, and see the beauty around you. Open our eyes we did, and found on our doorstep and only minutes from Hobart, a room with a view. The Signal Station Brasserie is surrounded by a beautiful natural bushland setting, with the most spectacular views of Hobart and beyond, all the way down the D’Entrecastreaux Channel, across to Port Arthur and up the Derwent River to Cadburys.
Signal Station Brasserie
Words by Jen Holdsworth and Photos by Blanche Sayers
The day gave us a mystical view: clearing mist with the sun peaking through; reflections back to us from the Derwent River. Not a breath of wind, with only the sounds of native birds: Blue Wrens, Scarlet and Red Robins, Honeyeaters and Currawongs. Simply majestic!
No, we were not on Mount Wellington, but another beautiful mountain. Down in altitude somewhat, and yet so close to Hobart, it is Mount Nelson. My friend and I ventured minutes from our doorstep to enjoy a pleasant coffee at the Signal Station Brasserie, also once known at the Station Café.
History and Art: Signal Station Cafe
It’s such a beautiful building! Originally housing the signal man and his family, the Signal Station was built in 1811 to report shipping activity to Port Arthur, then later on to Hobart as well. Over the years the building has had many transformations, but has always retained its beauty and personality. Current owner Ing, has transformed the café with a wow factor. When you walk into the Signal Station Brasserie, you are greeted with stunning open rooms. They are crisp and fresh with beautiful unique furniture and one-off pieces that reflect Ing’s passion for retro things.
On the walls are stunning works of art, by local artists such as Amanda Van Steenis, Julia Bradshaw and Mell Hills. “I really enjoy supporting Tasmanian artists, the feedback has been really positive” says Ing, who shows such pride in all the artwork.
Inspirational: Eat and Drink
The food on offer is inspiring. After talking with chef Jon, who has trained in Europe, I can see his passion and the enjoyment he gets from coming to work each day; working in a place with stunning views and such wonderful Tasmanian produce. Both Jon and Simone (his apprentice, who has written a wonderful book called Tasmanian Menu) have created a menu that is in touch with the surroundings. How does a pot pie of steak and kidney sound? Or maybe a porterhouse steak sandwich with onion marmalade, fresh beetroot, garlic aioli and rocket served with vegetable crisps? Sitting down on a crisp autumn day enjoying the stunning views, good company, and good quality (very reasonably priced) food. Ideal I’d say.
Chef Jon also creates the most divine cakes each day. Like chocolate quince and pear tarts; or walnut, apple and olive oil cake with honey butter and cream. Plus of course an array of hot drinks including tea from The Art of Tea, good Tasmanian wines and Moo Brew Beer. Jon also creates lovely preserves and condiments, something else to look out for.
Live Music: Sunday Afternoons
On Sunday afternoons the Signal Station Brasserie offers live music. It’s the perfect atmosphere to host live music; you can sit outside to take in the views and sip on a selection of wines. Or perhaps enjoy the music and the views from behind the panoramic windows. Even the toilet has a view!
The brasserie can also cater for functions, weddings, corporate events, birthdays etc. And what beautiful photos you’ll be able to take, with such a setting! Onsite parking (no fighting with traffic), accessible for wheelchairs, a lovely host and staff in the kitchen… you will be guaranteed a spectacular event.
Walk in the Park
There are many walking tracks close by, including the Truganini Reserve walk and Bicentennial Park walk. Why not enjoy a walk and end with a stop at the Brasserie? I know my family will certainly be enjoying more visits to the Signal Station Brasserie, and I would encourage others to also pop along. It’s just a stone’s throw away from Hobart and offers so many other sights without even leaving your chair.
The cafe is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Signal Station Brasserie update their live music schedule on their Facebook page.
Jen Holdsworth is the founder of online business Hospital Healing Hampers. She also writes the Holdsworth Chronicles. This article was a collaboration between Jen and her friend Blanche Sayers. If you’d like Jen or another member of our great team to visit you in order to write about your business, please contact Think Tasmania.
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