We ate lunch at the Patchwork Cafe in New Norfolk on Sunday, and I really wanted to share a little of the experience with you. We went there on the spur of the moment, just as any family might do on a weekend outing. And we had our puppy with us, which is the part I really wanted to tell you about.

Patchwork Cafe - Willow Court

Patchwork Cafe: Willow Court, New Norfolk

Patchwork Cafe: Willow Court New Norfolk

Since we adopted our guard dog from the Hobart Dogs Home, we’ve changed our habits a little. We like to take her with us when we go out. She loves to ride in the car, and we adore having her along. Obviously, we can’t just rock up to a cafe or bistro with a doggy in tow. So we’ve taken to eating picnics in parks or at the beach, which is all good… in nice weather! We have missed eating from plates with a knife and fork. And having coffee from a real cup. But it’s worth the small sacrifice.

Patchwork Cafe - Walking Tracks

Picnics in the park

Tasmanian Legislation: Alfresco Dining with Dogs

Apparently, there’s moves afoot to change Tasmanian legislation to allow pet owners to bring their animals along when dining alfresco. With the permission of the venue managers, owners will be able to have their dogs tethered under their tables in outdoor eating areas; as long as the mutts are behaving in a sociable manner.

Pampered pooches will be allowed to join their owners in the nation’s eateries after Australia’s food regulator ruled the pets pose a “negligible” health hazard. Guide dogs are the only animals allowed in cafes, restaurants and pubs in some states and territories, under the existing Food Standards Code. The change will bring Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and the ACT into line with NSW, Victoria and South Australia, which allow dogs in outdoor areas with permission from the eatery ~ Hospitality Magazine

Patchwork Cafe: A Step Ahead

It appears Patchwork Cafe is ahead of the game. We ventured to Willow Court, just for a look-see. We noticed lots of outdoor tables and seating around the cute wooden building in the centre of the precinct. Given it was a particularly splendid day, despite being deep in a Tasmanian winter, we wondered if we might be able to send the kids off on a walk while we grabbed a quick coffee. In a real cup.

Patchwork Cafe - Derwent River Walk

New Norfolk walking track

Just as we were about to shoo the kids away, someone from Patchwork Cafe greeted us outside with a warm smile. As it turns out, they don’t mind customers with dogs! While the kids remained outside with the puppy, we went inside to order. Once at the counter, we decided to order lunch as well, given we’d received such a fabulous welcome… and the food looked pretty good too! There were other customers come and go with their doggies while we were there, so obviously it’s an accepted and well-known practice.

Patchwork Cafe - Lunch in New Norfolk

Patchwork Cafe: Willow Court, New Norfolk

Hot Food, Hot Coffee… Hot Dog

Our food was hot and tasty; the usual fare for a casual cafe lunch. Lasagne, salads, soups, toasties…. that sort of thing. Our lunch was delivered to us promptly, and all the humans were happy with their lot. But here’s the best bit… our pooch was even given a surprise. When our coffee (in a real cup!) was brought to the table, they also brought a small bowl with some sort of doggie treats. I would show you what it was, but it was devoured before I had a chance to whip the lens cap off.

Shopping: Willow Court Antique Centre

Anyway, we were impressed with the food and the service and the location. It was all good. We left Patchwork Cafe and wandered around in the Willow Court Antique Centre for a while. No, we didn’t take the dog in there! In their amazing building, they had a wide range of antiques and collectibles. They were playing old records on a turntable (kids, ask your parents what that means) and it was the sort of place you could spend hours wandering around.

Patchwork Cafe - Willow Court Antiques

Willow Court Antique Centre

Patchwork Cafe - Antique Shops

Patchwork Cafe and antique shops

Patchwork Cafe - Antique Books

Books: Willow Court Antique Centre

Pleasant Day Out: New Norfolk

Obviously we couldn’t spend hours, with the kids waiting. But we did have a good day in New Norfolk, and not just because we had a nice lunch at Patchwork Cafe. We walked along the river, and let our guard dog practice her skills by staring down the ducks. There’s some very pretty places to walk on the outskirts of town, and there were lots of people out enjoying the sunshine.

Patchwork Cafe - Tynwald Willowbend Estate

Tynwald Willowbend Estate: New Norfolk, Tasmania

But the sunshine didn’t last all day, and we made it back to the car for the 45 minute drive back to Hobart just before the heavens opened. As usual, after a day out in the fresh air, we felt quite pleased with ourselves for choosing Tasmania as a place to live. And we’ll definitely be returning to New Norfolk, Willow Court and the Patchwork Cafe for another visit one day soon.

Patchwork Cafe - Grey Sky

Patchwork Cafe: before the heavens opened

You can follow Patchwork Cafe on Facebook or find them in the centre of Willow Court, New Norfolk in the Derwent Valley region less than an hour from Hobart.

Map: Patchwork Cafe, New Norfolk Tasmania

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