The Red Bridge Cafe and Providore in Campbell Town makes a decent brew for coffee lovers and a very fine batch of raspberry muffins. How do we know this you may well ask? We paid them a visit during a recent drive to Devonport Tasmania.
Red Bridge Cafe: Campbell Town
Tasmania’s Midlands Highway is appropriately named. Running through the centre of the state between the two largest cities, it connects Hobart and Launceston. Campbell Town is one of the few towns not actually bypassed by the highway, which makes it a regular stop-over for refreshments. The Red Bridge Cafe & Providore is on the eastern side of the road near the… Red Bridge!
The Heritage Highway
The central section of the midlands is promoted as the Heritage Highway for tourism purposes. The cafe’s namesake was built by convicts in 1838 and is reputedly the oldest red-brick bridge on Australian highways.
During our visit, the owners were about to install a heritage apple grading machine to display their fruit and vegetables. From Cygnet in The Channel region south of Hobart, the old grader will add to the ambiance of the former brewery building.
Besides coffee and food prepared for travellers, the Red Bridge Cafe and Providore has a selection of fresh Tassie produce, packaged delicatessen items and Tasmanian wine. Some very yummy-looking strawberries had been strategically placed on a wine barrel between the coffee counter and the cake fridge. Who could resist?
Drink in the Experience… And Coffee!
Arriving at 3:45pm, we were just in time to order coffee and cakes. It’s not unusual for business operators in Tasmania to close their doors at 4:00pm. They still let us drink from our take-away cups in the cafe dining area, though. This is a fabulous space, with interesting photos and historical information about the building’s heritage.
Cafe Creature Comforts
Outside, there’s a small deck and a few tables to revive the driver in the sunshine and fresh air (with access to the car park at the rear of the cafe).
There are customer toilets inside: past the groceries and down the stairs. You can almost imagine the Kean’s brewery beer barrels being stored down here; the temperature drops as you descend into the cellars.
While definitely worthy of a longer visit, Campbell Town has plenty of venues to satisfy the hungry or thirsty traveller. But the Red Bridge Cafe and Providore has a fine heritage building to match their great coffee, nice food and friendly service.
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