Pip and Tom Hay met as students, when they volunteered their weekends at the small freehold of the Collingwood Children’s Farm neighbouring the Abbotsford Convent. They stuffed an espresso machine in the boot of their car, unfolded a trestle table and so began The Farm Cafe.

Now, the Hays' trestle-table-and-scone operation remains only in spirit. With a classy (though suitably rustic) renovation, it’s morphed into a full-service cafe.

This transformation is clear in The Farm Cafe's simple yet considered all-day menu. Standouts include the ploughman's lunch (a no-nonsense plate of cheddar, ham, house-pickled veges, apple, tomato relish and sourdough); avocado on toast with goat's curd and beet relish; and farm granola with stewed rhubarb and grated apple. Also on the menu is coffee, cold-pressed juice and kombucha.

Things may have changed at The Farm Cafe, but mercifully much remains the same. A massive peacock leers down at its territory; chickens scratch beneath the tables; and it’s rare a dog isn’t scampering around. The Hays still love the Collingwood Children’s Farm (they even got married in the paddock), and you're likely to love it, too.

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Updated: March 24th, 2023

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