Liz Whitehill and Mary Hannett went to school together in Sale. Their schoolgirl sense of fun can still be felt at their cafe, Badger and Hare. It’s set on the main street of Stratford, which is also technically the highway, meaning they catch a lot of visitors en route to Lakes Entrance, stopping in for coffee and sweets to enjoy on the road.

The 100-year-old building used to be an antique store, and before that, the town's bakery. Whitehill and Hannett’s husbands (read: dedicated handymen) returned the heritage building to its original look, reinstating the galvanised metal roof and the picket fence. They’ve also reused as many original materials from the property within the rebuild, so even the new elements have an air of history about them.

Two fireplaces keep indoors toasty during cooler months, while there’s a courtyard nestled in a country garden for soaking up some sunshine in warmer weather. The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch, with coffee beans, tea leaves and house-made produce filling the counter in the coffee nook out front.

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Updated: November 21st, 2019

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