Two hours west of Sydney, in the Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens, is the newly opened Mount Tomah cafe-restaurant The Potager, and hole in the wall Ugly Mug express kiosk.

“I’ve probably been looking at this venue in Mount Tomah gardens for about 10 years,” says Joe Lee, who also runs Ugly Mug Cafe and Kurrajong’s Archibald Hotel. “It’s always been a big dream of mine to see the Bells Line of Road area come alive, like it is in the neighbouring Great Western Highway [of Leura and Katoomba]. The vision I’ve had is it can be a one-stop destination that will celebrate brilliant views; local produce and farmers; and, of course, the gardens themselves.”

The Potager – named for the French word for vegetable garden – has expansive views of the Blue Mountains and is open for breakfast and lunch; it serves a seasonal menu by head chef Alex Paterson. For breakfast you might find classics such as: eggs Benedict; banana bread served with mascarpone cream, berries and toasted coconut; and honey-ricotta on sourdough with spiced poached pear and drizzled with locally sourced honey. The lunch menu changes daily; there’s usually a range of pies, picnic hampers and tasting boards offered.

“We want to make good, simple and classic food done well. We want to bring more people this way and with the gardens create a truly local experience,” says Lee.

The Ugly Mug Kiosk offers coffee and light bites, also with views of the Greater Blue Mountains world heritage area.

The Potager Mount Tomah
Bells Line of Road, Mount Tomah

Wed to Fri 9am–4.30pm
Sat & Sun 9.30am–3:30pm

The Ugly Mug Kiosk
Bells Line of Road, Mount Tomah

Mon & Tue 9am–4.30pm
Sat & Sun 9.30am–5pm

This article was updated on July 10, 2018.