Some Cafe in Collector, NSW, is proving a popular stopping point for those travelling along the busy Federal Highway.

Story Mark Muller   Photo Peter Pap

The small hamlet of Collector sits just over the north-eastern side of the border between New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Established in 1829, Collector serviced the surrounding farmlands and, after the establishment of Canberra, was a convenient stop-off point for travellers between Sydney and the national capital. When the Federal Highway bypassed the village in 1988, things slowed down, and for a while struggled. However this slowing down has proved to be part of the attraction for a new wave of people drawn to the peace and calm of the village, which boasts a population of about 400, if you include those living in the surrounding area. Among them are Oliver Chiswell and Lucy Stevens. Oliver grew up on a farm in nearby Wamboin, while Lucy began life in the United Kingdom.

This young couple own and run Some Cafe, a charming operation housed alongside the well-regarded Collector Wines cellar door in what was once the Collector general store and inn. Here they serve simple, beautiful food with an emphasis on making all they can on site, and sourcing produce from as nearby as possible. 

“We wanted to create a place where people could come and relax, enjoy good coffee and food, and take a bit of time out,” Oliver says. The cafe is busy as he talks. Customers comprise of locals and, increasingly, people who have heard about the cafe and are making the two-minute detour off the highway to enjoy something more wholesome and peaceful than the fast-food operations at the petrol stations out on the main road. Some Cafe is also becoming a destination for weekenders coming up from Canberra, which is only 40 minutes away. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #121

Outback Magazine: October/November 2018