When I was a teenager, we used to leave Sydney on road trips to the snow at 2am and drive through the night – a convoy of little snowboarding ragamuffins. One time we broke down just outside of Collector, a tiny town not far from the ACT border. We waited for hours for the one service station/general store to open at 8am. It was a long morning in what felt like the tiniest country town on earth. So when researching a weekend trip to Canberra, I was surprised to hear that exact general store had been bought by a young couple and turned into a destination foodie spot, simply called Some Cafe.
On arrival, the almost-full parking lot out front made it obvious the secret is out, especially as it was only Friday. I’m guessing it wasn’t all locals – as there are barely 400 of them in this small country township, just tucked off the Federal Highway. Turns out the busy carpark was a non-issue, given the large front verandah and multiple rooms to the cafe – there is even a cellar door selling local wines in one end of the building. The interiors were simple, somehow both sparse and cosy – some wildflowers, some prints of Norway, some copies of a photography book featuring the town itself.
The young, long-haired staff explained that the owners were away and they therefore had a reduced menu of two toasted sandwiches and a green lentil salad. Easy. Yet, I still couldn’t decide between the three, so was offered some of the salad on the side of my toastie. Win. The combo of the crunchy sourdough with pesto, roasted veg and goats cheese and the suitably crunchy salad were exactly what my grumbling belly desired. We moved to the verandah to take in the sun and the country town vibes.
A short wander around the building and you can read about some of the history of Collector, which officially became a town in 1885, and has some bad-arse stories of old, with the local constable getting shot after bushrangers rode into town in 1865. But thankfully the only trouble I could see on this warm March day in 2017, was my inability to leave the premises without doubling back to the sweets counter to indulge in a white chocolate and raspberry tart.