Fluffy buttermilk pancakes, berry reduction, berry coulis and lots and lots of fresh berries - it's a combination that has the Windermere Berry Farm cafe bursting with customers.

Windermere, on State Highway 3 at Westmere, opens from Labour Weekend in October through to the end of the berry season in late April or May.

Operating alongside the berry farm is the popular cafe which is well-known for its berry icecreams and cheesecake but most of all its "famous pancakes".

Putting the finishing touches on a plate.
Putting the finishing touches on a plate.

The fluffy buttermilk pancakes are served with a berry reduction, fresh Windermere berries, whipped maple butter and berry coulis. Customers can choose for their pancakes to be served with whipped cream or yoghurt and can add bacon.


There are three sizes: large ($20), regular ($15) and kids ($10), with bacon an additional $3.

Manager Matthew Boswell said the cafe had just started operating when his family took over the business in the 2011/12 season and, with a few years under their belt, they have refined the cafe menu.

"Before this year, we had a full menu but 75 to 85 per cent of people would just order the pancakes," Boswell said.

"Other people might order something else off the menu but when they saw the pancakes they'd say they wished they'd ordered those. So we decided to do just pancakes so everyone is happy."

The cafe still provides a range of cabinet food as well as its cheesecakes and icecreams.
Another change has been making bacon an optional extra with the pancakes, Boswell said.

Windermere cafe head cook Moni Russell plates up pancake orders.
Windermere cafe head cook Moni Russell plates up pancake orders.

"About one in three people want bacon with their pancakes so we have made it an extra. Bacon can take up a lot of space on the grill so only doing it when people request it reduces the wait times for meals."

Boswell says people enjoy the fresh berries which vary according to what is available from the farm.

"We have strawberries the whole way through. Over Christmas is the best period when we almost always have raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. By mid-January we often don't have blackberries.

"People really enjoy all the berries. Someone sent us some photos of pancakes they had made.

They said their mother was too old to be able to come in to the cafe any more but they had followed our recipe and got our berries to make the pancakes for her at home."

Head cook Moni Russell is in her second season at the cafe and enjoys being creative and trying to incorporate berries into the food.

"I think people love the pancakes because other places might have berries or maple syrup but here we have our own fresh berries," Russell said.

"The buttermilk makes the pancakes nice and fluffy. We used to serve them with banana and some of our customers know that and will ask for banana on it too.

"It gets very hectic. We're now getting tour buses coming in as well.

"We have at least three staff in the kitchen - one on the cabinet, one on the grill and one plating - and because it's a small work space, we all need to know where the others are and work around each other."

The week after Christmas was the cafe's busiest this season, with more than 100 pancake meals sold each day.

Windermere's famous pancakes ready for hungry diners.
Windermere's famous pancakes ready for hungry diners.