That Place Patisserie & Cafe is Geelong’s little slice of Paris
15.12.2020

That Place Patisserie & Cafe is Geelong’s little slice of Paris

Words by Keegan Bennett

Coffee and croissant in the morning, delicious!

What once started as a friendly neighborhood café is quickly becoming Geelong’s top destination for classically produced French pastries and other baked goods.

That Place Patisserie in Belmont finds itself in a very convenient location, Mt Pleasant Road, about halfway between High Street and Highton’s main stretch, it’s perfect for a quick stop whilst running errands in the morning, and proximity to Belmont Primary School could make for a cheeky croissant after dropping the kids to school.

Speaking of croissants, they really are the star of the show at That Place, being prepared fresh in-house by Ashlea Allen, a French-trained pastry chef. Allen says she crafted the menu using her training as a foundation but applied rustic Australian café ideas to give the range a homey twist.

“I love the complexity of French pastry, but sometimes, keeping it a little more simple helps to emphasise the flavors of the significant ingredients in the recipe,” she says regarding the ethos behind the foods at That Place.

Take a simple ham and cheese croissant, for example, the crunchy, yet light exterior houses a thick slice of cheese and a cool slice of ham, the buttery inside of the pastry is a much of a filling as the ham and cheese itself. What we are given is a perfect mix of a light, airy filling that doesn’t overpower and something that is substantial enough to be enjoyed on its own.

 

Whilst the classics are a strong part of That Place’s business, the Belmont bakery has been making waves recently with its selection of specialty croissants, only available on weekends. Generally announced on a Friday, and baked in limited batches over the following days, they have made quite a stir in the local café scene, with flavors such as Biscoff, white chocolate, and macadamia as well as the chocolate-coated strawberry affair pictured below.

 

That Place also offers a variety of other baked goods, including Vanilla Bean Mille-Feuille, Pain Au Chocolat as well as other French pastries. Among the choices include breakfast bowls custom made to order. I witnessed one first-hand on my visit, with the customer choosing from a variety of granola, yogurts, and seasonal fruits.

Customer choice and community have been key parts of That Place since its inception, hence the ever-rotating menu and friendly service that brings the place to life. Spend five minutes in the outdoor dining area or street-side seating and you’ll feel immersed in the loyal customer base the café has created. Whilst Allen is thankful her business has stayed open, she feels for those who haven’t been so lucky.

“It is a pretty heartbreaking time. Along with so many businesses struggling, the amazing ‘hospitality’ that Australian cafés, bars, pubs, and restaurants normally provide has been drastically changed.

“A huge part of hospitality is interaction, for those of us lucky enough to remain open, this has pretty much been eliminated from service – it doesn’t quite feel like the same industry we all signed up for.”

Visit That Place Patisserie and Cafe at 110B Mt Pleasant Rd, check out their Instagram here.