Photo & story by Rebekkah Sparrow
With a history close to the heart of us here at Along the Grapevine, the building at 21 Main Street, Lobethal has no doubt many stories to tell. The newest story is one of transformation. With Along the Grapevine on to new premises, The Pear Tree and Partridge Café & Gallery brought a new vibe to the main street of Lobethal.
Proprietor, Louise Gray, has brought together her diverse talents to 21 Main Street, in refitting, painting and redesigning. Now filled with local art, and brimming with an assortment of home-made pastries and cakes, along with tea and coffee, the café has a welcoming vibe. Along with offering traditional and much loved family recipes in the café, Louise is hopeful she will be able to play a part in facilitating and engaging with local art and music. Louise says she would like to be able to encourage a space for people to connect and relax; a place for art, music and friendship to be shared.
Louise, a UK native, specialises in Traditional English cakes and pastries, using locally sourced ingredients, mostly yeast free. Offering these pastries and goodies at community markets in the hills and Adelaide over the last couple of years has helped build clientele and interest. Louise said she had been on the look-out for a permanent shop front, and was excited to find No 21, with its definitive wood designs on shop façade.
Louise’s inspiration comes from her own experience and diverse talents in garden design, horticulture, graphic design, visual art and love of home baking.
On a recent sunny Sunday afternoon the café was full to the brim with musicians and singers at a wonderful Open Mic session, organised by local blues musician and artisan, Arvi Peterson. An enjoyable, relaxed afternoon, with the coffee brewing, the singers roaring, and the dancers grooving. The crowd hummed the blues, and tapped their feet to some quirky folk, blues, and classic tunes from talented hills musicians.
The walls are adorned with a variety of local art and crafts. Paintings, photography, jewellery, ceramics and mosaics are on display. Art classes are soon to be held at The Pear, with local artist, Anne Griffiths sharing her skills. Louise says she is keen to continue engaging with local artists, and crafts people, with a view to displaying their art for sale by commission. Interested people can contact her direct: 0424 531 393 or Louise.firstname.lastname@example.org
Louise feels that for the future, she will build on the café’/gallery’s initial vision, and is looking to get involved with having fundraisers and events. Social groups are also welcome to contact Louise with a view to meeting space.
The interesting naming of the Pear Tree and Partridge, Louise says, is an expression of gratitude to ‘the Big Man upstairs’, with partridge in the pear tree, an old Christian symbol.
Louise said, “We’re not just selling cakes, we are getting involved in people’s lives, and that’s what we love.”