As I have been writing blogs over the past year my passion for donuts has spilled out into conversations with friends, family and work colleagues. I find that the more I talk about the blog, explain the reasoning behind wanting to create a donut rating scheme and talk about my love of donuts – those around me seem to get excited too. A wonderful, beautiful thing about Australians is their deep, foundational love for bakeries – and everyone has a personal favourite. The conversation inevitably takes us down the path of where to review next, and always an eager listener will offer up a bakery they’ve felt deserves praise.
In my donut fuelled rambles at work, a good few of my colleagues had mentioned the bakery in Lobethal as having a good and wide range of baked goods. Especially impressive, apparently, were their donuts. A small town set into the hills it seems to be well known for two things: firstly, its Christmas lights display and secondly, it’s bakery with an enormous car park. The car park itself doesn’t affect the donuts in any way, it just seems to be that everyone likes to mention it. After three separate colleagues directed me to review their donut, it was really unavoidable. However, I was ever aware that the danger in reviewing such a popular bakery and donut, particularly if it turned out to be rubbish, could change some of my work relationships forever.
This brings us to early February of 2018. My family were visiting in the height of summer and had become involved with this donut movement. We had frequented some of the great bakeries in Adelaide over the week prior and despite a larger than normal quantity of donuts consumed they weren’t deterred from trying more. To give an example of how many donuts had been consumed by my family up to this point I unashamedly will put my 17-year-old sister on the spotlight who consumed five donuts in a 24 hour period. All I can say is bravo and I can only dream of that kind of achievement in my lifetime.
I digress. That particular hot February day saw us in the hills doing tourist type things like holding koalas and feeding kangaroos at a local wildlife park. After a picnic lunch surrounded by squawking parrots, we noted that the famed Lobethal was a lazy 20-minute drive away and would allow my family to see more of the Adelaide Hills. As we drove along I was charmed by the rolling green hills, leafy clusters of trees and babbling, rocky brooks. The fields gave way to occasional vineyards which in turn revealed pleasant country houses, with large verandas and even larger yards. We arrived in Lobethal, sans Christmas lights it might be added, and easily found the bakery thanks to its notably large, dusty car park. The cool air-conditioning inside was a welcome relief to the heat, and once one’s eyes had adjusted to the cool dark interior it was hard to miss a wall of shoulder-height glass filled with beautifully glazed donuts, fantastically flavoured Berliners and sprinkled selection of donuts with two types of icing. In addition to the wonderful donut display was a variety of other delicious looking baked goods, sweet and savoury, which I’m sure would not fail to disappoint.