The Trail

A Marrickville local brings a little inner west to the east.

The Vaucluse shops has long been a convenience destination, not a dining precinct. Among the small stretch of stores at the top of New South Head Road, there’s a post office, a newsagency, a vet; but not really anywhere to brunch like you could at say, Brewtown Newtown or Cornersmith. 

That was until The Trail opened in April, setting itself up as both a casual local’s haunt during the week and a destination cafe on weekends. 

Owner Nick Stubbs didn’t actively look for a cafe site in Vaucluse. Rather, the location was offered to him through Ed Cutliffe of Little Marionette coffee (which supplies the beans). Stubbs mans the coffee machine, having spent years as barista at Pyrmont’s Cafe Morso. 

He’s kept the design clean and minimal, with bright Edison-bulb lights, polished-concrete floors and countertops made from blackbutt wood, recommended by a carpenter friend. 

Head chef Lenny Walker, previously of Orto Trading Co. has designed a simple menu that changes every few weeks. Think pulled pork and kimchi baked eggs with bean-shoot salad; or buckwheat-quinoa porridge with brandied rhubarb, quince, pecan and honeycomb. “He’s really brought that finesse to a cafe environment, which is exactly what I wanted to bring over from the inner-west,” says Stubbs. 

Stubbs says the change of scene from Marrickville to Vaucluse has been a good one. “I come to Parsley Bay a lot in summer. The plan later on in the year is to do something for the people that go down there, possibly have a little scooter and run food down.

Originally published on Broadsheet