I believe that everything must taste better when it’s eaten outside. How else to explain the popularity of alfresco dining in the freezing depths of a Melbourne winter?

The Farm Cafe is the ultimate location for relaxed open air dining. The sweetly rustic eatery is located in the bucolic surrounds of the Collingwood Childrens’ Farm – a countryside hideaway for city folk where you can pretend to be milkmaids and farmhands for a day.

The cafe serves breakfast and lunch and is particularly popular with shoppers at the monthly farmers markets (held on the 2nd Saturday of every month). All that fresh produce on offer can really get you working up an appetite, or maybe the early weekend start means a bleary-eyed coffee is required to kick start the morning. Either way, there’s no better place to appreciate the top o’ the mornin’ than sitting at a rough-hewn wooden table under the dappled sunlight, gazing out on the chickens and cows in the meadow.

Everything at the Farm Cafe is made on site with fresh, quality ingredients. This attention to provenance means my fritters burst with healthful flavours of green pea and zucchini, bound together loosely with melted haloumi. It came with a handful of crisp salad leaves and halved cherry tomatoes in all hues (tomatoes aren’t all red!) and a dollop of yoghurt ($14.50). Simple yet gorgeous.

I washed down my breakfast with a frothy kid’s size banana milkshake ($3.50) which unfortunately I think might have been made with some sort of syrup rather than fresh bananas as it had that artificially sweet taste to it like you get in those banana lollies. I did notice that the adult milkshakes came in steel canisters, as a good milkshake should.

I loved the food, the ambience and setting of the Farm Cafe and given I try to make the markets most months I’ve already got my eye on the brioche or slow cooked beans for my next post-market visit.