It’s not just the view that’s ‘Bella’



My partner and I park in Manly on a Saturday morning with the intention of taking a scenic stroll up to North Head’s well-known Bella Vista Café for breakfast.

So, around Cabbage Tree Bay we walk, the pink caps of the Bold and the Beautiful swimmers dotting the glistening waterway to our left.

As we reach Shelly Beach, we pass a group of scuba divers taking their final instructions, and the always lively The Boathouse.

Then, we ascend the bush track that leads to North Head and wind our way around to the breathtaking viewing platforms – where we look out over the harbour towards the city, with the grand old Freshwater class ferry steaming towards Circular Quay, and yachts and kayakers creating plenty of activity.

By this stage, we’ve worked up an appetite. So, we carry on up the road to the Bella Vista.

As you would hope from an eatery that’s Italian name means ‘nice view’, it is perfectly positioned to look out across the water to Watsons Bay.

We opt for a table on the covered outdoor deck, and a friendly and attentive waiter is quick to ask us for our drink order. The coffee blend is smooth but offers a robust caffeine kick.

The next challenge is selecting the right dish from a menu of mouth-watering options. My partner decides on the scrambled eggs on Berkelo sourdough with roasted vine cherry tomatoes, and I can’t go past the ‘The Big Bella’ – including poached eggs, bacon, fennel and chilli pork sausage, a grilled portabello and smokey house tomato relish on sourdough. 

We are impressed with the quick turnaround from order to serving – and it is beautifully presented on the plate. The produce tastes fresh and flavoursome, and I rave about the pork sausage, portabello and house relish combination.

Soft music provides another layer to the relaxed vibe, and we watch as joggers and cyclists pass the café on their weekend routine.

Fully sated, we begin the gentle jaunt down North Head Scenic Drive, back to the hustle and bustle of Manly.

All this exercise will lessen the guilt when we return next week for the Belgian waffles (with vanilla marscapone and house berry compote) and artisan croissant.

Joe McDonough, Editor-in-Chief, Peninsula Living Magazine

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