At the bottom of Swanston Street in Melbourne was Classic Cafe, now McDonalds I think. It was Mother's favourite place to stop for tea on her way to or from the station. Mother wilts quickly without a frequent cup of tea. Like her mother, half drunk cups of tea can often be found around her house. I am afraid I am inclined to do the same, but with coffee. Classic Cafe co-incidently closed about the same time she stopped making shopping excursions to the city. I don't think there is a connection.
In earlier times nearby was a shop that sold doughnuts. Children tend to be fond of doughnuts and we were no exception. But the best part about the doughnuts was watching them being made by the machine in the window. I can't remember the name of the shop. I can also remember a doughnut making machine at Downyflake in Chadstone. Perhaps the city shop was Downyflake too.
At the top of the machine was a reservoir for the doughnut mix. With a plop, into the hot oil below a doughnut shape with a hole in it would fall. The doughnut moved along in the hot oil at some point something mechanical tipped the doughnut over, so it was nicely cooked both sides. Another device moved it onto conveyer chains and the excess oil dripped off. Once the doughnut reached the end of the conveyer chain, it dropped into a mixture of cinnamon and sugar and staff would then make sure both sides were covered and place them into a bag.
'Don't buy them yet Mum', we would ask. We always tried to wait until the doughnut tray with the cinnamon and sugar was empty so that we could see our own doughnuts being made, fresh and hot and oh so delicious.
Evidently Australians haven't taken too well to Krispy Kreme doughnuts as the company is under administration and half the stores have been closed. A friend used to bring us some from Sydney when the first store opened. I never had the heart to tell him I didn't like them.
An addition after most of this post was written, Mother says the above mentioned Classic Cafe was there from at least the early fifties, when she first starting going there, sometimes upstairs where it was a bit more formal, or downstairs for more casual. So that would have been around 30 years of operation for the Classic Cafe.