Cingjing is an extremely popular tourist destination in Taiwan, especially with Singaporeans. When I was there during our June school holidays, the hot spots in Cingjing were totally flooded with our people. Thankfully, I read about Matina Mill (馬提那麥兒手作烘焙) from The Hooting Post and decided to visit it. It was the best part of our day trip to Cingjing, and a great escape from the hustle and bustle in the more touristy areas.
Doesn’t the building itself look lovely? Matina Mill is a bakery cum cafe. They conduct baking classes and serve lovely tea sets. It is located in the mountains (okay, technically the whole of Cingjing is located in the mountains) and the road leading to Matina Mill was insanely rocky and narrow. We were sooooo close to the cliff that my heart was in my throat during the ride there. Thankfully our hired driver from Taichung was well versed with the roads here and navigated us safely to Matina Mill. I would NEVER try to self-drive to Matina Mill. Get a local driver or taxi to bring you there if you want to visit, please.
The view from Matina Mill was simply breathtaking. Looking out at the mountains, it immediately relieved all the tension I was feeling from the precarious ride.
The kids also took time to soak in the mountain view. We Singaporeans really do not get that much opportunities to just enjoy the nature.
We popped into the cafe to make our presence known so that they can prepare our tea sets. Please note that you CANNOT walk-in to dine at Matina Mill. Reservations are required. So prior to the trip, I had gone to their Facebook Page and sent them a message (in Chinese – not too sure if they can communicate in English) to make the reservation.
I was making a reservation for breakfast, so they sent me the above menu and told me to choose from there. You can refer to this Facebook Post for afternoon tea, light meals and kids menu. So once we arrived, they went about preparing the sets that we have ordered while we roamed around checking out the interiors of the bakery.
I love the little displays of figurines they had around the cafe.
And the curious boys found something that looked like a fireplace and chimney.
There was a small indoor dining area.
With windows to gaze out at the mountains.
Our tea sets were served, and they didn’t look like much. But I tell you, they tasted SO GOOD!
The kids were absolutely starving by then, because we were scrambling around all morning, taken the high speed rail from Kaohsiung to Taichung, followed by a long (okay, long is subjective. We are Singaporeans so 1+ hour car ride is long) car ride from Taichung to Cingjing. They grabbed the bread and stuffed them into their mouths before I could take a single photo of it.
A note about the two huge lychees on each plate. We were told that they were not normal lychees but a unique breed that was grown by the bakery owner’s sister. Hence, they were much larger than normal lychees.
Singapore has plenty of good cafes. So to make the experience here really count, we just had to dine outdoors with the mountains as the backdrop.
Now this is a dining experience we would not get in Singapore. Reminded me of the cafe we visited (Sanai No Chaya) in Biei, Hokkaido! Which is something I found that I really love about vacations. Just chilling at a cafe in the midst of nature.
After we finished eating, we walked around the premises just to take a look.
There was a dog residing there. So don’t say I didn’t warn you – in case you or your kids are scared or allergic to dogs.
There was a bunch of firewood, with what looked like a fireplace next to it.
MY gave me a super mischievous ‘I’m so going to open this thing’ look when I warned them that it may be hot.
After studying it for some time, the boys just couldn’t contain their curiosity and went ahead to open it. After which, they gleefully told me, “No, it’s not hot!” Kids.
Next, we went back inside to the bakery where baking was taking place.
We got to watch the staff go about her baking.
We didn’t hang around to wait for the buns she was baking to be done. Now, if you think you could just walk in here to purchase some buns, you would be very disappointed. While we were there, the only item they had on their shelves was their signature fruit cake.
We wanted to buy some to try, since the sign said it was their signature cake. But the owner decided to just give us two pieces for FREE! The boys were thrilled!
So happily, while munching our fruit cakes, we bid farewell to Matina Mill. While walking back to the car, we stopped to smell the flowers. Because their smell was really quite strong and sweet.
And our driver pointed out to us that the herbs in the garden in front of the bakery were all self-grown and infused into the breads they made!
So if you are headed to Cingjing, take my advice: Ditch the overpriced, totally blah and hyped up Old England and come to Matina Mill for high tea instead. And remember to make reservation in advance by sending them a Facebook or LINE (matinamill) message!
Information on Matina Mill:
- Breakfast 1000 – 1130
- Afternoon Tea 1400 – 1530
- Closed on Wednesdays
Contact Telephone Number: 049-280-2221 / 0928-237-670
Official Websites: Facebook Page
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[Blogged] Tucked away in a secluded corner in Cingjing (Taiwan), Matina Mill is a lovely place to get away from the crowd and enjoy breakfast or high tea in the mountains! I highly recommend coming here instead of #OldEngland. http://bumblebeemum.net/2015/10/13/matina-mill-cingjing-taiwan/ #bumblebeemumblog #bumblebeemumintaiwan #travelblog #taiwantrip #taiwantravel #taiwancafe #taiwanfood #taiwancuisine #taiwanbakery #cingjing #matinamill #cottage #mondayescapes #traveltuesday #wednesdaywanderlust #travelthursday #familyfunfriday #sgmombloggers #sporemombloggers #sgparentblogger #sgparentbloggers
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