Matina Mill – Your Secret hideout in Cingjing, Taiwan

Matina Mill (Cingjing, Taiwan) - Bumble Bee Mum

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.

Taiwan Cingjing Cafe Matina Mill 01

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 MillReservations 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.

Taiwan Cingjing Cafe Matina Mill Menu 2

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.

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I love the little displays of figurines they had around the cafe.

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And the curious boys found something that looked like a fireplace and chimney.

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There was a small indoor dining area.

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With windows to gaze out at the mountains.

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Our tea sets were served, and they didn’t look like much.  But I tell you, they tasted SO GOOD!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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After we finished eating, we walked around the premises just to take a look.

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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.

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There was a bunch of firewood, with what looked like a fireplace next to it.

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MY gave me a super mischievous ‘I’m so going to open this thing’ look when I warned them that it may be hot.

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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.

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Next, we went back inside to the bakery where baking was taking place.

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We got to watch the staff go about her baking.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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:

Address: 南投縣仁愛鄉大同村定遠新村30之5

Map: Show location on Google Map

Opening Hours:

  • 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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Matina Mill (Cingjing, Taiwan) - Bumble Bee Mum

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  • Phoebe says:

    I love the alfresco dining with a gorgeous view! Missing Taiwan already and praying hard we can finally fly there next year or so!

  • the hOOter says:

    Thank you for the linkback dear! It’s such a lovely, gorgeous place right! It was a gem of a wonderful surprise to chance upon it and we loved it alot too. There’s just something about Matina Mill! Glad you and your family had a good time too! 🙂

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Yes, there’s something very charming about Matina Mill. Unlike our local cafes that have extensive menu or Instagram-worthy presentation, they are just very down to earth. It’s really going back to basics – serving simple comfort food with homegrown ingredients and allowing visitors to enjoy the natural surroundings while dining.

  • pc says:

    Love the bluish sky and the cottage building! Soooo beautiful!!! Great tips sharing too, esp on the road up! My list of to-go places is getting very looong…. >.<

    • bumblebeemum says:

      The cottage building was actually what attracted me to this place, just like how I was attracted to Old England because of the castle building. I visited both and Matina Mill wins hands down.

  • Waiwai says:

    Beautiful place to have high tea! I wanted to include Cingjing in our upcoming trip, but in the end we decided to bring the children to Miaoli instead.

  • Angie.S says:

    Truly breakfast with a view! We visited CingJing in Dec (Winter) and missed such gorgeous views of the mountains! You really have a nose for sniffing out these off-the-beaten-track places to visit. Makes me wanna revisit CingJing again should we travel to Taiwan. Thanks for sharing! 😀

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Nothing against fellow Singaporeans, but usually when I travel, I try to avoid places where I know will be full of Singaporeans. Otherwise, I don’t really feel like I have left the country. Which is why I am not a big fan of Hong Kong, because I didn’t feel like I was on vacation when I was there – too similar to Singapore.

      For Taiwan, if you want to get off the beaten track, do your research in Chinese and visit the Taiwanese blogs! I was reading a lot of Taiwanese blogs when planning my trip and they are excellent! It’s just like when I visit Japan, I google in Japanese. That’s how I find places less well-traveled.

  • What fun place to take the kids out to eat. So much for them to explore so they don’t get bored whilst you are enjoying you lunch at leisure.

  • Oh my that’s lovely! The house looks like a house I’ve seen in France and Germany. The outdoor table looks like a perfect spot for breakfast!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Yes, it does look very European, which was why I was attracted to it. I love houses like this, but travelling to Europe with the kids right now is a bit too challenging (both financially and the thought of surviving the long flight with them). That’s why I decided to pop by Matina Mill when we were in Taiwan. We also went to Old England (a castle-like B&B in the same town) and E-Da World (a Mediterranean theme park in Taiwan). Just to IMAGINE myself being in Europe when I’m really not.

  • High tea at Matina Mill sounds good to me. What a beautiful place 🙂

  • So beautiful there! Your description of the scary drive up there had me shaking in my boots. I would be nervous! Looks like it was worth the drive though and there is nothing more fabulous than a day out in nature 🙂

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Yes, it’s like going for hikes. At the end of the day, the view at the end of the hike is usually most rewarding and makes you feel it was so worth the trip. Can’t say the same about the return trip though.

  • You always find the most interesting days out.
    Thanks for linking up #wednesdaywanderlust

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow…nice place! We are planning to go cingjing n we are flying nx week! Going to put in into our plan. Btw, how do u engage a driver in taichung? We are traveling dwn from kaohsiung also.

    • bumblebeemum says:

      The driver we hired was recommended on Tripadvisor. His name is Xie Zhiming and I highly recommend him. You can whatsapp him at +886 937 216 180 to check if he is available on your date.

  • Danny Teo says:

    Just returned from Taipei and I must confess that Matina Mill was indeed the highlight of the Cing Jing Farm visit. We almost gave it a miss due to time constraints but thank God, the sheep feeding session was pretty fast and we managed to drop in for afternoon tea. Did not appreciate the precarious driving situation described until I experienced it myself. But the view and atmosphere was well worth the risk. The driver, a friend of Mr Xie, was totally amazed as he has not heard of Matina Mill even though he has been bringing tourists to Cing Jing all this time. And to top it off, the day we visited Cing Jing, the weather in Taichung was superb, not a single cloud in the blue sky! Thanks again for the recommendation !

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Wow, sounds like you had an awesome time! Looks like Mr Xie is really experienced to not only know about Matina Mill but also warn me that I had better make reservation in advance. Weather indeed plays an important part in making or breaking a trip to Cingjing.

  • Angeline says:

    Great info u have! Can I ask where did u stay in cingjing?

  • Jennifer Phua says:

    I found out from Matina Mill from your blog & decided to bring my kids there to do DIY bread making & have meals there. When I enquired through their FB with my planned date & # of pax. They told us that we would pay for 3 pax as my girl still quite small & needed an adult’s help, & subsequently when I wanted to confirm the booking & check if they would proceed with the baking if there’s only our family, which doesn’t meet their minimum requirements of 6, only then was I told that they had now changed to min 6 pax on a normal day. We planned to go on a Sunday as they didn’t indicate it was a rest day & that baking is only on weekdays. When I enquired, they also didn’t say anything. When checking with my kids what they want to order for their meals, I already told them we’ll be doing baking after that, so kind of disappointing now but I think better to know now than later. Imagine that we’re there with booking to do DIY & be told later when we’re there that they can’t proceed cos it’s a weekend & we didn’t meet the requirements. Even if I were to change my plans to go on a weekday, a family of 4 with young children won’t meet their min requirements too. I’m sharing here so that other families who don’t hv 6 family members, better think of other programmes if they’re like us planning to try out DIY bread making there. In my opinion, they’re getting more & more “commercialised” now that more people get to know them through various blogs as they’re also venturing out into minsu business, so may no longer be able to cater to small family’s needs.

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Hmmm… They sound so disorganised with their baking classes. I didn’t enquire about their baking classes, I only made a booking to have breakfast there and it was pretty straightforward. But yeah, good that you clarified with them and didn’t only realise they can’t proceed with the baking class after you arrived! Thank you for sharing your experience, I’m sure it’ll be helpful to those who are considering their baking classes.

      • Jennifer Phua says:

        Good news! The boss of the company that I booked my driver drove to Matina & spoke to them directly. Think the bosses know each other as the boss of the company owns a fleet of taxis doing a lot of tourists’ business, so maybe Matina gives him face. It’s so nice of him to do it for me & thankful that Matina made an exception for us. After my holiday, I shall write a good review of him. 🙂

  • Ann Peh says:

    great info for holidays

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