It’s been an insanely busy week trying to get organised for Christmas, but fortunately I’ve had the husband around to help out (lucky bugger is on holidays), so we’ve managed to sneak in a couple of outings.
Duchess of Spotswood
87 Hudson Road
Spotswood Vic 3015
Lets be honest there isn’t a huge abundance of amazing cafes in the western suburbs, but the tide is a changing and there is no better example of this than this place. The Duchess is definitely the jewel in the crown when it comes to great cafes out west.
When we walked into the Duchess we were greeted by the loveliest and incredibly accommodating staff, so immediately I was in love. We walked through the café to their homely courtyard, where we sat at a wooden table under a huge lemon tree, so naturally when it came time to order drinks, I picked one of their homemade lemonades.
We ordered the steak sandwich (open steak sandwich, red pepper relish, fried egg and salad) and beef burger (wagyu burger, with tomato, cheddar, bread and butter pickle, iceberg, mayo) and both were great, perfect for a sunny Melbourne afternoon. The sandwich was full of flavour, the combination of the steak, egg and relish was just perfect. The burger was just as good, very tender, juicy and complemented perfectly by those chips – deelish!
So the food was great, the service was quick and friendly, I got parking right out front and like that, we’re onto a winner!
If you’re out west, or just taking the kids to Scienceworks, make a pitstop at the Duchess of Spotswood.
Three Bags Full
60 Nicholson Street
Abbotsford Vic 3067
Hands down one of my absolute favourite places to do lunch in Melbourne. You know when you go somewhere, look at the menu and want to eat just about everything on it? That is this place, I keep on coming back just to try something different and I always leave a happy (and seriously full) woman.
I’ve had a few trips to Three Bags Full this year, but on my most recent trip we ordered the Wagyu Cheeseburger (200g wagyu burger in brioche, aioli, cheddar cheese, tomato relish, coz lettuce, pickled cucumber & roasted wedges ), the Pulled Lamb Flatbread (Pumpkin hummus, feta, shaved carrot, pomegranate & sesame), and the Greens and Grains Salad (Red & white quinoa, cooked & raw greens, freekah, cherry tomato, chia, almonds & grapefruit vinaigrette + Grilled Chicken) The burger was good, nothing that will change your life, but good. But to be honest this isn’t the place you go to for a burger, you visit Three Bags Full for their amazing salad, fritters or pulled lamb.
So although I wasn’t that blown away with the burger, that salad and pulled lamb were amazing! The salad was full of flavour and so satisfying, it makes healthy eating appealing. Often I order a salad, because it’s the ‘right’ thing to do and opposed to eating a fat laden burger, although we all know how much I want that damn burger. Then I eat my salad and secretly wish I had the burger, regretting my choice with every forkful. This did not happen with the salad, seriously, it was delicious and made me so happy that I took the healthy option.
The pulled lamb was also a winner, so tender, it just melted in my mouth. Mixed with the pumpkin hummus, feta and pomegranate, WOW, amazing! It was such a satisfying meal. Hats off to the chef for coming up with this dish, I’ve added it to my list of favourites.
The Austen Tea Room
40 Nicholson Street
Essendon Vic 3040
Situated near Windy Hill in the back streets of Essendon is The Austen Tea Room. This beautiful period home has been converted into a pretty little restaurant specialising in high tea.
I popped in with my family on the weekend and unfortunately we didn’t try the high tea but we ate off their standard breakfast menu, which to me felt a bit dated. I know, I sound like the biggest food snob writing this, but we have so many amazingly progressive and creative cafes in Melbourne, it’s hard to go back to standard breakfast options.
So given the menu I ordered plain old bacon and eggs and they were good, but there was nothing to differentiate them from anywhere else I can get bacon and eggs.
Either way their standard breakfast options were good and if you’re not looking for a great foodie experience this place will do the trick. Having said that I’ll have come back and try the High Tea because I’ve heard great things about it, so I’ll reserve my judgement until then.