Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cafe Love: Duchess of Spotswood

Where should a Footscray girl take a discerning mademoiselle for a proper brunch in order to console her for being back at work after a European adventure? Somewhere with excellent Melbourne food and coffee. Somewhere that reminds us that there are nice little discoveries to be had in our own city. Somewhere with fancy English names on the menu and a chandelier. It has to be the Duchess of Spotswood.

In the quiet, unassuming strip of Hudsons Road in Spotswood, lies the nondescript exterior of Duchess of Spotswood. Inside, things are still clean and simple but with a few elegant touches (the chandelier) and some homely ones (baskets of bread for sale, floral sugar bowls). The consumables are the stars here.

The young mademoiselle in question inhales the coffee, giving it her nod of approval and we are soon ordering our second cup. A good coffee was hard to find in Europe apparently but this one was truely a good brew. The sugar was interesing too. I'm noticing it in a few nice eateries of late but I don't know what it's called. Like brown sugar only it doesn't clump together and it looks like it has spices in it (anyone??).

Our visit to the Duchess was timed precisely so we did not miss the breakfast menu ending at 1pm, but allowing us time to spend the morning as we chose, be it under the covers or sweating it out at the gym.

Simple Pleasures: marinated avocado with goats curd, sourdough toast, heirloom tomatoes, preserved lemon and poached eggs ($17.50)

I'd worked up quite an appetite by the time the Simple Pleasures dish arrived at our table and some serious food envy ensued. Not one, but two deliciously gooey poached eggs. Look at all that avocado, yum! It's hard to see here but the sourdough toast was very thin and crunchy, giving it a nice point of difference from other similar cafe breakfasts. The preserved lemon and sprouts were nice touches too and kept us entertained as we worked out what they were.

Prince of Wales: House smoked salmon fillet with potato pancake, spinach, poached egg and sourdough bread ($16.50)

Luckily, my choice - the Prince of Wales - was also thoroughly enjoyable and worthy of some dissecting as I imbibed its flavours. I enjoyed the potato pancakes with the mushy centres and I couldn't fault the salmon but it was very restrained. Such a reasonable serving and a very refined way to eat but I was secretly wishing for another slice of bread. Oh, and one of my friend's eggs! Sharing is caring.

The Duchess of Spotswood is certainly worth a second visit. I'll return when I'm looking for another proper, civilised breakfast with flare. I'll have to look elsewhere for the hearty, post-workout dishes. Ooh, hang on, perhaps I should have ordered the 'breakfast of champignons'?! Sounds like a winner.

Photos courtesy of la mademoiselle, excluding the blurry one of the Prince of Wales which sadly is my own.

Duchess of Spotswood on Urbanspoon


  1. Nice to see Spotswood coming in to it's own. We had brunch today at Nosh in Newport which was great to try. More le Chien than Duchess.

  2. Hey Charles, thanks for your review. The sugar in question is called Panela, it's imported from Colombia and is completely organic and unrefined- the sugar cane is juiced and then dried, with no further processing. And we're more than happy to help put with extra toast if your heart desires- just let us know! Thanks for taking the time to come in, and to write!

  3. Thanks for the info on Panela, Bobby, I'll have to get some to sweeten up my next afternoon tea! See you soon at the Duchess...I'll be the one eating lots of toast and admiring the sugar ;)




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...