19 June 2007

The Pavilion Cafe

Fitzroy Gardens
Clarendon St end, East Melbourne
(03) 9417 2544
Open: 7.30am - 5pm, every day

I NEVER knew I was a garden lover until I discovered East Melbourne's magnificent Fitzroy Gardens. Established in 1848, this city oasis boasts soaring trees, manicured lawns and pristine garden beds.

Hence the view from the Fitzroy Garden's Pavilion Cafe is nothing short of magical and therein lies its goodness. Gigantic oaks, elms and other European greenery envelop this understated café which sits on the hill next to the miniature Tudor village and fairy tree.

How can this local treasure lie here in Melbourne, practically empty? In London or New York it would teem with crowds.

A perfect spot for children, babies and dogs, The Pavilion should be chockers. Being in understated Melbourne and off the well-worn cafe trails of South Yarra, St Kilda and Carlton, there’s plenty of room during the week to grab a table.

The slate stone balcony gives the cafe a celebrated 50s feel and plenty of room to sit among gardeners' paradise.

All-day breakfast on weekends features eggs Florentine and Benedict, omelettes, homemade muesli, fruit salad, croissants and sour dough toast. Simple salads, fish and chips, pasta specials, foccacias and soups are standard lunch fare.

It would be criminal for the food not to match its surroundings. Sadly the day we visited it fell short. Dad's shepherd’s pie from Brunswick pie maestro Bocastle was slightly burnt. The soup of the day, potato and leek, was uninspired but propped up by quality sour dough. Other specials including a good calamari salad and rich cannelloni were enjoyed by my companions. A passable hot chocolate perked things up a bit.

The Pavilion and its outlook are delightful. It's a simply stunning place to be.
Fingers crossed, the food will improve so I can gush about the fare and not just the gardens.


- Kate

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These guys really need to lift their game. Scenery is divine but food needs a lift.