So the Queen just visited to Melbourne and Princess Mary came to town.
If you’re not royal-ed out, take yourself to visit the Duchess in Spotswood.
Duchess of Spotswood is a cafe is located in an unprepossessing strip of shops near Spotswood station and when I arrived at 9am on a weekend it was easily the busiest place in the street. I’m pretty sure not all of Spotswood had descended on the cafe in the relatively early hours of Saturday morning, which means (like me) people had taken a special trip to try it out.
Was it worth 30 minutes through the Westgate Bridge forever-in-roadworks traffic jam?
Because Duchess of Spotswood does something unique with breakfast in the crowded Melbourne breakfast arena.
The cafe is cute, with the outside boarded up windows framing a painted outdoor landscape and the inside all cool mint green and overhung with a crystal chandelier. A very suitable parlour for dining.
Along with their grand moniker the tongue-in-cheek royal references continue in the menu, which is British-leaning with a twist. The regal family tree includes the Queen of the Dam, Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Pork. Giggle.
Eschewing the healthier options I headed straight to the Duchess of Pork, a thick slice of crispy pig’s jowl plus two fried eggs, truffle sauce and sourdough toast ($17.50). The waitress suggested that the hash ($4) was excellent with the dish, so why not?
I liked the tender saltiness of the slab of pork. I liked the eggs fried just enough to set them and not enough to make them into rubbery frisbees. I liked the decadence of the shaved truffles. I loved the fried crispiness of the hash. The whole dish was like an extreme Atkin Diet start to the day and my stomach approved.
Every good meal should end with dessert. And so I made room for a slice of the just-made Bakewell tart, a triangle of buttery fluted shortcrust pastry spread with blackberry jam, covered with an almond frangipane filling then glazed with more jam. So moist and fruity and seriously delicious.
The service was brisk but friendly and while the staff by no means shunt you out after your meal, the line-up outside at 10am guilted me into not staying for a leisurely newspaper scan.
Because it’s only fair that other people get to take a bow at the Duchess.
My travel to this cafe was made possible thanks to the Holden Barina.
Duchess of Spotswood, 87 Hudsons Rd, Yarraville +61 3 9391 6016