Lady Melville is a cutie patootie family-run cafe in a rather dour strip of Brunswick West.
The venue is rather deceptive, as the sunny front room leads out into long, narrow and split-level establishment. Starting at the back there’s a rear entrance via Bakers Parade which leads into a sunny courtyard.
On the fake grass under the stairs they’ve set up not just one but two toy kitchens which will keep kids amused for ages.
Go up the steep stairs and there’s a sheltered deck, the toilets, a tiny kitchen, then a cosy room with a fireplace and succulents nesting in decorative teapots.
My favourite space was the sunny front room where coffee machine churns out Lady Melville’s house blend from Zest. The only drawback of the front room is that the teeny tiny tables are wall-mounted, which means they’re squishy and awkward if you’re trying to fit your bottom, your bag, food, drinks and cutlery.
The all day breakfast and lunch menu covers all the usual bases, with lots for gluten-lovers including a delectable selection of pastries in the cabinet from Noisette.
I tried the salmon smorrebord (Danish open sandwich) with a few slices of smoked salmon, a dill cream cheese spread, radish, cucumber and capers, a bargain at $10. I wish that it came on the traditional dark rye bread instead of sourdough, but a small quibble.
The kids menu actually contains something that I’d eat – a ham and cheese toasty stuffed with oozy cheese and good quality Istra ham ($8).
I also tried the apple and macadamia French toast jaffle ($16.50), an extravagant affair with a spiced apple and currant mixture pressed between two slices of eggy bread. The French toast was bookended by a scoop of burnt fig gelato from Miinot Gelato and a generous dollop of marscapone. Everything was fairy-dusted with a sweet nut crumble, fresh berries and lashings of Canadian maple syrup. You can add bacon to the dish but why spoil the sweetness I say?
Lady Melville is a fantastic café in Brunswick West that just happens to be extremely kid-friendly as well. The owners are parents and have thought of everything, without compromising on the high standard of food that discerning Melbourne café-goers expect.