Food and Drink



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Shamefully I’ve never read anything by Ernest Hemingway. Tsk Tsk. However I have consulted Wikipedia (if you can’t trust Wikipedia, who can you trust?) and apparently his style was economical and understated, which is exactly how I would describe this lovely new cafe in Thornbury.

Hemingway is owned by Bill Bretherton, (who also owns the adjoining Human Powered Cycles), but manager Anthony Hamilton-Smith really takes the reigns here. Architect, chef and all round nice guy, Hamilton-Smith has brought a designer’s eye to the fit out, pulling his inspiration from the 1920s all the way through to the 1960s.

These were the decades that brought us Ernest Hemingway, hence the name. The place is full of clean lines and bright light (even on a grey Melbourne day), and the mood is welcoming.

The menu is light and fresh, relying on home grown produce as much as possible. You can swap excess fruit and veg from your garden for food or coffee. It’s also refreshingly inexpensive – my friend paid with the loose change she stole from her boyfriend.

On the breakfast front there are no classic egg and bacon options, which I quite liked but which could be a problem if you’ve woken on a Saturday to find you have a cheap bottle of merlot where your brain used to be.

I chose the grilled peaches on toasted brioche ($14) which was simple yet delicious. Brioche is so nice and gentle in the mornings.

My brunch buddy opted for a poached chicken baguette ($9.50) from the lunch list and even though she was battling a tastebud destroying cold she said it was tasty.

If you want to keep the magic going, pick up some homemade preserves or fresh bread on your way out. Currently the baked goods come from Dench, but not for long. There are renovations happening out back which will soon deliver an in-house bakery as well as some extra seating space.

I will definitely return. Next time with a copy of The Sun Also Rises and a couple of hours to spare.

562 High St Thornbury
03 9029 6504
Weekdays 7.30 till 4
Weekends 8.30 till 4


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