Thursday, 3 May 2012

Lilies on Brougham and a visit to Monsalvat

We usually go to Eltham to visit Monsalvat. That is exactly what we did last weekend.  It is one of my favourite places in Melbourne.  However, the Monsalvat cafe was busy with functions.  We had to look elsewhere for afternoon tea.  I am pleased to report that Lilies on Brougham delivered the goods.  But before telling you about this sweet nursery -- giftshop -- tearooms, I will indulge in some photos of Monsalvat.

We drove there after visiting the Preston Farmers Market.  The weather was mostly sunny.  Perfect for a walk around the grounds to admire the rustic buildings of the artists colony.  At one stage grey clouds gathered in the sky but as you can see above, the sun refused to stop shining and the clouds went away in defeat.

Despite the sunshine, it was clearly well into Autumn.  Trees sported reds, russets, browns and a kookaburra.  Yes a kookaburra flitting between trees, stopping on a branch to eyeball us and then flying off on his way with a laugh.  We also saw the peacocks that I have photographed on previous visits.  The peacock sitting calmly in the grass had a tail that looked too ragged to display in a fan, but E thought maybe it was the time of year.

In the dining room of the Great Hall, flowers and candles adorned the tables and cutlery was being laid for a wedding feast.  We explored the passageways to other rooms, looking out arched leadlight windows and walking through stone doorways so low that E had to stoop to avoid hitting his head.  We spied carved bosses jutting out from the ceilings, were charmed by gothic candelabras, and noticed an Aga as we passed a kitchen.  It is the sort of place where I wanted to just keep clicking away with my camera everywhere I looked.

After some time, E was hungry for coffee and cake.  Fortunately we spoke to a friendly caterer who recommended either The Lane or Lilies on Brougham.  It was just the sort of local knowledge I was after.  We chose the later and were very pleased with the recommendation.  Lilies on Brougham is a nursery, a giftshop and a tearoom.  Hence we sat in a section that overlooked the nursery with a rustic old mudbrick house with roses growing up the chimney in its midst.

As soon as I looked at the cake display, I knew what Sylvia would have.  On the counter was a jar of pink pig biscuits with marshmallow snouts.  Given that she and Dolly hang out a lot with George Pig  and that she loves pink icing and marshmallows, it wasn't hard to predict it would go down well.

I chose scones for myself (see top photo).  The scones were nicely warmed but could have been lighter and possibly would have been if fresh from the oven.  However this was forgiven because the rhubarb and strawberry jam was so good that we bought a jar of it to take home with us.

E had a gluten free poppyseed and orange cake with a fluffy cream cheese frosting.  It was absolutely delicious.  He was very pleased with his choice.  I had to have a few spoonfuls to check that he was correct in declaring it delicious.  It was not too heavy for E but dense enough for me.

They also do lunches but as they had finished serving lunch by the time I arrived, I didn't peruse that menu, but I think it was just what was on the blackboard.  Must go back another time to check this out.

After afternoon tea, we wondered around the gift shop and garden.  I restrained myself from buying nice things in the gift shop which was very Pru and Tru (for those who watch Kath and Kim) in the nicest possible way.  Sylvia was fascinated by the crabapple trees in the nursery.  I was wary of the Black Pearl Chillis that looked a little malevolent (but I feel that way about many chillis).  Then it was time to go home, very satisfied with our day.

Lilies on Brougham

62 Brougham Street
Eltham Victoria 3095
Tel: 03 9431 6622
http://www.lilyandlulu.com.au/?page=lilies

28 comments:

  1. a gorgeous afternoon! it looks like you were in the English countryside!

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    1. Thanks Lisa - it felt like it too - which is a reason I love going there!

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  2. Sounds (and looks!) like you had a lovely day out in all! Those autumnal colours are beautiful, even though I'm looking forward to spring colour here. I particularly like the look of E's orange and poppy seed cake - it looks deliciouly moist.

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    1. Thanks Caroline - the autumn colours are glorious - great compensation for it not being spring here :-)

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  3. What a gorgeous place to get married. I would have loved to see the rest of the wedding and how it was all laid out.
    Lovely shot with the beautiful light and the flowers on the table.

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    1. Thanks brydie - unfortunately we left as the bridal car pulled in - but I agree it is a lovely place for a wedding - one of my friends got married at monsalvat but I was overseas at the time

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  4. What a lovely cafe to stumble over - and beautiful photos all up. It sounds like a great day out all up.

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    1. Thanks Kari - we got a dud recommendation from one of the other staff (ie just go to the high street) at monsalvat so I was glad to find someone who knew their eltham cafes

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  5. oh so beautiful! Lovely place. I'd love to visit it!

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    1. Thanks Anh - highly recommend it

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  6. These photos are gorgeous - I like places like this. Must go to Eltham sometime!

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I am sure you would enjoy eltham - it is surprisingly close to the city for a suburb with rural charm

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  7. I've been enjoying rhubarb jam myself lately, so those scones do sound lovely! You know I wouldn't go near orange cake with a fifty food pole :P

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    1. Thanks Hannah - so glad that the scones would please as I know the orange cake just isn't your thing!

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  8. Oh wow, what a wonderful place! I absolutely love places like that! How much I'd have loved to go there with you! :D

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    1. Thanks Kath - if you ever visit melbourne I would be happy to show you around there :-)

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  9. Oh I am SO craving a piece of that orange poppyseed cake now!!

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    1. Thanks Joanne - wouldn't mind a piece myself right now - why don't cafes give away the recipes with a slice of cake!!!

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  10. Both the area and the afternoon tea look gorgeous! This would be my perfect day out :)

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    1. Thanks Rachel - it is one of the places in Melbourne that I love visiting most - always glorious

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  11. Sounds like a lovely wee find Johanna. I always want to be there when you describe your days out. Although now I will have the Peppa Pig tune going around my head for the rest of the day :)

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    1. Thanks Jac - you sound as though you don't have peppa pig in your head most days - we do (when Sylvia is not fixating on sound of music and then it is so long farewell da da da da da da da)

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  12. Monsalvat looks like a slice of France! :D I'd love to visit there one day!

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - it is quite french peasant village (though of course if I spent more time in French peasant villages I might not think so - but it is so quaint)

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  13. How spooky...I was sitting at Lilies on Brougham today and decided to check through my favourite blogs while I waited for my friends to arrive. What a surprise I got to see your review right near the top of the list on my iPod.

    Just for the record, I had pumpkin and goats cheese lasagna, along with passionfruit tart for dessert. They were damn good!

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    1. Thanks Linda - what a lovely comment and how serendipitous - I am so glad to hear that the lunches sounds as good as the afternoon teas - just in case I am back there around lunch time - glad to keep you company while you waited for your friends :-)

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