Hopetouns Tea Rooms
There’s no doubt about it, this is the absolute Queen of cake haunts in Melbourne. I say Queen as it’s actually named after Lady Hopetoun, the wife of the late Governor of Victoria HOPETOUN.
Hopetouns is that good it tops this list without being a cake shop, it’s a bloody tea room! Yes, it serves sandwiches and other lunch offerings but what is it everyone’s staring at in the window?
What is it that’s attracted the 30 minute queue? Yes, it is this most delightful array of guilty treats. Fruits, creams, mousses, sponges, gateaux, cheesecake, biscuits, honestly it doesn’t end.
It’s a cake lover’s picture perfect window and impossible to not be number one on this list.
Acland Street, St Kilda is home to a plethora of cake-filled windows each as appetising as the other, yet one has stood there longer than them all.
The area’s first continental cake shop of it’s kind, Monarch Cakes was opened by Polish immigrants that specialised in making fantastic cakes and that’s why 83 years (opened in 1934!!) later it is still known to specialise in European cakes using recipes that are as old as our great-grandparents, if it’s not broke don’t fix it right?
Its specialities include extravagant vanilla slices and history-laden baked cheesecakes but nothing tops their Kugelhopf. Half of us can’t say it, half of us didn’t know what it is until now but all of us will love it.
Although originally Austrian and now found all over Europe, many exclaim to have never tasted as good as the one thousands of miles
I’ve never seen a bigger cake shop, with more glean and patisserie precision than Brunettis, thus making choosing a cake a genuine nightmare.
The cakes are obviously great, the coffees are too and my they even have a savoury section stocking rolls and pizzas that is great, but lets rewind and remember why we’re here.
Ah yes, cakes this place will struggle to not please absolutely everyone. Do you love traditional? Biscotti in an Italian patisserie is a no-brainer. Need a big cake for a celebration? Croquembouche wins every time. Just like something soft and sweet with your coffee? Tear apart a Danish. Need a sweet fix on the bike ride (come it’s Carlton!)? Then pick one of their macarons. While some deal in extravagant, some traditional, some just a certain type of cake (cupcake, brownies, cookies) Brunettis covers every single base to the highest standard.
Being seconds from Federation Square, Flinders St Station and being famed for its European style laneway food arcade means every tourist seems to make it down to Degraves St.
Often this is halfway through a long day of City walking and what does one deserve after that? A coffee and a cupcake of course.
When you’re staring at 30 different flavours of cupcakes you’re faced with a true first world problem, red velvet sounds good-but what’s black velvet? Pistachio yummm-but what’s pistachio cream? Is one an upgrade on the other? If so which is it? I don’t want to miss out, shall I buy both? Oh no, another choice, regular or large? No medium? AND BREATHE.
All you have to do is ask the opinions of the chirpy young girls behind the counter. Without fail they’re happy to help you out every time and their in-depth flavour knowledge does tend to suggest that the owner Shrey makes it a general rule to eat 3 cupcakes a day, if you work here. (sends resumes to shrey@… only joking!!!)
With an array of gluten-free and vegan cakes, they’ve got all of us covered-hooray for Little Cupcakes.
Burch and Purchese
This selection is far far away from your every day shall we pop in for a cake and a coffee kind of place. The fact it’s called Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio tells you all you need to know.
Despite being British Darren Purchese is one of Australia’s most renowned pastry chefs and this beautiful studio with its kitchen on show and store filled with edible art is the work of his and his wife, adding another glorious touch to this masterpiece.
While I have talked it up as an upmarket place for the upper classes of the culinary world, that’s simply not the case. They offer something for everyone and right now their famous mince pies are an astonishingly reasonable $4 a pop-I’ll take 12.
All of the above is probably why it makes it a must see, must taste and general must do experience when it comes to Melbourne and pigging out on cake.
Has anyone noticed anything? I’ve not really mentioned cakes. That’s because sometimes only the photos can do them justice.