I know I'm a little bit late to the I-Love-The-Hardware-Societe party...but I was so glad to get the chance to have breakfast there this morning...and it was everything I had previously read it would be....which is lucky considering I've been stalking it from afar for awhile and had built up high hopes!
I kept coming across the name on Melbourne `must visit' lists...but it was when I saw a link to a toasted Nutella sandwich of theirs on Twitter that my sugar lovin' ears truly pricked up :) Sadly...this was about 6-12 months ago and it must've been a special so I couldn't order it for breakfast (yes, copious amounts of Nutella sandwiched between brioche would have been a mighty fine way to start the day!) but there are plenty of current menu offerings to love.
Having just spent the previous day walking to every bridal/formal wear store in Melbourne in search of the perfect dresses with my sisters...we needed some serious fuel to face another possible day of dressing rooms and overly helpful shopping assistants. First up, my mocha came as pictured...coffee in the base of the cup, a sweet little jug of chocolate milk to add to the strength of mocha you prefer...and a teensy little donut on a teaspoon. It was love at first sip...and to find melted chocolate at the bottom of the little jug was icing on the cake.
Scrambled eggs with smoked bacon,
pear & saffron chutney, chèvre & soft herbs
Baked eggs with rich tomato sauce,
zucchini, fresh basil leaves, le delice des cremiers brie
Both My Sisters & My Brother-In-Law-to-Be Had:
Fried Brioche with dulce de leche bavarois, rose roasted pears & pistacho praline
Fried Brioche with blueberry brûlée
The guy looking after our table was attentive (but not too much) and just the right amount of cheerful/chatty for when you're easing into a Sunday brunch. The pots of tea comes to the table in a sweet little cosy (that you can also purchase); if you have to wait for a table they note your details on a doily. There are french lollipops at the counter, and you can buy all kinds of delicious produce to take home...what's not to love?! Oh - and the very next store we went to after breakfast had the perfect dresses just ready and waiting to be chosen by us...so if you want some good retail vibes for the day...this would be the place to start :)
The Hardware Societe was declared a winner all round and I for one will definitely be back. Suggest that if going in peak times, allow for a possible wait. They opened at 8:30am on Sunday morning and by the time we got there at 8:45am it was filling up fast. Follow Hardware Lane, cross Lonsdale Street and you'll find it in the continuation of the laneway that then becomes Hardware Street. You won't see it spilling out onto the street as you're walking towards it, it's tucked away under the eaves of larger buildings.
The Hardware Societe
120 Hardware Street, Melbourne