So anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that my favourite local coffee haunt is The Subtle Eye in Bull Street, Bendigo. I decided I couldn't take it anymore...every morning as I'm ordering my mocha, I see delicious breakfasts being delivered to the tables of people lucky enough not to be rushing back to work...and I wanted in! So one Saturday morning recently, we went for brunch...I got to take my time and relax with the paper and my pancakes, and as I sat there I wondered why we hadn't done this sooner.
There is so much to love. Firstly, the warm colours and the visibility of the kitchen makes it feel cosy as soon as you step through the door, but at the same time there is plenty of space to find your own corner and not feel crowded. Warmer weather sees the doors fold back and allow flow between indoors & out with plenty of seating on the foothpath. Small touches from Marie like the changing display of Italian chocolates, and the inclusion of the Weekly Times as per the Great Cafe Challenge show that they appreciate that details matter. The staff will get to know you (and your coffee) by name if you visit often enough...but even aside from that, the friendly banter between the barista and the regulars gives the place a cheerful familiar vibe. They even have their own fanzine.
And then there's the food...gorgeous home style cakes & desserts, (I've gotten many tips about baking cheesecakes from Tony)...the hedgehog, as I have tweeted, is hands down one of my favourites in Bendigo. If you're lucky enough to arrive as the muffins are coming out of the oven, the lemon & ricotta pictured above are my pick but good luck narrowing it down. I'm yet to visit for lunch but there's a reason they're rated highly on Urban Spoon....from what I've seen (and heard!) lunch is tasty and popular with the work crowd & visitors from out of town...I also hear their burgers are awesome.
Finally, the coffee. I only just started drinking coffee recently...more often than not I go for a mocha because I'm always looking for extra ways to incorporate chocolate in my day ;) But I've had my share of lattes in the past, and I never really understood what the big deal was about coffee was until a friend from work got me visiting The Subtle Eye. To start off with it was only every now and then and only ever a hot chocolate. Slowly and surely that visit became part of my morning...then one day I couldn't wake up and I was talked into some caffeine in my hot chocolate by their barista Rob..."they do the best coffee" my friend from work assured me, "trust me". Secretly I was sure I wouldn't be convinced because I could never be an actual coffee person...turns out I was wrong...their coffee really is great & I'm totally hooked. So I'm sharing the love...make `The Subtle Eye' a part of your day...you'll be glad you did.