The top end of Spring Street seems to represent the last bastion of ‘Old Melbourne’. With the vaulting majesty of the Princess Theatre falling in the shadow of Parliament House, just a few metres from the iconic Hotel Windsor, there’s a timelessness to this part of town, and nowhere typifies this quite like The European.
Stepping into The European, you almost expect to be greeted with the classic 50s businessmen and aspirational blue stockings of John Brack’s Collins Street, 5pm. The mirrored wall, vintage posters, wood panelling and promise of ‘supper’ all point to an institution that’s been feeding and watering Melburnians for an eternity.
The menu pays homage to the venue’s name at all times of the day. Whether it’s breakfast eggs, post-theatre snacks or a full, elegant dinner, the menu is peppered with a taste of Spain, Italy and France, with a nod to motherland in the form of clotted cream and Beef Wellington.
There are only four hours of the day when The European is not open on the weekend, so unless it’s 5am, it’s always a good time to drop in for a taste of decades gone by.