The Duchess of Spotswood manages to integrate the key elements of Melbourne cafe culture. It is owned and operated by the couple that lives upstairs, New Zealander Bobby Green formerly of Auction Rooms and her English husband Andy Gale, who was previously the head chef at the Station Hotel in Footscray.

The cafe is housed in a former butcher shop. Its design pays homage to its resident roots with gorgeous antiques. There are tables made from the boards of a local theatre’s dance floor and an extravagant chandelier in the centre of the open space.

Green’s experience dictated that the cafe began with a focus primarily on the coffee but the food soon took over. The coffee is of course still fantastic and thoughtful – they’ve been applauded for their finesse with Auction Room’s Small Batch specialty blends.

But it's Gale’s masterfully personalised yet traditional English menu that stands on the antique butcher’s block, beating its chest for attention. The dishes are quite faithful to their heritage, but with locally sourced ingredients, of course. Even the safest bets – a chicken or steak sandwich – are full of life, especially when paired with fresh homemade lemonade.

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Updated: September 8th, 2017

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