Inhabiting the former stables building at heritage listed Como House, The Stables of Como opened last week, bringing a surprisingly relaxed, country-in-the-city appeal to one of Melbourne’s most posh inner city neighbourhoods. And thankfully, rather than getting all damask and frou-frou on us, the cafe is in exceptionally safe hands with the ICKE & IGBY management group, best known for creating Richmond’s much loved Friends of Mine, as well as Hawthorn favourite Porgie + Mr. Jones and Snow Pony in Deepdene.
Set at the rear of the heritage-listed Como House building, just off a sunny and secluded courtyard, the airy and light-filled space pulls off a likably understated farmhouse feel, with muted green and white tones, worn timber furnishings, with hand-picked posies and vintage flourishes adding character and warmth to the space.
The menu pays homage to the Como’s historic past and bucolic feel, offering fancy high teas to eat-in and picnic baskets to take out to the garden (with frisbee and rugs included). There’s also an impressively large range of old-fashioned, house-made cakes and biscuits – all beautifully piled up on display at the counter – as well as proper CWA-style lemonade scones, which are baked daily in Como House’s original 1847 wood-fired oven. For the more savoury inclined, there are plenty of solid brunch classics, several of which have migrated from the menus of Friends and Porgie. Think expertly done egg breakfasts, salads, chunky baguettes and rustic ploughman’s plates.
With plans afoot for a veggie patch, a croquet pitch and finding some productive new tenants for the back yard chicken coop, things here feel decidedly homely and welcoming. Jason Jones from ICKE & IGBY says: “We want the cafe to become the heart of the property, to make Como feel alive again – for people to wander, dream, love and live in the classic estate.”
So while a visit to an antique-filled, heritage-listed house may not be on the radar for most, you might be surprised just how relaxed a ramble around the tranquil gardens, some top-notch food and coffee, and a little peace from the frenzied pace of the city can make you feel.
The Stables of Como
Como House and Garden
Corner Williams Road & Lechlade Avenue, South Yarra
(03) 9827 6886
Mon to Sat 9am-5pm