Melbourne-based French designer Anne-Sophie Poirier, aka Sasufi, combined her abundant creative talents with a great measure of thriftiness when designing Slowpoke. Working with a very limited budget, she has managed to pull off an impressively warm, light-filled and imaginative space. Mismatched timber off-cuts salvaged from furniture makers are pieced together to create an impressive feature wall and bring an inspired earthiness to the small space. Many of the other key pieces dotted around the cafe were either recycled or gleefully foraged from local flea markets.

The same sustainable focus extends to the menu, which by virtue of the tiny kitchen, is kept brief and refreshingly simple. Owner Curtis Riddington likes to use organic and locally sourced produce as much as possible and you’ll find homely soups and stews alongside generously filled grainy sandwiches and Turkish rolls. There’s a wonderful three-grain porridge with baked rhubarb too, spot-on for frosty Melbourne mornings.

Coffee, from Coffee Supreme, is skilfully handled by barista Nick Milwright, who knows his way around a group handle after stints at various northside cafes, and there’s a nice selection of house-made biscuits and slices to complement.

The back courtyard is sure to be a hit during the warmer months, but in the meantime, with the fire going, trams rattling past and the sunshine streaming in, Slowpoke makes a perfect spot for a lazy winter morning of porridge, papers and daydreams.

157 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
03 9942 7813