By Josphine, is a very girly little shop that sells macaroons and other French treats in Sydney Road Brunswick.
It was filled with girlfriends sharing pots of tea, delectable cakes, and large dishes of cream brûlée.
It has pretty decor such as white chairs, lace table clothes, dainty cups and saucers decorated with flowers and plenty of pink and other pastel coloured confections.
One of the most memorable treats here is the cream brûlée because it is infused with a hint of lavender and so freshly made I saw it being glazed with the miniature blow torch at the counter.
Apparently owner Josephine Acker Tuil, who was once a Parisian florist, has merged her passion for flowers with baking and perhaps this is one of the reasons for this spectacular dish.
There were also some delectable macaroons such as violette (butter cream infused with violet extract) and lovely pink ones with rosewater amongst others.
But our mission for visiting was not so floral and girly on this occasion. We had a couple of blokes in tow as we were celebrating my Mother's 94th birthday with a high tea.
Anyone who has a mother that age, or at least one who still loves cake, has become an expert on high teas in Melbourne.
Our family celebrates with her twice yearly on Mother's Day and on her birthday.
We have of course done the Windsor for the big 90 but other favourites include Jam and Cream
and the Austrian bakery and patisserie Zimt
in Surrey Hills. The Gables
also has tables groaning with overload of treats and is in a stunning old mansion in Malvern.
My criteria in searching this place out was a reasonable price (given there were six of us), good accessibility now my mother is in a wheel chair (this included having no steps at the front door entry and accessible loos) and of course a delectable high tea. By Josephine met all these requirements.
So in other words this place is great for family gatherings as well as chats with girlfriends over cups of tea.
Regarding the high tea we were groaning with fullness as we levered ourselves away from the table. Savoury delicacies
include a selection of bouchees, croque-monsieur and French-style toasts. While sweets included Canneles, Financiers, Tarts, Cremes Brulees and of course Macarons!
I also had the gluten free options and was given my own three tiered stand of delights that included a little pot of French cream soup.
There was also quite a selection of yummies to buy at the counter such as homemade sweet sauces and those gorgeous bulbous meringues shown in the photos.
But the specialty is by far the macaroons piped with cream and tinged with essences such as jasmine, rosewater and orange blossom and may call in people off the street just to buy these.
The only slight downside to this fabulous place is that looking out onto Sydney Road isn't quite as pretty as the pastel macaroons and cloud like meringues in front of one. Some lace curtains might do wonders.
But re price and gorgeous food, this is well worth a try for those who love their high teas.