I'm time-pressed and always counting the pennies as a single-mum writer, so going out has to be worth the lipstick. It's the year of discovering tantalizing Melbourne and, sometimes, a tease of Adelaide's treasures. Join me.
Published September 20th 2015
A Second Home, second to none
A second home with greater comforts than the first.
There's nothing secondary about Second Home, a breakfast, brunch and lunch café set in a former gallery space, continuing to honour that past with bi-monthly changes to wall art for sale. There are, however, some primary perks to getting off the Main Street of Eltham and into the back blocks where the locals love discovering fresh ideas for a coffee in style. Second Home does deliver a welcome difference – inviting high-end décor that may, in fact, be preferable to your first home, alas, accompanied by food promising local and/or organic sources where possible.
The breakfast menu mixes it up with lots of eggy options – classics, new creations and custom orders. The Mr Jones famous 'Golden Folded Eggs' were light and buttery with fresh herbs and goats cheese, hitting the spot with (dare I say it) a perfect coffee. I'd return for the coffee alone, (do not read that as any sort of slur, Mr Jones, far from it). Perfection for me is a coffee that disappears fast and, time permitting, a second cup is required pronto. At $3.80 too – how civilised.
Mr Jones famous golden folded eggs with fresh herbs and goat's cheese look as good as they taste.
The wholesome and healthy were also listed for breakfast, as well as not-too-late-to-get-healthy items from an original drinks list, designed for hangovers. Power packed smoothies will clean any conscience too ($9.90). Lunch is offered from noon without prices toppling over $21.90 and many at $16-$18.00. The 'Ploughman's Lunch' with pork and pistachio terrine looked like value at $18.90. Sweet afters are from the cake and pastry display from $4.90. My young guest opted for a plate-sized choc-hazelnut swirled meringue, but found it a challenge to pick just one of the many hand-crafted treats.
Licenced for an elegant difference in this part of Eltham, representatives from most of the popular beer classifications toggle between imported and local brews, joining a professionally selected wine list with liberating variety by the glass - French Mumm champers included ($15.90 per glass).
Beverage selections range from the creative to the classic.
Eltham identity, Alistair Knox originally designed this commercial space and locals loved him for his earthy connection to natural light, timber and brick. Second Home respects and amplifies those qualities with neutral tones and open plan zones anchored to a central fireplace and an olive tree feature.
For locals, inner-city exquisiteness has arrived. For those on a day trip through the Yarra/Diamond Valley fringe, don't feel any need to concede. We've owned the premium produce principality for years out here. Now someone arrives to work it to the pleasure zone.