Finding a beautiful cafe in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne can be a chore, so let me make the decision easy for you. For your next roadtrip, lazy Sunday or family event, give Stonehouse Cafe a go. You won't regret it.
Framed by the naturally gorgeous surroundings of the Yarra and its bushland, Stonehouse can be found on the outer regions of Warrandyte. Home to the Yarra Store, this establishment deals in fine comfort food that fits any occasion, be it breakfast, brunch, lunch, or afternoon tea.
Walk in to find yourself greeted warmly by the staff, who exhibit a real joy for working at such a good eatery. If you return again and again (which has happened to me, dear reader) and you'll find yourself a regular, greeted and seated like an old friend. It's certainly a nice touch and makes the whole experience that much better.
Start with a coffee (nicely made, not too hot, good balance of flavours) and peruse the menu. The breakfasts are typical weekend fare, but with some slight changes: the Stonehouse breakfast burger (a foccacia topped with bacon, mayo, relish, onion, egg and lots of cheese), the breakfast get-together (where you can choose whatever you want, a kind of pick-and-mix breakfast) and Stonehouse Benedict (bacon and poached eggs on hash browns with Hollandaise sauce). These slight differences make breakfast eating not the chore it normally is.
And for lunch, the goodness continues. A fairly general mix of mains and entrees greet your eyes, but the specials page is where it really comes together. Changed almost daily, and depending on the freshest produce available, the specials menu has some really interesting and original creations. For example, seeing calamari on anything other than roquette is a nice touch. It is a bit random (you don't know what you're going to get on any particular day), the freshness of the idea dn the produce make a good deal for the adventurous.
Although the service can be a little slow on busier days, don't forget that you'll always be treated like a regular, even if you aren't one. The mix of great food, great surrounds and friendly service makes Stonehouse a fantastic find for a regular Sunday morning cafe.