Brightonites couldn't be more excited about 'Back To School' — and that's not just the yummy mummies talking. Brighton Schoolhouse has masterfully overseen the conversion of the heritage-listed schoolhouse accompanying St. Andrew's Church into a glorious institute of top coffee and wittily named brunch options. If the local consensus is anything to go by, it's gold stars all round.
The menu places a strong emphasis on the origins of produce, with local and ethically sourced elements of utmost importance. The Schoolhouse features one of the best chai lattes in Melbourne; hand made and blended locally in Bentleigh, it's a combination of six spices with fresh cut ginger cubes and Australian bush land honey. When it comes to coffee, St Ali has devised a seasonal espresso unique to Schoolhouse, while premium fresh milk is sourced from St David Dairy and hand bottled in Fitzroy.
The cafe is divided into two parts. The outside courtyard is positioned within a comfortable pocket of lawn, not too close to the schoolhouse as to obstruct the heritage street presence, and not too near to the street to be interrupted by Church Street's ongoing parade of four-wheel-drives. Inside, the original brickwork and exceptionally high ceilings are integrated with hip light fixtures and intimate tables for two to create a calm setting, perfect for catching up with the morning papers.
It's a place where James Packer and Miranda Kerr publicly have breakfast together (as in, the Miranda Kerr Waffles with salted pistachio crumble ($18.50) and the James Packer Pancakes ($18) with maple glazed big boy bacon). Not straying too far from its schoolhouse origins, there's also a kids menu as well as colouring books and crayons on offer, making sure kids big and small are all well catered for.
In an area where the choice of school is always a hot topic, Brighton Schoolhouse is easily a top pick.