The Stables of Como
Como House's quaint cafe does brunch, high tea and picnics in the grounds.
Como House and the surrounding gardens are exquisitely beautiful. The colonial Victorian house built in 1847 offers an insight into a time long gone and the old horse stable has been converted into a quaint cafe. Venture inside the high white walls of the grounds, wander through the gardens, and find a place amongst the big white umbrellas.
The Stables of Como, as it's called, has not only nabbed a stunning location, but it is also being run by Melbourne cafe owner Jason Jones of Friends of Mine, Snow Pony and Porgie and Mr Jones.
Getting a table here is no easy feat. The winter chill leaves fingers crossed for an inside table, but come summer this won't be such a problem as you'll be able to take a seat outside, eat and enjoy the sunshine. But inside or outside, the menu is excellent. The selection includes some favourites from Jones' other cafes, a few new items — there's something for every moment.
Breakfast has many faces, from the toasted crumpets with honey and butter ($6.50), to the toasted English muffin with ham, Emmental cheese and scrambled eggs ($5.50). For a sweet morning try the Bircher muesli with rhubarb compote, honey yoghurt and toasted pistachio ($10.90), and the smashed avocado with thyme buttered mushrooms, marinated feta and torn basil on whole wheat toast ($17.90) is just as good as it is at Jones' other cafes.
Lunch sees everything from a toasted baguette filled with ham, aged cheddar, tomato and almond relish ($11.90) to a light salad of French lentils, baby beets, goats cheese and spiced Dargo walnuts ($16.90)
The sweets display inside is enough to make anyone go weak at the knees. There are endless cake stands, tiers of chocolates filled with strawberry and Champagne ($3.50), hazelnut and cranberry meringue cakes ($4.90), brownies and even homemade musk sticks ($1.50). It would be sad to leave The Stables without a sweet treat.
As well as its normal brunch and lunch fare, the quaint café runs a daily high tea ($60). Playing to the country manor feel of the estate, high tea goers will snack on the requisite finger sandwiches and petit fours: smoked salmon bagels, ham and mustard sandwiches, French toast with mascarpone and berries and other sweet. The Stables' cakes are very good, with minimal room to move around the cake display case thanks to oglers. Plus, it serves Allpress Espresso coffee and, if you're looking to really indulge (or want to do your high tea the right way and have accepted you'll probably need to nap afterwards regardless), you can also opt for free-flowing mimosas for an extra five bucks.