Being one of the most multicultural cities in the world, the landscape of the city of Melbourne has been influenced over the decades by people from many different backgrounds and cultures.
In the mid 19th Century Melbourne saw a large wave of Italian migrants who came looking for opportunities in Australia, those Italian families continue to shape the face of Melbourne today.Located a short distance from the University of Melbourne campus, Lygon Street is known as “Little Italy” and those who take a stroll down this vibrant strip would be forgiven for thinking they were wandering along a street in Rome! Coffee, cakes, outdoor ‘Alfresco’ dining, pizza and pasta and gelato are what makes Lygon Street a special place to visit. And being so close to the campus it is the perfect place for busy students studying at the University of Melbourne to clear their head for an hour or so!
Mr Giorgio Angele travelled to Australia with the Italian Olympic team for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics as the team’s official pastry chef, he liked Melbourne so much he stayed! In 1985 he established his pastry, coffee and cake shop in Carlton named ‘Brunetti’s’ and over the past 30 years it has become one of, if not the most well known destinations for great coffee and European styled pastries and cakes in Melbourne.
Walking into Brunetti’s the first thing I notice is that there is a huge range of cakes and pastries of different shapes, sizes and colours, this is the first challenge – what to choose!!! The next thing I notice is how refined the waiters and baristas are – all smartly dressed in tailored black pants, bowties, fitted white shirts with cuffs carefully rolled up to the elbow, busily churning out latte’s, cappuccinos and short-black across the marble counter. With names like Antonio, Mario and Maurizio, the scene in front of me could easily be Rome, Naples or Florence!
Accompanied by two of my friends today, we chose a Mocha and latte’s along with a slice of the Opera Cake and a pastry called Escargot. The Verdict?!! The coffee, perfect! Not too hot so to spoil the flavour and silky smooth texture! The mocha (my favourite) the perfect hit of caffeine and enough chocolate to satisfy a sweet-tooth like mine! The generous portion of Opera cake was enough to share, perfect layers of chocolate, caramel mousse and pastry, very delicious and the Escargot pastry a delicious combination of chocolate, raisins rolled into a perfectly flakey pastry scroll! Yum!
The atmosphere is bustling and busy, don’t expect a cosy quiet retreat here, this place is abuzz with activity! After an hour of enjoying the three C’s (Coffee, Cake and Chatting) as I leave Brunetti’s I stroll back down the tree-lined Lygon Street, slowly, knowing that there are more assignments waiting for me back at Uni………so I walk a little slower! A Beautiful Spring Morning in Melbourne!