gasworks art park was originally the site of the south melbourne gas plant which began supplying gas to the majority of melbourne in 1873. it has a fascinating history including gas explosions, surviving the depression and as an icon of victoria’s transition from black coal to brown coal in the 1950’s. these days, many of the heritage buildings have been preserved + converted into art studios, theatres and local-cafe priscilla jones.
(bottom-right photo credit: gasworks arts park)
and priscilla jones @ gasworks is exactly where we found ourselves this morning. child, family + dog friendly, the cafe is located in the high brick walls of the precinct and is an easy throw of the ball to the leash-off dog park. the cafe serves breakfast + lunch but is also available for functions. the menu offers wholesome, fresh versions of some best-loved classics as well as fresh baked goods + juices for those after a lighter meal or snack, a good kids menu + even dog treats! but let’s be honest… it’s saturday + my first priority is always coffee!
the cafe serves di bella coffee, which began as a small coffee roasting operation in brisbane in 2002 but has since become one of australia’s largest speciality coffee roasters as well as expanding into china, india and new zealand in recent years. di bella proudly source 100% of their beans directly from the farmer in a ‘crop to cup’ philosophy that sees the company working alongside farmers and communities to provide ongoing development, quality assurance + share their sustainability goals. you can read more about their coffee – how they source, roast + sell it – here
this morning, my coffee was a well-balanced medium body blend called modena with a bold finish + woody aromas. and whilst it may not be the piece of art usually associated with melbourne’s free pour coffee, it was still thoroughly enjoyable + the wake-up kick that i desperately needed.
croque monsieur: ham + cheese toasted sandwich with béchamel sauce (and an added side of bacon)
the menu was not wrong when it said it delivered on wholesome versions of the classics. this is easily the best ham + cheese toastie i’ve had! … jokes aside, this classy croque monsieur was made with fresh + soft bread, a thick layer of ham inside + a gooey fried egg on top. the béchamel had fantastic flavour with a subtle creaminess and overall smoothness, which paired perfectly with the tangy flavours from a sharp cheddar cheese melted all over the bread. i added some extra grilled bacon… just cause i love my meat.
apricot pancakes served with vanilla mascarpone fresh apple + candied almonds
that obsession with mascarpone that my husband has appears to be continuing, as it took him no time at all this morning to settle on the apricot pancakes which coincidentally came with … mascarpone! the two pancakes were wonderfully fluffy. both had fresh apricots baked into the top and had been drizzled with maple syrup. on top were a scattering of apricots + a generous handful of sliced green apple which added a vibrant crunch to the dish. the vanilla mascarpone added the needed dairy element to make this creamy + smooth. we’re not sure what happened to the candied almonds, but the dish was still delicious without them!
throughout our morning the service was efficient + relaxed. there is oodles of space outside for those bringing their pooches to breaky with them including a dog mat + water bowls. overall, this is a great local cafe close to both bay st port melbourne + south melbourne neighbourhoods. it has a laid-back and friendly atmosphere, all in a historic and culturally-rich precinct in albert park. thoroughly enjoyable + a great way to start our weekend!
verdict: set-up perfectly for friends, kids + pets in the historic gasworks arts precinct!
(note: inlovewithbrunch was invited by di bella coffee to sample a café of choice in melbourne)