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Multicultural Cuisine of... France
Multicultural Cuisine of... France
Lillie's on Brougham
62 Brougham St,
(03) 9431 6622
There's not much more precious to me than an afternoon off work to spend at my leisure. Working in the health and wellness industry like I do basically means working early mornings, late nights and weekends - the times when everyone else has off work to go to the gym! So on this particular Tuesday morning, after starting work at 6:30am, I received a perfectly timed email not long before my 12pm finishing time from Agata of Amore Cucina, suggesting a catch up to discuss some of the cooking classes I'll soon be teaching. And I was thrilled when she suggested Lillie's.
Mum took me there for a ladies afternoon tea the day before my wedding last year, and we had the most amazingly fresh, delicious little cakes there. It's a relaxed atmosphere, and although it's tiny and the tables are close together, you almost feel like you're in a little French cafe where no one can hear your conversation.
Lillie's is a gorgeous little cafe, part of a homewares, clothing and lifestyle business, run by two sisters with a passion for France. Their beautiful wares include handmade pottery, simple clothing made from materials such as cheesecloth, linen and cotton, cook books, French provence inspired stationary. They even organise group tours and trips to France! Unfortunately they do not allow photographs of the inside of the cafe so I can't show you what it looks like, but I was permitted to photograph the food, so you can see how yummy it is!
It is generally recommended that you make a booking here, as it is a very small space (especially in winter when the outside eating area is closed), and Lillie's is almost always busy. They make beautiful fresh small meals, as well as gorgeous cakes and desserts, and that's what Agata and I go for. We're seated next to baskets full of gorgeous, freshly picked lemons, limes and grapefruits - which are all available for sale if you want to take some home with you.
Agata ordered the carrot cake:
It was beautifully presented with a dollop of cream, topped with very soft cream cheese, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, dried apricots and orange zest. The cake itself was magnificent, soft and fluffy, with just enough cream cheese in between the layers of cake.
Being the chocoholic I am, I can't go past the chocolate pear tart. It's calling my name and it would just be plain rude to ignore it.
What can I say? Wow. Just wow. It was filled with big, juicy, poached pears, nestled in amongst the gooey, fudgy chocolate, blanketed with a firm but delicate chocolate crust.
I finished every last chocolatey crumb on my plate as we discussed cooking, weight loss, fresh food, our Italian background. After lots of work shopping and chatting and getting very off topic more than once (hey, this is what happens when two Italian women get together!), here's the list of classes I'll be teaching soon...
- Saturday 30th July: Italian Christmas Cooking
- Sunday 31st July: Italian Christmas Cooking
- Saturday 6th August: Tapas Workshop
- Saturday 20th August: Gnocchi Workshop
- Saturday 15th October: Gnocchi Workshop
- Thursday 20th October: Paella Class
- Saturday 22nd October: Gluten Free and Healthy Whole Foods Workshop
- Sunday 23rd October: Gnocchi Workshop
- Thursday 27th October: Gnocchi Workshop
- Choose your own date: Chocolate Decandence
- Choose your own date: High Tea
- Choose your own date: Cupcakes Made With Love
- Choose your own date: Kids Cook Brownies
All in all, a very productive afternoon tea date! I'm soooo excited to be getting my classes underway soon, and have been doing lots of cooking and baking at home, testing out some of the recipes that I haven't made in a while (much to Sous-Jeff's great excitement) to make sure I'm all ready to go in a few weeks! And I can't wait to get back to Lillie's again for another gorgeous cake soon :) By the way, after Agata and I had finished catching up and planning, and every last morsel of chocolate from my plate was devoured, I promptly took myself to the gym to attempt to atone for my chocolate sins. But when it's that good, it's worth it!
Would rate it 9 out of 10.