A river running through a large city often divides its people, not only in a literal sense but also in regards to trends, lifestyle choices, music and culture.
As a true resident of the NORTH of Melbourne for the past two years, I will admit that I very rarely find myself heading SOUTH.
The northern suburbs of Melbourne evoke images of a bohemian era, the late eighties and early nighties. Twenty to thirty years ago suburbs such as Brunswick, Fitzroy and Collingwood were the heart and soul of a drug infused artist community. These days the streets have more hipster run cafes than you can shake a stick at and enough tattoo clad people to start an inking revolution. Despite all of this, and the somewhat pretentious attitudes of the new cool kids on the block – I love it, grunge n’all.
I myself have often stereotyped people from the south side. Discovering a real gem on that side of the river always takes me by surprise and breaks me away from a judgmental attitude.
When I recently met with dear friend Mr. T I took the train south to North Brighton. I wandered the pretty tree-lined streets on the hunt for a decent spot for lunch. Every place I walked past seemed to exude ‘yummy mummies’ and overpriced coffee. Mr T. and I had lived together for two years, so I trusted he knew the sort of place to make me tick. His suggestion for our meet was Tucci Brown.
Upon entering we are welcomed by the incredibly friendly staff, their fluorescent orange coffee machine and a beautiful counter made from reclaimed timber. As my eyes glanced past the café counter I realized that this was not your everyday café. For the crazed craft lovers out there Tucci Brown offer some of the most beautiful stationery I have ever seen. Vintage style posters and papers imported from Eastern Europe, Korea, Japan and Nepal line the walls with vivid colours of the orient.
Calling Tucci Brown a “stationery shop” really doesn’t do this place justice. The food offering is light, fresh and healthy with a multitude of delicious wraps and melts available for a quick bite, or house made salads jam-packed full of goodness that are readily boxed for your convenience.
Classes and workshops are available for both adults and children in the delightful classroom out back. From origami creations to dinosaur decorating, this shop-come-café-come-craftschool is about inviting us all to enjoy a very special experience.
After a perfect cup of coffee I felt content. My vegetarian melt was full of flavoursome roasted super-foods along with a generous serving of pan-fried halloumi. I gave myself time to explore the assortment of papers, diaries and other stationery gems on offer. What I loved most about Tucci Brown was that the staff left me to enjoy my time there. I was allowed to touch, look and play with everything on show without any interruption. This is a rarity in Melbourne.
Myself and Mr T had such a lovely afternoon catching up over craft and a coffee. Tucci Brown has such a great atmosphere and it will definitely be one of my regulars– especially after hearing they are about to open on my side of the river too.