If 18th-century London had inner-city coffeehouses, they might have felt something like The Queensberry Pour House.
Hang on a minute – 18th-century London did have coffeehouses … but not quite like this.
The interior is light without being bright, kind of hand-made, with lots of weathered old furniture, and if you’re having coffee alone there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself seated at one of Melbourne’s friendliest communal tables.
Coffee is roasted out the back by co-owner Ben Stronach, who once roasted for Sydney’s Little Marionette. It’ll be black or white espresso, or a black filter batch brew: maybe a Nicaragua Limoncello Pacamara (served in a hand-thrown ceramic cup) with a sweet lemon-tangy edge, a biscuity backbeat and some deep tropical fruit flavours.
Filter coffee: regular refills
Filter cups are refilled regularly, if you like: perfect for sipping with something from the tiny handwritten menu. The mushroom toastie (the Vladwich …) is good – a cheesy, ’shroomy hunk of grainy sourdough toasted sandwich with a fat dill pickle spiked on top, while the smashed eggs on toast are boiled to just set, magically removed very cleanly from their shells, and set on a slice of toasted sourdough, with a little pot of savoury-sweet roasted capsicum pesto on the side. They’re not smashed at all – just smashing.
A chunky chocolate-chip cookie is reason for another filter refill, and comes with a little glass of milk on the side, because, you know, milk ’n’ cookies.
The Queensberry Pour House
Where 210 Queensberry Street, Carlton, phone (03) 9347 1277
When Mon–Fri 7am–4pm, Sat 8am–3pm, closed Sun