Monday, October 1, 2012

Lying low & Lilo

This post has been a long time coming. In fact, it's nearing the end of September the start of October and this is my first post for the year. And the fact that I began writing this post in May? Well, yeah.

I’ve joked with people about putting my university assignments on my blog, because they are the only writing I seem to do these days not associated with my job. Although there was a short story I wrote in around June, but that is perhaps a tale for another day.

I may have mentioned before that my mum lives down on the Mornington Peninsula, which means I'm down that way at least a couple of times a month. I've been to many of the wineries, the Long Table, and the Brewery in Red Hill (when it still operated its restaurant), but a little cafe located opposite Fisherman’s Beach has been the inspiration for me to write again.

One Christmas when I was a kid, my parents bought my brother and I lilos for our annual trip to northern NSW. They were navy blue on one side, red on the other and made of a heavy-duty, canvas-like fabric. We floated in the pool or bobbed up and down in the ocean for many years on our lilos, occasionally re-purposing them as inflatable mattresses. The term lilo is, I think, is rather old-fashioned these days, but has been revived as the name of a lovely corner cafe a little down the Esplanade in Mornington.


I sighed with relief when I walked in and saw a 50s style bathing beauty on a lilo on the wall of the cafe, and not a little Hawaiian girl and her alien dog. As I mentioned, Lilo is located on a corner, in the place where once a local milk bar stood. My friend’s beach house was in the street the cafe corners, and I remember summers walking down to get mixed lollies or an icy-pole.

Lady Lilo, and thankfully not Lilo & Stitch
Just as then, Lilo seems to be an easy walk for the locals, where they can still get their papers, but enjoy something a little more sophisticated than a Four'N Twenty.

Enjoying a corner perspective, the owners have wisely made great use of natural light, with windows galore on the cafe's street-facing sides. Dark wood and antique touches make diners feel comfortable, at home, and the signature colour of the green lilo is highlighted throughout.

A daily specials board changes often, and the couple of times I've been there, have been tempted by the seasonal offerings.

Lilo's specials change often and are very tempting!
On one particular occasion it was a veal schnitzel with sauerkraut, another it was a beetroot salad with goats cheese, rocket and walnuts. They also do tasty sandwiches (they're so big you can share them) and the dessert fridge looks VERY tempting.

It's a good, reliable little local spot, where you can always grab a seat. I'm looking forward to the day I venture there for breakfast as they offer a distinctly German breakfast 'extra' Weisswurst – veal sausage! I can only hope it comes with the traditional sweet mustard.

Lilo Cafe
1/725 Esplanade, Mornington

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