Most vibey restaurants have interesting backstories, but it’s fair to say few can match that of Café Lune on Brighton’s lively Jetty Road.
It’s the early 2000s, Adelaide pro golfer Sarah Douglass heads overseas to play in the French Open. Promoting Jacob’s Creek, she meets Englishman Simon Norris, who hails from the Lune Valley and has been running chalets, a bar and a hotel in the Chamonix snowfields below Mont Blanc. A friendship blossoms and with it an interest in hospitality. They remain there for 10 years, run a Michelin star restaurant and return to Adelaide some eight years ago.
The couple, now married, settle in Sarah’s childhood stomping ground of Brighton, they eye a commercial property they love, go on to badger the owner for four years before he eventually relents and sells. They establish the fully licensed Café Lune at 81 Jetty Road, a stone’s throw from the jetty.
That’s it, in a nutshell – and it fairly explains the cosmopolitan nature of a restaurant with a contemporary Australian take on mostly seafood, French and Italian dishes, a wonderful laid back and unhurried ambience, an Italian chef, a Nepalese head barista and a Belgian waiter. The Norris’ have taken it a step further, offering French language lessons on the premises and hosting special events like French and Italian dinner parties and lavish themed dinners.
Sarah and Simon are very much at home mingling with breakfast, lunch and dinner guests, engaging with them and offering advice on the many dishes. Poached egg and smashed avo, paired with everything from salmon to haloumi, is a breakfast hero; while exquisite handmade pastas, tangy pizzas and good, old-fashioned beer battered garfish and chips are just some of the lunch and dinner choices.
While a very different experience in the cooler winter months when compared with the beachside atmosphere of summer, there’s plenty to draw you in, from hearty soups and stews, a glowing fireplace and heaters and blankets to add to the cosiness and congeniality that is Café Lune.
A visit is sure to leave you enchanted by another story: this one of great food and coffee, friendly faces and big, happy smiles.
For further information
Sarah and Simon Norris
81 Jetty Road, Brighton
M: 0413 308 025