3770 Point Nepean Road, Portsea, Victoria, Australia 3944
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A tiny blue café in the heart of Portsea village, Le Capucin is a charming spot for your daily bread and butter.

Kirsty and Loïc Duchet opened the café in 2018, and have built a loyal following based on their sunny disposition and sophisticated French fare. On any given morning, you’ll find crowds spilling out of the busy café and onto the sprawling lawn that stretches the short distance to the pier.

Grab a stool in the window or at the round communal table, or join the locals seated on provincial wicker chairs on the undercover terrasse with pooches underfoot. You might see the Portsea Winter Sharks warming up after an icy ocean swim, or a group of Francophiles meeting to practice their French over coffee and croissants.

Here, the service is warm and welcoming, and staff greet you with a cheery bonjour at the door. The coastal blue exterior continues indoors, revealing a cosy dining room filled with character and charming rustic décor.

The menu is simple, delicious, and quintessentially French. For breakfast, try the egg and bacon brioche bun or smoked salmon omelette with fried capers and freshly squeezed orange juice. For lunch, perhaps a croque monsieur and a side of frites whilst taking in the sea view.

The display cabinet is brimming with fresh baguettes and viennoiserie, and the pie warmer is stocked with house-made beef bourguignon pies ready to grab and go. Bread is made from wheat grown, milled and baked locally at Tuerong Farm, with baguettes from Red Hill Baker, pastries by Noisette and coffee by Five Senses.

A small larder is filled with pantry staples and hard-to-find delicacies, from seeded mustards and cornichons to fancy crisps and French cooking utensils. The café’s namesake – pronounced ka-pu-sa(n) – is a traditional wrought iron tool with a long handle and conical funnel used to baste poultry over the fire. Loïc learned to wield the capucin whilst growing up in his hometown in Landes of South West France.

As well as crafting the cafe’s seasonal menu, Loïc and the Le Capucin chefs prepare a range of daily take-home meals based on old family recipes, from quiche aux poireaux to free-range chicken liver parfait and a classic French onion soup. Locals will often drop in to fill the fridge with hearty home-cooked meals – a far cry from your usual takeaway fare.

Open daily, Le Capucin combines the best of Mornington Peninsula produce and community with the time-honoured traditions of French cuisine. It’s the perfect pitstop en route to Point Nepean National Park or Portsea’s iconic ocean beach, with a baguette and coffee in hand.