Going out for a meal when you have a disability can be tricky. If you're planning on meeting someone it's important to plan ahead and do some research. However, when my mum told me about the new Brunetti cafe in Carlton I was determined to go even though she was sure it would be too crowded for me to use my walking frame. Once she said it wouldn’t be accessible to me I was determined to go try it out.
Location, location, location
Originally Brunetti was on Faraday St in Carlton. Now it has moved and is in the heart of Carlton on Lygon St within the same shopping centre as the Cinema Nova.
For those who drive there is underground parking and a number of accessible parking spots. There is a choice of escalators or elevator to get to the ground floor where you’ll find Brunetti.
The new Brunetti is a huge space. The café is divided into three areas where people can choose from savoury treats, sweet delights and three-course meals.
After two glasses of water and a lovely shiraz wine, of course I needed the bathroom. I was told there wasn't a toilet in the restaurant. This distressed me, as I don't like to be far from a toilet. I have since heard that people are upset by this situation especially as it’s assumed the closest toilet to Brunetti is upstairs at the Nova Cinema. However, because I used to go to that shopping centre regularly during my uni days I knew there were toilets in the shopping centre on the same floor of the cafe.
The cafe is very crowded with lots of tables and chairs and counters. When I was there, there were many people and it was hard to navigate with my walking frame. A staff member was very helpful and kindly put my frame away while my friend and I dined on mini olive-bread roles, margherita pizza with fresh basil and spaghetti marinara. While the deserts like the cannelloni, tarts, biscuits and many ice creams looked amazing we were so full that we gave up eating anything after having our mains.
My friend and I went on the weekend so it was very busy. There are communal tables and they were all taken up by groups people. If you want to go and you use a walking aide, I recommend going after the lunch rush at around 2pm or at 11am for a coffee and treat.