2 Chambers Street, Brunswick VIC 3056
Warm & Inviting 1920s family home bordering parkland
We moved to Melbourne from Adelaide 23 years ago for a job opportunity. After living in a large family home in suburban Adelaide, we decided that we would like to try an inner city lifestyle – walk to work, cafes, restaurants, etc.
We rented for the first two years in North Melbourne and then Prahran to get the lay of the land. We realized that we were not ready for apartment living and missed the access to open space. After looking around we quickly discovered that Brunswick offered the best value for money close to the CBD and 2 Chambers Street is as close to the CBD as you can get in Brunswick.
The previous owners had extended and renovated the house nicely, and we just had a really good feeling about it when we inspected it. The garden was not great then but otherwise it ticked all our boxes and we were lucky enough to be able to buy it in December 1994.
Since then we have gradually developed the gardens front and back, enclosed the original garage/workshop and added a roll-a-door, a concrete driveway and double carport, added a Pergola with deck and bistro blinds which is effectively an extra all weather al fresco area that has hosted many social events. We also built a concealed gate to the park for easy access when the grandkids visit or when we just want to sit out in the park and watch the world passing by.
Indoors, we opened up the living space with bi-fold doors between the lounge and family rooms to make room for our growing family events.
Most week days when we were still working we walked together to a favourite café at Vic Market (40 mins), or caught the tram if necessary (20-30 mins), and then went to our jobs in the city.
On the weekends we walked our dog along the linear park walkway to Clifton Hill, or CERES at Merri Creek, or Rathdowne Street, and stopped for breakfast at one of the many excellent cafes. We also frequently walked him over to nearby Princes Park to play with the other dogs in the off-leash area – there is a nice café at the Carlton footy club as well. We also take our grandchildren over to the playground in Princes Park.
The dog passed away several years ago, but we still go out walking for coffee and/or breakfast most days. Our current favourite is to share a bacon and egg roll (with sweet chilli jam) at the Old Bike Shop on Lygon Street East Brunswick – a 5 minute walk.
Grocery shopping is very convenient at Barkly Square, with both Coles and Safeway and several specialty shops, including meat, seafood, veg, bakery, liquor, pharmacies and cafes. Aldi, IGA, Dan Murphy and Bunnings are all close by as well.
The bar and restaurant scene in East Brunswick and Sydney Road has evolved significantly over the years since we moved in, and of course, we have tried most of them. Our current favourites include 400 Gradi, Zia Teresa and Woodstock for that special night out, and An Minh for our regular cheap and cheerful Asian dinner. We have also become regulars for the Roo and Wine special on Monday nights at the Charles Weston hotel (next to Barkly Square).
There are only 5 houses in Chambers St, three of them with long term owner occupiers and the other two providing house share accommodation for mostly female students. The neighbours all get on well and look after each other and the street in general.
We have loved the lifestyle here in Brunswick – the family gatherings indoors and outdoors, the Christmas street party with the neighbours in Chambers St, sitting on the front porch with a glass of wine watching the sun go down. However, now that we are both retired, it is time to downsize and try another lifestyle which will include more grey nomad travel time.
Nick West and team
Review by Larry & Gail