Restaurateur Stephanie Alexander sells her Hawthorn house with edible garden

Star retired Melbourne restaurateur Stephanie Alexander - recently included in Australia Post's Legends of Cooking stamp series - has sold her Hawthorn home of 25 years for $2.475 million.

Bought back in 1989 for around $615,000, the Victorian era home's kitchen not suprisingly became the  feature with Carrara marble benchtops, St George double oven, mobile island bench and plenty of open shelving and storage including a butler's pantry.

It forms the heart of the three bedroom 1890s house on Robinson Road, marketed as a professional's kitchen, but with a warm and friendly environment.

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There was also an outdoor eating and entertaining area and a solar-heated swimming pool and an extensive edible garden of fruit, nuts, citrus and olive trees, an extensive range of vegetables and herbs. There's water tanks with a total 15,000 litre storage.

Belinda Anderson, of Fletchers, was quoting $2 million-plus in the initial days, advising buyers of $2.1 million plus higher expectations during the auction marketing campaign. The opening bid was $2.1 million, and it was on the market at $2.3 million.

Behind its front yard lemon tree, it comes with a beautifully maintained period facade with polychromatic brickwork, bay window and deep verandah.

Inside the original features include high decorative ceilings, Baltic pine flooring and an elegant hallway arch.

Then in 1976, the Alexanders opened their own restaurant, Stephanie's, at first in Fitzroy and then in 1980 in the grand Italianate mansion, Kawarau, aka Warrington in Hawthorn. The family had renovated downstairs as a restaurant, and lived upstairs of the property they bought for $174,000 in 1979. 

Kawarau, at 405 Tooronga Road, was built in the 1890s for Robert Robinson, a Melbourne grain merchant, but most remembered for the ownership by F. J. Cato, the co-founder of the grocery business of Moran and Cato, the first chain of stores of any kind in Australia. 

Apparently Stephanie Alexander won't be going far, though it means her lengthy association with Hawthorn will now conclude following the weekend auction.


Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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