School of Seven Bells, Windsor - review

This review has been sitting in my drafts posts for ages and I kept putting it off because I'd meant to get another photo or two of School or Seven Bells - one that at least included the outside of the joint.

But alas I kept forgetting to take one whenever I went there or walked past it (kind of like when you keep forgetting this one thing from the supermarket each time you go there) and so I've decided to just write the review. I can always add more photos later.

School of Seven Bells is the sister restaurant of the Artful Dodger in Elsternwick (reviewed here), the latter holding a place in mine and Mex's foodie hearts.

While I don't think Seven Bells is quite as good as Dodgers (the menu isn't as good), it's definitely worth a crack if you're in the Windsor area - for the coffee, if nothing else.

It's one of those joints that attracts a wide range of people and opens at 7am sharp each day, meaning it's a good bet for your before-work coffee or - in my case - somewhere you can happily go at 7am on Sundays to write, knowing it will be open.

Indeed, the only reason I didn't go there every day to write was because it doesn't have internet, so I would go to Buddha's Belly for my coffee on weekdays and Seven Bells on weekends, since BB didn't open early enough for me on Saturdays and Sundays.

I've eaten at Seven Bells quite a few times but have only managed to take pictures once. I really need to get better at taking photos when we're out to eat, it's just a bit annoying for your hungry dining pals when you insist on taking photos of their meals when they arrive, so they have to wait before tucking in.

The above was Mex's meal on one of the occasions we went there for breakfast. It's the soft shell breakfast taco with grilled Spanish chorizo, avocado salsa, radish, fried eggs and goat’s cheese ($16.50).

He's quite hard to please when it comes to breakfast but he liked this offering. It was well-presented and the taste was there too. He said he could have done with more cheese, but he's a cheese fiend so I think the amount would have satisfied a 'normal' person, just not him. He would order it again.

I couldn't decide what to order, so I went for my usual construct-a-breakfast. As you can see, I chose tomato, mushrooms and avocado as my sides and multigrain toast. It's nothing fancy obviously but I do think you can judge a place on how well they do these kinds of orders: the servings are generous (there was so much avocado that I had to take half of it home) and the ingredients were of good quality.

Overall it cost about $17, which is pretty standard (those construct-a-breakfasts are rarely good value), but at least it was a massive serve and left me with something to take home for lunch later on.

Atmosphere & service

The inside of the restaurant is quite small and I don't think I've ever sat there - it's much nicer to sit outside and most people seem to do that. You are right beside Windsor Station but I barely notice the trains and trams going past, maybe because the coffee is good enough to block out all else ; )

I've been there when it's busy and dead, and the service has always been relaxed and attentive. The staff are friendly and have a sense of humour, and it looks like a fun place to work.

In sum

I really like School of Seven Bells, although Mex and I do prefer to venture down to Elsternwick if we're in the mood for a decent breakfast.

But Seven Bells is reasonably priced and the coffee is just as good as it is at Dodgers, and I recommend it if you're down that end of Chapel St and have some time before boarding your train.


33 Chapel St, Windsor VIC 3181
+ 61 3 9521 5535

Open daily from 7.00am to 5.00pm

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