As you might guess from the tagline, Mel’s is a mildly retro kind of place – a hip café/bar with mismatched furniture, a nostalgic soundtrack, brightly painted walls hung with vintage album sleeves and an unbeatable secret garden at the back. No wonder it’s a hit with the inhabitants of ‘nappy valley’. Although it’s owned by the Food & Fuel Group (Lots Road, The Roebuck etc), Mel’s has its own distinctive character and vibe, plus a menu that rocks throughout the day. Breakfast fry-ups and “great” brunch deals include everything from a famous version of kedgeree to ‘Bryan Adams’ (a stack of pancakes with crispy bacon and maple syrup), while eclectic salads, sandwiches, ‘hot diggity dogs’, eggs every which way and char-grilled burgers (with additions such as chilli and chorizo relish) keep the crowds satisfied later on. There’s plenty of sweet stuff too, from chocolate brownies to Oreo cheesecake with blackberry sauce. Meanwhile, drinkers get their kicks from cocktails, beers and wines.