A dear friend recently introduced me to this place in Sydney’s east, under the guise that it was a great place for our kids to play. I think she knew that we’d have just as much fun here as our bubs. It truly was a lovely place for great food, a nice coffee hit and to let the kids (and kids-at-heart) have a good play.
The Grounds is a unique concept with a focus on great coffee. The location is an old pie factory with loads of industrial charm and houses a coffee research and testing area, a cafe, a children’s play area, herb gardens, veggie patches and even a mini farm with chickens and a piglet named Kevin Bacon.
There several alfresco eating areas that are surrounded with gardens hosting a variety of heirloom vegetables, herbs and a medley of gorgeous vintage and rustic items – the most unexpected of tranquil country settings in this bustling city locale.
The cafe serves up great wholesome food with seasonal produce in a former warehouse space. It really fosters a great industrial aesthetic through all the rustic woods, vintage crates, bespoke cabinetry, and by using some unique items like refitted shipping containers and subway tiles.
The children’s play area is a gated little section with an adorable cubby house. Just as much creative thought has gone into this area (despite the destructive forces of tiny terrors). The fence, playhouse exterior and floors are painted in the sweetest yellow and grey colour scheme with pops of orange. There are really some darling items in this space like the turquoise metal stools and light fixtures and the little red wooden chairs – it forms a really unique play area for children.
My little bub loved the flower bed grown in a vintage Coca Cola wagon and the chalkboard walls inside the playhouse. It’s so refreshing to be able to expose children to environments that are not always shiny and new, all whilst in a safe and child-friendly environment.
Check out some of the highlights from our visit:
At the cafe, our juice and ginger beer order came out in glass jar mugs and our lunch was served as a rustic platter. The coffee was a perfect blend and the table we sat at had a mosaic of polished green subway tiles.
I must return as many times as it takes to get through just about everything on that glorious menu! The great food is complimented further by the glorious glimpses surrounding you at every angle – organic breads in hessian-lined wooden crates, vintage scales at the counter and trays of sweet treats.
Eating alfresco is just as dreamy, under a canopy of amazing light fittings and greenery. Herbs and flowers are scattered around the area in charming rusted tins, jars, tubs and wagons. The aged pottery, old ladders and other farming items together with the little pig pen and chicken coop – everything will transport you to a very serene place.
We happily pottered between eating, drinking and playing all day until our little ones were so tired that they were practically falling asleep on the cubby house floor (bonus!).
There are also markets held there on the first Saturday of the month from 8am to 3pm, which i’ll be checking out in April. So be sure to pop into this place for an eat.drink.play (eat.eat.eat.drink.play.eat)… I might see you there!
The Grounds – Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria, Sydney, Australia
Do you have a favourite spot to eat, drink and play? A place that has loads of heart and soul, creativity and edge? If so, leave the details below or the H&D Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you.