I went to The Grounds, as it is known as for short, a couple of weeks ago, for a coffee meetup with a few fellow solopreneurs. Amazingly, it was the first time I had been in almost a year, despite it being one of my favourite Sydney cafes.
Why was this? Unfortunately, it is a victim of its own success. It is so incredibly popular, that finding somewhere to park can be a nightmare, and then you have the nightmare of finding a table.
The Grounds is trying to address these two issues as best they can. Firstly) finding a parking spot – they have also added dedicated parking spots in 5 different nearby locations and friendly rangers to help you find a spot, since my last visit, On this occasion however, I was catching public transport, so did not have to worry about parking, although the nearest train station (Green Square) is 10 minutes walk.
Secondly) finding a table – you can now book a table in the cafe on Monday to Fridays, as well as on weekends if there are over 10 people. Additionally, the take-away coffee hut in the garden now serves food too. So if the weather is nice, you don’t need to queue for over an hour for a table inside (where they have a different menu. The inside menu is more extensive, but for me, the best part of the Grounds is outside). There is also the Potting Shed next door, which is owned by the same people and can be easier to find a table.
So what makes The Grounds so popular? As mentioned above…for me, it is all about the outside area – with the market selling “a curated range of food, beverages, skin care, gifts, home wares and more” (e.g. freshly squeezed lemonade, gorgeous donuts and Pink Champagne candles), the farm with animals such as Kevin Bacon, the organic garden where they grow their own veggies and herbs, the vines covering the huge pergolas (pictured), the charcoal barbeque cooking up a storm, the fresh coffee and juice bar. It truly is an urban oasis.
My tips – go on a weekday* if you can, book a table, catch public transport, have brunch/lunch at the Grounds and then pop into The Potting Shed for a couple of drinks.
* Though sadly, the market only runs on weekends.
The Grounds is, of course, celebrating Mother’s Day this Sunday in style. Lunch reservations have completely sold out, but amazingly, there are still a few tables available for dinner! Seats must be pre-paid and cost $160 per person (no discount for children). This includes:
- A glass of Pol Roger champagne or cocktail on arrival, followed by a selection of non-alcoholic drinks to accompany your meal;
- A chef’s welcome plate and 3-course meal, loaded with signature Grounds fare that includes an abundant seafood entrée, unique and plentiful Sunday Roast with a very decadent dessert true to The Grounds usual event style;
- Mums will be treated to one of Silva’s special flower crowns and a gift at her table – already making her the queen of the day;
- A live 3-piece band, and magical photo areas with Instagram printers on hand to capture all the moments, this will truly be a day to remember.