It has a fairyland quality. It’s a spectacularly beautiful Garden of Eden
In a former pie factory in the tiny suburb of Alexandria, The Grounds of Alexandria are a rather unique and unexpected find. The creative vision and execution of it’s design is quite striking yet so intimately comfortable, this hot-spot is undoubtedly so popular because of how welcome you feel – an urban sanctuary where friends and families can gather to share a meal and escape. After all, food really is the one thing that really connects people! Housing a café, bakery, florist, markets, a roastery, private event spaces and more it’s here you come for lunch and linger a while. In an area that’s quite industrial, not far from Sydney’s domestic and international airport, The Grounds are a tiny culinary escape, amidst brick walls and organic gardens.
Before (if you can hold out) or after you dine, it is well worth taking the time to walk around this beautifully eclectic space – brass water fountains, intimate table settings, group dining and greenery as far as the eye can see. On the far side of the Grill Up Garden you’ll find Kevin Bacon’s house…not the Kevin Bacon most of us are familiar with, but rather The Grounds’ sizeable resident pig! Alongside his posse of chickens, goat, sheep and pigeon or two, Kevin’s usually busy guzzling down on feed or finding space amongst his harem.
From Kevin’s house, we made our way over to The Potting Shed for a late lunch and some cocktails. Food is where The Grounds really shines. Delivering fresh, in-season, creative dishes that will have you savouring every mouthful (seeing the dishes taken to other tables giving you small bouts of food envy). You’ll find yourself wishing you could order the entire menu!
The theme of The Potting Shed is just as you would imagine – it feels as though you’re walking into a flourishing nursery. This theme is executed so unbelievably well and is carried right the way through the restaurant – from the ‘wait to be planted’ sign out front, the wait staff in gardening attire, menu clipboards held together with tiny spades and the pottery your food is served on. The menu oozes a variety of fresh produce and dishes inspired by home-style cooking, the plates coming out of the kitchen full of colour and theatre. We decided on The Shed Platter – a gorgeous selection of cheeses, fresh breads, pickled vegetables, fruit and cured meats – and washed it all down with a jug of bright and refreshing rose sangria.
After lunch it was time to walk off our very full tummies, so we made the most of our time there by exploring the rest of the grounds. Past endless arrangements of colour at the florist, we made our way on to Salt Meats Cheese, a gourmet Italian providore offering charcuterie meats and cheeses, their shelves lined with imported and local products for purchase. Providing the full foodie experience, it’s here you can purchase your produce, take up a cooking class or order take out to go. [These guys recently relocated to Fountain Street now operating out of a brand new dining space offering wood fired pizza, a pasta bar, deli, cakes and coffee].
The way out of this Eden is one that is lined with sweet, sweet temptation (naturally). A vintage donut cart that smells of a sugary heaven, a cake stall covered in tiny, tasty pieces of art and a lemonade stand offering a delicious variety of thirst quenching ades! Sticking to a theme for the day, I tried out their rose lemonade (for those with a sweet tooth I highly recommend it!). The vendor even let me jump behind the cart!
I so wish I’d had more time in Sydney, if only to go back and visit this place a few more times. This spot is a MUST SEE if you find yourself in town – be sure to check out their events calendar to see if there’s anything running during your stay. I can’t even begin to put into words how fantastic they are (jump onto their Instagram and take a peak at what went on this Valentines Day and you’ll get an idea).
- The Grounds of Alexandria
Building 7A, 2 Huntly Street
Alexandria NSW 2015
Ph: +61 (2) 9699 2225
For reservation enquiries, click here