The Grounds of Alexandria
Building 7a, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria
Mumabulous has been searching for urban cafe nirvana – a tranquil oasis where parents can sip their coffee and leisurely scan the newspaper whilst the kids are entertained. Stop the press people! I think I have found it. The Grounds of Alexandria is as good as a metropolitian cafe gets. It was recommended to me by a friend who is far more knowledgeable on these matters than I ( Cheers Maeva). After doing some cursory research, I just had to see it for myself.
The first thing that grabs you when you rock up is the size of the place. Its huge, the tuscan style courtyard is more like a paved football field tastefully fringed with vege patches. The “garden” as they call it, is more than just decorative. According to the website the home grown fragrant herbs, edible flowers, fruits and veges are used daily in the kitchen. You can’t beat that for freshness. Even more impressively, they have a chook run. The chickens are exotic looking specimens at that. I suppose this place is too hip for your standard white battery hen.
The pièce de résistance is the kids corner. There’s a dedicated nook given over to a play area with sculputural wooden climbing frames.One wall is covered by a chalk board. I mightn’t be Athena Starwoman but I predict this space will become a magnet to mothers groups as summer approaches.
When you actually go inside you realise that The Grounds is more than just a cafe. Its a “slashie” – a cafe/bakery/research facility. For real. The research facility appears like a museum piece but apparently the German imported roasting machines on display are used in an ongoing experiment to find the perfect coffee blend. A goal that I wholeheartedly applaud.
I drifted longingly past the bakery with its colourful show of patisseries and settled in the cafe. Here I ordered a civlised brunch of rubarb brioche topped with mascarpone and my usual large skim cappucino. I’m not sure if this was a wise choice given my weight has hit a post pregnancy high point and my bank account a low point but it was too tempting.
I then wandered about self consciously taking snap shots as the wait staff gave me knowing smiles. One young waitress even gave me some photographic advice. Guess Mumabulous is far from the first blogger to have passed through.
Mumabulous Verdict: 9/10
The idea is truly unique and well executed. To my way of thinking, the following additions would make it just perfect – a kids jumping castle, a water view and Michael Fassbender as the chief barista. One thing to note is that the place is “like so hot right now” and is often packed. I’ve read that there can be horrendous queues for tables, so if you’re planning on checking it dont go at a peak time.