The Grounds, as it is commonly known, is generally associated with specialty coffee, fresh food and its gorgeous market style ambience. Some may expect such a venue to exclude the littlest family members. Not so at The Grounds. Unlike many other trendy venues who try to dissuade the stroller crowd, The Grounds Garden welcomes us with open arms. With kids menu options, an adorable outdoor play area and some VIP farm animal locals, the Grounds Garden leaves you feeling like you might actually have some extra time for a coffee.
Food and Drink
Where to start… ‘The Cafe’ is brimming with a variety of delicious salads, sandwiches and other brunch fare. You can see the takeaway menu here and here. But brace yourself, on the way to order you will have to walk past an army of pastries, fresh bread and sweets. Oh boy are they tempting.
Although seating is available inside The Cafe (generally with a wait), we recommend ordering and sitting out in The Grounds Garden, which is mostly undercover. According to their website, pets are also welcome to join in the garden party. Apart from being a generally beautiful place to enjoy lunch, it also gives access to ‘The Soda Bar’, ‘The BBQ’ and even woodfired pizzas. If your group grabs a table together they can order separately and enjoy anything from a ‘Shaved Salt Baked Celeriac Salad’ to a ‘beef sausage sanga’.
A wooden cubby house sits inside a partial picket fence with a small, semi-enclosed courtyard. Our children gravitated towards the area as soon as it was within eye shot. With farm animal seats, stacking blocks, a chair swing and even a working air hockey table, the play area is equipped to keep your little ones entertained while you finish your smashed avo. There are even a few tables inside the play area if you want to be really close to the action. Adjoining this you will find the famous Grounds farm animals, including Kevin Bacon the pig and newest addition Russell Crow the rooster.
The toilets are just across a pathway from the play area, which is a great placement. The horse stable styling is a quirky surprise. Unfortunately though, we did not find any nappy change or high chair facilities. We could have wheeled the pram into the bathroom for a change had we needed to but this seems an odd oversight for such a child friendly play area and menu.
The Grounds is a popular venue, with potential parking and seating challenges. However, as a destination it more than makes up for these speed humps through its unique and quirky set-up paired with delicious, fresh, reasonably priced food considering the setting. A personal favourite is the florist. We highly recommend going for a short stroll to see the cart which is always brimming with stunning flowers. Plus, Nubo is within walking distance and the airport is within a few minutes drive. Going for a play or a pick-up, you can make a day of it! Coffee lovers can also rejoice at the range of fresh roasts available, paired with an eclectic variety of brewing and filtering techniques.
Overall, The Grounds Garden has all the ingredients for a lovely kid-approved meal in gloriously appointed surroundings with the added bonus of a mini adventure exploring the venue afterwards.