If you are looking for a fun day out, we love The Grounds of Alexandria.
Located in a former industrial site from the 1920’s in Sydney’s inner West the Grounds is the brainchild of entrepreneur Ramsey Choker and coffee barista Jack Hanna. They had a dream to create a space in the inner city where people could come to experience cafe’s, restaurants, organic gardens and even farm animals all under the one roof.
“The Grounds is a stunning sanctuary of café’s, restaurants and beautiful gardens where you can lose yourself and completely forget you are in the city”
It’s the perfect venue to get together with friends or family for an enjoyable day but be warned, it’s a popular venue so very busy! You will have to wait for a table and queue for food, but the atmosphere is great, the food is good, and the staff are friendly and there is lots to see and do while you wait.
Throughout the year The Grounds is decorated with different themes depending on the time of year. Make sure to visit for Valentines Day, Easter and of course Christmas where the site is transformed to delight visitors young and old for a special day out.
Our first visit to The Grounds in December 2018 was a few friends including our very good friend and former Miss USA Lynnette Cole. Lynnette loves to visit Australia and especially loves the great food and wine Australia has to offer. December is one of The Ground’s busiest time of the year, so there were huge crowds all coming to see the spectacular Christmas theme, The Nutcracker. Walkways were decorated with snow covered trees, Christmas lights and candy canes. It was like walking into a winter wonderland despite the 30-degree heat on the day we chose to go!
Making the most of our girls’ day out, we stopped for lunch at The Potting Shed. A lively but relaxed restaurant decorated with hanging plants, terracotta pots and greenery where you can relax with a glass of wine or a unique cocktail while you peruse the wholesome menu. There is even a pet Macaw named Fluffy that you can visit and have your photo taken with while you are waiting for your food. We recommend that if you don’t want to wait book a table in advance. We didn’t book so had about a 30-minute wait which we made use of by having a wander around, taking photos by all the wonderful colourful scenery and visiting the farm animals which was lots of fun. The maître d takes your mobile number and they text you when your table is ready. We loved the food here and the service was great. The waiters are great at recommending food and drinks, but they are cheeky and like to have fun so watch out when you give them the phone to take a photo of you at the table. We ended up with a selfie of our waiters!
The only downside to our day was probably the heat and the crowds so be prepared and dress appropriately. Being an outdoor venue there is no air conditioning so if you visit during the summer months, we recommend you wear something cool and pop a personal fan in your handbag if you have one. They are a lifesaver, particularly if you are prone to the personal moment of a hot flush!
Our most recent visit to the Grounds was in early March this year. The theme was Valentines Bohemian Love story, so we decided to take the husbands along with us!
The walkway was decorated with colourful feathers, dried palm fronds, macramé wall hangings and fairy lit wigwams that you could sit in. Not quite as impressive or magical as the Christmas theme but still very pretty and dreamy to look at.
We ate lunch in The Grounds Garden, an open courtyard surrounded by grapevines, florals and greenery. It was another hot day, but they had constant cooling mist sprays and industrial fans to cool us down.
The Garden is a casual dining takeaway area so its first in best dressed to grab a table. We left the husbands to mind the table while we queued up to order our food and drinks. We ordered wood fired pizzas, burgers and chips for lunch as well as fruit punches and fresh lemonade and watermelon drinks from the lemonade stand. We found it all a bit chaotic going from stand to stand to queue and collect food and drinks so if you are looking for better food and table service, we would recommend the Potting Shed instead.
The Garden is a great place for a casual meal. It’s a perfect to take the kids as there is a play area where the kids can run free. You will also find Harry Trotter the resident pig and his farm friends there which the kids will love.
After lunch we stopped at the Donut stand for delicious warm donuts for an afternoon treat then wandered around looking at the fresh flowers and popped by the weekend markets on our way out.
The Grounds of Alexandria is a great place to meet friends and family, take overseas visitors or just go by yourself for a coffee and a wander.
What we wore: We often get asked what the right thing is to wear to a day outing that involves lunch with the girls. Firstly, there is no right or wrong if you are comfortable and confident in what you are wearing. As we age it’s important to wear colour. Especially close to our faces. It not only photographs well but we both find we get more compliments when we wear bright colours.
Tina loves her Silk Islands Kaftans as the colours are bright and fun and the loose silk fabric is cool and comfortable to wear. She wore a kaftan for each of our outings.
Simone is a top and pants girl over dresses. She wears plain colours on the bottom and patterns and bright colours in her tops. She wore a Witchery blouse for the first outing and a Ruby Yaya off the shoulder blouse for the second.
If you would like to see how we did our hair and makeup for our visits click here.