Over the weekend we had a bit of inspired dining over lunch on Sunday. It was one of those spur of the moment type lunches where we decided to head out for something a bit different – at this point I should note that everything I have at the moment is different since I’m experiencing Sydney for the first time. This one was however, for want of a better description, something really quite special. The Grounds in Alexandria is a Coffee Roasters first and foremost, but beyond the garden courtyard filled with masses of people milling about with take away plates and coffees (not to mention, on this particular day, a kids party and a small farmyard of baby animals) is a restaurant with a difference. There is of course, as you might well have guessed, a rather exceptional roasting facility and a long coffee bar serving deliciously made-with-love coffee as well numerous eats and treats which you might find in a gourmet coffee shop or bakery.
Since we arrived at 1:00pm on a Saturday, in the middle of ‘rush hour,’ there was a 45 minute wait for a table; this explained why most people had chosen to grab a take away from the counter which they could eat in the garden. Not being in any rush, and having spotted the man outside selling fresh strawberries, we decided that we could wait. We bought two bags of the aforementioned strawberries to keep us going until lunch, walked around the garden and made friends with farmyard animals, found a lovely Italian warehouse-come-deli nearby (which I made a note of coming back to after lunch), checked out the Red Bull Head Office next door and returned just in time to be seated.
The wait, I must say, was absolutely worth it, although not just for the food, which was fabulous, but for experience, the stunning interior design and the buzzing atmosphere. The food here is fresh, organic, and a fair amount is grown right in their own garden. The chefs use only season ingredients and everything is made from scratch, I don’t need to see the kitchen to tell you this, you can taste it in every mouthful (although they do have a rather lovely open kitchen). They have put a huge amount of thought and effort into each element of this place; every detail of the interior, the immaculate kitchen, the plates and servings, the separate areas and partitions and the awesome looking ‘research facility’ where they test roasting techniques and blends of coffee (which I am told is also seasonal, due to different seasonal beans).
The Grounds is a dedicated haven of luxurious food at more-than-reasonable prices, the food is home-style cooking of the highest order and the coffee is simply out of this world. The interior design is something to marvel, as are the gardens, and the staff here are ready to help at any moment. A wonderful combination of elements brought together in effortless style to create a very memorable experience and a really lovely day out was had by all.
The Grounds, Alexandria | Building 7A, No 2 Huntley St, Alexandria NSW 2015 | http://groundsroasters.com | +61 (2) 9699 2225