Firstly, I’d like to say that this is my favourite place in Australia so far.
So much so, that we visited Alexandria 3 times in a row- and I’m not usually a repeat visitor. And I’m a very harsh critic. So this is a very important statement.
The Grounds of Alexandria is a landmark sustainable garden, located in a former industrial precinct from the 1920s. It spans an acre on the inner west city fringe suburb of Alexandria and has artisan food, a vibrant weekend market, the most beautiful florist ever, a small animal farm and a rustic coffee house- all set in the most spectacular floral garden.
In terms of food, The Grounds is split into three distinct areas- The Cafe, The Potting Shed and The Garden. Needless to say, we tried all 3.
The Garden hosts a BBQ menu which is open for breakfast and lunch 5 days of the week.
The first time we came, Nathan’s relative, Ilinka (who knows all the best food places), took us for brunch at the BBQ. The food was absolutely delicious- so delicious that I have included it in my top 3 places for brunch in Sydney post, where you can find out even more about the food.
The Cafe, which hosts the motto ‘garden to plate’, is all about super fresh, local produce- cooked to absolute perfection. It is also open for both breakfast and lunch, 7 days a week. The decor has a modern industrialist vibe, echoing its history as an industrial precinct.
The food is also off-the-chart levels of divine. I opted for the opulent ‘Grounds Brekkie Bowl’- which was fresher than a newborn lamb.
Nathan had the ‘Breakfast Burger’ and seemed very happy with it- although he is always at his happiest when eating.
The Cafe also has an unmissable artisan bakery section which we couldn’t resist, so we ordered a slice of raspberry and dark chocolate ganache and a tropical smoothie to enjoy in the sunshine-soaked gardens outside.
The gardens have lots of little (and large) seating areas with different floral schemes that make you feel as if you’re in a fantasy world, as the stunning vines full of bright flowers surround you.
The final food section is The Potting Shed- pitched as the ‘local watering hole’. The Potting Shed is open for lunch, dinner and drinks every day of the week. The food is just as delicious as the rest of The Grounds and the cocktail menu is to die for. They also have a resident parrot named Fluffy, because why not.
We went to The Potting Shed on our last evening in Sydney, with some of Nathan’s relatives, for a delicious meal and a few drinks.
The cocktail menu reflected the natural surroundings- even offering a cocktail served in a plantpot.
But it was the desserts that really stole the show for me (as always). The photo definitely doesn’t do them justice, but the smashed lemon meringue tart with lashings of white chocolate was sublime.
If The Grounds only offered the food I have already mentioned- it would still be my favourite place in Australia so far. But it offers so much more!
It has the most fantastic florist with blooms of fresh flowers available for sale every day.
There’s also a super cute little lemonade stall, serving fresh, fruity juice- which both looks and tastes heavenly.
Perhaps my favourite element of all is the small farm section- where the famous Kevin Bacon the pig lives in luxury, surrounded by his friends in the form of sheep, goats and chickens.
If you visit on a weekend, you will also come across the day markets which host eighty different stall holders- selling everything from gourmet doughnuts to hand-crafted greetings cards.
The honey stall, which has a glass jar that you can see the bees actively making the honey in, is also a winner.
Best of all, Kevin Bacon (the pig) does his shopping there on a weekend and you can catch him perusing the stalls.
If the one million pictures and my gushing, over-the-top language hasn’t already given it away- I am obsessed with The Grounds of Alexandria. There should be somewhere like this in every city. Not only is the food divine, the flowers stunning, and the whole experience completely unique- but the company’s core ethos and mission of providing fresh, local produce to bring people together is just perfect.