The Grounds of Alexandria

I have been anticipating a trip to this quirky little place for so, so long now! On the way to Alexandria, Sydney, around 5% of me was hoping that my bouncing/over-the-top excitement wouldn't be struck down with disappointment. It certainly wasn't. As we entered under iron-arches, I skipped through the garden like all of the other three-year-olds wandering around. (It's fair to say that Mum's like The Grounds too.) There was a chicken run with clucking chooks; gardens overflowing with herbs; the tallest and most charming sweet-pea bush; and a beautiful, big wood-fired oven. What was once an old pie factory is now one of Sydney's most popular cafes. I can't tell you about the coffee because I'm part of the 0.002% of people who don't drink it, but the food exceeded all of my expectations.

The breakfast menu has everything from Turkish sausages to spiced granola. The breakfast board ($20) was stacked with ciabatta, eggs, avocado, shaved leg-ham, house-made pesto, sweet little cherry tomatoes and a solid helping of luscious Persian feta. The pesto was fresh and lively - totally delicious and worth every cent. Whenever I get a chance to order sweet over savoury, I take it with both hands and treasure it. For the sweet-toothed diners, like myself, the French toast was unbeatable. Cooked perfectly with a crisp outside, each slice was accompanied by zingy roast rhubarb and a subtly sweet lemon mascarpone. The ratio of toast:rhubarb:mascarpone could not have been more perfect for my liking. (I'm a tad obsessed with perfect ratio!) Having noticed that my breakfast was only $13, I was expecting a meal less than half the size that it was. It was just great to get real value for money, but I would definitely pay a few dollars more for that.

The Grounds was plagued with high-heel wearing, Dior-bag-carrying women, men wearing Ralph Lauren shirts, and trendy mothers' groups, but I can see why everyone flocks to it! The Grounds is so refreshingly real