When spring comes to town, there is nothing better than casting off the shakles of weekday-itis and having an al fresco luncheon somewhere fabulous. That somewhere fabulous was The Grounds of Alexandria. One of Sydney's latest warehouse conversions, The Grounds of Alexandria is a stunning new development amidst the industrial gloom of the inner-city. It's a Tuesday at 12.30pm and it is packed. But they have a system... You put your name on a list and then you are free to roam about or sit in the gardens... A leisurely wait indeed.
It's rather warm so I need refreshment pronto. Refreshment comes in the form of ginger beer with mint, served in this shabby-chic glass jar mug. I want one! The waiter overhears my desire for the mug and tells me that on the last Saturday of every month, they put on markets in the ground and sell all the mugs, serving ware etc. Yay!
I haven't had breakfast and am really rather hungry so I order the lamb pappardelle. The flakes of lamb are delicious, but I wonder why I'd never had a lamb pasta before, and that's becasue they do not really go together. The waitress recommended it, but it feels like a clumsy line-up of suspects: lamb, peas and pasta. I almost wish the lamb and peas were atop a giant mound of mash. It needs salt and pepper. It is by no way bad food, but for my taste, just odd. Nevertheless, I polish it off swiftly.
Shaz orders the burger and chips, which I nearly ordered. It looks good. Bugger. Now I have food envy. I love the presentation on the wooden board. Beautiful in its simplicity.
The window full of pastries and sweet treats would make anyone's mouth water and their personal trainer shudder with rage. I would like to go absolutely feral in this cage of sweet, buttery sin but I am too full and must share a dessert... Sigh. Poor effort.
We cannot decide to get the cherry and pistachio danish or the pear, so Shaz flips a coin. Pear! A delight.
The highlight of The Grounds of Alexandria (as the subtle pun it its name suggests) is the awesome coffee. It is smooth and bold and very obliging to one's needs. I love these cups too! That 1950s green is splendid.
The fit-out inside is glorious and would have cost a pretty penny. It is a huge space but they have to skimped on the detail. This is rustic, urban cool at its best.
As I sit here typing this, I wish I was still in the sun, knocking back another ginger beer and waxing lyrical about how happy and content I am...