A “destination café” is a café that has coffee, food and atmosphere so wonderful, that you would be willing to travel great distances to experience its uniqueness. Although we came across The Grounds per chance and without well thought out travel plans, we would certainly take this journey across town again, without a second thought.
As we take a seat inside, mouths agape at the rustic chic décor and absorbing the cosy ambience created by soft lighting, we order a cappucino. Lyndie decides that hers lack chocolate sprinkles and generously pours some over her coffee from the container on the table. After a greedy gulp, she realizes that the newly acquired peppery taste, is not due to the ground organic coffee beans! Luckily, the dumbfounded waiter replaces it with a smile, head shaking as if not believing in such stupidity!
As described in our previous blog, The Grounds of Alexandria is situated among factory outlets and showrooms, so it was an unexpected delight coming across this oasis of kitchen gardens, chicken pen and a sprawl of casual seating.
The Grounds café, is a former warehouse and 1900s pie factory that was turned into a restaurant with artisan bakery and coffee roasting facility. The renovated space opens onto an urban kitchen garden, with a fit-out that creates a rustic, inviting atmosphere with contemporary highlights.
The designer, Caroline Choker, embraced the former rustic, industrial interior and combined it with eye catching polished tiles in interesting patterns, steel frames and timber cabinetry to create this unique atmosphere. The starting point for their design concept was a seed to cup approach and it combines well with the holistic dining and coffee experience.
The site also hosts a coffee research and testing facility. The Grounds offers wholesome, rustic food where fresh herbs are picked from the garden every morning. A full-time horticulturalist grows seasonal produce for the menu.
Caroline’s brother, Ramzey Choker, and his longstanding business partner, coffee roaster Jack Hanna, own the café. Caroline also designs and manages bespoke events there.
If you would like to have a unique outing, visit The Grounds at Building 7, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria. Phone 02-96992225 to make a booking, especially for large groups or over the busy weekend period.
Cheerio ’til next time!
Lyndie and Eriana
Images found on petitepassport; nicoalaryjr on Flickr.com; and Pinterest by arlaaston.com