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The Grounds of Alexandria – a guide to Sydney’s best coffee playground

When any coffee addict, flower fan, foodie, traveller, millennial or Instagrammer asks me “hey, Lauren, where should I visit in Sydney?” – I simply cannot go past recommending the same place: The Grounds of Alexandria. An inner-city haven with a bar & cafe, gardens, farmyard animals, florist, market stalls and delightfully themed displays, this hangout spot is one of my absolute faves in sunny Sydney!

Australians usually end up giving nicknames to a lot of things and “The Grounds”, as it is affectionately referred to by Sydney-siders, is no exception. Sydney adores this place and for good reason. Way back in 2015, I started to hear talk about the Grounds of Alexandria and I remember thinking: “What is this place? Why is there all this fuss about a coffee shop and why on earth is everyone raving about it?”

By 2017 I was in the midst of a full blown case of The Grounds FOMO and I decided it was time to find this place. I needed to see for myself exactly what everyone was going on about. In this guide to Sydney’s best coffee playground, we’ll explore this gorgeous urban wonderland – which is guaranteed to have you develop a serious longing to visit here ASAP and inject a dose of way too much prettiness direct into your Insta feed…

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In flower heaven at The Grounds of Alexandria – January 2019

But first, coffee!

Melbourne has long reigned as the coffee capital of Australia… However ever since 2012 the Grounds of Alexandria has upped the game, by serving up a much-needed dose of quality caffeine beans for the fancy peeps of Sydney. Located in the inner-west suburb of Alexandria and created by Jack Hanna and Ramzey Choker; this spot used to be an abandoned industrial carpark and pie factory…until these two pioneers came along and envisioned the creation of a magical space; where people would be able to come together to enjoy ethically sourced & sustainable coffee. Their signature roasted beans are so popular and delicious that you can now enjoy these at many different cafes throughout Sydney.

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The Grounds Roastery signature coffee cup – January 2019

Feeling hungry?

The Grounds isn’t a coffee shop per se…there are multiple food & drink venues here, with a variety of options for the discerning foodie:

The Café

The Café is more than just a café – with a bakery & patisserie alongside a seasonal menu, this lively area is ever popular with local & visiting foodies. Seating is available, however waiting lines can be long. If you don’t have the time to wait & wander around then you can also order from their takeaway bar and reservations for tables can be booked via the website.

For anyone interested in baking, a special feature is the option to watch the artisan bakers create sourdough loaves and fine pastries. A variety of coffee beans and teas are also on display and up for sale if you want to take a taste of the Grounds home with you.

The Cafe opening hours: Monday to Friday – 7am to 4pm, Saturday & Sunday – 7.30am to 4pm

The Potting Shed

The Potting Shed is the signature “watering hole” and this is where you want to be, if you relish the feeling of being surrounded by a dollop of nature whilst you tuck into a three-course menu, nibble from “share” plates with your mates and enjoy a few drinks. With a swing chair, hanging pot plants, a bar and an abundance of urban brick & terracotta style decorations, it feels like you’re just hanging out at the farm on a lazy afternoon. I know you will be taking photos of all your wonderful food & drinks, so after you’ve done that then you’re able to print them out on the oh so handy Instagram printer here.

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Welcome to the Potting Shed!

The Potting Shed opening hours:

Monday to Thursday – 11.30am – kitchen closes at 9pm

Friday – 11.30am – kitchen closes at 10pm

Saturday – 11am – kitchen closes at 10pm

Sunday – 11am – kitchens closes at 9pm

The Garden

With an open courtyard festooned with hanging pot-plants, a fountain, sweeping vines and a glasshouse; the garden is the perfect place to sip & chill, with plenty of seating and multiple food & drink choices. The “BAR-B-Q” shop offers tasty burgers & fries, there are wood-fired pizzas available, whilst the Garden Bar serves up coffee, smoothies, juices and craft sodas.

BBQ Opening Hours:

Monday, Thursday, Friday – 9am to 3pm

Tuesday & Wednesday – 11.30am to 3pm

Saturday & Sunday – 8am to 3.30pm

The Garden Bar opening hours:

Monday to Friday – 8am to 2pm

Saturday & Sunday – 8am to 3.30pm

Woodfired Pizzas opening hours:

Monday to Friday – closed

Saturday & Sunday – 8am – 3pm

The Grounds Florals by Silva

Hands down my favourite location to find beautiful blooms in Sydney – The Grounds Florals by Silva is their resident florist. Apart from having friendly & helpful staff they also have one of the prettiest flower displays I’ve ever seen in the world! Fresh blooms are delivered at least 4 times a week, so you are guaranteed to always find an updated selection of flowers here.

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Flowers fresh from the farm – January 2019

This is the place where I discovered “rainbow roses” for the first time – these roses are made by using a special dying technique which creates the variations of colour of the petals.

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Rainbow roses at the Grounds Florals by Silva – 2018

Apart from your mandatory roses in all colours of the rainbow, the florist also offers a myriad of blooms including sunflowers, daisies, peonies, babys breath, poppies, snapdragons, dahlias, “pom poms”, lavender, cotton and native Australian blooms, depending upon the season. Wrapped in recycled brown paper lend the bouquets a farmyard vibe and are in keeping with the Grounds’ rustic retro feels; there’s also hessian bag posies, succulents for gardens lovers and a selection of homewares.

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday – 8am to 5pm

Website: https://thegroundsfloralsbysilva.com.au/

That Instagram fountain photo

So cliché but, sorry not sorry, it simply must be done! The fountain within the Garden area under the bougainvillea laced arbour is one of the most photographed locations in this city. Once you’re done waiting your turn to get a shot (I’m not joking, there are usually a few people waiting their turn to take a photo here), be sure to wander around and admire the outdoor seating area. Some of my other most loved spots for adorable photos here include the London-style red phone booth which is an ATM and the seat high up on the back of the classically vintage ute, surrounded by pumpkins and vegetables.

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The gorgeous fountain in the garden area – January 2019

To market, to market

With a selection of over 80 market stall holders to choose from, the Grounds regularly mixes up their weekend market offerings to keep us entertained and well fed! Here are some of the regulars and my personal favourites:

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Some of the pretty pastel market stalls – January 2019

Traditional fresh lemonade

I don’t know about you, but fresh traditional lemonade reminds me of my childhood, hot summer days at theme parks and carnivals – so when I first visited and saw their lemonade drink stand, it was love at first sight! Strawberries, blueberries, lemons, plums and oranges can be purchased as well as variations of traditional fresh lemonade.

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Lemonade stand filled with a myriad of fresh fruit – January 2019
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Pink lemonade, iced tea and fresh berries – July 2018

Maya Sunny Honey

If you love pancakes, waffles or anything that requires a healthy dose of all-natural sweetness, then don’t walk past the fresh honey market stall. Often one of the first stalls as you walk in via the Huntley Street entrance, you will be able to view the selection of honey on offer – and yes, this includes yummy honeycomb. If you’re lucky, they might also have one of their bee hives on display as well.

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Sweet Maya Sunny Honey & Honeycomb gift packs – January 2019

Sweet & savoury treats

For all the sweet tooths, this is where it’s at! A selection of nuts, mouth-watering cakes, fresh pastries and donuts with Nutella & strawberries are available at three different stalls, right outside the Cafe.

The Grounds Markets opening hours: Saturday & Sunday – 9am to 3.30pm

Farmyard friends & school holiday fun

Once the home of the famous resident pig “Kevin Bacon”, who has recently retired from showbusiness, you can now find a new star of the show – the spotted Piggy called “Harry Trotter”! There’s also chickens and a rooster which the littlies (and big kids like me) will love checking out. Pizza making classes, extracting honeycomb and building terrariums are just some of the fun activities on offer in the current school holiday program.

Themed wonderland

One thing the Grounds does which sets it apart from anywhere else is their ability to stylise a venue with creative themed decorations. Currently there is a Mary Poppins theme complete with cherry blossoms, bubbles wafting through the air, streetlamps and a bag & kite display, to celebrate the release of the new Disney “Mary Poppins Returns” movie. Throughout the year, the themes change on the regular…and I’m going to be the one to call it out first, so I’m predicting either a Chinese New Year or Valentine’s Day theme to shortly arrive for February!

Events & Weddings

The Grounds offers up their space for functions and you can even hire it out for your special day! No seriously, people do have their wedding receptions here and given the decorating skills & unique space, it comes as no real surprise. I can just imagine this oasis lit up with sparkling fairy lights as being one of the most unique locations in Sydney for a bridal reception. There’s even special events and “Masterclasses” which include a variety of activities; some of the current classes available include whisky tasting, coffee workshops and calligraphy classes.

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Bougainvillea laced arbour
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Love you to the moon & back neon sign

The best things in life are free…

With regularly updated themed displays, gorgeous flowers, neon signs, an array of market stalls, amazing coffee, endless food & drink options, plenty of seating and activities to entertain adults & children, the Grounds really is one of the best ways to spend an hour or two in Sydney. As the saying goes, some of the best things in life are free and in the case of The Grounds this is so very true. There is no entry fee which is awesome, especially when considering that you won’t be able to walk out of here without a smile on your face, a full belly and a ton of photos for your Insta feed.

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Bubbly fun underneath the cherry blossoms at the Grounds of Alexandria

The finer details

Address: 7a, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria, NSW, Australia 2015

Parking: Whilst there is parking on site, there are limited spaces available. In order to avoid potential cases of parking rage, I’d recommend to park on one of the neighbouring streets instead.

Public Transport: 10-minute walk from Green Square train station

Website: https://thegrounds.com.au

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thegrounds/?hl=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegrounds/

I hope you have enjoyed this guide to one of Sydney’s best locations and would love to know what you think of it – is this somewhere you would love to explore or are you already a fan of the Grounds?!

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Lauren Harding
Lauren Harding

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26 Comments

  1. Kyleigh
    January 27, 2019 / 9:10 pm

    I never knew the Grounds included all this 🙌 A must visit place next time in Sydney. Thank you Lauren for sharing and the amazing photos 😊

    • January 27, 2019 / 9:37 pm

      Thanks heaps Kyleigh! 🙏 There’s so much to see here, I hope you can visit next time you’re in Sydney!✌

  2. Irena
    January 27, 2019 / 9:21 pm

    Fantastic blog! 😊

    • January 27, 2019 / 9:38 pm

      Thank you so much! Really happy you enjoyed it! 🤗

  3. January 27, 2019 / 9:54 pm

    So very beautiful pictures. My favourite is you in front of the fountain.
    But many others are wonderful too. I have to go somewhere, so I will continue reading later.
    Would be great to meet you in these places one fine decade or so….:) 🌺😻❤️🌷✨

    • January 27, 2019 / 10:03 pm

      Thanks so much Marcel! The fountain is very popular here, lots of people take
      photos in front, very pretty in the garden area!⛲ Next time I’m in Vienna we will catch up for a kaffe!

      • January 28, 2019 / 2:47 am

        Hello again;
        I finished reading now:) I`m sure I would like this area very much too.
        There is so much beautifull or interesting to see and / or to do.
        Even with children, you still could come here.
        Kaffe with you, yes it would be great, whereever it might be.
        Which coffe do you like most? I often like latte matcha (I had one on friday in cats coffee), but also many other more usual types.
        Best wishes 🌺😻❤️🌷✨

        • January 28, 2019 / 9:32 am

          I think you would love it there! I’m definitely a fan of Eiskaffee and latte matchas are yum too! ☕

  4. April 8, 2019 / 12:45 am

    Thank you for the excellent post

    • April 8, 2019 / 7:58 am

      Hi Madie, you’re welcome! Really happy you liked it!

  5. April 17, 2019 / 1:13 pm

    Thanks to the wonderful guide

  6. April 17, 2019 / 2:00 pm

    This is actually helpful, thanks.

    • April 17, 2019 / 6:37 pm

      You’re welcome! Glad you found it useful

  7. April 18, 2019 / 5:57 pm

    I like the report

  8. April 19, 2019 / 12:07 am

    Thank you for the terrific post

    • April 21, 2019 / 4:47 pm

      Hi Leona, thank you for the feedback! Glad you liked it!

  9. April 19, 2019 / 3:32 am

    Thanks to the excellent guide

  10. April 19, 2019 / 4:29 am

    This is actually useful, thanks.

    • April 21, 2019 / 4:47 pm

      Thanks Marcel, really happy you found it helpful!

  11. June 15, 2019 / 3:14 pm

    I like the valuable information you provide on your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and test once more here regularly.
    I’m fairly sure I will learn many new stuff proper here! Best of luck for the following!

    • June 23, 2019 / 7:43 pm

      Hi Starla,
      Thanks so much for the feedback and for stopping by!

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