Sydney

Sydney Eats: The Grounds of Alexandria

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The City2Surf has become a bit of a tradition for my family – once a year, we all go to Sydney, run a casual 14km on a Sunday morning and spend the rest of the weekend eating and enjoying the warmer Sydney weather.

This year, on our way out of Sydney, we stopped in at one of my favourite places in Sydney – The Grounds of Alexandria. I’ve written about The Grounds before (see here), but I’ve only ever been on a Sunday when they have their gorgeous market stalls out in the courtyard. On the weekends people are absolutely everywhere and the wait for a table at the cafe is hours long.

While their market stalls are full of delicious goodies, I was keen to try the cafe this time. For a Monday morning the place was surprisingly busy, but after a short wait for a table, we were seated inside and treated to a killer brunch.

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The photos pretty much speak for themselves – good coffee, chilled vibes and delicious everything else. I had the berry hotcake with vanilla marscapone and it was all kinds of light and fluffy. Everyone else enjoyed their meals too – the baked eggs were cooked to runny perfection and Steve was impressed that his breakfast burger came with a side of chunky polenta chips.

Their attention to detail is one of the best things about this place and they are killing it on all fronts  – everything looks good, tastes delicious and always delivered with a smile.

I definitely recommend a visit, even if it’s just for a wander through their gardens and courtyard. They have a gorgeous florist on site and if you’re into cute farm animals, you can’t leave without saying a quick hello to Kevin Bacon, the Grounds’ resident piggy.

The Grounds of Alexandria is located at Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street in Alexandria. If you’re into a little bit of food envy, they also have the most drool worthy instagram feed.

– Bec x

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Sydney Eats: Markets at the Grounds of Alexandria

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Another weekend in Sydney means another opportunity to try out another Sydney brunch spot. I had heard, read and viewed many an instagram photo of this uber cool cafe called the Grounds of Alexandria.

It was Sunday and we were a cosy group of 5 – my parents, my Aunty, her partner and me – hoping for a quality brunch at a cute cafe before heading back to Canberra. We arrived at the Grounds and were greeted with so much more. Far more than just one cafe, the Grounds also has a coffee roastery, a bakery, a restaurant called the Potting Shed, a cute boutique florist and a beautiful sprawling garden courtyard.

On weekends the place comes alive with what is called the “Grounds’ Markets”, a collection of super cute, super delicious market stalls with exciting foods of all varieties – hot dogs, ice-cream sandwiches, waffles, pastries, breads, home-made lemonade, home-grown strawberries, roasted nuts, little chocolates – it was food stall heaven and the place was absolutely bustling.

Unfazed by the two hour wait for a table inside the cafe, we were very happy to order from the takeaway menu and find somewhere in the garden to devour our makeshift brunch. The coffee was to die for, the juices spot on and the food had me very excited to come back for brunch inside the cafe next time. We wandered the market stalls, ate some pastries for dessert and met Fluffy, the resident Macaw. Brunch mission accomplished.

The Grounds of Alexandria is located at Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street in Alexandria, Sydney.

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Sydney Eats: St Jude, Redfern

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St Jude is a damn cute little cafe in Redfern.

It was the Monday morning after City2Surf when we dropped by for brunch and St Jude was the perfect place to rest our sore legs and recuperate before the drive home.

It is a small cafe with a beautiful antique table in the middle of the room for communal dining. They also have extra seating outside, which, on a sunnier day, would be sublime. Being winter though, we were lucky to score a table inside when we did. Butterflies, vintage dolls and framed paintings of saints adorn the walls, adding to the eclectic feel of this tiny cafe. And while it might be a small place, St Jude is big on good vibes – their service is super friendly, the food is killer and they make a very mean soy cap.

If you want to eat at St Jude, and I highly recommend it, go to 728 Bourke Street (corner Thurlow Street & Bourke Street) in Redfern and hope for an empty table.

– Bec x

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Sydney Eats: Reuben Hills, Surry Hills

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We had run 14km and all I could think about was food. Reuben Hills was the perfect solution to our problem. It wasn’t my first time at this popular cafe in Surry Hills and it definitely won’t be my last.

Reuben Hills is a haven for good food and exceptional coffee. My soft baked eggs veggie style was flippin’ delicious, but order at your own caution – this dish is only for people who like their chilli hot.

The menu is one of my favourite things about this cafe, inspired by their coffee buying trips to Central and South America, the dishes are big on flavour and big on chilli. The boys shared a plate of the aptly named “really fucking great fried chicken” and as far as I could tell, they thought it was really fucking great. Matt and Steve also had a giant milkshake each, one salted caramel, the other apple and rhubarb crumble, while I downed two soy caps in record time. It was post-City2Surf perfection.

If you’re into food that packs a punch, excellent coffee and unusual milkshake flavours, Reuben Hills is the place to be. Find it at 61 Albion Street in Surry Hills.

– Bec x

A Weekend in Sydney

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Every year my Dad and brother join thousands of hopefuls and run the 14km from Sydney’s city centre to Bondi Beach in what is known as the City2Surf. Every year I vow to join them and every year I’m conveniently overseas (except for that one time I did do it in 2010 or 2011 – I don’t remember and it’s not that important). This year, 2014 – it was my time to shine.

The good news is that I completed the 14km and am still walking to tell the tale. With the run done and dusted well before midday on the Sunday, the even better news is that I had almost the entire weekend to enjoy Sydney with Matt and my family.

Unsurprisingly, we spent the weekend mostly eating, but we did manage to stroll (or perhaps it was more of a hobble) around Circular Quay and the Rocks like real tourists, taking our obligatory photos on the steps of the Opera House and basking in the famous radiance that is the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

And with that, here are a few happy snaps from the weekend.

– Bec x

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pictured left: tourists // right: more tourists

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pictured: the view from our apartment on Castlereagh Street

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pictured left: pre-dinner drinks at the Argyle // right: an icon