Our comprehensive guide on what to do, where to go and what to eat at one of Sydney’s favourite local hubs – The Grounds of Alexandria.
Travel restrictions are still very much in place despite rumblings of a travel bubble around the corner. But if you, like us, are yearning for the road and a bit of adventure, we’ve got the perfect place for you, and it’s right here in the heart of good ol’ Sydney: The Grounds of Alexandria.
What’s on – Welcome to Marrakesh
One of Sydney’s crowning glories, The Grounds continues to amaze both young and old alike. With their ongoing theme, Welcome to Marrakesh, they transport us to the stunning city of Marrakesh, complete with Moroccan-inspired dishes and magnificent private dining events.
Make your way through the popular laneway that has been home to a myriad of themes over the years, all of which we have grown to love. Currently, this narrow path is lined with lush greens and hues reminiscent of the beautiful city of Marrakesh.
You will spot an assortment of local creations and lanterns as you turn the corner with skilfully made baskets and gorgeous keepsakes at every turn. Needless to say, this theme makes for an absolutely stunning Instagram picture and that opulent terracotta colour is to die for.
The Grounds know how to show us a good time, and if you’re a foodie, this place is a must-visit. In line with the ongoing theme, you can indulge in their Moroccan-inspired breakfast blowout or come around later for lunch for an equally scrumptious meal. The breakfast menu includes semolina pancakes, mini pastries topped generously with marmalade, honey and yoghurt, and Moroccan cous cous with raisins, mint and almond.
For lunch you can expect zaalouk and baba ghanouj with crusty bread, roasted eggplant with paprika and a rich chicken rfissa. If this isn’t tempting enough already, there’s a new bonus menu being introduced this week and no reservations are required so plan a visit stat. Our recommendation? The pistachio and fig tart and the Moroccan pavlova are excellent.
Another incentive to visit The Grounds is the chance to win a $200 The Grounds voucher. All you need to do is strike a pose somewhere on the premises, maybe at the exotic laneway or besides the twinkling lanterns, and tag the photo with @thegrounds using the hashtag #TravelToTheGrounds on either Instagram or Facebook. Pretty good deal if you ask us, especially since you’re probably going to take a million photos anyway.
This stunning creation is here till April 18 and with the sun finally shining down on us, now would be the right time to visit the city.
A local’s guide to The Grounds of Alexandria:
If you love a strong brew, a pretty frame, delicious food, lush greens, a burst of floral and neon backdrops at every corner, this is the place for you. So basically, it’s a place for anyone and everyone. Entrepreneurs Ramzey Choker and Jack Hanna are the masterminds behind the now iconic spot that Sydney so deeply loves. The vision behind the concept was to turn an industrial, concrete car park into a flourishing urban haven of sorts with the intention to bring people together in a warm, welcoming space.
But if you’re wondering what the whole fuss is about and where to get started (or if it’s even worth the trip), we’ve got a comprehensive guide to help you out.
1. First stop: coffee at The Cafe
‘I judge a restaurant by the bread and by the coffee’ – Burt Lancaster
We have to agree. If coffee is your poison, head to The Grounds right away. The roasted beans are legendary and for good reason. Although you can find their coffee at many café’s around the city, the feeling of taking a pause from the bustle of life with a warm, comforting cuppa at the original location in Alexandria is unparalleled.
2. Explore the eateries
In terms of food, there are a multitude of options available. There’s a café with great coffee, a selection of breakfast dishes and salad bowls. The bakery and patisserie allows visitors to observe the chefs creating freshly baked bread and pastries. You also have the option to purchase their legendary coffee beans, homemade jams and signature granola among other things. The restaurant also offers a range of dishes and, along with the set menu, the dishes change according to the present theme. Speaking of which…
3. Enjoy a meal at The Potting Shed
This is the famed eatery at The Grounds with potted plants swinging from the ceiling, fairy lights in the evening, rustic tableware, great wine and cocktails, a produce-driven menu and, of course, Fluffy the parrot.
Check out the delectable menu here.
4. Get yourself some fresh blooms at The Grounds Floral by Sylvia
Hands down one of my favourite places in Sydney for floral treasures. Poppies and daisies, lavender and sunflowers, natives and snapdragons, traditional red roses and peonies – you name it. The flowers are exquisite: bouquets absolutely bewitching with colours and arrangements you need to see to believe. The insta-famous rainbow roses are made using a special dye and you can choose from a new selection of flowers at least four times a week.
5. Liven up your grid at the fountain
Possibly one of the most photographed places at The Grounds of Alexandria and Sydney per se, the fountain is a structure under a bougainvillea laden gazebo with outdoor seating for parties and weddings.
6. Bonus: Weekend markets
The Grounds encourage people to try local brands and products by housing over 80 stalls that alternate every weekend. The markets are always interesting to explore with heaps of new and innovative creations every weekend, from 9am-3:30pm.
7. Feed the local animals at The Farm
There is also a little farm at The Grounds of Alexandria, because sky’s the limit right? Here you can view and feed a variety of animals, the most popular of whom, resident pig Kevin Bacon, has recently retired. There’s also Meryl Sheep and Naughty the goat who is super friendly to play with but be careful of your hats and flowers – she has a penchant for chewing on those.
8. Make a pitstop by the popular neon signs
Another popular Instagram hotspot, this one will make your feed properly pop. Another one to add to your list is the much-loved London-esque red phone booth which is actually an ATM machine and, of course, the kissing booth.
Important things to note:
- You’ll find the Grounds of Alexandria at 7a, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria, NSW, Australia 2015.
- Parking spaces are limited: it’s best to park on one of the adjacent streets and walk up to the venue.
- You will have to patiently wait your turn for pictures. There’s always a long queue, especially at the fountain.
- If visiting The Potting Shed, make your reservations well in advance. There’s almost always a waitlist.
- If you’re taking public transport, exit at Green Square Station. It’s about a 10-minute (but picturesque!) walk from there.
Read more: 50 Absolutely Free Things To Do In Sydney