For those of you who may not know me very well, I need to let you know that I grew up on a farm. A farm with more than a few acres. And as a result I frequently have a yearning to return to the life of acres, especially as I have been blessed with two rambunctious boys who need an awful lot of space. But I also adore the city lifestyle and all of its trimmings, and as a result I quite often find myself pulled between both lifestyles. So when I heard through social media that a small acreage had somehow come to life in the inner city of Sydney, I just knew I (we) needed to be there.
This mini urban farm is called Camperdown Commons. It is home to a delicious eatery called Acre, and also to Pocket City Farms (a company trying to fill any neglected space in Sydney with small farms). You will find the Camperdown Commons in the back streets of inner city Camperdown, and it is a perfect place to venture with the whole family, as well as a big group of your fellow breeders - as there is loads of space for everyone to enjoy themselves!
When you first arrive at Camperdown Commons you will find a small coffee stall at the entrance, where you can grab a takeaway and also a snack, and then you can go for a wander around the "farm." Or you can venture further down the garden path, and you will arive at the Garden Terrace. It's here that you will find loads of funky inner city families hanging out. The Terrace is under the cover of a pergola, and it wraps around an expansive lawn, which has umbrellas and rugs for you to sprawl out on.
At th end of the lawn there's a cool nature based playground for kids to play in. And when they grow bored of that, there's also toys such as hoola hoops and frisbees for kids to have some backyard fun with as well. If you have any little bookworms in your brood, they will love the book shelf full of interesting reads. And to top it all off, you can also take your kids on an explore of the vegies patches and chicken coop.
With the kids happily occupied, you can get down to the serious business of ordering some food. The Garden Terrace is open from Wednesday - Sunday from 8am. You order and pay at the outdoor food counter, and they will bring the meals to your table.
At the Garden Terrace, the food menu from Wednesday - Friday is "bar food" - so it's snack/lunch type of fare. And on weekends they serve an all day breakfast. Kidlets have their very own menu and all the food is quite healthy and delicious sounding. There's a real emphasis on paddock to plate dining, with the kitchen using produce direct from the vegies patches and also from farmers in the Sydney basin, so there will always be some "garden bits" in the kids meals!
Likewise with the adults menu, there are quite a few things from the garden in each dish. The Avocado, Ricotta, Tomato & Soft Boiled Egg on Sourdough, not only looks delish but is also bursting with fresh flavour. Likewise with the Granola Bowl, which is full of the most gorgeous coconut yoghurt and fresh fruit - it is the most perfect way to kick start your day.
Our lads munched on Ham & Cheese Croissants for their breakfast, but I'm very keen to go back and sample some of the tasty sounding lunch time menu items for the kids.
The actual "restaurant" section of Acre, is indoors behind the Garden Terrace, and it has been styled in a farmhouse design. It's where you go if you are after a more formal meal, but it is also welcoming of families and has an upmarket menu, including one for the kidlets. It's only open for lunch and dinner Wednesday - Sunday. There are high chairs as well as space to park your pram. And just near the entrance to the restaurant you will find the amenities, which includes a toilet with a baby change table.
Before you leave the farm, make sure you purchase some fresh produce, plucked straight from the garden in the morning, at the market stall near the entrance. Or why not enroll in one of Pocket City Farms tours and learn the basics of urban farming (but be warned...they may make you weed!!). Also outside the front gate there is a community herb patch where you can pick your own herbs to take home with you. So make sure you grab some basil for your pasta (or some mint for your mojito), on your way home.
Getting There: Outside of Camperdown Commons there is street parking available. You will also find a parking station about a 3 minute walk away in Grose Street (access it off Carillion Ave). There are also bus stops close by on Parramatta Rd, and the closest train station is Newtown, about a 10 -15 minute walk away, depending on how many little legs you have with you.
So my dear friends, when you are yearning for some down time in the country, just head to Camperdown Commons, where you will be able to sample a little taste of all things country, right in the heart of the city x
31a Mallet St, Camperdown NSW
02 9194 3100
Open Wed - Sun