We first visited Cafe at Lewers quite a few years back and didn't have a particularly good experience as Mr Munch almost lost his manhood! A young waitress dropped a dish of piping hot shakshuka on his lap, and she was too embarrassed to clean it up because of where it had landed. I stepped in and sorted the mess out and sent her back to the kitchen red faced, with a half empty dish. Amazingly, the dish returned to us almost in the same state, except that it now had a poached egg on top - Mr Munch also didn't receive any sort of apology from management or from the young lass. Unimpressed, we had not returned until recently. And I'm very happy to say that there are now gorgeous new owners, who seem to have a much better grasp on the art of hospitality.
Cafe at Lewers is located within the grounds of the Penrith Regional Art Gallery in Emu Plains. The gallery and its grounds were bequested to the people of the area by a local artistic family - the Lewers family. They lived on the property for many years and their original family home still exists, as does its fabulous garden. It is within the garden that you will find some of the cafe's tables that are scattered around under trees and in little nooks and crannies. If you are dining with kids this would be the best place to sit on a sunny day, but make sure you ring and book in advance as they are very popular. There are also tables under cover which are ideal on a day when the weather is a bit foul.
Cafe at Lewers is really kid friendly. Firstly there is a decent amount of parking available either on the street or at the side of the cafe. The whole space is very pram friendly and high chairs are available for little ones that need to be restrained. Kids can bring out their inner Picasso on the chalk board easels that can be found around the garden and there is loads of space for them to run around. The staff are really friendly and obliging - they quickly sorted out a squabble between my boys when they started to fight over the easel that was closest to our table, by bringing another one over for them to use. Other kid friendly boxes that are ticked by the cafe are that there are toilets on site which contain a baby change table and they have a yummy kids menu available.
The kids menu caters for kidlets at both breakfast and lunch time. For brekkie, little ones can feast on bacon & eggs on toast ($8); a mini granola cup ($7); or a house made Belgian waffle ($10). Our dudes just wanted a muffin, so make sure you ask your waitress if they have any left - it was a raspberry flavour the morning we dined. At lunch time there are 3 offerings for kidlets - a Ham & Cheese Roll ($6); Baked Cheesy Fries ($10); or a Cuppa Soup ($6). And no little one will go thirsty, as they have kid size milkshakes, smoothies, freshly squeezed oj, apple juice, hot chocolates and babycinos all on their kids drink list! And the cafe receives another big tick as their milkshakes (and I presume most of their other drinks) are served in disposable cups.
The adult's breakfast menu features all sorts of deliciousness, including House Made Belgian Waffles and Sam I Am (Green Eggs & Ham). I was drawn to the Toasted Almond & Cranberry Granola ($12) which came with yoghurt and Ironbark honey as well as fresh fruit (my green apple sticks were swiftly stolen by the boys to nibble on). Mr Munch went with the staple of Bacon & Eggs ($12) - the bacon is from Trunkey Creek and you can choose how your eggs are cooked and what bread it is served on. Both dishes were very tasty, but I think I won with my choice (do you have competitions with your other half to see who chooses the best meal or are we just foodie nerds?).
Breakfast is served from 8am - 11.30am and lunch is from 12pm - 3.30pm every day. If you are dining outside of those hours they have a Light Eats and Sweets menu available to fill up your bellies. The wholesome lunch menu includes an interesting selection of burgers and salads, as well as a grazing board that is packed full of local produce.
Cafe at Lewers serves Morgans Coffee from just up the road in Emu Heights, which they make beautifully. Their tea comes from Dr Tea Loose Leaf Tea, and they also offer a Moroccan Mint Tea as well as a Zokoko Mint Hot Chocolate which I'm sure will please non coffee drinkers. The cafe is fully licensed, so you can sip on an ice cold glass of vino over lunch if you so desire. Or if you can farm the kids out to the grandparents, why not go along to one of their Sips and Sounds sessions that they host every Friday afternoon - cocktails, craft beers and bar snacks are available from 4pm, with different performers providing some live funky music for you to chill out to.
On some weekends/weekdays and also throughout the school holidays, the art gallery run excellent kids art classes. They range in price from $15 - $25 and go for 2 hours, there are even 3 day art camps available - check out their FB page for more information. You can also just wander through the gallery and its grounds for free if that is more to your liking. It is open every day from 9am - 5pm and their modern exhibitions change regularly.
The morning of our visit we didn't hang around for an art class after brekfast, instead we went for a walk along the mighty Nepean River that the gallery/cafe is located on. The walk along the river is an excellent family friendly walk. If you are feeling really fit you can do the loop from one side to another (7kms) or just do one side of it like we did. Your little ones will burn off some their restless energy and you will burn off some of the calories that you may have just inhaled at Cafe at Lewers! Enjoy Little Munchers x
86 River Rd, Emu Plains
Open 7 days 8am - 3.30pm