I dare say quite a few of you have been to the Cafe at WatervieW before - it was previously known as Lillies on the Park. It has been rebranded, and on their website they say that "Cafe at WatervieW is a cafe like no other," "Breathe Enchantment," and "You don't need a special occasion to enjoy the magic of WatervieW." After reading this, I dragged the boys along early on a Saturday morning to check out the "magic" for ourselves!
We have visited the cafe before when it was Lilies on the Park, and not had a particularly good experience, hence why it had never made the pages of Little Munch. And it was because I had seen all of the gorgeous, Alice in Wonderland type of new flyers for the new branding, that I thought it was time for another visit.
When we arrived, we easily found a park close to the cafe. There is loads of parking and during the week as well as early in the morning on weekends I have never had a problem parking here. However in the middle of the day on Saturday and Sunday and during school holidays, expect to drive around for a bit before you can score a spot. When we walked over to the cafe, I have to admit I was a wee bit disappointed - it looked exactly the same as it used to. The bike hire shop was still there, as was the exact same outdoor furniture that had been at the cafe for years.
All of the seating at WatervieW is outdoors - so don't plan your visit on a rainy day. There is some protection from the elements in the form of a covered portico area and umbrellas, and they also have gas heaters cranking on cold days. In its favour there is plenty of room and easy access for prams so it is an ideal spot to meet up with your Mothers Group or friends who all have prams. There are also high chairs, and toilets with a baby change table, are located right at the cafe which is very handy.
The morning we dined for breakfast the cafe was very quiet, so we had the pick of where to sit. The first thing I noticed were all the spray bottles located on tables. At first I thought that the staff had been a wee bit forgetful and had left them behind when they were cleaning tables. Then my son picked one up and started squirting the birds that were hovering close by (as well as his brother). When I told him to stop, he showed me the sticker on the side of the bottle that said that's exactly what they are for (except for the squirting brother bit)!! Obviously they do get a lot of birds looking for a free meal at the cafe, and they obviously don't want them defecating everywhere BUT a spray bottle in the hands of children only means one thing to me - water fight!!!
You still have to go inside the cafe and look at the menu on the wall and then order and pay at the counter. Then you receive a buzzer which buzzes once your coffees are ready and then they reset it and it buzzes again when your food is ready - it is totally canteen style, self service here. The staff are efficient, not necessarily cheery or engaging. When we dined our food was served very quickly, which was ideal as the boys were itching to hit the playground that is located close by.
The boys ordered hot chocolates and when they arrived I finally saw some of the new branding of the cafe. I had asked for their hot chocolates to come in take away coffee cups (make sure you do too) and they had very cute bunnies on them. Whilst the boys skulled down their perfect temperature hot chockies, we enjoyed our perfectly brewed coffees. Babycinos, milkshakes, soft drinks and juices are all available as well and as the cafe is fully licensed, can even enjoy a wine, champers or beer!
For breakfast the boys chose an apple and banana muffin ($5) from the front counter. Other options for kids to eat include, toast with spreads or raisin toast ($8); banana bread with butter & honey ($6); fresh seasonal fruit & yoghurt ($8); and a ham & cheese croissant ($7). During the day there are loads of junk type snacks for kids to eat including biscuits, cakes, icy poles, lollies and chips. There is also a kids menu available for lunch time meals:
The adults menu for breakfast and lunch covers all of your cafe basics. The breakfast menu ranges in price from $6.00 - $15.00. We sampled the Parmesan Scrambled Eggs with Wild Mushrooms, Thyme & Rocket served on toasted sourdough ($12). The meal was a very decent size but I'm not a fan of the balsamic glaze that was all over the plate - I think first thing in the morning that it is just a bit too much for the taste buds to handle. At lunch time you can have burgers, wraps, salads, nachos and pastas. The most expensive item is $16.00 and for that you will receive Barramundi with sweet potato, asparagus, cherry tomatoes & salsa verde - which is excellent value. You can also have high tea here - you might just need to arm yourself with one of those spray bottles so that the birds don't come and try to steal any of your sweet treats!
We scoffed our breakfast down very quickly as the boys kept trying to wander off to the playground. The playground is located about 30m from the cafe, but please don't let your younger kids wander off by themselves to play, because they have to cross a road to get to it. It's not really the cars that you have to worry about here, it's those damn MAMILS. These dudes obviously have so much testosterone surging through their veins (or maybe it's the viagra) and they won't stop for anyone or anything - children will get hurt if they aren't supervised.
The playground is still in reasonable condition considering how much use it gets, and I was surprised by how clean it was (I always get a bit nervous about the boys playing in a playground's sand pit in case there is something manky lying under all that sand). I love that this playground is suitable for all ages and abilities. The climbing pyramid occupies older kids, younger kids will love the play gym and kids with mobility issues have their very own swing. Once the boys grew bored of the playground (actually they didn't, we did) we went off on a family walk through Bicentennial Park - you can seriously spend a whole day exploring here if you have the time.
Just to let you know that during the school holidays the Cafe at WatervieW host kids cooking classes. For $22.00 per child they can either participate in a Pizza & Pasta class or a Cookies & Craft class. The Pizza & Pasta class is on Thursdays from 11.00am and they make their very own pizza for lunch and whilst it is cooking they do pasta craft. The Cookies & Craft class is on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11.00am. It's a hands on session where kidlets make cookies and also decorate a bag to take them home in. Bookings are essential for both classes - call 02 9764 9900. Whilst the kids are occupied you can sit back and enjoy one of WatervieW's brilliant coffees, which sounds ideal to me. (They say on their flyers that the activities are for 2 - 5 yr olds, however I have seen photos of kids older than this participating, so perhaps confirm when making your bookings).
Cafe at WatervieW has so many things going for it and it ticks all of the Little Munch boxes. When I saw the new branding, I had very high expectations for the cafe, believing that it had been transformed into something magical - but it still has much more to do I believe. It is the same cafe as it was when it was called Lillies on the Park. But you know what? Kids couldn't care less about this, and as long as the kidlets are happy, we're happy. Isn't that right Little Munchers!?
Have you visited the "new" Cafe at WatervieW?
Bicentennial Drive, Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park NSW
(enter from Australia Ave or Bennelong Pkwy
Open 7 days 8am - 5pm