I had a badly timed appointment in the city one day during these school holidays and it meant that number one son had to accompany me. As any "good" mother does, I bribed him with a visit to a toy store if he behaved for me whilst I was at my appointment. He held up his end of the bargain beautifully, so I had to hold up mine. The only toy store I could think of in the city was Hobby Co in the QVB, so we dodged all of the tourists and made our way up to level 2 of the building.
As we entered Hobby Co I clocked the cafe directly outside - Cellinis Bar Restaurant and promised myself a brew there once we had finished the visit to the toyshop. And let me tell you dear parents I thoroughly deserved my brew, because our visit verged on the excruciating, as No. 1 son touched every single toy/item/thing in that shop. Of course he also found out that the shop covers two levels so we had to explore both levels with him begging me to buy him something the whole time. Being the miser that I am, I scanned every single price on the back of each toy he fingered and as luck would have it, it was the very last toy we saw - a "surprise" hot wheels car. Now if you find yourself in the same predicament as I was, you will find this little surprise packet on the top floor of Hobby Co, on the front counter and it will set you back $2.25 - I seriously couldn't find anything cheaper than this in the whole store!
I swear we spent a good hour in that shop so I was hankering for my coffee. I sat down at a table right near the front window of Hobby Co and this is exactly where you should sit as well when you visit Cellinis Bar Restaurant. The reason is that there is a model train exhibition in the window of Hobby Co, complete with Thomas and all his friends. Your kids will glue themselves to the window and you can sit back and enjoy your well deserved coffee.
As soon as I sat down a waiter came and asked what we would like. Our orders were promptly (if not curtly) taken and within minutes our drinks arrived - cappuccino for me and a kids size milkshake (in a glass) for my boy. Both drinks were excellent and we had a cookie and slice of mass produced carrot cake as well for morning tea. Babycinos are available for $2.00, but my big boy just ain't into those any more, so I can't report if they were good value for money or not.
If you are dining at lunch or dinner, there is a kids menu, where your kidlets can have just a basic sandwich (peanut butter or vegemite) for $3.50 or you can go for your typical deep fried nuggets/fish/spring rolls with chips for $7.90. Spag Bol will set you back $8.90. So whilst the menu is fairly boring I am quite surprised that it was all under $10.00 considering you are dining right the heart of touristville.
Likewise the adults menu is surprisingly reasonable considering the location. You can have everything from a sandwich to soup to a baked potato to a risotto. The menu has something for all tastes and even a decent vegetarian selection. Most items on the menu cost between $10.00-$20.00. They are also licensed (obviously being a bar) so you can have sneaky glass with your lunch.
Cellinis has an indoor dining section which looks quite glamorous - think art deco marble and chandeliers. Their outside section (where we sat) has chairs and tables that are located around the balustrade of the 2nd floor (vertigo sufferers beware!). This makes the cafe really pram friendly, just make sure you use the lift to get up to level 2, because those escalators are really quite steep. There were plenty of high chairs available and if you need a baby change facility you unfortunately have to head right down to the bunker level of the QVB to find the parents room! (Not impressed QVB!).
Once we finished our morning tea we wandered down to have a look at the castle (the QVB's clock) and that is where we were delighted to find a Dr Seuss exhibition. Being in Kindy and learning to read, Dr Seuss is read an awful lot in our house - he is a big favourite with all of us. The exhibition is only small but it is so cute! I would have loved to buy a print for the boys room but the miser in me wouldn't part with $400!!
I haven't found many cafes in the CBD of Sydney that are child friendly, so it was a nice surprise to find that Cellinis Bar Restaurant is welcoming of families. The added entertainment bonus of Hobby Co's window and the Dr Seuss exhibition makes for a very pleasant interlude next time you find yourself in the city with your brood x
Lvl 2, Queen Victoria Building
455 George St Sydney NSW 2000
02 9264 4671
Open 7 days 9am - 10pm