It never fails to amaze me how quickly children can make friends. No matter where the boys go, they always end up chatting to some kid, and then end up begging me to let them stay and play. Take for example when we visited Epicure Francaise in Abbotsford recently. They met the beautiful Lucie, the lively daughter of the owner. Within minutes Lucie was showing the boys her pets (2 rabbits & a guinea pig), she had them drawing minions on the chalk board (all of which is located in the backyard/kids play area of the cafe) and then she challenged them to running races.
The boys were mesmerised by Lucie (especially as she gave them a home made icy pole) and they didn't want to leave Epicure Francaise. And to be honest I probably could have sat there in the backyard for a while longer drinking some of their brilliant coffee and nibbling on one of their tarts, whilst enjoying some brilliant Sydney sunshine - this really is a hidden gem.
Epicure Francaise is located in the local strip of shops at Abbotsford. There is plenty of parking available along the street. The backyard of Epicure Francaise can be accessed via a path on the right hand side of the cafe. There is just enough space to push your pram down the path and once you are out the back there is heaps of space to park loads of prams - so it makes an ideal mums group hang out. Kids will love this area as they can freely roam around, they can draw on the black board, there are some toys for them to play with and a cute little picnic table for them to eat at.
And of course there are the bunnies and the guinea pig (just make sure you don't let the kids pick them up unless a member of the staff or Lucie says it is ok to do so). The rabbits are called Black Beauty & Rosie and the shy little guinea pig is called Poppy. They are fed with scraps from the kitchen and the produce from the herb/vegie patch which is right next to their enclosure, is used in the kitchen - it's kind of like a mini urban farming venture. And if your kids need to wash their hands or go to the loo, the toilet facilities are also out here too.
Epicure Francaise is obviously a French cafe - the owner/chef hails from France and when he isn't busy cooking up a storm in the kitchen, he will come out and chat to you with his charming French accent. Besides the backyard seating there are also tables and chairs on the side walk in front of the cafe (in true Parisian style), as well as indoor seating - just in case the weather is a bit glum. The interior is lovely and cosy with limited room for prams. However there are high chairs, so you can always pop your babe in one of those if they are old enough.
We had stopped by Epicure Francaise for a spot of morning tea. The boys checked out the cake cabinet as soon as we arrived and saw the cute Mickey Mouse biscuits and immediately demanded those. I on the other hand found it very difficult to decide on what to eat, as there were just so many delectable looking tarts and pastries to choose from. In the end I went with a crème brulee tart which was delish! The boys washed down their biscuits with water, however babycinos, kids size milkshakes, juices and soft drinks are all available. And as I mentioned before the coffee is superior (the blend is a secret organic blend made up by Malik the owner). I recommend that you pop inside the cafe first to check out the cake cabinet/menu and then tell the staff that you will be sitting out the back.
If you dine at breakfast or lunch time, you will find that the menu has a strong French influence. Whilst there isn't a dedicated kids menu, there are plenty of options for them to eat. Examples are banana bread, toast, ham & cheese croissants, sweet & savoury crepes, French toast, fruit salad, home made pies & sausage rolls, and baguettes filled with various fillings - in other words, no one will go home with an empty belly.
Now I can't guarantee that you will have the lovely Lucie to entertain your brood if you visit Epicure Francaise during the week (as she will probably be playing with her friends at school), but I'm sure your kids will still have a wow of time in the backyard. And kids being kids will no doubt make their own friends amongst the offspring of the other cafe patrons. Bon appetit x
563 Great North Rd, Abbotsford
Open 7 days from 7am