When I mentioned Gather on the Green to a reader, she thought that I was talking about a music festival, like Day on the Green. I also mentioned it to a friend and she thought I was talking about a happy clappy churchy venue. Well Gather on the Green is neither. It is actually another fabulous child friendly cafe in Sydney and you should gather up your brood and head on down to Camperdown to check it out.
Now the reason you should go to Gather on the Green right now is because of their fabulous muffins. Each day they bake on site, the most amazing flavours! They change all the time and when we visited we sampled some simply sublime varieties - cherry and berry as well as strawberry and marshmallow. Yes we visited twice, because we just so loved this place. We first stumbled into Gather on the Green for coffee on a sunny Sunday. We enjoyed our coffee and muffins and saw that the menu was so cheap and that the cafe was so child friendly that we made a date to return the following weekend for breakfast.
Now back to the name Gather on the Green. Basically the cafe is opposite a green - Camperdown Park to be exact. This park is large and contains an oval. When you eat at the cafe you have a few choices - either you sit inside the cafe, out on the pavement or grab one of the picnic blankets provided by Gather on the Green and sit outside on the green! If you choose to sit outside, which is quite wise when you have rambunctious little ones with you, just pop inside and place your order and the lovely staff will bring it out to the green for you. Whilst you are waiting, your kids can run around, climb the fabulous old fig trees and make a nuisance of themselves outdoors.
Both times we visited we sat inside as I forgot to pack the sunscreen and hats (when does Mummy Brain bugga off?). The inside is not pram friendly so your best option is to sit outside on the pavement or over on the green if you have a bub in tow. There are about 6 tables inside plus a big comfy couch. You will also find inside a clipboard with colouring sheets, a couple of cups full of coloured pencils, plus a rack full of kids books to keep your little ones occupied.
The staff are really friendly and attentive to the needs of children. Even though there isn't a kids menu they serve milkshakes and smoothies in kids sizes - that come in a disposable container, as does the babycino. There are loads of options for children to eat for breakfast off the menu, for example the divine muffins, banana bread and toast. I'm sure at lunch time if you asked for a cheese sandwich they would happily make if for you, because nothing seems too much trouble for the staff at Gather on the Green.
For adults, the breakfast menu is extensive, delicious and as I mentioned before cheap! I ordered the famous Gather on the Green scrambled parmesan eggs and bacon, that came with loads of Brasserie Bread sourdough toast for $12.00! I haven't seen a dish like that cheaper than $16.00 for ages. Their bacon and egg roll with spicy relish was $6.50 and it received the thumbs up from the B & E roll connoisseur Mr Munch, and our other dining companion who was in town from Singapore, had the smashed avocado and fetta on toast with a side of bacon for $14.00. If you are dining at lunch time, they have an interesting assortment of burgers, sandwiches and salads to whet your appetite.
Oh and their Mecca coffee is seriously good as well and served in cute coloured cups and saucers. Actually all the food is served on vintage china which adds to the charm of the place. The vintage theme is extended into the interior decoration of the cafe. It has a real homely feel to it - the sort of place where you aren't afraid that your kids will break something. There is a fabulous mural on an exposed brick wall that dominates the room where you sit inside. Recycled jam jars have been made into lights and funky mexican oil cloth has been used on different surfaces such as table tops and chair pads.
Gather on the Green has a really eclectic clientèle. Obviously there are the savy inner city families that know how fab this place is, as well as bleary eyed uni students with bed hair, than you have the other extreme with the very trendy looking university lecturer types as well as a few nan and pops thrown in for good measure. We also spied a celebrity on our second visit, a very handsome landscape gardener who hosts TV shows, me thinks he may be a local! By the way if you have a fur child, they have a doggy bowl of water outside, so all members of the family are welcome at Gather on the Green.
Once we finished our delightful breakfast, we popped over to the green and sent the little bulls on a jog around the oval (good training for Little A). On their jog, the boys spied a playground as only they can and so off we trotted after them. The playground they spied was actually outdoor exercise equipment which they jumped on, much to the annoyance of some locals trying to exercise. Meanwhile I had spied a playground just behind where we were. I was hoping that the little bulls would have been too pooped to play any more but was proved wrong yet again and I watched in dismay as they practically leap frogged into the playground.
If you have been reading my blog for a while now, you would have realised how much I detest the tedious nature of playgrounds. So at least this time I was spared the monotonous duty of pushing the boys on the swings, as our visitor from Singapore was in actual fact the little bull's aunt (my sista) and I pulled rank on her being the elder and told her it was her moral duty to push her nephews on the swings until they or she could bear no more!
So there you have it, another fabulous child friendly cafe for you Sydney parents to visit with your brood and it is close to a play ground. The only negative that I can see with Gather on the Green is that you will leave with muffin tops after indulging in their divinely decadent muffins, so maybe wear a stretchy frock x
15 Fowler St, Camperdown NSW 2050
02 9557 4106
Mon - Sat: 7am - 5pm; Sun: 8am - 5pm