As they say good things come in small packages.... and Livvi's Cafe at Five Dock is one perfect little package!
This little kiosk type of cafe is right next to Livvi's Place, a pretty darn cool playground in Five Dock. For those of you not in the know, Livvi's Place is one of many playgrounds dotted around Australia that have been created by the brilliant Touched by Olivia Foundation. The playgrounds have been specifically designed to be inclusive of all ages and abilities - it's basically giving an opportunity for all Aussie kids to play. In keeping with this theme, Livvi's Cafe is a social enterprise cafe - they offer employment to people with disabilities and some of the profit made by the cafe from their coffee sales, is returned to the foundation.
Livvi's is located at Timbrell Park on Henley Marine Drive. There is a reasonable amount of parking along the street in front of the park. We had no drama scoring a spot during the school holidays but if sport is being played on weekends it may be a bit more difficult. Once you have the brood unloaded, your pram can be driven straight up the grass into the seating area of the cafe and as I didn't spy any high chairs it may be wise to bring it along to restrain your little ones (because of the cafe's proximity to the road). The toilets are smack bang next to the cafe and there is a handicapped loo in both the gents and ladies section which contain change tables - this is impressive as not many places have change tables available in the bloke's side!
The cafe has about 4 tables out the front of it and there are also tables within the playground where you can eat your purchases from, or you can BYO picnic rug and throw it down anywhere within Timbrell Park. Being a small cafe means that the menu is also small, however I'm sure you will find something suitable to tickle the taste buds of the whole family. The menu as a result is also reasonably priced, unlike most inner west cafes - where else in this part of Sydney can you get a ham & cheese croissant as well as a coffee for $8.00? And the coffee is Campos and it is excellent! And babycinos are free with every high five given to the barista!
My coffee was perfectly brewed and the free babycino came with a marshmallow and was made from cold milk with some froth on top, which gets the big tick from this safety conscious Mumma. The boys had ice creams and I sampled a salted caramel cookie which was nice and chewy, just the way I like it. Our food came in takeaway containers so it would be easy to transport to the playground if so desired. And as the playground is fully fenced and as long as your kids are old enough, you can go and grab your food/coffee without disturbing their play.
It will actually be hard to get the kids out of the spacious playground as there is to much to explore. At first glance you may think that Livvi's Place is just like any other playground in Sydney. There is a large sandpit complete with tonka trucks, buckets and forgotten thongs; self propelled whirly gigs; climbing forts and ropes; chalkboard; swings and slides. But there are a couple of things that I believe make it stand apart.
The motorised roundabout is one - this is way cool and the boys favourite piece of equipment they played on. The speed can be set to slow or fast (and fast isn't very fast). You hold a button in to start it and then a screen shows a count down so that you know when it is going to start moving - you constantly hear kidlets yelling out "10-9-8-7 etc" from the cafe! The roundabout has seats and things to hold on to as well as space to wheel in a wheelchair or pram. I so love that everyone can get on it - even parents, so make sure you jump aboard. It goes around for a couple of minutes I think, but it is slow enough to jump off safely and there is also an emergency stop button if something dramatic happens.
Our other favourite piece of equipment were the musical trampoline tyres - they are hidden up the back of the playground in the trees. When you jump on these they play music - I'd love them in my backyard! There are other musical instruments in the playground too, where aspiring (or should I say frustrated) musicians can belt out a tune or two.
Just in case all of this isn't enough, if you drop by on Mondays and Thursdays, the cafe hosts story time in the playground for little ones at 10am (double check with their FB page to make sure it is still on, if the weather is a bit grim).
Fortunately there are more Livvi's Cafe opening up in Sydney. Livvi's Cafe in Elara (Blacktown way) and Willowdale (Camden way) opened last year and they shall be most definitely Little Munched in 2016 now that we have discovered how perfect Livvi's Cafe in Five Dock is x
Henley Marine Dr, Five Dock NSW
Open 7 days
Mon - Fri: 6.30am - 1.00pm
Sat - Sun: 7.00am - 3.30pm
(they may be closed on wet days)