Did you know there is a collective noun for a group of Mothers?
Last week I was having a lovely little lunch with some lovely cousins at the very child friendly Melaleuca House in Mt Annan. At the end of our meal I noticed a herd of women with prams starting to file past where we were sitting - there were about 20 of them - so that's a decent size herd. Then I started thinking that a herd may not be such a nice way to refer to mums with bubs as I hated any reference to being a cow/milker when I was feeding my babes. (That may also have had to do with the fact that I was quite often hooked up to an electric "milking machine" when my baby boys were sick in hospital when they were first born). So thanks to my best friend google, I have since discovered that is most definitely not a herd of Mothers but a consternation of Mothers and by the way it is a "mutter" of Mothers-in-law!
Anyway this consternation of Mothers obviously know how child friendly Melaleuca House is and I dare say meet up there quite often, as they seemed very at home. See, Melaleuca House is situated right next to a huge playground. There is a lovely patch of green grass under a big tree in between the playground and the restaurant and this is where the consternation parked their prams and let their gorgeous little ones crawl around.
We were sitting on the verandah of Melaleuca House. You can choose to sit inside the lovely interior or outside which is the best place to be when dining with children. There are quite a few tables and chairs just off the verandah where you can have a good view of the playground. On the verandah we didn't have sight of the playground as a pesky shrub was in the way. The shrub is probably some sort of threatened species so it may not be appropriate for me to advise them to either chop it down or give it a decent prune!
The playground is large and fully fenced, with some of it under shade sails. There are swings, climbing equipment, sand pit, whirly gigs and a flying fox. There is also loads of space to run around and a couple of picnic tables. Families had brought picnic lunches as well as take aways from Melaleuca House and everyone was enjoying the fabulous Autumn weather.
We had already been in the playground before lunch so my little bull was quite hungry by the time we had taken our seats. The Aussie themed kids menu is great value for $10.90 as it includes a drink. The Magpie was chosen and quickly devoured as my boy had spotted the Peters ice cream freezer inside the restaurant, so I went and bought him one so that I could enjoy my lunch with the cousins in relative peace. Melaleuca House is open every day - during the week they serve morning and afternoon tea as well as lunch and on weekends they serve breakfast from the child friendly hour of 8am.
The Australian theme is continued in the adult's menu. Prices are average and range from $14.90 for a focaccia up to $22.90 for a main meal. The Wollemi toasted focaccia was delicious and packed full of goats cheese, roasted vegies and pesto. The roasted vegie salad ($18.90) was piled high and adorned with goats cheese and pine nuts. The most expensive meal on the menu is the grilled barra ($22.90) and it was accompanied by salad, chips and bush tomato chutney. If you are after something lighter, they serve muffins, cakes and scones and their coffee is very decent indeed.
Now I'm going to backtrack a bit. Melaleuca House is located in the Australian Botanic Garden (formerly know as Mt Annan Botanic Gardens). When you turn into the Gardens you drive for what seems like miles, until you reach the parking area for the restaurant. Don't worry it is quite a scenic drive past picnic areas and the very modern looking Plant Bank. The Garden covers 416 hectares and you can do bush walks, mountain biking and learn loads about Australian natives. Before reaching the restaurant make sure you wander around the Fruit Loop so that your kids understand that it's just not a brightly coloured breakfast cereal!
The other fantastic place located in the garden is the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living. Every Thursday morning the centre hosts Little Explorers where your kidlets can learn all of the ins and outs of the natural environment through hands on activities such as gardening and craft. Click here for more info.
So that I don't offend any of my readers, I did in fact look up what the collective noun for a group of fathers is and this is all I could find: "There is no specific collective noun for Fathers" or so wiki.answers thinks. So let's hear from y'all - what should a group of fathers be called?
Caley Dr, Mt Annan NSW 2567
Open 7 days
Mon - Fri 10.00am - 4.30pm
Sat-Sun 8.00am - 4.30pm