Pull on your lycra and running shoes my lovelies and head with your kidlets and fur babies to the Nield Park Pavilion in Rodd Point for a picturesque breakfast or lunch and everything in between. Nield Park Pavilion is located on the beautiful Bay Run (I actually call it the Walk as I can't run 700m let alone 7km) and as a result you see quite a few sporty spices having a quick coffee break in the Pavilion. They come with their babies in prams and their fur babies on leashes who have their very own space outside (complete with water bowls) to sit and whine.
On the day we visited I wasn't in my lycra as I had my 4yr old in tow and for him to do a long walk with me would entail me stealing someone's pram and pushing him the whole way. Instead we met up with a friend for a spot of morning tea. We arrived early and easily found a car spot on the street just behind the cafe. As soon as I let him out of the car the 4 year old ran like a crazy around all of the green space of Nield Park where the Pavilion is located and then headed towards the playground and came to an abrupt halt when he discovered it was full of girls! He decided he would come back for a play after our morning tea in the vain hope that all of the girls would have disappeared.
Unfortunately you cannot see the playground from where you sit in the Pavilion so you either have to have your play before or after your meal or just grab a takeaway and sit and watch your little ones play. The Pavilion is seriously child friendly although - you can easily access it with your pram and there is plenty of space to park it right next to your table. The space would also be ideal for a mother's group catch up but perhaps ring ahead first as it does get very busy. They have loads of high chairs, toilet facilities, staff that are happy to deal with kidlets and their messes and lastly they are open every day of the week from the very family friendly hour of 7.00am.
As soon as we walked in to the Nield Park Pavilion we were warmly greeted and shown to our seat. Within minutes table water and a cup of crayons with an activity sheet were placed on our table. The activity sheet was actually the Pavilion's kids menu - I love when a cafe makes an effort with their little diners! We didn't try anything off this menu as it was mid morning, instead my little man went and checked out the cake cabinet which had a plate full of sweet treats for kids. There was much indecision over whether he should choose a shortbread man or a decadent looking cupcake and in the end the happy man won his heart and stomach. This was washed down with a fairly ordinary babycino (in comparison to other ones I have seen in Sydney) but at least it was served in a disposable cup.
The cake cabinet is also full of decadent treats for adults but my dining companion and I decided to order off their breakfast menu. I've always thought that banana bread is the perfect mid morning snack and at Nield Park Pavilion they serve it with a mix of marscapone and ricotta and after having that smeared on top of the bread I don't think I could ever revert back to butter! Just to let you know the banana bread cost $10.00 which is a wee bit on the expensive side in my opinion. Interestingly the rest of the breakfast menu wasn't too badly priced with the most expensive item (the full breakfast) being $18.00. Eggs on toast (my friend's choice) was $10.00 and it came with a side of roasted tomato. Some other yummy sounding choices are the Potato Pancake with Smoked Salmon ($17) or Eggs alla Sicilia & Chorizo ($15).
I've heard along the grapevine that the cafe gets very busy at lunch times, especially on the weekend, so if you decide to dine at this time of day, I would ring ahead and make a booking. The luncheon menu has quite an Italian feel to it - gnocchi, pastas, risottos and seafood feature. Sitting back over a long lunch enjoying the view would be bliss (if your children would only let you).
After you have finished your time at the Nield Park Pavilion you can either continue along your merry way around the bay or do what most sensible people do and take the kidlets to the playground. This is exactly what we did and luckily those pesky girls had disappeared so the boy was happy to play this time. The playground is only small in size and probably more suited for those under 5 years of age but I'm sure your older kidlets will still have fun - otherwise bring a ball or kite for them to use in the park. Meanwhile you can sit on the seat under the shade of a large tree and have a sticky beak at all of the surrounding real estate and pretend that you can't hear your offspring asking you to push them on the swing x
There are actually quite a few cafes along the Bay Run - which one is your favourite? Maybe I should write an article called the Bay Cafe Crawl!
89a Henley Marine Dr, Rodd Point
02 9713 5112
Open 7 days from 7am - 4pm