Have you heard about the new breed of parents called Lawn Mowers? Some parenting guru has supposedly coined the phrase that is meant to apply to parents who remove every possible obstacle out of the way of their kids before disaster strikes them down. The theory says that a Lawn Mower Parent is a Helicopter Parent on steroids. Why parents need to be pigeon holed is beyond me but if I had to describe my style, I would say that I'm more of a Free Range parent, especially if I have to decide between letting my child fall off the top of a climbing frame and having my cup of coffee go cold - does that make me a bad parent? Surely not!
Let's backtrack a bit. We had arrived at Pirrama Park in Pyrmont on a Sunday morning just before 9.00am. The waterside park is fabulous and full of loads of climbing equipment, a huge sand pit, whirly gigs, the dreaded swings, a scooter path, loads of space to run around in and a great water play area. It's the perfect playground for a warm day and we have been to it a few times over the years. Now there are loads of cool playgrounds with water play areas all over Sydney but not many of them have cafes (and toilets) right next door. Every time we have been to the Pirrama Park in the past, the cafe has always been full, hence our decision to arrive there early last Sunday morning.
As soon as we parked the car on the street next to the park, and parted with way too much of my hard earned blogging coin for parking (which I also needed for the CASH ONLY cafe), the boys were out of the car and off to wreak havoc in the playground. We showed them where we would be sitting over at the cafe and encouraged them to go and have some fun. If you have kids the same age as ours or older you can let them play by themselves in the playground as you have pretty good visibility of them from the cafe. So you can sit back and relax and enjoy your coffee in relative peace. If your kidlets are younger, you will probably have to get takeaways or come to the cafe when the little ones have run out of steam in the playground.
The menu at the Pirrama Park Cafe whilst basic, covers all of the staples and nothing costs more than $17.00. They have a dedicated kids menu which is starting to verge on the expensive side but you are in the inner city after all, and can't get much closer to the best Harbour in the World. You can see the kids menu and normal breakfast below and at lunch time the staples include burgers and paninnis and of course hot chips for the adults! There are also freshly baked muffins and other sweet treats available on the front counter to have with your coffee at morning/afternoon tea.
Pirrama Park Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch and everything in between 6 days a week (closed Mondays). It is located in a pavilion just across from the playground and you order, pay and take a number at the counter and your meal is brought to your table. They have high chairs and there is loads of room and very easy access for prams. There are excellent toilet facilities at the other end of the cafe and you will find a baby change table in the dedicated family/handicapped loo. Everything was very clean. Staff were cleaning down all the tables and chairs when we arrived and council staff were cleaning both the toilets and playground as well. Even the garbage bins were emptied by the Garbo's during our breakfast!
Just as our coffees arrived we momentarily lost sight of No. 1 son. Luckily I am in the possession of a camera with a decent zoom lens and I found him perched happily on top of the climbing frame playing I'm the King of the Castle. Mr Munch and I exchanged glances - should we be over there just in case he falls or should we drink our coffees whilst they were still hot? We chose the later and I'm happy to report that in this instance, Free Range parenting worked as he didn't fall but climbed down safely. I presume Lawn Mower Parents drink way too many cold coffees.
For breakfast, Mr Munch road tested the bacon and egg roll as per usual and it received the thumbs up. A nice free range runny egg on top of bacon and rocket served on a crusty roll. I was going for a healthier option of poached eggs on toast but for some reason it came with a big swirl of olive oil on top - first time I have seen this and to be honest I wasn't a fan. The lady on the table next to us ordered the muesli with yoghurt and fruit and it looked like a big divine breakfast parfait and I think I will choose that next time (she gobbled it all up before I could zoom in and take a sneaky photo!).
The coffee at the cafe is decent, maybe not as strong as I normally like it. If you are a true coffee snob the trendy Zebra Lounge is across the way a bit where you can pick up some very good Campos coffees but just be prepared to wait a bit, as this cafe is normally packed on weekends.
We had fed the boys breakfast before we left home so they played for a good hour or more before they came over to us. By this stage it was after 10am so we ordered them some morning tea. The cafe's babycinos are so cute! For $2 the little sweetie came in a disposable espresso cup filled with luke warm froth and sprinkled with chocolate dust and sprinkles plus a a few baby marshmallows. The freshly baked muffin of the day was apple and raspberry ($4.50) and it was adorned with smarties - the perfect muffin for kidlets!
Pyrmont Park & Cafe are now a firm favourite of our family and it is right up there with the best child friendly cafes in Sydney. It is the ideal place to catch up with family and friends and the perfect spot to take visitors to Sydney. You can walk all the way around the water's edge in both directions (keep a close eye on wandering children although as none of it is fenced). There are some lovely picnic spots as well as seats to sit and watch all the action on this end of the Harbour.
No matter what type of parent you are, you and your brood will have an awesome time at Pirrama Park and Cafe. The combined package of the location, the playground and the cafe make it first class and it makes me realise how truly lucky we are to live in Sydney x
Cnr Harris St & Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009
Open Tue -Thu: 9am - 4pm; Sat - Sun (& PH): 8am - 5pm