Nothing warms your heart more than a neighbourhood gem, you love them and you want to keep them all to yourself....so sorry dear Carlingford residents the secret is out...your little gem, the red HEART cafe has been visited by Little Munch and we are a wee bit smitten!
red HEART cafe is located in a suburban strip of shops, basically under the M2. It is almost like a ruby in the rough, the warming red front door beckoning you to enter and leave the drone of the M2 behind. The lovely owner with ruby red lips welcomes you into her sanctuary, offering simple comfort food and Campos coffee. A large red heart takes centre stage on the wall and twinkly blue fairy lights surround the interior. You have the option of sitting inside or out but I suggest you sit inside to soak up more of the atmosphere - plenty of room for prams.
As per usual we are there early on a Saturday morning and the little bulls instantly discover the basket of toys and books in the corner. Coffees are ordered, pleasantries exchanged with the friendly waiter as well as a few of the locals and we sit back and read the Saturday papers.
Oh that's right, we need to order some food.
I spy the tray of freshly baked muffins ($3 each) and know that the breakfast for the boys is sorted. The delicious flavour combinations were either caramelised banana, raspberry and white chocolate or the good old blueberry. "Trendy Tots" are well catered for in regards to drinks, both the babycino ($1.50) and milkshake ($2.50) are oh so gorgeous. Other than that, there isn't a specific children's menu. However for breakfast you can easily order the muffins, toast & spreads or raisin toast for your little ones.
The adult menu for breakfast has both healthy and not so healthy options, all reasonably priced. I went the healthy option of poached eggs on toast with a home made tomato relish, which was delicious and Mr Munch went more towards the not so healthy with eggs benedict & bacon. I don't think he was too fussed on the hollandaise, but the whole dish certainly did look delicious to me.
As we linger over breakfast a steady stream of regulars pop in for their usual caffeine fix and a chat, all known by name by the friendly staff. red HEART cafe is the sort of place that makes you appreciate life in suburbia. There may not be a trendy cafe on every street corner, but the cafes that are here, care about you and what you like to drink and eat and as a result you come back time and time again.
After our relaxing breakfast we dragged the little bulls away from the toy basket (which they had all to themselves whilst we were at the cafe). I went across the road to take a pic of the exterior of the cafe and to our delight we discovered a small playground and yet again my boys - all 3 of them - had it all to themselves - ah suburban life you gotta love it x
So tell me dear parents, do you have a neighbourhood gem that we should all know about? Or do you prefer to keep them to yourselves?
2014 Update - they now brew Pablo & Rustys Coffee
Shop 2, 14-20 Carmen Drive Carlingford NSW 2118
02 9872 1000