The boys are never impressed when I drag them out of the house on Saturday morning to visit a cafe, because they've been dragged out of Chez Little Munch first thing for the previous 5 days to go to school. So I have to have a few tricks up my sleeve in order to get them into the car without suffering through their histrionics. The trick I last used, was to tell them that we were going for a picnic in the park for breakfast, which just happens to have a pretty cool playground.
So they eagerly jumped into the car and asked why I hadn't packed a picnic basket and rug - Ha Ha, suckers, boy had I fooled them! Well actually I wasn't really lying, as we weren't going for a picnic but we were going to The Picnic, which most definitely is in a park (the lovely Burwood Park), and it most definitely has a pretty cool playground!
The Picnic opened for business earlier this year. This very pretty cafe has set itself up to be like a glamorous all day picnic. The picnic table seating is all outdoors but under cover and there is bright Mexican oilcloth cushions on the seats. Ivy and picnic baskets are looped through the roof of the cafe giving the space a lovely outdoorsy feel. Now there is most definitely easy access to drive your pram right up to your table as well as loads of space to park it. High chairs are in abundance and there is an automated toilet onsite that has baby change facilities in it.
If you don't fancy sitting down in the cafe, you can also just grab takeaways and head out for your own picnic in the park. There is a yummy selection of sweet treats that both kids and adults will go wild for, as well as home made popsicles. Forget the humble paddle pop these flavours sound amazing: Fig & Cream (burnt honey cream with bruleed fig); Lychee Rose (fresh lychee with rose infused cream & raspberry coulis); or a Santorini Sunset (watermelon on the bottom and then topped with pineapple & passion fruit). You can even pre-order a picnic basket from The Picnic that is full of delicious goodies freshly made in the cafe's kitchen!
We obviously dined in when we visited The Picnic. When we arrived at opening time, the gorgeous young staff showed us to a table that had a perfect view of the playground - because that's where the boys wanted to be. The fully enclosed playground is about 25m from the cafe. We were more than happy for our boys (7 & 5) to scamper up there by themselves and have a play. However I'm sure if you have younger kids or are a tad helicopterish in your parenting style, this would not be suitable for you. So I suggest you bring some sort of game or colouring in with you and let the little ones sit on one of the kids picnic tables at the back of the cafe to keep them entertained until you are ready to venture to the playground with them. (I picked up the below portable game of Snakes & Ladders for $2 from a bargain shop and keep it in my handbag at all times).
You will also be able to keep the kidlets occupied with some of The Picnic's delish and super cute kids food. Like the Bear Toast ($5.90) for example. This is what the boys had for breakfast - 2 slices of toast, covered in peanut butter and then bananas and blueberries were used to create a bear's face. Such a simple yet oh so effective dish. Or perhaps they would prefer the French toast with flowers, a raspberry red face, nutella lips, & blueberry eyes with banana & strawberries for $8.90; or the Yoginola (muesli with sweet yoghurt & fruit $8.90); or just good old Scrambled Eggs on toast for $6.90.
At lunch time our little people can feast on Spring Chicken (chicken tenders with chippies $9.90); a Hamburger (cheeseburger & chips $9.90); or some Luigi pasta (penne with nap sauce & parmesan $8.90). For drinks there is of course table water, as well as babycinos ($1.50), peanut butter hot choclates with crushed maltesers, classic shakes, or mega shakes (which may be better for kids to share).
Ok the kids are done and dusted so lets move onto the seriously impressive adults menu. It's not that often that I'm left speechless, but when my breakfast was placed in front of me at The Picnic, I don't think I spoke for a good few minutes as I was too busy admiring the beauty of the dish. It's called Panacotta Granola and it will cost you $16.50 and it is worth every cent. To deconstruct it - you will find crunchy fig & maple granola with almonds, cranberries and I think candied peel on the bottom. On top of this is a selection of beautifully fresh berries and fruit (the passion fruit halves had pistachios and some delicious liquid in them). There was also honeycomb, star fruit and micro herbs as well as pretty a flower. And the piece de resistance was the sublime pannacotta of the week, which tasted like rosewater. Far out, this is THE best breakfast I have ever had at a cafe!!!!
Equally Mr Munch's Shakshuka was sublime - it was full of eggs, lamb merguez sausage and labneh. On the side was a huge piece of fresh pita bread. And the other dish which blew my mind every time it was delivered to a table close by, was The Picnic's Not So French! It's coco pop coated French toast with watermelon, Dulce de leche (the best caramel you will ever eat), berry reduction, fresh berries, pistachios & Persian Fairy floss. There is so much more on the menu and I think team Little Munch will be back to sample them all!
And I mustn't forget the coffee - it was superior. I actually don't know what beans they use in their brew but I'm sure most of you coffee enthusiasts will be completely satisfied. For non coffee drinkers The Picnic have a great range of loose leaf teas that come beautifully presented in small plungers and their cold drinks are equally well presented.
Now my lovelies you need to be aware that we dined at 8am on a Saturday morning - we were the first diners of the day. By the time we left at around 9.15am, The Picnic was full and there was a long line starting to form waiting to score a table. So my advice is to arrive early on weekends as they do not take reservations. There is paid street parking available on Park Ave and there is also parking close by at the Westfield Shopping Centre where you can park for free for 2 hours. Or ditch the car and go for a ride on the train as the Burwood train Station is only a 5 minute walk away x
Cnr Park Ave & Burwood Rd, Burwood NSW
02 9745 1034
Open Tue - Sun: 8am - 4pm