“Be so good they can’t ignore you”…. And so The Grounds of the City did.
It’s been over two years in the making, and from what I can see – it’s fathomable, considering the amount of attention to detail that’s gone into this spot. The entrance reminded me of going to the theatre, with a red carpet rolled out, and elegant brass rope stanchions that lead you to the service window. It’s at that point you’re given a taste of things to come, with custom made lead light windows reflecting the original buildings 1920s style.
Step inside, and it’s as though you’ve stepped back in time. Art Deco and Victorian era vestiges are manifested throughout the venue, which is draped in bold colours and glamorous furnishings.
It just about took my breath away when I noticed the marble coffee bar lined with customised copper Modbar Pour-Over Module, and multiple espresso systems that are conducive to customer focused service. The takeaway window is serviced by a La Marzocco machine that’s tailored to match the opulent style.
Look down and you’ll notice parquetry timber flooring; look up and the glow from the opalescent oyster and brass pendant lights will warm your face. The green and burgundy theme makes its way onto the leather and velvet upholstered booths and stools; and into the kitchen area features cast-enamel fridge doors.
It’s not just a flashback to the past, it’s much like a time warp considering you can have your shoes polished and buffed while you wait. Being a long time antique admirer, I did notice a tea trolley that reminded me of The Great Gatsby, and atop it sat a freshly made sponge cake lathered in vanilla icing, almond flakes, and crowned with strawberries and mini meringue drops.
If the venue itself doesn’t take your breath away, the menu and coffee sure will. From the Wild Mushroom Feuilleté with sheep’s curd; Warm house made crumpets with cultured butter and jam; through to the Spiced Steak Tartare; and Grilled ½ Maine Lobster, there’s something decadent for to satisfy any appetite. Deconstructed hot chocolates are also available, as well as single origin beans for black coffee, and a seasonal blend that makes for a silky smooth latte, echoing the smoothness of the curves embellishing the main bar.
Try if you may to walk past this delightful city space burrowed within the entrance of The Galeries, but to deny its gracefulness would be impossible.
The Ground of the City
Shop RG 12
500 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000