Friday, June 29, 2012

sonoma alexandria

So here it is. My first café post for Sydney. I did a few here and there in Melbourne, mainly focusing on kid & pram friendly cafes, but Sonoma is my first in Sydney and I am here without a kid or pram!
Sonoma Cafe. Love the picture collage
Nevermind though, there is plenty of room for the odd stroller or two. The space itself is roomy with high ceilings and a concrete floor, so kids, I daresay would be too loud to be accommodated comfortably here (and I always speak for my own kids, I am often envious of parents who have café trained kids. I inevitably end up wearing babycino when I try). There are a couple of tables outside (presumably for smokers) but the area is too open to the street to be used with kids who like to roam.

High ceilings, concrete floor - not a good mix for young kids, perfect for prams.
Teencie outdoor area
The interior is a classy mix of industrial and elegant. Black walls with timber accents, oversize bare bulbs and bentwood chairs make for a cosy atmosphere, while the concrete floor and sloping factory roof keep the industrial history of the building intact. The café is adjoining their main factory bakery in Sydney so keeping the interior grounded is a smart move.

The servery continues the classic mood with a carrara marble wrapped benchtop around a dark timber base. The marble adds welcome texture and elevates the design from its industrial core. Opposite this three white cutouts punch out from the exposed brick wall, two filled in with subtle related photography, and the third acting as a window into the bakery itself.

Exposed brick with dramatic lighting
The café/factory is located in an industrial area of Alexandria, but would still attract a large clientele based on the fact that many workers in the area would be starved of a good local caf. The sandwiches are interesting and made with Sonoma’s artisan bread, itself worth the $10 asking price, gotta try the chicken tarragon one - too good. There's also a selection of biscuits and cakes, a daily hot food menu and this morning I treated myself to some Spiced Rhubarb and Yogurt which was topped with toasty muesli. Yum.

Morning tea. (Note trendy toddler scrawl on laptop...)
Lucky me I get to have lunch here as well and today I go for the curried lentil soup. Alas I am on a carb free diet at the mo (and yes torturing myself at an artisan bakery!) but I am sure the soup will more than satisfy. OK maybe ONE BITE of the bread. Just to taste. And only for this post, yes I am doing this for you!

All in all, Sonoma is a lovely place to eat; very friendly service, elegant interior and great coffee. With or without the pram.

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