Monday, May 14, 2007

Gumnut Tea Gardens, Harrington St, Sydney

Gumnut Tea Gardens, Harrington St, Sydney
Monday 14 May, 2007

Hidden away at the far end of Nurses Walk in The Rocks is a gorgeous oasis known as the Gumnut Tea Gardens. From George St you would have no idea this little gem existed.

We arrived for lunch and were pleasantly surprised to find a few tables free. It's very relaxed so you sit yourself down, help yourself to cushions for the chairs (as they are a little uncomfortable) and a bottle of water with tumblers. On display near the water bottles was a history lesson about the site. Flyers were available to explain the history of Reynolds Cottage - the home of the Gumnut Tea Gardens. Their slogan is 'the prices are moderate and the history lesson is free.'

For you history buffs, or those who read Playing Beatie Bow at school, Reynold Cottage was built in 1823 - 9 by an Irish convict named Thomas Ryan and is the second oldest dwelling left in the area. Pre-dated only by Cadman's Cottage, it is a rare example of small scale Colonial Georgian architecture in Sydney and the best example of an authentic Rocks dwelling.

Our waiter was friendly and provided our menus with a blurb about the specials board. The food is basic with a range of ploughman's style meals, sandwiches, pies, salads etc. I opted for the chicken & leek pie and salad and my lunch buddy decided to go with the tandoori chicken salad. I tried to order a Diet Coke but was informed they only stock Coke. Water for me.

The crowd was a mix of tourists and office workers and you truly feel a long way away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. The open air dining space covered with large umbrellas, the gorgeous trees hanging overheard and the teapots displayed in the garden all make for wonderful atmosphere.

For $14 each we enjoyed our meals. My chicken & leek pie was perfect with thick cut pastry packed full of chicken pieces and creamy leek sauce. The Gumnut is open daily for breakfast and lunch and open for dinner from Wednesday through Friday. The leafy courtyard offers live jazz on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons.

Gumnut Tea Gardens - 28 Harrington St, Sydney - (02) 9247 9591


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