This lush location in northwest Sydney is a hidden gem for lunches, nature lovers and families
No doubt you know about the Grounds of Alexandria, an Inner South destination for couples and families alike to eat, drink, shop and explore. But did you know there’s a not dissimilar place in Macquarie Park, next to Lane Cove National Park, that’s a local favourite and a bit of a gem?
Eden Gardens is a plant store, restaurant, garden and interiors store set among a lavishly designed outdoor oasis. It’s a great place to while away a couple of hours or entertain the kids, and they host cool events here as well. Check out Time Out’s five reasons why Eden Gardens is worth a visit.
To explore the gardens
Eden Gardens was landscape architect designed with fountains, elevated walking decks, a flowing creek, a botanical display garden, an outdoor amphitheatre, a tower lookout and lots of nooks and crannies. It’s a gorgeous 2.5 hectare place to wander around, and kids can go wild exploring or make a beeline for the playground and sandpit. It’s really quite special and unlike any other nearby place.
To grab lunch, coffee or a cheeky glass of wine
The Gardens Restaurant & Terrace is a fully licensed indoor-outdoor eatery with a tasty menu courtesy of chef consultant Matteo Zamboni (Jonah’s Restaurant & Boutique Hotel) and head chef is Cliff Kim (Pilu at Freshwater, Jamie’s Italian). Indoor is a conservatory-like space filled with plants, and the outdoor terrace is a chilled alfresco setting next to the display garden and nursery. Order a coffee and a treat such as vanilla bean coconut pannacotta, or settle in for an à la carte lunch. The weekday Dine & Wine lunch deal gets you a main meal plus a glass of wine or seltzer for $29 – example dishes include Tasmanian salmon fillet, butter chicken curry or grilled eggplant with honey miso glaze. They have also launched a high tea menu packed with dainty cakes, tarts, scones and sandwiches (bookings essential). And yes, you can use your Dine & discover vouchers here.
To pick up a rare plant or garden accessory
Eden Gardens’ store philosophy is “enriching people’s lives with plants” and they take this mission seriously (with a wink in their eye). Local green thumbs flock here for the extensive range of trees, shrubs, ferns, herbs and flowers. Find the perfect pot or basket, or find what you need among seeds, plant care products and gardening tools. Need some new outdoor furniture? Want to install a vertical garden? This is the place to find all the newest outdoor furnishing trends.
To stock up on homewares or find the perfect gift
The store has a large variety of chairs, tables, vases, ceramics, cushions and textiles for zjuzjing up your tired interiors. Gifting is a breeze here too, with candles, home fragrance, stationery, cards, coffee table books (and coffee tables to put them on) as well as crockery and preserved florals. Body care products include the Myrtle & Moss and Leif ranges of lotions, scrubs, peels and cleansers.
For exciting events
A few years ago Eden Gardens launched Eden Unearthed, an outdoor art exhibition that showcases around 40 botanically-inspired artworks by Australian and international artists of renown, and it's returning for 2021 from November 1, with a gala opening featuring Costa Georgiadis on October 31 from 4pm (tickets $20). There are school holiday workshops for kids, and markets take place quarterly – the Spring Artisan Market is on Sunday November 14. Or host your own event: Eden Gardens has conference rooms and corporate event packages including catering and wellness add-ons such as meditation and yoga. You could even have your wedding here – the elegantly manicured wedding lawn is a perfect and secluded spot, and the grounds have tasteful allusions to an Italian villa, a Greek ruin and the Palace of Versailles. Check it out.
Eden Gardens is at 307 Lane Cove Road (on the corner of Fontenoy Road), Macquarie Park and open daily 9am-5pm (the café closes at 3pm). Find out more about Eden Gardens.