Yesterday our little family finally made it to Seven Seeds in Carlton. We've been getting recommendations for this place left, right and centre, and we made a date for it with a couple of friends who are expecting a baby. More babies means more mothers to hang out with!
We arrived there an hour before we planned to meet, in typical new parent fashion, so we could secure a table with room for a stroller. Seven Seeds is housed in what looks like a former warehouse or garage, and is very well hidden on a street full of such. Inside it's like a lovely wooden box with an interior that looks as though it's made from odds and ends, like fabric and sewing scraps and leftover wood-working pieces. I especially love the industrial hanging lamps with red macrame covers. A unique feature is the bike parking in the entrance. Many bike racks as well as a few wall-mounted ones so you can park your bicycle in safety and style! Very cool, and something Josh absolutely loved. Although I get the feeling that if you're not riding a fixed-gear, single-speed, fancy road or at least pretty retro bike, you're going to get some negative looks. Makes you feel as though if you've got a practical but ugly hybrid, you'll be wanting to lock that up to a tree further up the road. Hipsters and their bloody fixed-gear bikes that have no brakes. How the hell do you expect to emergency stop?
We got a good four-seater near the counter and coffee machine and I got to breast feeding. No blanket, no cover, nothing. And I got no stares. Now that is a rare thing when you're in a place full of students and hipsters. Though Wolf did let out a few almighty screams after he woke up from his nap, which might have sent a few students reconsidering their plans for a night of unprotected sex. I think I might be getting very cynical about University students. I did only just graduate this year. There were actually a couple of other families with prams. There is ample room between the widely spaced tables for prams, so you're unlikely to get the glare of disapproval from the staff. Though one stupid business man did fall over our stroller on his way to his table. I don't know how. He was quite short so he couldn't have missed it. Luckily Wolf was in Josh's arms, or we would have had to quietly murder the guy.
The spate of terribly good looking, impeccably dressed wait staff were awfully polite and attentive, bringing glasses of water as soon as we sat down, and didn't seem to mind that we occupied the one table for near three hours.
There were two beautiful gleaming coffee machines for Josh and our barista friend to drool over. Josh had a ice coffee and espresso and found them both excellent. Between Josh and our friend, they are probably the pickiest coffee drinkers I know. Food was great, with a nice small cake display and properly short and well executed menu. We shared a lamington that was fluffy and moist, with good toasted coconut and a rich dark chocolate coating, though I suspect they buy them in because the kitchen definitely does not look like it has the capacity to produce sweets. I had an amazing grain sandwich of sardines, fontina cheese and a sherry-something relish. Sweet, salty and amazing. It came with a lovely, lightly dressed coleselaw salad. Our friends had some nice looking muesli with berries and thick cut fruit toast, which came with an entire jar of blueberry jam. The food is generous and well presented, but not expensive like similar places. With four drinks and three food items, Josh and I spent under $50.
It is admittedly a noisy place, sounds echoing off the wooden walls and floors, so if your little one doesn't like that sort of environment, you might want to avoid Seven Seeds, or at least attend at an hour unlikely to be busy. Also, I think this is more of a mum and dad place or mum and friend; I'm not sure this cooly happening place would be comfortable for a mother and baby on their own. Otherwise, Seven Seeds is a surprisingly welcoming place with great food, amazing coffee and room for your pram.
Seven Seeds, 114 Berkeley Street, Carlton.