Thursday, September 6, 2012


My husband was working in Sydney last year and in a textbook case of "sounds good in theory", me, my sister and my merry band of snot-nosed children drove up there in the school holidays and stayed for two weeks on the floor of his bachelor pad.  This was in the middle of a very groovy inner-city part of Sydney that was remarkable for being like something out of Children of Men - there were no children to be seen.  In the empty local park, rusty swings creaked forlornly while crumpled autumn leaves blew back and forth.  At the bottom of the slide languished a stagnant puddle of water that just cried out for a jolly padded bottom to shoot down and disturb.

Part of this was good.  The ladies in the milk bar/laundromat plied the children with lollies and took endless photos on their iPhones, as if the kids were some kind of rare creatures they had never encountered.  But when my 2-year-old had a minor wobbly at the fancy, farmer's market-style Coles and a man leant down and muttered at her to "shut up" before storming off, I began to feel there was something sad and wrong about this adults-only world.


Community is about tolerance.  It's about tolerating children, just as we tolerate lonely old people who bail us in the street for a (rather one-way) natter.  I swear, when I am on the bus, I think a big arrow saying "soft touch" comes out of the ceiling and points to my head, as anyone who wants to chat about their bowels seems to decide I'm their best bet.  We were all children, and we will all be doddery old people one day - and hopefully, with the community we've cultivated, we may be doddery but we won't be lonely.


Almost effortlessly, Petitou in Kingsville have created a space that you could visit with kids or without. There's a light, airy, "grown-up" front room...


...and a big playroom out the back where you can spread out and let your guard down.  Now, I take my kids to any cafe, but a child-friendly space like this means you can really, truly relax.  Sure, some of the toys are a little worn, but there were colouring books and the kids had great fun.


The genius is that the counter (where you do your ordering) is in the middle of the cafe and serves as a divider of sorts between adult-world and kid-world.

The first time I went here I met up with Lisa aka Lady Lunchalot.  When I first moved to the west and was marooned on planet baby, living vicariously through other people's food blogs became my life raft.  Lisa wrote some wonderful posts on eateries in the area which were a real inspiration to me to start my own food blog.  It was such a delight to meet her, and I'm so glad she has taken up blogging again!

Chai latte, $3.50

We shared lovely, honey and spice chai lattes, while my daughter was placated with a gorgeous raspberry muffin.

Panino, $7.50

An awesome breakfast panino of delicious bacon, bursty tomato, mayo and greens on good bread - yum.

Kids' milkshakes, $2.50 ea

I went back again for a coffee and dared to sit in "the good room" with the kids!  They loved strawberry milkshakes.

Coffee, $3.50

Coffee (Jasper) was good, the milk not as ethereally silky as, say, Common Galaxia but nice all the same.

Jaffle, $7

Petitou are famous for their jaffles and it was a struggle between the special with homemade creamed corn and this sweet delight, raspberries and lemon ricotta.  This was just delish, the ricotta mixed with real lemon zest, setting off the pleasantly tart raspberries perfectly.


We moved out the back and while the kids played, I sat on the couch, knitted, finished my coffee and felt like I could stay here all day.

kids in cafes

I know kids are annoying - trust me, I have three of them!  But as this anonymous commenter said above, lots of things are annoying.  It's all part of life, and Petitou is a lovely spot to spend part of yours.

To Meaghan S, who wrote to me recommending Petitou back in February 2011 - if you are still a reader, I am so sorry it took this long!!!  The list is long, but everything does eventually get its day!

Petitou Cafe & Showroom on Urbanspoon

Petitou (Facebook)
206 Somerville Road, Kingsville
Hours:  Mon, Wed-Fri 8am-4pm (closed Tues), Sat 8am-3pm, Sun 9am-1pm

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  1. Yum! So close to us and we've never tried it.

  2. Delicious! Most amazing Jaffles I've seen. I seriously want them so bad now. Wonder where I can get something similar close to where I am. So nice to be able to fly up to Sydney for a visit eh? I'm always looking for excuses to make a short trip there till the point my friends ask if I've got a secret girlfriend I'm hiding up there...... HA

  3. Thanks for reminding me about Petitou, i hadn't been there for ages. we went there this weekend and had a relaxing breakfast(not always the case with a 1 year old!). The only complaint i have is the porridge was too tasty and i lost half of my bowl to the little fella!

    1. My pleasure Anna! It's a great space to relax, isn't it?


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