Jul 30th

Sugar & Spice Patisserie, Joondalup

By Buggybuddys Jennie

Sugar & Spice Patisserie is a small café located on Lakeside Drive in Joondalup. I stumbled across it nearly 4 years ago and it has become a firm favourite of mine ever since.

 

The café sells the most delectable selection of cakes, pastries and savouries that are all made onsite by their team of skilled pastry chefs. Kids will enjoy watching them making their wares through the window into the kitchen.

 

If you are popping in for lunch they offer a range of quiches, pies and sandwiches. You can take away or dine in. There is a small amount of seating within the café and a large shaded alfresco area out the front.  The outside dining area is roadside so not great if you are accompanied by a toddler who likes to bolt!



The selection of cakes on offer is what makes this place really special!




The majority of cakes are mini delights, just 3 or 4 mouthfuls of pure indulgence. Personal favourites are the Mississippi Mud Pie, the lemon meringue and the cappuccino cup.


 

They also have a range of larger cakes on offer to take away that serve 8 to 10 portions, which we always indulge in at birthday time. Without fail for us it has to be the large Mississippi Mud pie – a mud cake base, topped with chocolate mousse and coated with chocolate ganache. Divine and great value!

 

Sugar & Spice can also create a bespoke cake for you to celebrate weddings, birthdays and other special occasions.

 

Sugar & Spice has changed ownership in recent times and unfortunately they have done away with a couple of the little touches that used to make our visit so special.  They no longer partake in the coffee art that we used to love and babychinos are now rather bog standard where as previously they used to come accompanied by a little treat from the patisserie counter. However their cakes are still as mouth watering as ever!

 

Sugar & Spice Patissere is located at 3/189 Lakeside Drive, Joondalup. Opening hours are Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm, Saturday 8am to 4pm.

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Jul 29th

Crepe Cherie, Karrinyup Shopping Centre

By Buggybuddys Jennie

Crepe Cherie is located in the fresh food mall at Karrinyup shopping centre.  It serves a array of crepes based on authentic French recipes. They say their crepe mix recipe is a trade secret passed on from the owners’ French grandmother.

 

Crepe Cherie boasts to offer patrons the chance to ‘escape to Paris’ just for a moment by offering authentic Parisian décor and the wonderful tastes and smells of a Parisian creperie.

 

I do really enjoy a good crepe although it always has to be a sweet option for me – I’m not really a fan of savoury crepes. I went for the Madeleine ($12) which is my favourite combination of Banana and Nutella. It was divine!

 

Gluten free crepes are available for an additional $1.50. If crepes are not your thing you may enjoy a ‘Croque Monsieur’ ($9.95), Ham and Cheese Croissant ($8.90) or a crepe wrap ($8.90).  They have a selection of desserts including muffins, tarts and macarons.

 


Crepe Cherie offers a Kids Crepe Combo deal for $10.50 which includes an apple or orange juice and a crepe with one of the following fillings:
Cheese and tomato, chicken and mayonnaise, tuna and sweet corn, banana and Nutella, strawberries and jam or apple and caramel.  A selection of milkshakes and sundaes are also available.

There is a small kids corner which contains a couple of toys, books and some colouring activities.

 

I loved these 5kg Nutella jars which were sitting on the counter – they’d last all of a week in my house as my kids are complete Nutella addicts!

 

Crepe Cherie is located opposite Woolworths in Karrinyup Shopping Centre. Opening times are Monday – Friday 9am – 5.30pm, Saturday 9am – 5pm and Sunday 11am – 4pm.  Visit www.crepecherie.com.au for more information. 
Crepe Cherie Karrinyup on Urbanspoon

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Jul 26th

Hot Chocolatte, Dunsborough

By Buggybuddys

Review of Hot Chocolatte by Buggybuddys Team Member Kate

Shop 14/42 Dunn Bay Road, Dunsborough, www.hotchocolatte.com.au
Tel: 9755 3344;
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hotchocolatte2?fref=ts

Hot Chocolatte is a very cool little shop in Dunsborough, in the same shopping complex as IGA and BWS in town.


The website states “Many years ago, in the sunny coastal town of Dunsborough, a passion for delicious chocolate, lollies and warm silky beverages was born with the opening of Hot Chocolatte. The friendly team worked together to ensure the town folk and seasonal visitors were treated to a dazzling array of chocolates, lollies, smooth coffees, rich hot chocolates and icy drinks.

The little shop was always a delight to enter as it was ever changing. From suspended garden tea parties to easter eggs hidden in mountains of hay, there was always quirky treasures to be found in every nook and cranny.” 

The website focuses more on their lolly bar business and does not include many details about the shop.

Hot Chocolatte is not a restaurant but a very cool lolly shop which also does great coffee, hot chocolate other hot drinks, milkshakes, smoothies, etc as well as toasted sandwiches in the mornings.

They also stock my favourite Italian Biscuits from the Italian Biscuit man, Claudio who lives locally. I highly recommend the biscuits and he now does a chocolate version too. At the time of writing he delivers to the shop on a Friday.

I had a milk hot chocolate and the kiddies had baby chinos which are $2 each. The Italian biscuits are $2.50/$3 each depending on the flavour and they are really worth it! We also enjoyed their chocolate brownie which was home made and very good.

It can take a while to get your coffee as the shop is very popular but there are a few seats to sit on where you can read the paper inside or outside the shop and an old style arcade game to keep the kiddies (and dads!) amused while you wait.

A word of warning though, if you take your kiddies into the shop they will of course want to eat everything and touch all the chocolates and lollies as they are all at kiddy eye level! Definitely recommended if you can handle the kiddies and the chocolate!

Hot Chocolatte on Urbanspoon

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Jul 25th

THE POTTERY PLAYROOM KIDS PARTY, JOONDALUP

By Georgia

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For my 6 year old’s recent birthday party, we chose a ceramic painting party at The Pottery Playroom in Joondalup, which has an indoor play area and a small café.

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The friendly owner Adrian answered all my questions over the phone and I booked the party about 6 weeks in advance, paying a $50 deposit that was deducted from the total cost on the day.

Our party time slot was 10am–12. Some kids were dropped off and only a few parents stayed which worked well. While we waited for everyone to arrive, the kids could play on the indoor play structure. (The age limit is 8 years old, and kids must wear socks to play.) Our 12 party guests were all aged 6 and under, so they had a lot of fun. It’s not massive but has a ball pit, soft steps, a slide and various soft-fall parts to climb through and under.

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Once everyone was there, we were led to our own big table that had already been set with a paint palette, sponge and brushes for each child.  Adrian led the party from then on, guiding the kids and paying special attention to the birthday girl. Each child got given an apron to use while painting, and one by one they were asked to go and choose an unglazed piece from a small but varied selection that had been put out for us. So there wasn’t a mass scramble or chaos – everything was calm and organised and flowed perfectly.

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The dedicated owners were very involved and there was a young assistant too who supervised and made sure each child had the paint colours they desired and knew what to do.  I got the impression that the owners really take pride in their business.

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The kids absolutely loved the painting time, which lasted about 30-40minutes. They were not rushed and could finish in their own time. Some of the kids who finished early could leave the table to play again in the play area.

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Meantime the parents mingled and chatted over a hot coffee (I kept a tab for guest coffees), which the Beehive Café made to order. There is a sofa alongside the play area, but the main room is so spacious that there was plenty of space for the adults to move around without disturbing the kids.

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When everyone was done painting and while they were enjoying some more play time, the food was brought to the party room table. This room is separate from the rest of the pottery café. I chose to have a catered party, so the party food was included and what a pleasant change it was from the usual greasy offerings! There were platters of fresh sliced watermelon, ham and cheese sandwiches, fairy bread and several small bowls of chips and marshmallows for a touch of sweetness. The kids demolished it all. Jugs of juice and water were also served.

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The spotless party table is set in a simple but effective way: a white table cloth and colourful Ikea plates and cups. On the wall is a cheerful Happy Birthday sign and some birthday bunting. You are allowed to bring in themed tableware if you want a specific theme, as they do not offer themed parties. My girl wanted a dragon party, but to keep it simple, I made use of the colourful plates and simply added a centerpiece of soft toy dragons, and my Dragon Cake completed the theme. All I had to provide was the cake, and the party bags to take home.

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After eating, the kids had another play time, while the table was cleared for the birthday cake. Everyone came back to sing Happy Birthday and eat cake, and then the party wrapped up by Midday. The kids continued to play happily while parents arrived to fetch them.

The kids’ masterpieces take about a week to 10 days to be fired and the Birthday Mum is then contacted to collect them all at the same time to distribute to her party guests. Each guest’s item is wrapped individually – another lovely touch. 

The Birthday Girl also gets an extra special gift: Adrian made sure that each guest made a paint fingerprint on a special plate. Their names were written on it too, and the birthday girl made her handprint in the centre of the plate. I was so touched to receive the finished product – a great souvenir of a smooth sailing and fabulous party!

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The cost for our party including food and the ceramics was $25 a head (minimum 8 kids). There are other party package options available. The owners are quite willing to discuss your individual requirements. You can also download one of their party invitations to use.

Visit The Pottery Playroom website for more information. 

TIP: I was worried about siblings that sometimes gatecrash with your invited guests, but I was reassured that they would be accommodated at the other café tables if they wanted to paint too and charged normal customer rates – a great option if guest parents are stuck and have to bring another child along. They can order food from the café as well, as the rest of the Playroom is still open for business while the party is on.

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The Pottery Playroom
Unit 4/19 Mercer Lane, Joondalup, 6027

Tel. 08 9301 2080
Email. info@potteryplayroom.com

Opening hours:  Tues to Sat 10am– 5pm; Sunday 11am– 4pm
(Open Mondays on School Holidays, except Public Holidays)

Jul 25th

Rotary Park, Margaret River

By Buggybuddys

By Buggybuddys member Lyndall

Rotary Park is located on the entry to the Margaret River township if driving south from Busselton. It is nestled right next to Margaret River amongst some beautiful forest and is a great spot for a picnic and play with the kids.

There are two main playground areas - one is a modelled in the shape of a ship and has a slide and some great climbing frames.



The other has a dual slide, monkey bars, and some more climbing frames. 

There are also some rocking horses and a digger.  There is also an old steam engine called Kate that the kids will love.



Nestled amongst some huge gum trees are some shaded picnic benches and BBQs. There is also some fitness equipment for the adults (although the kids love playing on these too).

The best bit about this park is that you can also venture out on a short bushwalk. There is a loop track which takes about 30-45 min to complete (if you have small people underfoot - it would be quicker if just adults or older kids).



The walk is easy for the kids and we even took a pram for our little one (there are only a few metres of track where you need to lift the pram due to rocks). The kids loved it as they could climb on fallen logs, cross over bridges, and look at the abundance of ducks and birds.

 

Or you can head in the other direction and take a short stroll into the beautiful Margaret River township for a bite to eat.

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Jul 25th

Atrium Crown Hotel Burswood Buffet

By Buggybuddys - Lorraine
FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD!  If you're looking for a food feast for the family that goes on for hours then The Atrium at the Crown Perth is the place to go.  It's not cheap though, at $65 per adult and $32.50 per child for Sunday luncheon buffet.  Cheaper options are available for breakfast and lunch on weekdays and Saturdays.  If you have an entertainment card you can get 25% discount off your total bill, which makes it a little more palatable.

The Atrium itself is bright, airy and spacious with larger tables for families/groups position at the back of the restaurant (further away from the food).

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The great appeal of the buffet is the variety of foods and cuisines and of course volume!  For starters choose from a full english breakfast, with sausages, bacon, sauteed potatoes and baked beans.

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Or healthier options include an array of cereals, fresh Oysters, prawns, salmon, cold meats, cheeses or sushi.

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If you're not full after your starters then try sample dishes ranging from indian curries, dim sum, chinese traditional stir-frys and prawn crackers.

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Alternatively you could have the traditional english roast dinner.  During our visit they had a choice of roast beef, steak, ham and lamb.

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Rather dissapointing though was the traditional Sunday lunch accompaniments such as VEGETABLES!  That's right I found it extremely hard to find any vegetables, in fact the only one's I could find were potatoes and chines stir-fried veg in a soya sauce :-(

If you're expecting silver service attention for your money, forget it.  We sat at the table for a while before realising we just go and help outselves and find our own drinks.  Fresh cold water, apple, orange and pineapple juice were freely available as well glasses of bubbles.  When we finished our meals we wanted coffees and teas which we managed to find a waiter to order from.

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The main and only attraction for me if I were to go back would be the desserts selection and the face you can sample EVERYTHING as many times as you want or can fill your face and hold it down ;-)

Beautiful little petit fours, traditional dishes such as pavlova in miniature, peppermint gateaus, donuts, biscuits, muffins, cake, jellies, ice cream, pancakes, waffles...you name it, it was there to be had in the masses.

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I was really quite taken by the natural honeycomb running onto a slide and dripping into a bowl - YUMMY!!!
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As we had a large table with a bench seat we sat the kids all together with colouring in books, ipads and stickers to keep them well behaved.  Didn't need any of them once dessert began.  The kids loved looking at all the food varieties and sampling things they'd never tried before.  Oddly mine chose sushi, with cheese and crackers.

As you can tell the desserts went down very well, all the kids chose a handmade cone with ice cream flavour of their choice and toppings galore of gummy bears.

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As for us adults, well what can I say we all came back with 2-4 minature dishes TWICE, although I think my husband went up 3 times but I wasn't focused enough on anything else at the time.

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So whilst it was a thumbs up for the dessert and variety we weren't massively impressed overall with the quality of the food.  The roast beef was so dry we couldn't actually eat it, the lack of vegetables was just unacceptable and we weren't made to feel special (which you would expect paying that amount of money for a meal of 8 people!).  It was more reminiscent of a school canteen where everyone is just wanting to eat as much as possible and not really care about the taste.

atrium

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Jul 25th

La Casina, Dunsborough

By Buggybuddys

Review of La Casina by Buggybuddys team member Kate

1842 Caves Road, Dunsborough http://www.lacasina.com.au/
Tel: 9756 8154

Dinner: Tuesday to Sunday - From 5:30pm
Lunch: Friday, Saturday & Sunday - 12pm - 2:30pm

**Please note the restaurant closes every year from the end of July to mid-September (see the website for exact dates).

We have been meaning to go to La Casina for a few years now as it is in the Entertainment Book and we love Italian food. La Casina is a short drive out of Dunsborough town, just past Clancy’s, so very convenient if staying in Yallingup or Dunsborough. We finally made it during our most recent holiday and we really loved it.

The website states “If you are looking for places to eat in Dunsborough or Yallingup, look no further than La Casina. Located in a beautiful semi-rural setting halfway between Dunsborough and Yallingup, La Casina Restaurant offers diners picturesque, tranquil surroundings together with plenty of rustic charm.

Alan & Nicola are the perfect hosts to offer you delicious Italian food and Australian wine at their Dunsborough Restaurant.”


La Casina is very authentically Italian from the staff to the décor and the menu. It is also in a lovely bush setting and the service is friendly and relaxed. There is also a great outdoor eating area but we went in winter so chose to eat inside.

The staff were very good with our 4 and 5 year olds and there is a kids menu which doubles as a colouring sheet and the staff provide you with a bucket of pencils for the table.

The adult menu reminded me of many I have seen in Italy and they also have a list of daily specials.

Our children ordered fish and chips (for a change – ha ha!) for $13 each.

My husband and I ordered the shared meats platter to start with which was $38 for 2. I thought it was a little pricey but very very nice.

My husband ordered the seafood spaghetti for $35 which was very good and very large.

I ordered the slow cooked 6 hour braised chicken for $36 which was amazing. It is not the most beautiful looking dish but was really delicious.

Overall, we really enjoyed our lunch at La Casina and the $40 off from the Entertainment book was certainly a bonus. It cost us $163 after the discount but that included 4 glasses of juice, 4 glasses of wine and a Peroni beer so it could be quite reasonable if you just had mains and a drink. Definitely recommended.

La Casina on Urbanspoon 

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Jul 24th

Brampton Park, Butler

By Buggybuddys Jennie

By Buggybuddys member Lyndall

Brampton Park in Butler is nestled next to a manmade lake which has lots of ducks and birds and big rocks amongst some shallow parts of the lake for the kids to climb on (you just need to remind them to be careful as some are slippery as  our Mister 5 fell in). 



There is plenty of grass and open space to run around and there are also paths that meander around the park so it’s great for the kids to bring their scooter or bike. There are also some benches if you want to bring a picnic. However there are no toilets.

There is one large playground at the park and one smaller one. The large playground has plenty to keep the kids occupied.



One side of the playground backs on to the lake and is fenced but it is not fully enclosed so you will need to keep a close eye on little ones so they are not enticed by the water.



It has two slides, climbing nets, frames, and rocking horses. There is also a large circular swing and another with a pyramid climbing net.  



On the other side of the playground is a seated flying fox/pulley swing over a large sand area that the kids have great fun on as they can easily push themselves back and forth.



There are also some sand toys.



There’s certainly lots to keep the entertained and as a bonus it's close to the local shopping strip where there are food outlets and a tavern. A Dome Cafe will be opening in the area soon.

Brampton Park is located at Brampton Avenue, Butler.

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Jul 22nd

New indoor play area, Karrinyup Shopping Centre

By Georgia
Every shopping centre should have one – a free play area that provides moms a chance to rest their weary bones and lets the kids burn off energy, before resuming a busy shopping trip. And Karrinyup Shopping Centre has done just that! They have recently launched a new play area located in the Alfresco area alongside the Food Court in the shopping centre.

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The Alfresco area is reached through a set of automatic sliding doors in the corner of the Food Court and has glass windows to the outside world so the light floods in. The walls behind the play area are covered in cheerful and colourful motifs of a garden scene.  

There are no gates to the play area, and it is not fenced in either. There is another set of sliding doors that opens automatically to the outside car park, so you need to supervise your little ones closely if they are prone to wandering.

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Just inside the sliding doors to the Food Court, is a Thomas The Tank Engine Merry-go-round that creates some extra entertainment at $2 a go. When I was there this was a drawcard to the kids who kept going back into the shopping centre via the sliding doors to visit it.

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There are plenty of tables and chairs in the Alfresco area to enjoy your takeaways at while you watch the kids. The play structure itself is most suited to Under 5’s. There are no small steps up, so younger children may need helping pulling themselves up the half metre step.

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The play structure consists of three low levels with various activities on each one. On the ground level, Noughts & Crosses provides the fun opportunity to spin the blocks even if your child doesn’t play the game correctly.

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Then there is a Car Steering Wheel activity complete with a speedometer and gear changing stick. An opening with railings can act as a shop window for creative roleplay.

Climb up to the second level and there is another steering wheel for some driving action. And lastly, climb up to the final level for the top of the tunnel slide. Here you will find a game of Match the City to the Country. You do this by guiding a gear stick into slots on each side.

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The red slide is neither too long nor too short and it has a gentle slope so it’s not too scary. My 2 year old enjoyed going up and down several times, and that together with the various activities kept her occupied for a good 20 minutes.

I know that this play area will be very useful on my future trips to the centre, and I can plan my route to make use of it. An added bonus is that a new Muffin Break is opening in the Food Court soon.

 
Jul 21st

The Pour House, Dunsborough

By Buggybuddys

by Buggybuddys team member Kate

The Pour House is right next to The Bay Village Resort and Spa holiday accommodation in Dunsborough town centre. There is a downstairs bar/restaurant which is bigger than it looks from the outside and an upstairs ‘lawn’ which was not open when we visited as it was winter.


It is a minute from the beach (you can see the ocean if you sit at the bar stools out the front and I guess you can from the upstairs too, although the upstairs was closed when we visited) and just around the corner is the fantastic and relatively new Seymour Park playground so the kiddies can have a play before/after dinner.

The summary from the website states “the house, our ground level bar with low lighting, big communal benches, loungy seats, board games and an open fire. Side up to the bar and you’ll find a vast array of craft beer from Eagle Bay to Norway.  Cider and wines are not forgotten as well as a small but perfectly formed spirit list with specialty single malts and rums.  Most of what we have is produced by the little guys, if you've seen it advertised on tv we don’t have it.

Food from the house kitchen is rustic fresh and bistro with a combination of rotating mains, italian style crispy pizzas and small plates. Trust us our house is an interesting place to be, come in and lose a few hours with us…

It is great place for beer lovers and also kids as the opening hours are kiddy friendly (from 4pm Mon – Sat and from 2 on Sundays) and there are a few games such as Jenga and an old style arcade game (unfortunately this wasn’t working at the time of our visit).

There is no specific children’s menu but the pizzas could easily be shared between 2 children and our 4 and 5 year olds shared a tomato, basil and mozzarella pizza for $18. We shared some garlic bread and a smoked ham, fontina cheese, green olive and artichoke pizza. The toppings are lovely and I would definitely recommend the food. My husband is a big fan of the large range of beers. 

We couldn’t quite finish all our pizza so we asked for a take away box and they were happy to oblige, even though we only had a couple of slices left.

Overall, a great place to stop in for a quick meal with the kiddies and it would be a nice place to chill out for just adults having a child free evening too.

Note: you can also get take away food and a small selection of take away beer and wine.  When we stayed in a house at the Bay Village resort a couple of years ago, we got a take away pizza and a bottle of wine to have in our room the evening we arrived.

 The Pour House is located at 26 Dunn Bay Rd, Dunsborough. Phone: (08) 9759 1720 Email:thepourhouse@westnet.com.au
 http://pourhouse.com.au/

The Pour House Bar and Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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