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Published December 26th 2015
Update May 19th 2020
Please note this venue is permanently closed and no longer trading.
Enjoy Brunch under the trees at this historic Cafe
Ivy and the Fox Café is located on the grounds of the Australian National University and can also be enjoyed by the public 7 days a week. The café is situated inside Old Canberra House, a 102 year old historical building situated on the same peninsula as The National Museum. In the warmer months, relax under the shady trees of this leafy property and enjoy Brunch at this grand, historic cafe.
The Ivy and the Fox café is put simply - beautiful. On a warm Summers day the shady trees provide a cool outside dining area with glimpses of Lake Burley Griffin between the trees. The surrounding lawns and trees also make this an ideal place to take the family as the kids can have a run around whilst waiting for their meal to arrive. When we visited for breakfast on a Sunday morning the other diners were couples, friends and families all enjoying the cool location before a scorcher Summers day.
Inside Old Canberra House the café has kept the beautiful historic features and added a comfortable and modern vibe. There is plenty of seating and a large fireplace, which will be a popular place to enjoy a hot chocolate in Canberra's winter. When we visited on a Sunday for breakfast there was plenty of friendly staff on hand to ask questions about the building or menu. With ACDC playing inside and beautiful black and white historical photos on display, the Café was a cool mix of old and new.
The Ivy and the Fox is run by the same owners as the Fox and Bow in Farrer (see article here), which is one of our families top cafes in Canberra to visit. With such high expectations, our visit to the Ivy and the Fox was much anticipated and the grounds and building alone had exceeded our expectations. It is a serene haven, tucked away in bushland at ANU.
The All Day Brunch Menu has a great mix of tasty items with amusing names, with all meals less than $20. See their Facebook page for the full menu.
We decided to cool down with a Pamela Anderson ($7.90) fresh juice which consisted of a beautiful blend of watermelon, pineapple, pear and mint served with crushed ice in a jug glass and an Iced Coffee. Sitting under the cool trees with an icy cold drink was a refreshing way to start the day.
For breakfast we chose the Toasty Nuts ($13.50) which was bircher muesli, yoghurt, apple and coconut with almonds, pecans, raisins and topped with seasonal fruits. Surprisingly filling, it was a tasty breakfast with a nice extra crunch with the almonds.
After your meal, wander the grounds and explore the unusual sculptures on the property. Look out for a dozen large yellow spirit level tools angled on a hill, as well as outdoor art dotted around the grounds.
Take a short walk on down to the Lookout with fruit inspired sculptures and views over Lake Burley Griffin. There was a sign warning of previous sightings of brown snakes by the rock wall, so watch your footing in Summer months.
On the weekends there is free parking in the ANU carpark across the road, however on Monday to Friday it is cashless Pay As You Go parking where visitors either need an ANU permit, call a number to pay for timed parking or download the ANU app. This is quite inconvenient for members of the public if you just want to visit the café and leave again, see website here for more information. Our family will be enjoying this café on Saturday and Sunday when parking is free.
The Ivy and the Fox Café was a real surprise. With great food, lovely staff, leafy surroundings and space for the kids to play, it really is a relaxing café to start off the weekend. Only minutes from the CBD and a main arterial into the city, it feels miles from care in it's peaceful bushland setting. It will be a café we will enjoy again and also take friends to when visiting us from interstate. For families it is a handy cafe to enjoy beautiful food while the kids can have a run around and not have to stay seated the whole time.
It is the perfect place to stay cool in Summer and we look forward to visiting as the seasons change and the fire gets crackling. A historic café for all seasons.