Splash is the ultimate poolside canteen by the crew at Newtown favourite, Soulmate. They’ve transformed the kiosk at Petersham’s Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre into a family-friendly haven, where you can drop in for coffee and a bite after a dip in one of the inner west’s most picturesque open-air pools.

The kitchen dials up the nostalgia to 11. Fish-and-salad sammies are served on thickly sliced white bread. There’s a charcoal-chook roll. And a beef burger with beetroot and a fried egg named after the immortal cricketer Don Bradman, who scored his first century in grade cricket at Petersham Park. And – this one you’ll love – a chip butty with a pot of curry sauce on the side.

The rest of the menu exudes that Soulmate style in the form of brekkie rolls, “splashed avo” with herbs and lemon, and Med-leaning bowls for a perfect post-swim brekkie.

Coffee – bags of which are displayed on the beautiful timber “cat pole” by Sydney designer Jonathan Friend – comes courtesy of long-time partners Single O, with more beans by Sydney roaster Sunny Coffee in the mix.

Splash serves both sides of the pool, with the dine-in space split between the outside terrace and a communal table inside. With so much green space at the cafe’s doorstep, takeaway is the main game here. And though the pool usually closes from April to September, Splash will stay open throughout the year.

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Updated: February 16th, 2024

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