Category: Festivals


Officially too old for two day festivals, it turns out. . .

Mark Ronson

Morcheeba

Julia’s Lobster Truck

AIR

Andrew Wyatt from Miike Snow

Box Burger

Friday lunchtime street food market, catering to all the tech workers in the Grand Canal area. . .

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On this lovely blue Saturday at the RDS. . .

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Home Sweet Newest Home  🙂

. . . because such a thing exists.  It was also the summer solstice and Fête de la Musique.

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Currently on a balcony, listening to a band cover Pink Floyd while drinking a Corsican Rosé.  If you have to do France, this is the way.

Our local Christmas market is currently in full swing. . .

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Tartiflette

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Diots Savoyards

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Raclette

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Têtes Choco

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There are far too many stalls to photograph everything: foie gras, beer, giant nougat, giant knives (!), wine, leather. . .We also enjoyed the Champagne Bar, the Seafood Bar and the green chaud: hot chocolate with Chartreuse.

Scott has timed it as a four minute walk from our front door.  No wonder those chocolate covered marshmallows keep magically appearing in our kitchen.  🙂

 

This past Friday, the 21st of June, was Fête de la Musique, or World Music Day. Though it is now enjoyed in cities around the world, its spiritual home is here in France.  Most cities organise a host of free events, but it’s also expected that people will just join in. Though we’d only just learned of the event, we knew we’d get to enjoy a lot of music being played at the restaurants around us and from people just wandering the streets expressing themselves.

So it was that on a lovely summer evening we had our balcony doors open well into the night enjoying some easy jazz, rhythmic drum beats, and a random clarinet solo from the sidewalk.

And then, close to midnight, we thought we heard something bigger in the distance. We peered down the street to find it was filling with people. As the crowd drew closer and the music grew louder, it was clear that something big was coming our way.

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Then, from behind the trees it emerged – this blaring, glowing, carnival! Take a look for yourself, but imagine it being even louder and more festive!  🙂

Vive la Musique!

The Sydney Italian Festival is a month long celebration of all things Italian – art and culture, fashion and design, and our personal favourite – food and drink.  Primo Italiano is one of the headline events which sees an area just to the east of the CBD turned into an Italian piazza for hosting a proper Italian wedding.

I could hardly do an Italian event with out trying some pizza – and what better way to do it than topped with rocket and prosciutto (it wouldn’t be a true festival without some hastily spelled signs 😀 ).

The pizza was VERY good, but I have to say that the wild mushroom & white truffle risotto was quite disappointing, particularly since Amanda’s mushroom risotto is soooooooo good and creamy.  I didn’t even finish their watery version.

There really was a great feel to the area, particularly on such a lovely sunny (and unseasonably warm) day.

We did a little shopping for some very fresh produce, getting ourselves some baby turnips, huge peppers and great big leeks.

Biscotti, Ciabbata, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Al Tartufo- just a sample of the wares on offer that are just as fun to say as they are to eat.

It was at our last Italian Event (Ferragasto, which paled in comparison with Primo) that I discovered cannolis.  This time I discovered the rich mascarpone and ricotta filled Italian doughnuts/cream horns called Zuccherati (which seems to be its Australian name, as in other parts of the world Zuccherati normally refers to a type of sugar coated biscuit.  “Zuccherato” is an Italian adjective meaning sweetened, so you can see the connection.)  These were absolutely fantastic and perfect to enjoy while being serenaded from above.

What a truly atmospheric and enjoyable event.

Afterward we walked back towards the city and ended up completing our day with some simple but delicious dumplings in Chinatown.  It was a great way to wrap up another very lovely day.

Sunday saw us celebrating the start of NSW Wine Week by attending the Sydney Cellar Door event in Hyde Park.

It was a really nice event with a good crowd of suitably keen winologists all eager to taste the many wares on offer.  It was a sunny day and thankfully not as crowded as our annual Hyde Park trip for the Food & Wine Fair.

We had some really delicious wines, both white and red. Sauvignon blanc, verdhelo, semillon, pinot gris, shiraz, pinot noir … all of our favourites were there.  Some of our standouts came from Pepper Tree, Tower Estates and the suprise find, Helm Wines out of Canberra.  I didn’t even know they made wine in Canberra, but their Premium Reisling was lovely.

And of course, as with all good wine events, there was food!

Our first joyous nibble was some roti canai (pronounced chanai) from one of the Malaysians.  It is increasingly clear to me that as a child living in Malaysia there was so much good food I could have taken advantage of but didn’t.  What a waste.  Their pull apart bread treats in nutty lentil “gravy” are just heaven.

Heaven is also a literal taste bud translation of wagyu.  From the people that brought me the wagyu burger a few weeks ago (though this time through yet another offshoot: Etch), came these wafer thin slices of wagyu bresaola served with water cress and pickled peaches.  While it was nice, I have to say I was a little disappointed with the combination, as the cress really overpowered everything else on the plate.

But the day wasn’t all wine wine wine – as Amanda mention we also wanted to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit.  The Australian Museum is conveniently situated on the other side of the park so it was a pleasant stroll to an excellent display of the awesomeness of nature.  What incredible photos, they really were.  We could have looked at the Macaque monkeys, assorted birds and especially the snow leopards for hours.   Some of the shots were so well lit and beautifully yet naturally composed that it was hard to believe they were real – but that’s just the amazing world in which we live.

After such inspiration, we headed back to the park the contemplate our experience over a few more wines, and we ended the day with a little plate of salt and pepper squid.

Good wine and good food always makes for a great Sunday.  The bonus of the fantastic photographs (not to mention all of the stuffed birds in the permanent collection of the museum- life sized emus!) just makes it even better.

Another year, another Good Food Month has passed, capped off by the big, final event: The Sydney Food & Wine Fair which was held today in Hyde Park.  This is a great event for many reasons, not least of which is that all the proceeds go to The Aids Trust of Australia.

The day got off to a bit of a rocky start with some scattered showers, but luckily things cleared up before we arrived.  Overall, the quality of the food wasn’t quite as high as in years past, but there were two standout dishes.  Our favourites were the Barbecued Lamb Salad from Quay and the Vanilla Bean Macarons from Guillaume at Bennelong.

Other dishes we enjoyed today included Barbecued Quail with Rosemary, Lemon & Chilli from Lucio’s and Frangipane Tart with Berry Compote & Cream Chantilly from The Bathers’ Pavilion.

There was also Slow Cooked Pork Cheek Dolmades with Red Pepper & Oregano Dressing from Essence Restaurant and Rhubarb Tart from Bourke Street Bakery.

And let’s not forget the Zurich Veal with Potato Rosti from Bavarian Bier Cafe (served with Paulaner) and an Orange Macaron from Sweet Infinity.

And last but not least, we enjoyed a Snapper & Mussel Empanada with Aioli from Catalina.  We ended the day with a couple of tokens leftover, with which we bought two glasses of sparkling wine and a Chocolate Orange Cheesecake Brownie from Central Baking Depot (which we haven’t even eaten yet- it’s still in the kitchen).

Overall, it was a fantastic day out despite the grey skies.  🙂

Now that we’re back safely in the confines of the Lower North Shore, we can truly appreciate how much we love our little hood.  It’s nice to visit other parts of Sydney, but we always leave with a sense of “I’m really glad we don’t live there.”

That might sound a bit snobby, but you know, if it looks like a duck, and it quacks, etc. . .  🙂

If you’ve never been to New Jersey but want a similar experience, I’d highly recommend a trip to Five Dock for next year’s Ferragosto festival: big boobs, knock off sunglasses, no sense of personal space, lipstick in a shade much lighter than said lips, oh yeah- and some great cannolis.

The cannoli was the real star of the day.  I didn’t realise that Scott had never had one before.  Being in New York for many years, I’ve ingested cannolis a plenty, but our last trip to Italy (which was Scott’s first) was strictly limited to the Piedmont region, which is so far North that it’s surrounded on three sides by the Alps.  Being a traditionally Sicilian pastry, cannolis- thin on the ground up there.  Needless to say, after his first bite, he was a fan.  😀

We also came home with some prosciutto and an organic corn-fed rabbit.  I now have three days to learn how to cook rabbit.  Let the training begin. . .  🙂