Our home exchange is at Erskineville an inner suburb of Sydney and only a couple of minutes walk to King St and its 600 shops which stretch for kilometres through to Newtown and to the University of Sydney. This is not your fancy, shmancy Double Bay but rather a vibrant, cosmopolitan area with many students and gay couples. There are many speciality shops, bookshops, galleries, lots of restaurants, pubs and cafes. The choice of food is huge including: Vietnamese, Korean, African, Thai, Polish, Macedonian, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Lebanese - and the list goes on. Apparently the area is referred to as 'Eat Street'. There are also vintage clothing shops, music stores, massage and nail salons and second-hand shops.
A wonderful start to the day with brunch at Martini Café in Newtown. Great to have options for the sizes of the breakfasts. Thoroughly enjoyed my fruit, ricotta, honey and berry compote on sour dough toast along with one of the best espressos I have ever had.
|View along King St, Newtown|
|Brunch at Martini Café, Newtown|
|Clock in Queen Victoria Building|
|Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park|
The pubs in the Rocks were filled with Irish people good naturedly celebrating Saint Patrick's Day. I am not sure what the traditions are for celebrating Saint Pat's Day, apart from drinking Guinness of course. I was surprised to see girls in haut talons with so much haut that they were nearly toppling over. On their heads they had fascinators and they wore skimpy dresses that were no match for the cool, windy conditions as they spilled out of the pubs on to the foot paths. Security guards ensured that all drinking was kept within the confines of the temporary barriers. The girls looked more suitably dressed for a day at the races than downing a few Guinnesses at the pub with the boys wearing funny hats and green wigs. The bizarre thing is, that on 18 March they are having the Saint Patrick's Day Parade through the city and festivities in Hyde Park. I am trying to work out whether the Irish are having a bit of a lend of the Aussies, two days to celebrate seems a bit much, or perhaps they didn't check their calendars to see what date it would be on this year when they planned the parade.
During our 10 minute break in our tour I did manage to sneak a chausson aux pommes from La Rennaissance Café and Pâtisserie. I was eager to taste their pastries having read so much about them online. I was not disappointed. The pastry was crisp and light, enveloping an exceedingly generous amount of tasty apple filling.
We finished our tour at the free observation tower (near Quay Restaurant) at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. It offers a panorama of about 270° of Sydney Cove, Circular Quay, Bennelong Point and the Sydney Opera House, Kirribilli, Luna Park and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Unfortunately today the weather was much less kind - it was cool with intermittent showers. No photos today of the blue harbour bathed in sunshine. I was too busy shivering. Tim, our guide today, was personable and knowledgeable about his city and its history. At the end of the tour participants are encouraged to tip with what they feel the tour was worth.
|Wine Odyssey - Great food and wine!|