This was our first New Year’s Eve in Sydney, and as we were blessed to have visits from back home, we wanted it to be special and memorable.
When I started making plans (5 months in advance) a lot of venues had already been sold out, hotels tend to have a 2/3 nights minimum length of stay during this period, and cruises were ridiculously expensive. I then came across the closed events that the Royal Botanic Gardens offer and signed up to be notified of their pre-sales.
And so, when the email reached my inbox I had already made up my mind of what to do. We booked the Lawn with a view event where we would have a gourmet picnic at the park with a privileged view of the fireworks. Nothing could feel more Australian than a picnic! (well perhaps a barbecue, lol)
The doors opened at 6:40 PM and closed at 8:30 PM. We were there for the opening, so that we could get a good spot, but didn’t have to queue for long. As soon as we got our tickets and bags checked, we were immediately pointed to the right area of the park where we were given our picnic hamper and a bottle of water. We picked a location, there were clearly marked areas allowing for people to move around without any disruption, got our blankets out and got comfy.
After a trip to the bar, we spent the time playing Uno cards, talking, eating (food was yummy!), joking around and before we knew it the New Year was upon us! The fireworks were beautiful and the spot was awesome 😀 It was indeed a special and memorable experience!!!
The following day we read very bad reviews from one of the other events at the gardens and felt so lucky that we had chosen right!
This past Saturday we were blessed with an “Indian Summer” day in Sydney. The thermometers went up to 28 C in the inner-west and the sun shined bright and warm.
The Leichhardt Long Lunch was on and it was a perfect opportunity for us to browse the different stalls (all from local business) have some nice lunch, and drinks, sit outside, and even learn some new recipes at the cooking demonstrations.
The tiramisu and pistachio ice-cream from Bar Italia were amazing and we loved the sample of passatelli with mussels from the chef at Capriccio.
I find these events a great way to cultivate and maintain the community spirit. Sydney is a huge city but each suburb has its own vibe and identity which I firmly believe should be preserved.
Leichhardt is well-known for its Italian community and many restaurants so I can’t think of a more perfect way to celebrate it than with an outdoor long lunch 🙂
Last Sunday, it was the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations in Sydney. We didn´t have the opportunity to attend many of the celebrations, or even checkout the lights and sculptures that were around the city, but we certainly did not want to miss the Twilight Parade.
After our disappointment with the celebrations in Brisbane, and having watched Sydney celebrations on TV the previous years, we were excited to see it live.
We were not disappointed 🙂 It was fun, lively and it featured many aspects of the Chinese cultural in a Western country. Here are some pictures:
It was hubbie’s b-day on the 23rd. What better way to celebrate than discover another one of Brisbane’s best restaurants. This time we went to Jellyfish in Eagle Street Pier. The location is prime and the view of the bridge, lighted up at night, is a plus that compliments a beautiful meal.
We first heard of this restaurant in Masterchef The Professionals, as one of the contestants, Rhett Willis, (2nd place), was the head-chef there. I am not entirely sure if he is still is…
But it was not the celebrity factor that made us want to try the restaurant but rather their fish menu. They have at least 6-8 different types of fish daily and they are renowned for their freshness.
We both love seafood and we were not disappointed. Not only to fish was fresh and perfectly cooked but everything else was superb. The side dishes and desserts were awesome. The service was impeccable and the waiters were professional and polite without being stuck up .
All in all, it was a perfect dinner date and I truly recommend it to the seafood lovers out there.
Wishing everyone that shares this Aussie experience with us, a wonderful holiday season 🙂
Brisbane Botanic Gardens
Time does fly indeed! I can´t believe that it has been a year since we arrived in Australia!
I have grown accustomed to going to sleep to the sound of the flying foxes, who like to nibble the berries in the tree near my window, and wake up to the sound of the kookaburras and lorikeets.
I no longer find it strange when a possum or a bush turkey cross my path in the street or when an ibis approaches me in the park whenever I am having a snack.
I have started to shorten words and find myself saying brekkie, barbie, tradie, Woolies, Maccas, etc.
I have held a koala and I have patted and hand-fed kangaroos and wallabies.
I have celebrated Xmas in the summer.
I have eaten crocodile, emu and roo (short for kangaroo ;-p).
I have had picnics at the beach, barbies in natural parks, gone antique shopping , rummaged the city in search of the best coffee, and made some new friends.
Overall, it has been a crazy year. It has been though but rewarding. There still a long way to go until I can call Australia my home but I am getting there, slowly but surely 😉
Let the next year rock on!!!