The Rocks Aroma Festival

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Coffee, chocolate, tea and even a hot dog. This year’s Aroma Festival offered up some new as well as traditional delicacies and, for another year, got me out of bed early on a Sunday morning and into a sunny winter’s day in Sydney. Big Bear and I, for once, actually got there at a decent time, and by decent I mean before the festival ‘officially’ started at 10.00am. By that time, there were already queues of people waiting to get their morning hit of coffee and sweat dripping from barista’s faces trying to serve coffee after coffee to the growing masses. My recommendation is early is best. There is a considerable shift in attendees between the 9.45am and 10.00am gap, so visit the information tent and grab a brochure, get your bearings, and go!

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But the day overall is pretty cool with heaps of stalls lined up along Circular Quay and The Rocks and a combination of Sydney-based retailers and those a little more regional like the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley. Along with a smorgasbord of coffee and tea to choose from, you can also treat yourself to some gorgeous finds – cupcakes, brownies, choc pops, cakes, gingerbread, chocolate, baklava, cookies, muesli, churros, cannoli, and more. Walk a little deeper into The Rocks and you can also enjoy the tourist hot spot of the area – the weekend markets on every Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 until 5.00pm.

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A bit of friendly latte art competition and still life coffee painting!

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Big Bear was in search of some breakfast so, of course, had a hot dog by InterContinental Sydney!

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Some of my favourites from the places I’ve travelled….Whisk & Pin gourmet goodies from the Blue Mountains (think muesli, pancake mix and cookies) and Hunter Valley Cookies (vintage style giant cookies in mega delicious flavours)

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Cupcakes…cupcakes everywhere!! From The Cupcake Bakery and Sparkle Cupcakery

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Spoils from the day that Big Bear and I indulged in:

  • Ricotta and chocolate cannoli ($4.50), along with a latte and soy latte by Danieli ($3.50 each)
  • Nutella filled doughnut by La Renaissance Patisserie ($4.00)
  • Baklava by The Baklava Stall ($5.00 for 2)
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Spoils from the day….with an uber vintage scrap of something on the streets of The Rocks

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Oh yes!!….nutella filled doughnut from La Renaissance Patisserie. I did expect the dough to be a little softer, however, and the doughnuts were coming out of a vacuum sealed plastic bag even though the shop is minutes up the road, but oh well, it’s nutella.

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Gentlemen, I expect all barista’s to look like this and make me good coffee. Thanks.

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Waiting for the baklava…

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and getting the cannoli! The most delicious ricotta filling ever!!

Fabulous looking chocolate enrobed deliciousness from ChocolArts (choc pops in flavours like passionfruit, caramel, strawberry, pineapples and Bailey’s) and cool looking Argentinian things from AlfaChoc
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La Toosh on wheels – capturing the essence of Parisian life

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Tea. Coffee. Chocolate. Do I need to say more?

The Rocks Aroma Festival

Sunday 27th July 2014

10.00am – 5.00pm

George Street, The Rocks, NSW 2000

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Sydney Good Food and Wine Show

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As the title says…yes, there was good food…and good wine, and lots of it! This year was the year to hit up the Good Food and Wine Show in Sydney with my sister. Arriving around 10.00am at Sydney Olympic Park on the Sunday we were met with a line, a seriously long line, just for people who had pre-booked online and were just waiting to get through the doors. Excitement building met with some nervous sweating about the anticipated crowds. Any later and I think I would’ve been scared away! But not to worry, we got in soon enough, and there were plenty of FREE samples waiting for us.

First place we hit up – the Cheese Alley!

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Showcasing some of my old favourites like High Valley Wine & Cheese Co. who offered delicious FREE tastings of marinated tomato, pesto, olive and chilli feta cheese. The obsession first started on my trip to Mudgee earlier this year which you can read all about in my post.

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Followed shortly up with some FREE samples from the Bruny Island Cheese Co.

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Jams, sauces, spreads and other delicious FREE condiments next…from Beerenberg, Pukara Estate and Caramelicious.

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Pizza and salumi sampling! Pretty tasty for frozen pizza….

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And watching a Barilla’s Authentic Italian Pasta Sauce Masterclass and kinda wishing I was eating a bowl of freshly cooked, warm pasta…

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Staring at baked goods…

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Fresh and much needed caffeine hit to keep us going thanks to some FREE generous servings of coffee from Nespresso

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Complimented with Jordan’s oats and muesli and healthy, no sugar doughnuts by Noshu!!!!

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And a bit of casual celebrity spotting….

Who can spot Zumbo?

Who can spot Zumbo?

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Darren Robertson of Three Blue Ducks

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Even (then) current MasterChef contestant Colin Sheppard doing his wine thing

Which brings me to happy wine time!

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The delicious spoils from the day…

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  • ‘Nanna’ cheese courtesy of Bruny Island Cheese (Tasmania)
  • Sparkling Moscato courtesy of Savannah Estate (Hunter Valley)
  • Sleepytime Vanilla Herbal Tea, Peppermint Herbal Tea & True Blueberry Herbal Tea courtesy of Celestial Teas
  • Canadian Maple Cashews & French Vanilla Almonds courtesy of The Gourmet Nut Co.
  • Creamy Parmesan Caesar Dressing, Apricot Jam & Honey Mustard Dressing courtesy of Beerenberg

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Completely food and wined out at the Sydney Good Food and Wine Show.

Sydney Good Food and Wine Show

26 – 28 June

Sydney Olympic Park

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Mudgee Fine Foods Farmers Market

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“Grab a bacon and egg roll, team it with a freshly brewed coffee, and listen to local musicians play as you browse the great range of stalls. Chat to our specialist food producers before selecting some great produce to take home. All products sold have been grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked, smoked or processed by the stallholders themselves.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself…this is how they plug the Mudgee Fine Foods Farmers Market on their website and ain’t it the truth.

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I bit of prior research into what I should get up to on my Easter long weekend holiday at Mudgee led me to Mudgee Farmers Markets. Held on every third Saturday of the month I was right on time too. This post best speaks for itself through pictures so you can really experience the vibe of these markets. I’ll give you a heads up though – this market gets really (enjoyably) busy, wear some comfortably shoes, bring a bag to pack all your goodies in, apply some sunscreen if it’s hot, and don’t be afraid to strike up some conversation with the locals.

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Some of the fabulous products and produce you’ll find at the markets:

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Eggs, honey, cheese, olives, nuts
  • Wine and wine tasting, oils, jams, cordial, lemonade, nuts, dips, salad dressings
  • Savoury goods hot off the press – lamb and gravy rolls, sausage rolls, pies, coffee
  • Sweet indulgence – macarons, hot cross buns, biscuits and other sweet treats
  • Arts and crafts, hats, dolls, earrings, cushions
  • Local puppies and dogs getting some fresh air and sunshine! (shown off by their owners. No, not for sale)
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Can’t really remember what this was now…A delicious melt-in-the-mouth vanilla lattice slice from memory! Anyway, my expression tells me it was nice.

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Mixing it with the locals over the jam basket

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Rocky road macaron…and above the nutella…very satisfied!

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Hot cross bun macarons – seasonally fitting and adorable!

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Local tunes

Local tunes

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Brilliant local market direct to you from the producers. A must in Mudgee.

Mudgee Fine Foods Farmers Market

St Mary’s Catholic Church (corner of Church and Market Streets)

Third Saturday of every month: 8.30am-12.30pm

Markets are always on – come rain, hail or shine. Market will be held in the hall if it’s wet.

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