Hunter Valley tour – Sydney Amazing Coach Tours

Fancy drinking samples of wine all day? Sydney’s Amazing Coach Tours offers $59 full day tours to the Hunter Valley every weekend via Groupon.

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Sydney Amazing Coach Tours have recently done a lot of deals and discounts on Groupon, Scoopon and DealsExtra sites and are designed not only enjoy a relaxing & fun ride, but you will take away memories that will last a life time.

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Depart from Liverpool at 5:30am, Central at 7:20 or Hornsby at 8:10. Since I live around Hornsby, the latter was a better option- SLEEP IN!! Once you get out of Hornsby station! head down the stairs onto George Street and wait at the bus bay opposite Florence Street.

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For the day we went, there was a full bus. Seats were comfortable, spacious, clean and standard for a coach. From Hornsby, it’s a two hour drive to the first winery and he bus driver, Matt, was awesome enough to out Back To The Future on the TV!

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Our first stop was the Kelman Vineyard, the only residential vineyard, which started in 1999. The bottles here are slightly cheaper than at other wineries but at the same time, everyone who works in this winery has a real passion for wine. Collin, our guide, loves his job because he is the wine taster!

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The cottage is really cute and we stop for a toilet break before heading into the shed where we were greeted with wine glasses on top of wine barrels. Collin made sure that it didn’t matter if we were aligned to a wine barrel but it’s the wine glass which is a necessity!

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Just a little FYI for the wine noobs (no, I’m not looking at anyone!),  all wine is exceptional at the Hunter. Everyone has different tastes so that’s the reason why we have wine tastings!

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We learn to smell and taste Sparkling Chardonnays, Rose, Shiraz, Tempanillo, and most importantly Semillon, the speciality of Hunter Valley! The one drink my friends and I agreed on that was the best was the moscato. I feel that our group has a very sweet taste so apologies if this blog isn’t suited for you.

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After the splashes of the six wines, we go onto the olive oils and vinegar tastings. There was a small table where we took out some delightful bread and everyone pretty much scrambled to get it! I wished there were two tables but we were one of the first to get there so it wasn’t too bad.

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First vineyard and we’ve already got the wines! The guys here were genuinely passionate, honest and informative. It’s obviously not their full time job but they love what they do!

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Apparently coaches are not allowed alcoholic beverages so the amazing coach tours were small enough to have some crates at the bottom of the bus. It’s a bit risky considering you don’t know how honest people are but you’ve sometimes gotta take the risk!

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The second place we went to was called Kevin Sobels Wines. They are the sixth generation and your taste testing is done in their wine tasting.

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It’s fascinating seeing the large silver tanks with thousands of litres of wines, then bottled up without labels, and then the stacks of boxes with wine. You feel like you’re in a factory!

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The explanations of wines on this end were minimal. It was great how they kept on pouring their delicious wines but I wished they talked more about which wines matched which kinds of foods etc.

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The bottles of wines here were similar to the ones from Kelman in price but hey also had fortified wines. Fortied means the wine barrels are reused from previous wines, making it stronger and sweeter. I do like them a lot.

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It’s around 12 so we also have a picnic lunch consisting of cold chicken, pasta salad, potato salad, cheese and crackers and bread rolls. It’s not too fancy and the buffet style setting is actually quite pleasant- I just wished me had some wine with our meal!

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We were a bit worried that the markets weren’t going to be on since the weather has been playing up but the tents were up and the happy faces. There were delicious honey varieties including roasted almonds, creamed honey gift packs, little jewellery things, Christmas decorations…there was the usual markets mix.

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Lindeman was our next stop. It was fancy, enough said. When making our way to the huge shed, we passed signs with wedding packages on there…I think it was approx $75 per person for wine only.

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We each got a small glass and had a seat where the pouring started! I don’t think I mentioned this earlier but the tasting glasses are designed so you can clearly smell the flavours of each wine. I usually don’t have a sniff before I consume my beverages (lol) but the lady here walked us through the process of wine tastings- sniff, swirl, observe, taste, taste, taste.

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By this stage, you could possibly feel a bit tipsy if you have drunk every single drop poured in your glasses. What I would recommend for wineries is to have a bit of food to compliment the drinks. Here, we had some cheese and crackers which made the red wine taste better.

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The wine we all agreed on was the moscato. It was a pity that they didn’t give us a sheet with all the wines we tasted so we could mark down the ones we had….their loss I guess. Nevertheless, we got a six pack and were on our way to being the alcoholic group of the bus pack!

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We had a little bit of chill time and wandered around the vineyards. Such a gorgeous backdrop!! By the way, don’t try to eat the little grapes on the vines…they will be sour!

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The International Winemaker of the Year 2009, 2011, 2012 is McGuigan wines. Their warehouse is huge and here were heaps of people!! I must say, they are pretty advanced with technology and if you download their app or something, they do have some daily specials.

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We were led to the wine tasting room where there were barrels and barrels of wine. I hope they don’t tumble over!

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The lady who did the explaining and pouring had a good sense of humour and considering it was the end of the day, we were “wine-ing up” here. I really like the setting of the place as the horseshoe arrangement makes it easy to hear.

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At the tasting here, we do around 9 samples. What’s unique about this is that you try samples which are only available from the McGuigan Cellar Door. That’s right- you can’t buy it anywhere else!

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One of the noteable wines we taste is the “Black Label Red”. At first we’re like… Whiskey…wait what?? Ok, it’s a hilarious name but it didn’t suit my taste buds. Anywho, my favourite was the 2014 Late Picked Traminer. Yes, it’s another dessert wine but it tastes like lychee iced wine! Amazing!

An interesting fact: the Hunter Valley only supplies 2% of Australian wines. Are you kidding? Why are we not supporting our local wineries?

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After buying some wine, we go back to the bus and head to our final destination: the Hunter Valley Gardens. It’s a pretty cute marketplace of shops including the cookie shop, British Lolly shop, the Chocolate factory and souvenir shops. Our bus got split into two and my group went to the cookie place first! The super sweet cookies are $2.50 each and you get to try as many samples as you want! And check out the cookie jars!

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At the British Lolly Shop, it was pretty much the standard. I mean, there’s one at Darling Harbour so we weren’t too keen.

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The Chocolate Factory was absolutely packed to the brim! I had a chocolate covered coffee bean and that was pretty good. I guess this was more for the chocolate lovers but we were sweeted out thanks to the cookies we had previously.

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Then it was our turn to go do the wine tasting. The place was like a bottle shop and they packed all of us into a bench to try their platters of chocolate pieces and wine! I think by this stage we weren’t as keen on the wine but the chocolate was like ..amazing. Take note: the caramel one is tops!

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We got through semillons, shirazes, chardonnays, the whole lot! I loved the enthusiasm of the lady who took us through it even though she knew it was our last tasting. There were some super savings for the company: spend $30 and you’ll receive a free bottle of wine. That’s almost buy 2 get 1 free!

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On the way back to Hornsby, we watched Back To the Future III. We were exhausted but honestly, this was an awesome tour and I can’t believe we drank so much!! Would definitely do this again! (Probably in Mudgee, Barossa or something like that).

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Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Hunter Valley Wine Tour): 4.5/5

Ambience: 4/5

Service: 4/5

Value: 4.5/5

Would I recommend going on a full day Hunter Valley tour with Sydney’s Amazing Coach tours? If drinking wine all day tinkles your fancy, then I would recommend going ona. Hunter a Valley wine tour. If you like an incredible saving, a clean bus and friendly driver, then Sydney’s Amazing Coach tours will set you up!

Highlight: I really like how straight-to-the-point the driver was with every destination. I must admit, I’ve been a LOT of day tours when I was travelling abroad and this one was more than better than average, especially in terms of organisation. He was prompt with arriving at Hornsby Station and always giving us the exact time we should get back not yeh bus. Before every destination, he would give us a history and short description of the place, then let us know where the toilets were- pretty dam important!

Suggestion of improvement: If buying bottled of wine, you have to store it underneath the coach. I mean, we are pretty honest people and took our own labelled wines but there could’ve been that possibility. We had a permanent marker which was good but it would’ve been better to have a tagging system where the driver could staple one half of a raffle ticket to a wine bag and give the other half for the buyer to keep, then at the end of the day, the the buy gives back the same number to the driver to collect the goods. Could be good if there was a problem but I won’t be complaining if extra bottles of wine were in the crates!

Linkhttp://sydneysamazingtours.com.au/ 

Official hashtag: #HunterValley

Angela Bee

Village Bizarre – The Rocks 2014

A splash of mystery, a dash of magic, a spray of music and an array of markets – every Friday, Village Bizarre showcases a unique combination of entertainment at The Rocks from 6:30pm between 7 November to 19 December 2014.

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“Catch a glimpse of a colossal white rabbit over rooftops, encounter captivating characters around every corner, satisfy your foodie side and meander through night markets of handmade treasures.”

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I must confess that my true intentions to come to a Village Bizarre is to see one of my best friends from school perform. The pop up Kpop performances were amazing but the highlights were the bizarre performances and behind the window live acts which made the night truly bizarre.

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Walking from Circular Quay station, the first touch of bizarreness was seeing the live dancers  bring window displays to life. The Star Wars Queen lookalike is actually a Hindu Goddess.

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The most popular shopfront performer would be Peter Baecker. His hyptonic movements as the Village Bizarre Clubhouse’s official DJ dancer is contagious!

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Superman made an appearance too.. and with a balaclava.

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We officially started the night at the information booth where the personable clowns got us in the mood for a fun night.

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Walking up the strand, there were the usual foodie markets. Nothing too special and nothing too bizarre.

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To get a feel for what kinds of food were there (if you’re not a regular), Hero Sushi’s famous dumplings…

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Roast Pulled Pork Roll with slaw, apple sauce and gravy was $10 and is was amaaaaaaazing! The combination of sauces was unique and the flavours were top notch.

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Skewers and fresh pasta was also on the agenda with other varieties such as hot dogs and kebabs.

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On the other side, Smoke and Mirrors, Part 2 was on display. There’s a line to have a look but it doesn’t take long as everyone just peers through the curtains. I’m glad I don’t live in a haunted house.. it would scare the daylights out of me.

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Turning right, there was The Argyle Oracle. Take a seat for a psychic reading of your (possible) future using palm and taro card readings. There was a long line for this, but I’m not sure if I’m a believer in foreseeing what’s ahead.

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Every year, I tell myself to sign up for one of the activities at the Parlour Bizarre. It’s a place where you will be transformed into a piece of art!! If you ever arrive early, head here first. Sign up before everyone else to avoid disappointment! People who were there included: Barbarer Supreme – choose between a wet shave, scissor cut or clipper cut and enjoy the experience!

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Glitta Supernova – a 20 minute makeover where you’ll be transformed by a team of talented artists into a living artwork! They’ll put stickers, glitter, flowers, laces, and paint onto your face – think Day of the Dead style.

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Photobooth – KABOOM! Be a fun comic character and take a picture and instagram it #villagebizarre

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Mohs Hair and Beauty – An electrik 1980s-inspired hair makeover . My friend and I signed up for this and daym it looked amazing! My friend had these beautiful braids that curled at the back of her head which was accompanied by some fancy curls – it looked like she was ready to be at a wedding! I got a rough curl in my hair and it was up in a rowdy bun – funky!

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After our treatment, we walked into The Gin Mill Social.

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Duh there was Gin and duh there were live performances!

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The Rocks Brewing Company supplied the onlookers with drinks and it was pretty packed with not enough tables or seats. It was quite entertaining but not really during the 10 minutes we spent there.

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Opposite was the entrance to the UTS exhibition. There is no doubt that this was one of the highlights and almost every person I’ve talked to that has been to the Rocks Village Bizarre has said this was a favourite! The colourful strings strung by the audience on what they thought about Sydney was stunning.

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We did a made our way into  an alley where there were Crossover’s Kpop dancers performing in front of the huge white rabbits from this year’s Vivid.

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We also got really lucky as it was just in time for a Full Fathom Five performance at the Discovery Museum. This was perhaps my favourite performance because it kept the audience moving. We were lead into different rooms by the security guard (who would’ve known he was part of the show too!) and characters from different rooms told a tale.

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Moving forward, we stumbled upon a fly..bird?  He was lingering around the official hashtag sign.

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Love TV was kinda awkward lol. I mean the setting was fabulous and wonderfully displayed.. I guess it’s just the concept.

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I think one of the main reasons why some people came to the Village Bizarre was because of Etzy. Etzy is an online marketplace for with vintage and hand made products. It’s amazing and if you have spare time, it’s definitely worth more than a scroll. You could even get a photo taken at their photobooth!

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We also saw a ghost puppet show at around 8pm. It was interesting! I didn’t really get what the whole concept was really about but there were some good laughs.

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I feel like we saw a lot of things- we went to a few shows, looked at the markets, stared at the shopfront performances and had a good laugh, ate some delicious food, and even got our hair done! It was a packed night and we did really well in terms of getting involved. Fun!

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Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Village Bizarre): 4.25/5

Ambience: 4/5

Service: 4/5

Value: 4.5/5

Would I recommend going to The Rocks Village Bizarre this year? You may probably need a good game plan so head to the information booth to sort out your night filled with performances! If you’re a person who is up for a few tales, a couple of drinks, likes art and loves interactivity, then this one would be for you!

Highlight: I feel like there weren’t as many people on its first night compared to previous years. However, I felt like we did sooooooooo many more things compared to last year. Maybe it was just perfect timing but I really loved going to the shows and seeing the performances. I actually can’t believe that we were there from around 5:30 til 10pm? Time went by so quickly!

Suggestion of improvement: The amount of pop up performances was amazing and there were always people crowded in those areas – maybe they should have more next year! Also, probably more seats at the food markets because it was a bit awkward not knowing where to sit- everyone else seemed to be standing.

Linkhttp://www.therocks.com/whats-on/the-rocks-village-bizarre.aspx

Official hashtag: #VillageBizarre

Angela Bee

Sculptures by the Sea 2014

The two and a half hour ride to Sculptures By The Sea is definitely worth the trip and you should be going this weekend as it finishes on Sunday November  9, 2014.

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Sculpture by the Sea returns to the Bondi Beach to Tamarama Beach coastal walk. See the spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk transformed into a 2km long temporary sculpture park featuring over 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world.”

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Catching a bus to Tamarama beach from Bondi Junction station is the secret tip I would recommend doing. Avoid the human traffic jam and walk peacefully up the beach and soak in the not-as-crowded beach. Yes, I did go on a Saturday at around 11 and yes, there were a lot if people. Either go really early in the morning to watch the sunrise or go late at night to watch the sunset. Below are some of he highlights. You’ll have go to yourselves to see the amazingness!

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Once getting off the bus, you’ll arrive with this amazing view. I must say, Sydney weather at its summer peak is the best.

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Heading towards Bondi, we could look down to have a birds eye view of a massive construction of thread.

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The contrast of the bright colours stood out from the deep blue sky.

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The giant pan is hilarious! You could crawl in and literally become a sunshine egg 🙂 #happytimes #sunburn

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Walking down onto the grassy area, there was a laddered arch with snake like figures.

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Honestly, you cannot not take a bad photo.

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My favourite sculpture was this thing. It probably needs some explaining. The pole is a mirror of the picture beneath it. You might think its a swirl of swish at first sight but it’s actually a clever picture when you look at its reflection.

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I think the most iconic photo I’ve seen on Instagram is this circular object with a piece of granite sticking out. Sorry, I couldn’t help but not know what the meaning of the art it?  I really like how it can frame a picture and at every angle it is a wonderful pose.

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In terms of the artwork that is most easily understood, this musical instrument could be a band in itself! Loving the bright red there!

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The sculpture that confused me the most was this cage of mirrors. What is it made from? Where does the selection of the mirrors come from? It’s an interesting piece and I quite like it (except all the people/kids who were peeping through and ruining the picture perfect moments).

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Ok, let’s have a little break and glance over to the sea! #stunningsydney

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I think these beautiful glass sculptures reminded me of some exotic country, even exotic Christmas trees for those who have white Christmases.

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Made out of recyclable rubbish, this chair is made for the Queen of the Sea! The colourful aspect and the crown you can put on is a genius concept!

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I quite liked this figure. It reminds me of peace and tranquility.

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Some describe is as a pineapple, others as a Christmas Tree, even as a nonna’s knitting needle.

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It’s spikey and it has a hole through it!

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By the time you reach this point, you’re probably half way FYI. Conveniently enough, The Grounds of Alexandria brings you The Grounds By The Sea.

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There was a long line but it was ‘fast food’ style so it wasn’t a too long of a wait.

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I ordered the Latitude 34 Lamb Salad which included Moroccan spiced lamb, couscous, mint, yoghurt and almonds. It was huge and there was a lot of meat in there. I would’ve loved a bit more couscous but the flavours were there.

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The chips were soft inside and soooo light and crunchy. My friend ordered the Bondi to Bronte Beef burger and it was pretty average- nothing to brag about, really. Menu below.

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It’s actually pretty cool having this pop up store and The Grounds is always open to new things!

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As expected, there were a lot of people and not many chairs or tables. Thankfully there was a lot of greenery around and some shady spots. Continuing on, there were lots of funky installations. I wished I had this truck for my roadtrips! #art

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This makes a cage look beautiful.

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Every year there’s also a miniature version of each of the sculptures. I love it because you get to see more of a description of what you’ve seen outside and also have the chance to purchase them! Unfortunately I cannot afford any of this but hey, it doesn’t hurt to have a look.

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These pipes with plants growing out was one that stood out to me. It’s like sustainability mixed into a boring set of pipes.

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The most photogenic one was this cherry made from lipsticks. So creative and can be so easily done!

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Stepping back outside, the sun hit us and we were back to the fun works! This picture is hilarious..

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The bottle tops in this installation made it seem like they were sparkles on a massive diamond. Loved the effect.

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Cute-scary-cute ants popping evilly from the rocks was the best!! I love the facial expressions on their faces. Watch out!

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It’s lovely ending up at Bondi beach and what a great way to relax on the weekend. I must say, my recommendation is definitely to go at the end of the day but whenever you go, it will always be the best. Also, a reminder that this blog post is not everything.. there were a million more things!

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Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Sculptures by the Sea): 5/5

Ambience: 4.5/5

Service: 4/5

Value: 5/5

Would I recommend going to Sculptures by the Sea this year? YESSSSSS! I was super impressed by not only the sculptures but by how many people there are. I feel like you like summer, hot weather, art and walking, then this would be good. I’ve ticked all the boxes!

Highlight: Sitting by the grassy area overlooking the beach and being lazy observing all the beautiful sculptures. It’s so relaxing and there are plenty of photo opportunities here. I think I took approximately 100 photos… I have a feeling a lot of people take a lot more!

Suggestion of improvement: Having the numbers and information booths (which you had to pay for?). Anyways, it would’ve been nice to have a description beside each sculpture because I always love to know what insights the artists had in mind! I love perspectives and reading about what other people think.

Link: http://www.sculpturebythesea.com/

Official hashtag: #SculpturesbytheSea

Angela Bee

Parramasala Masala Markets 2014

Parramasala’s Masala markets on Saturday October 18, 2014 was a colourful masala, or “mix”, of the treasures of India.

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“Now in its fifth year, Parramasala is a free, public celebration of the diverse and rich cultures which contribute to Sydney’s rich social fabric – a heady and colourful mix of music, dance, parade, theatre, food, film and heritage.”

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It’s quite exciting that there’s so much construction going on in Parramatta and made it slightly easier to find where the festival was with the marked paths! When we got there, I was amazed at how many people there were waiting at the stalls for food. Luckily here, there was a one-line system and surprisingly, it looked quite orderly!

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Heading to up into the grassy area, the vibrant colours began popping up! I actually miss India and the beautiful scarves, jewellery and souvenirs I used to love to bargain for!

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Seems like this was a special tree!

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What I really liked about this festival was that there wasn’t an explosion of typical souvenirs making it too repetitive. Maggie’s collection was one of the few stalls with the traditional props. #throwback

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There isn’t an Indian festival without chai! We used to get this was like 3-5 rupees in a shot cup. Chai literally means tea in Hindi, so for me, when I came back, it was weird ordering a chai latte. Latte means milk in Italian so your literally saying tea milk? Milk tea? #randomthoughts

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The majority of the crowd were standing near centre stage to watch the dancers show off their energetic moves. What I loved about the location was that the stage was at the bottom of a slight hill so no matter where you stood, you had a good chance of seeing what was on the stage!

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The guys on stage were extremely talented and showing off their talents. I wouldn’t say that this was typical Bollywood dancing…but it was still fun to watch 🙂 They even had the audience come up and show off their groovy moves (me not included).

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Some other stalls included Cappadocia Dream House with their exotic range if materials and pottery.

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If I had a house I would decorate it with antiques from around the world!

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Of course there were the traditional dresses..

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Although there were some colourfully lit up shirts matched with necklaces by Wendy McLean.

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The patterns here are gorgeous. Would make really nice bed quilts or even curtains!

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And the line for henna was as long as I expected.

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If only I had these necklace racks! Makes everything more organised and displayed nicely.

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So time to go in the food arena. There was one massive line of tents and the queues were well populated – even at 9pm! Below are the guys at Honest making butter chicken on a huge hot plate!

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Check out the this typical Indian menu. The ones on the left are ‘chaat’ which are small eats/snacks. The ones on the right are main meals. At the bottom, the ‘lassi’ is a yoghurt type drink. I kinda fell in love with drinking it lol.

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Loving the prep here! Daym everything smelt so good. #currylovers

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I remember having curry for breakfast in India and it wasn’t the most ideal…but I eventually got used to it! Doesn’t hurt for some curry dessert, right?

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We bought a mango lassi…which was quite average and dahi puri. I had to show my parents how to eat it and it was quite hilarious because you literally take one whole shell and shove it in your mouth. It’s basically a hollow shell and they shove veg in there. They top it off with yoghurt and sweet sauce with a sprinkle of that packed crispy stuff. It’s amazing and definitely a favourite.

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If I could describe it, it would be a ‘sweet’ version of our typical curry. It isn’t spicy, but a crunchy sensation and a lingering sweet aftertaste. Yes, this was our dessert for the night.

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Oh oh! These packed goodies are similar to your typical chips and crackers! Obviously a bit spicy but they were the addictive snacks I took on my long train trips. They’re like a spicy version of muesli..

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Watch dem butter chicken go on the BBQ. #charcoalsmell #yumo

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There were fireworks at 8 but we saw them from a distance coming into Paramatta from the car. It was a neat bunch of markets here and a great reminder of the fun things I used to do when I was backpacking in India #goodtimes

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Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Parramasala Masala Markets): 3.5/5

Ambience: 3.5/5

Service: 4/5

Value: 4/5

Would I recommend going to the Parramasala night markets? I was scrolling through the program for this year and it was pages and pages. If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, a sucker for markets and a lover of anything colourful then this is an event for you.

Highlight: I must say, the stage performance was quite enjoyable! I’m not really too exposed to the Indian community so seeing that there was a stall that was, let’s say, ‘Indian Vinnes’, where used traditional clothes are donated and sold was an eye opener. SikhToGive  aims to organise and run charitable events to assist underprivileged and disadvantaged women in Sydney.

Suggestion of improvement: Having arrived quite late, I must say I didn’t have the ‘whole’ experience. Having said this, it was a really fun walk around the park and to sample a few bits here and there. What I would’ve loved to see was more decorations to set the atmosphere. Having realised that the Bollywood dance party was at Harris Park, it could’ve been more ideal to have them together so we didn’t need to drive to one place to the other!

Link: http://www.parramasala.com/event/festival-program-2014/

Official hashtag: #Parramasala @Parramasala_

Angela Bee

Night Noodle Markets 2014

An Asian fusion set up in white tents around Hyde Park with a combination of art and modern architecture is something otherwise known as the famous annual Night Noodle Markets, which was on October 10-26 from 5pm.

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“If it’s Good Food Month, it must be time for the Night Noodle Markets! With all the colour, sounds and smells of an Asian hawker market plus the buzz, hype and vibe of a huge outdoor festival, the Night Noodle Markets is back for 2014 with a record 50 food stalls across Hyde Park.”

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Two words: food coma. Enough said. Blogs ends.

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I can’t believe how much the night noodle markets have transformed! My eyes were popping out everywhere I went and I kinda felt like I was a kid again. Most impressively, I cannot believe how beautiful they’ve transformed Hype Park.

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Our journey started from the closest corner to Townhall station. The tents with red flags had the food and the ones in yellow were bars. To our disappointment, the booze was very pricey…probably $8 for a bar? It was not a surprise that there weren’t many lines when you could go for a mid week special at any other pub.

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Starting from the right and walking anticlockwise, we totally did not expect to stumble upon the second biggest line ever- for the ramen burger and rice burger. They went for $13.50 a pop and to be honest, I was sooooo tempted!

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The queues were long, the food smelt so good, it was hard to choose what to eat! The most popular store by far was the Hoy Pinoy. They made smoking got Filipino BBQ and street food and the line was a snake in a maze!

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Look at dem skewers sizzle!

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St Honore Cake Shop sold these tempting pancakes with mango, strawberry, taro, custard or banana for $6. It’s a shame I don’t fancy cream but boy do they look delicious!

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We followed the red laterns and stumbled across teppanyaki noodles, pad thai, curry, laksa, span thai, dumplings, Korean chips on a stick… And the list goes on! The standard pricing was around $12 a dish.

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The atmosphere was incredible! I can’t believe this was Tuesday and it was packed! There were tons of chairs and tables, umbrellas, and some were even on the grass.

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The Temporium really desserts a trophy, if not, an awards for designing the best portable artwork in a park. I loved how the lights made it illuminate and there was even seating inside! I also enjoyed the 3D hexagons with plants. Fancy!

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Coopers Pale Ale had a wall as well..using potted plants as inspiration.

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Using wine barrels as tables will never ever get old!

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Cathay Pacific was running a silent film and had colourful lanterns as decoration. I’m not if many people were paying attention but the movement made the atmosphere more lively.

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Since the weather was pretty chilled, I guess there could been rain potential. What really stood out from this year was that there weren’t many people sitting on the grass. I think they’ve realised that office workers don’t want to damage their expensive clothes (if they’re rich. I don’t mind since most of my clothes are under $10 hehe).

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The Messina line was, as expected, long. At the end of the night we got dessert here and it actually didn’t take too long! From the white stand, it only took 15 minutes? We tried the Street Hawker, which consisted of a very intense and very hard-to-stab lime and chocolate with peanut butter gelato, coconut and caramel jam and fortune cookie clusters topped with a peanut cookie.

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We took it up the Yalumba balcony and had it there.

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I loved the three scoops of ice cream but the brownie was rock hard..we didn’t even finish it. According to my credible sources, the mango one is the best!

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Continuing on into the spring wonderland, we passed wooden tipis. I actually love this. I know it is absolutely useless in terms of productivity but I see the fun of it!

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The red lantern spectacular has returned! Once you get there, it’s selfie-land. #noregrets

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Thatchers hired a DJ to play in their area and might I say, I have always wanted bean bags. My life is now complete.

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Citibank has once again produced their iconic tent of lights.

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I think the most creative area was the lounge with the umbrellas. There was a dude drawing a funky piece of art, which I’m sure he’s been working on since the beginning of the markets, and it’s quite fun to see someone create magic.

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The umbrellas in the ceiling were way cool. I’ve loved the colourful theme that has been consistent in all areas of Hyde Park.

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The Ping pong area looked more like a competition studio than a temporary outdoor area. Look at those looming red light!

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We ended up getting a mixed entree for $10 and Nasi goreng for $8 at China Ria. The curry puffs were crunchy and flavoursome and the chicken skewers were sooo juicy!

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The Nasi goreng was really nice too. I guess because it was vegetarian there was a whole heap of different toppings but nevertheless, it was still flavoursome and delicious! You could add more sauces if you wanted.

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I’m amazed at how many people were there! It seems to get bigger and better so I’ve got high expectations for next year!

Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Night Noodle Markets): 5/5

Ambience: 4.75/5

Service: 4/5

Value: 4.5/5

Would I recommend going to the Night Noodles Markets? Definitely!!!! There is such a variety of food I don’t think anyone would not be able to nothing to eat. Even if you don’t want to have a meal, its great to get into the atmosphere and to walk around Hyde Park. So much is going on and the photos above are only a snapshot.

Highlight: The art installations/pop up bars and atmosphere. I was most impressed at how Hyde Park has been transformed into a night bazaar. Before, it was more about the food but this year, they’ve really thought about the people attending the event and experiencing it as a whole.

Suggestion of improvement: The prices of the drinks were .. not that great for $8. The gin and tonic green goblets were amazing because it wasn’t ordinary and quite quirky but if there’s nothing special then it’s not great. I liked how there were distinct lines for each stall but it would’ve been better if the clusters of stalls were congregated into types of food? Perhaps by region, or type of food.. makes it easier to navigate back to what type of food we wanted!

Link: http://sydney.goodfoodmonth.com/nightnoodlemarkets

End: Sunday 26 October 2014, occurs annually

Official hashtag: #noodlemarkets

Angela Bee

Granny Smith Festival 2014

City of Ryde’s Granny Smith Festival on Saturday 18 October, 2014 from 9am-8pm was more than a fiesta of apples, but a celebration of the community around the area.

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“The annual Granny Smith Festival celebrates the life and legacy of one of our district’s most famous citizens, Maria Ann Smith – aka Granny Smith – who, back in 1868, ‘accidentally’ grew the first batch of little green apples that bear her name and are now grown all over the world. ”

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With an estimated 80,000 people who attend each year, the event is supported by local businesses, sporting and service organisations, schools and the wider community – and EVERYONE gets involved – even the staff at Eastwood train station makes a special announcement after every train arrives. The experience starts from the moment you step off that train.

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The first thing I notice walking to the park next to the library is that even the library wall is painted with kids from multicultural backgrounds with Granny Smith Festivals! For those who don’t know, Eastwood is very Asian? Lots of chinese, korean, vietnamese food and shops. I love how they’ve embraced this!

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Walking in the park, it was like a school carnival! Flying chairs, spinning teacups, bumper cars, showbags.. there was the lot!

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They were mostly 5 coupons each (or $5) so head to the booth to gather your tickets.

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So do we ‘accidentally’ encourage children to gamble already…?

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The best kids toy out there was the dinosaur bubble gun. Honestly, how cool is that? Plus there’s a santa one as well.

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I honestly wished that I was a kid again. Everyone was buzzing around! The Country Cousins Barn was massive with a range of mostly goats and sheep.

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It was $2 a cup to feed them but be aware- they are more mature and could literally jump on your chest to grab it off you! If you’re like me and am scared of animals, this would not be your cup of tea.

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Heading to the furthest end of the oval were food stalls and crafty shops. A Granny Smith Festival is not a granny smith festival without toffee apples!!

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There was henna and caricatures drawn.

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I’m not sure if this is an actual trend but I’m noticing that chips-on-a-stick is like a thing. The fatty crispy goodness is the most popular snack at almost every festival I go to- I guess it’s cheap for a meal? =S

There were tons of stalls including Nepalese momos, Vietnamese rolls, Turkish gozlemes, Korean fishballs and more.

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We settled for the paella with the lot – jealous? It was delicious and made on the spot. It was very heavy on the sauces and it was enough for two people!

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Sitting down infront of the stage, we saw really fun acts from school groups and the community. I actually cannot believe how talented kids can be. Well.. I guess they are hilarious to watch and its just super cute. My favourite were the little kids in tutus.. and they did flips, the splits and all these groovy moves! (I kinda wished I went to dance class when I was a kid).

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Might I say, the crowd were loving it!

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Another thing City of Ryde were doing was a ‘test’ where you had to look up the clues on Facebook and Twitter, action the clue and then you’ll receive a slice of apple pie or apple cupcake. When we arrived, it was answering when the first granny smith apple was grown and thanks to the train station man, I was very close to guessing the right one! The answer was in the leaflet though.

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It was d-e-l-i-ciousss!

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Next to it was a photobooth promoting Grandparent’s Day on Sunday 26 October. It was so much fun dressing up!

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The Salvation Army had a massive amount of space and I’m surprised at how much they brought in! There were heaps of clothes, shoes, hats, accessories and homeware. They also had a coffee/hot chocolate van.

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Walking up on Progress Avenue near IGA and the fresh fruit market, there were so many clothing and jewelry shops it was absolutely amazing. There were some winning bargains including rings, bracelets and necklaces for $5?

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The queue was a bit hectic with the free face painting- I mean, who doesn’t want to look pretty?

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Another trend I’ve noticed were the lucky dips. When I was a kid, I used to love these!!! I must say, I love surprises.

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I also realised that a lot of community centres and churches were present. Macquarie Anglican were extremely popular with their balloon-making.

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OK, the next stall was the best thing ever- there were minecraft toys and accessories! You could get a showbag and there were swords, small creepers, TNTs, necklaces, even SUNGLASSES! This was amazing!

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Apparently these gold metallic tatts are ‘in’ right now.

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As always, The Avenue had plenty of food stalls and the scouts had $4 sausage sizzle which turned into $1.30 sausage sizzles. I loved how all the kids were excited to be squeezing tomato sauce and collecting money!

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The most popular of the lot was the place which did chorizo and garlic prawn rolls. It smelt so good and the line was possibly too long. I know they’re at Chatswood every week so defs popping by there!

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The Arcade area was decorated with colourful flags.

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These lovely ladies are proud of their home made jams and Christmas puddings. Such a lovely thing to do when you’re slightly older!

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Kids did sandpainting! I remember doing this as a child! All you had to do is rip the sticker off and fill it with coloured sand. It was so easy and it required no creativity. Everyone also had perfect pictures.

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Something that I should’ve bought were these cats on benches. They were only selling at $1.50-$2 each and they would’ve been a great accessory to my desk at work!

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I’m actually glad that the stalls I remember from my last Granny Smith Festival are in the same spot. In particular, the soft toys and fun stuff for the kids. I mean, there were even stuffed koalas and kangeroos which would’ve been a great souvenir gift if I was going overseas (if only).

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At the end of The Arcade was a clown amusing the kids with his party tricks! The kids got really engaged and were screaming and shouting in laughter!

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After this, we walked back onto Rowe Street where there were tons more stalls. The possibilities were endless..

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Candle Story offered candle cupcakes and rose soap! All you have to do is drop a petal into your bath tub and you’re set! How romantic..

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City of Ryde’s blackboard “Ryde is my community because..” asked the the community to share their thoughts on why they love Ryde. I wrote ‘transport exchange’ because it was literally where I would catch my bus to school every morning when I was at school. I didn’t even notice someone was watching me and I received a rugby ball as a prize – yay!

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Watch our for the moving tree- it will literally snip off your heads if he wanted!

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Infucious’ jars were fun! I didn’t realise how many different types of tea one person could supply! They even made tea-infused cookies which were delicious!

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At the end of Rowe Street was the iconic ice cream truck. It was a sunny day and we’d finally saw everything!! Took possibly 5 hours.. but we had a lot of fun!

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See you next year for your 30th birthday party, Granny Smith Festival!

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Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Granny Smith Festival): 4.75/5

Ambience: 4.5/5

Service: 4/5

Value: 4.5/5

Would I recommend going to Granny Smith Festival? If you live near Eastwood, I would highly recommend it. One of the things we’ve noticed is that a lot of primary school and high school kids come. For them, it’s a chance to hang out with friends and meet others! If you’re a shopper then this would be for you too! There’s so much going on its amazing!

Highlight: Everyone getting involved. It’s quite rare that the WHOLE community gets behind a festival. A lot of the shops in Eastwood have Granny Smith Apple decorations, signs, apples.. I can’t believe it! The stallholders and people in the area really make an effort and the attendance is spectacular!

Suggestion of improvement: Although there was a lot of green apples out and about in particular areas, I didn’t really feel it ‘celebrated’ Granny Smith? I think in previous years there were huge apples hanging from The Arcade which I guess got us in the apple spirit. Everything was well set up and I really liked the variety of stalls involved. Shame they all had to shut at around 5pm!! Should’ve stayed for the Bon Jovi Concert at 6 and the fireworks at 8pm.. ohwell! It was so much fun!

Link: http://www.ryde.nsw.gov.au/Community/Special+Events/Granny+Smith+Festival

Official hashtag: #WeLoveGSF

Angela Bee

Cabramatta Moon Festival 2014

A total immersion into Vietnamese culture was experienced at Cabramatta’s Moon Festival, which was held conveniently on the same day as Father’s Day this year on Sunday 7 September 2014.

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“The Cabramatta Moon Festival is recognised as one of Sydney’s premier and largest Asian celebrations. People from all parts of Sydney and different cultural backgrounds take part to celebrate the ancient Moon Festival tradition.

 It’s a festival for family and friends to enjoy and celebrate good health and fortune.”
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Cabramatta for me is a lifetime away.. and the fact that my family and I drove all the way there is a testament to how lively and fantastic this festival was. In fact, I felt like I was transported back to Vietnam!! – why do I not live closer?  If you don’t have a car, don’t fret because the train station is literally next to the scene.

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When we arrived, there was a little sectioned out space where dancers showed off their cool moves. There was a bit of cheering here and there and it was a good attempt by the youngsters.

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What I noticed when I got to Cabramatta was that it was very family-oriented. The animals made an appearance..

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There were a lot of rides .. every. where. Normally there would be a tiny little section, but this time it was spread out to a few areas. This was a giant carnival I wished I had when I was a kid!

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My favourite stall was the umbrella-painting. The kids there were very cute and got to paint their umbrellas and even put some sparkles on top! I loved how vibrant they were and the stands made them shine.

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Other than the rides and activities for kids, there were of course there were a billion shops selling cheap/delicious stuff. I won’t be sure about the quality, but if you were looking for quilts and food, Cabramatta would offer your needs at a discount. From shoes

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To cosmetics

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To toys

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There were just stalls and stalls and stalls and stalls… and it was the typical ‘there are too many people so I’m going to stomp on you’ vibe.

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There was also a stage for the youngsters to speak.. oh and I forgot to mention the radio station that was pumping Gangnam style on loud speaker? I thought it was Korean? Sorry..

Just like the typical Chinatown, there was the grand gate.

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It was kind of hard getting a good photo with all the people around the place, but I reckon I did well only needing the top half. Very traditional with a ginormous lantern.

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Walking inside, there were more lanterns and tents! It was so crazy and this was not even lunch or dinner time!! I was there at around 3-5pm?!

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Anyways, I had the liberty of trying a funky drink (which my mum had never ever seen and I was shocked.. but then again, I have been to Vietnam before) and it was soooooooooooooooooo delicious! Mixed jelly with ice. Get onto it. It’s just a mixture of jelly goodness, with ice and coconut milk. It’s insanely healthy (not) and insanely the best drink during the summer.

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I must say, The Walking Advertisement always attracts some free stuff of some sort and at Cabramatta’s Moon Festival, it was these tasty snacks! I would say they are the ‘chips’ of Vietnam but come in a variety of flavours- sweet and savoury.

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While we’re on the topic of food, the smell of pho was irresistible. Only $7 for a massive bowl of noodle which could’ve easily fed 2 people.. there’s definitely a bargain here. I would just like to say again, why don’t I live around Cabra??!!

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I eventually gave up and bought some takeaway food. The excuse was that it was for tomorrow’s lunch (but really I just wanted to eat it straight away as ‘afternoon tea’).

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Side note- there was an insane amount of ATMs and possibly the most I’ve seen in any suburb. There were no queues so kudos.

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As we closed off the loop, we ended up at a stage with little kids performing in a large tent. It was absolutely packed but quite entertaining.

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Well, I’m definitely coming next year ! Mai mốt gặp lại (See you soon!)

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Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Cabramatta Moon Festival): 4.75/5

Ambience: 4/5

Service: 4.5/5

Value: 4.75/5

Would I recommend going to Cabramatta Moon Festival? IF you love a bit of Vietnamese culture, or even experiencing another culture at your doorstep, then Cabramatta would’ve been my ‘highly commended’ place to be. I honestly cannot stress how many people were there- apparently there were approximately 90,000 in 2013! Vietnam itself is a busy place, and Cabramatta is a busy place.

Highlight: Going to all the markets was a highlight. No, stepping on everyone’s feet was a highlight. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve never been to Cabramatta so I didn’t know what to expect. I got excited at the $7 pho bowls because they smelt amazing! It also reminded me of the times I felt tempted to buy cheap clothes then figured out they weren’t top quality.. #goodtimes #memories.

Suggestion of improvement: A problem with most festivals is that there is no linear/circular route but Cabra’s Moon Festival was pretty amazing at that. We went in a full circle and I feel we experienced everything.. maybe except for any performances! Wished we saw some cultural dancing but I guess it depends what time you arrive, right?

Linkhttp://www.fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au/default.asp?iDocID=10312&iNavCatId=3313&iSubCatId=3313

Angela Bee

$5 noodles – Stix Noodle Bar

Get your noodle fix for only $5 at Stix Noodle Bar, Darling Harbour – can eating out get any cheaper? And it’s no surprise that this OurDeal sold out with 3000 sold!

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“Make it a great night with Stix Noodle Bar. Our special menu includes BBQ Chicken, Egg Fried Rice, Chilli Coriander, Pad Thai, Ramen Noodles, and many more Thai entrees. And don’t forget our steamed and fried rice specials, salads, and soups.”

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The noodle bar is next to MadMex at Harbourside. If you’re enjoying Vivid by the water, walk up the stairs from Pancakes on the Rocks and then take a left.

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I know many of you are pretty skeptical when it comes to super cheap deals like this. Alice’s Tea Cafe in Chatswood was the worse but surprisingly, this little joint does really good noodles!

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There was only one table when I got there with a friend and Vivid Sydney Aqualights is on every hour so we decided to takeaway. Shame that the view isn’t as great as you’ll be facing Pyrmont Bridge. At least there’s an entertaining flower pot with red chilli!

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The kitchen is open so it was great to see that everything looked clean. None of that messy Asian kitchen nonsense at this place.

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It was hard for me to choose the noodles because e variety was so wide. Egg noodles, hokkien noodles, vermicelli…then choose your sauce and topping! It reminds me of Stir Crazy in Castle Hill, except is was a lot cheaper and in the city.

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The interior was black and simple with touches of orange.

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The tangled red wired lights added a bit of funkiness to the house.

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We didn’t wait long at all for our filled takeaway boxes!! I love Aqualights. They banned fireworks in Peru and use Acqualights instead. That was the first time I saw large light projections reflected on water en masse.

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We opened up our takeaway and it smelt so dam good! I chose the glass noodle with peanut sauce and chicken. Rather than having the peanut sauce stir fried together, it was more on the top. I love peanut sauce so I could eat it any day. Delicious!

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My friend got the spinach noodles with oyster sauce and chicken and that was a stunner too. Like most coloured noodles, it tasted slightly healthier. I remember making spinach pasta from scratch and I put in 1 small packet of spinach which was 300g for 1 cup of flour and 1 egg of pasta.

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All done and not as full as we thought! I guess we were both starving after work! Great little place and shame about the view but yummy noodles!

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You can also order online and get 10% off your first purchase.

Review Rating: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product ($5 noodles from Stix Noodle Bar): =D

Ambience: =|

Service: =)

Value: =D

Would I recommend Stix Noodle Bar to a friend? If you’re looking for a cheap meal for $5 then this is the spot! It doesn’t get any cheaper! It is located next to popular stores such as MadMex and Grill’d so I guess it’s not too great for them. The portions are good so if you feel like Asian at Darling Harbour give this place a go!

Would I donate the money saved towards a charity? Look, I would even pay $10 normally for a cheap dinner meal at Darling Harbour. It’s a bit expensive there if you go outside of happy hour. $5 towards a charity.

Highlight: the noodles! Couldn’t stop eating! I don’t think you can go wrong with cooking Asian noodles. I mean, pasta can be either too soft or too hard but noodles I feel are easier. Maybe because I’m Asian. Anyhow…yes. Peanut sauce a bit sweet and I love that!

Suggestion of improvement: the restaurant itself is quite simple. I know it’s the general vibe of it but there wasn’t anything that told me to ‘come in NOW’ unlike the other restaurants around it.

Ends: June 15, 2014

Link: Our Deal

Angela Bee

Pyrmont Festival of Wine, Food and Art

Pyrmont Festival has brought the delicacies of the famous wine region of Mudgee to Sydney from May 16-25, 2014 to celebrate wine, food and art. Included was a free festival on May 17-18 at Pirrama Park where festival goers had a chance to sample 120 wines from 50 stalls.

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“The ultimate event to experience a fabulous blend of city and regional produce and creativity, guests can enjoy wine dinners and tastings, photographic exhibitions and art displays without having to leave the city. Iconic Mudgee wineries participating include Huntington Estate, Burrundulla Vineyard and Lowe Wines. Winemakers and Pyrmont eateries will expertly select wines to match lunches, dinners and tastings across the 10 days.”

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It was a pleasant walk from Townhall station all the way past The Star and to the harbour view amongst the piers. If only I had the money to buy a house here..

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#datview

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The park was picnic-rugged with people when I arrived, all in the sun shine and thank goodness for that!

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The food stalls were close to the stage and the first things I passed. People were lining up but I wanted to see the wine and food first!

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Firstly you had to buy some tokens – $20 for a souvenir glass and 5 tokens, which is pretty good considering that a normal glass of wine these days in a restaurant is $7-8? Just keep in mind that these are samples though.

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Ok, this tomato, pesto, olive, chilli varieties of feta are divine. Buy some if you like feta. Has anyone tried Persian feta? That’s amazing too. #cheeseloversdiet

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There was plenty of wine on sale by the case and who wouldn’t be tempted to indulge in some on a gorgeous day like this?

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Some varieties of oil were also on sample which brought a touch of Italy to the park.

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You could definitely see the passion in the people who have been breathing and drinking wine at their homes #meetthemaker

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To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been to Pirrama Park. It’s delightful. There were seats and enough space for everyone to chill.

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Check out the bottles and even barrels of wine!

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Has anyone tasted Chardonnay Chilli and Garlic Jam? or perhaps Cabernet and Cracked Pepper Wine Jelly? #experimentalflavours

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There were also racks of artwork where people could vote for People’s Choice. The theme was ‘Small is Beautiful.’

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There were even some funky balls where kids could roll around and a inflatable slippery dip for the kids!

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This was definitely a wine-lovers weekend retreat without needing to drive 3.5 hours to Mudgee!!

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Review Rating: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product (Pyrmont Festival – Pirrama Park): =D

Ambience: =D

Service: =)

Value: =D

Would I recommend going to Pyrmont Festival to a friend? If you’re a wine-lover and the outdoors this is perfect for you. It’s my perfect match too!

Would I donate the money saved to a charity? I love markets like this because you literally get to meet the makers. Although it is a long drive for them and they have to wake up before the sun rises, I think markets like this really promote their commitment and passion. You won’t need to buy from supermarkets anymore.

Highlight: I was amazed at how many stalls there were! The more I walked, the more varieties of wine there were! Shame I only did a quick walk around but I would love to do a day-trip to Mudgee soon!

Suggestion of Improvement: There was only one wine token station which was right at one end of the festival. I wished there were two stations just in case I casually decided to buy some cheese and crackers to go with my wine and have a nap in the greenery.

Ends: May 25, 2014

Link: http://www.pyrmontfestival.com.au/

Angela Bee

 

$7 Arepa, fruit juice, coffee – La Latina Chatswood

I’m shamelessly going to promote two of the best countries in the world- Columbia and Venezuela… this time not for their nature, but their food in Chatswood. $7 for an arepa and fruit smoothie.

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La Latina aims to present authentic South American flavours, with a menu of Venezuela and Colombian favourites including arepas and empanadas and sides including cassava chips and fried plantain. Wherever possible, La Latina uses local and organic ingredients, for maximum flavour and authenticity. Gluten-free options are available.

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The little joint itself is on the way to Chatswood Chase on 82 Archer Street at the big intersection.

Ok, let’s face it. I miss Latina and South America so when I saw this on Groupon deal my jaw dropped. Where else would I get a papa relleno, plantains, yuca and empanada? No one else understands my words!!

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The salsa music was in the background, the counter front of Colombian goodies. My Colombian family would be so proud of me right now.

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I looked in the freezer section and they have yuca croquettes, rellenos de queso, ice blocks… Mmm! Yuca is a type of potato and rellenos de queso is cheese filled balls of potato and rice goodness.

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Also loving the simplicity of chairs and seating.

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Check out the bottled caps too and the salsa- yum! I miss little bottles of salsa at a dining table as a staple.

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I love the pictures on the menu. I’m sorry this blog is about my past travel experiences but this one time I had a 12 hour wait in Venezuela and it’s not be best country to travel in because it’s pretty communist so the advice the police gave to me was: stay at the bus station where there were lots of people and protection. I sold arepas for a ridiculous 50 cents or something with this family and it was so much fun! Each person gets either beef, pork, chicken or whatever and put as much salsa and salad on top. It’s wonderful!

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Here was their full menu and yeah, not as cheap as Venezuela!! I chose the shredded beef arepa but there was also chicken avocado on the menu which is not really what you’d see normally…

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This experience was a little different of course but similar indeed. I think i waited for around 20 minutes? The lady there was by herself for the first ten but I guess it does take some time and there were a few customers. She made four at once in the hot plate.

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In typical Venezuelan fashion, the arepa came out wrapped in aluminium foil and also in a paper bag because I asked for it to be taken away.

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You could tell that the arepa was slow cooked and had this nice crunch on the tops and bottoms. Arepas are made from maise, which is a corn, and the shredded beef was not dry and you could see the stringy cheese melted in between.

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They are quite dense and extremely filling.

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For the drinks, it was so hard to choose between soursop, lulo and feijoa. I remember having soursop and lulo in Colombia because I remember going to this huge supermarket with Cec, my Colombian host mum, and raiding their produce section tot try everything I’d never seen before.

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I opted for feijoa this time round, which was slightly sour but still delicious. From memory lulo is very sweet and the lady working there said they actually import the fruits from Colombia.

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Because I went on a Tuesday (and this also applies on Wednesdays), i received a free small Colombian coffee. Surprisingly this tasted absolutely amazing. Great coffee and totally unexpected!

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I used to work in Chatswood and had no idea this place existed! There are so many asian eateries but I’m wanting to come back for the tamales and empanadas!!

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Review Rating : =D  =)  =|  =(

Product ($7 Arepa, fruit juice and coffee): =D

Ambience: =)

Service: =|

Value: =D

Would I recommend the $7 deal with arepa, fruit juice and coffee to a friend? Yes yes yes! If you want to try food from Colombia and Venezuela, there aren’t many places that do so! There’s a place called ‘Boca’ near Messina but thats all I can think of. Do you guys know any?

Would I donate the money saved to my charity? I really can’t believe how much and how full I was after this meal. This is definitely my moneys worth. If you can’t make your way north of South America, I’ll give you $7 to try it.

Highlight: the hot arepa with its delicious fillings. Ok, I must admit, maise isn’t for everyone but when its cooked so that there is that crunch, it doesn’t matter. As you eat your way down you will probably notice that it gets a little soggy at the bottom as you do with burritos, etc. Have a go and see how it goes!

Suggestion of improvement: the wait was slightly long although there was only one person cooking and serving. I felt bad because I saw two other people wait for a long time and a family needing to rush off but didn’t have their coffees served. Once someone came I got a coffee straight away but the drink and arepa took some time. Maybe a little ‘could you please come back in 15 minutes’ or ‘it will be a 15-20 minute wait if thats ok’ would’ve been nice.

Ends: October 13, 2014

La Latina Website: http://https//www.facebook.com/LaLatina2012

Groupon: http://www.groupon.com.au/deals/sydney/la-latina/718215944

Angela Bee

La Latina on Urbanspoon