Your Nespresso moment – Good Food and Wine Show

Free tickets sample cheese, wine, chocolate, pasta, dumplings, beers, cider, yoghurt, muesli, nuts….thank you, Wennie for finding tickets to The Walking Advertisement readers to the Good Food and Wine Show from June 27-29 at Sydney Olympic Park.

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“Tour the very best food and wine regions of Australia; Yarra Valley, Barossa and McLaren Vale just to mention a few.  We’ve got them all in one destination; simply have your tasting glass and taste buds at the ready. ”

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I’ve decided in this blog not to write about the millions of ‘try before you buy’ samples because it would potentially be 100 pages. Instead I’ll be going through the highlights and the one cooking class I managed to get into- Your Nespresso Moment.

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“Nespresso invites you to discover Your Nespresso Moment with host of the popular cooking show ‘Everyday Gourmet’, Justine Schofield. In this session, Justine will demonstrate the versatility of Nespresso coffee in an interactive session with a series of sweet and savoury coffee creations suited to different moments in your day. Discover your morning, afternoon and evening coffee moment with Nespresso.”

Sydney’s Olympic Park was chokers so lining up for anything was hard. Surprisingly my mum, brother and I found ourselves finding a shortish line at the Nespresso kitchenand got two spots to see Justine Schofield- mum’s favourite celebrity chef from MasterChef.

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When we arrived at our stations, we had the whole layout of what we were going to go through. Morning coffee capsules, afternoon espresso..and evening dessert of course! There was a Nespresso machine as well. Thank goodness I got into this session because I’ve just started work at a PR agency and they have the exact one and I had no idea how to use it!!

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First of all Justine explained what we were doing so here was our lesson and how Nespresso wants to be there to compliment every moment. I  loved how the waitstaff came out and gave us ONE blueberry in a little cup. Everything was miniature which made it really cute! Everything was also already prepared so all we had to do was use the little wooden spoons and scoop it into our respective dishes.

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Your Morning Coffee Moment – Fruit and Nut Coffee Muesli with Nespresso Fortissio Lungo to accompany

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Making this was simple. Firstly we made the Nespresso Fortissio Lungo with our Nespresso machine. If you don’t know how to use it, there’s an ‘on/off’ button and you can select the button with a small cup for an espresso or the button with a bigger cup for a flat white or cappucino.. you get the point. The milk was already in the side machine and you can adjust it depending on how frothy you like the milk.

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Once that was sorted and we had our two sips of coffee to energise us for the session, we got to the breakfast! There was already-made muesli with hints of coffee and yoghurt so all we had to do was layer them into a cup and top it up with our one blueberry. I have my muesli every morning so this was a delightful treat!

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Your Afternoon Moment – Caramelised Balsamic & Coffee Onions with Whipped Goats Cheese Tartlets with Nespresso Dharkan Espresso to accompany

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The little tartlet came in a little boat and again the waitstaff came with their small goods. That caramelised onion was actually the best I’ve had (yes it had coffee in it)! Scroll down for a picture of the recipes. We topped it up with goats cheese/ricotta and poked holes using a toothpick into a capsule to sprinkle the tartlet off with extra coffee. It sat as a little lovely canape!

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Your Evening Moment – Cardamon Affogato with Hazelnut Brittle with Nespresso Decaffeinato Intenso

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Everything on this menu was amazing. How can you not have a workshop involving an affogato? The vanilla-bean ice cream from Movenpick by itself is amazing but pouring that Nespresso Decaffeinato Intenso in it was sooooo good. I’m not a fan of anything vanilla-flavoured but this intensified it. The hazelnut crunches gave its crispy, creamy and smooth textures. Great compliments!

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I must say, everyone in the class was really pleased and even more happy when we got to have photos with Justine, herself! Obviously my mum stands out with her phone with a chocolate cover but it was really awesome! I guess it was partly due to the fact that we got lucky and got front row seats haha!!! These workshops are definitely worth lining up for!

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Rating Review: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product (Your Nespresso Moment at Good Food and Wine Show): =)

Ambience: =)

Service: =D

Value: =)

Would I recommend going to Good Food and Wine Show to friend? Yes do do do do go!! It’s totally worth it and you’ll get as much alcohol and eats as you wish! For the Nespresso moment, I think it’s really good if you love coffee and it’ll help you integrate the grinds into your recipes. I thought it was clever so if you love cooking this is the way to go!

Highlight: Hearing from Justine and eating the food! Who doesn’t love to eat good food after you’ve gone through a million nut, yoghurt and cake samples? haha! For me, I don’t usually use coffee to cook anything except .. tiramisu? I usually buy my coffee but now that I have this at work it does change things!

Suggestion of improvement: I would’ve liked this to be be more ‘hands on’. I saw other workshops had people tossing pots and pans and it looked like heaps of fun. I get why it needed to be simple but everything was too well prepared! It would’ve been better if Justine could walk around and help each person to make it more interactive. It’ll just give it that personal touch!

Ends: June 29, 2014

Link: http://goodfoodshow.com.au/sydney/entry-tickets/nespresso-experience/

Angela Bee

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FREE dumplings opening special – Lok Lok Dumpling Bar Macquarie Centre

Free dumplings were a Sunday arvo treat at Lok Lok Dumpling Bar Macquarie Centre from 3:30- 5:30pm on June 29, 2014.

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“Lok Lok Dumpling Bar is a trendy eatery aimed at transporting customers to the land of tasty, healthy, hand crafted dumplings made with only the best ingredients. Our delightful menus offer a variety of classic choices with seasonal flavour, including a range of Asian dishes not limited to dumplings.”

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Over the next 6 months we all know that Macquarie Centre will be full of new openings and with exciting stores, there will be exciting specials. On Sunday I stumbled upon this joint and their free dumplings made my day.

There was a massive banner at the front so you could not miss it. I think a lot of people just walk past fantastic things like this and miss you! Be aware of your surroundings!

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Two girls in bright blue tops were giving away coupons. Present it at the counter and voila!

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Right behind me there was a stations it’s chilli oil, vinegar and soya sauce and of course the chopsticks, forks and chopsticks! I love the wooden setting.

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Surprisingly they’ve managed to put quite a bit of seating in the area. At the front there was a little bar..

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On the side you’ll get a tad of greenery..

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And closer to Event Cinemas, there are some wooden looking tables and chairs.

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I grabbed a seat and realised that the menu at the top didn’t have any names or descriptions. The prices and food looked like it was straight from a Chinese restaurant but I’m quite worried about those with food allergies..

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The dumplings were yum! I first bit into the vegetable one and that had a nice filling. It wasn’t too salty which I think most dumplings bar try to do with the veggies, assuming that it lacks flavour.

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The chicken one was neater and combined with the sweet vinegar sauce, it was very delightful! I think it’s usually $5.80 for 5.

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Thank you Lok Lok Dumpling for the little samples. Keen to try the rest!! Are there any lunch or dinner specials?

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Rating Review: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product (dumplings at Lok Lok Dumpling Macquarie Centre): =)

Ambience: =)

Service: =)

Value: =)

Would I recommend going to Lok Lok Dumpling Bar to friend? If you want a light meal, then by all means go for it but it isn’t that cheap. Most of their dishes are over $10 but if you’re sharing plates with a group of friends then it could be an option.

Highlight: the vinegar sauce on the dumplings. It dumplings itself were pretty average but the sweetness of the vinegar made it jump! I also quite like e setting. In Hornsby, the food court option is nothing exciting but the one at Macquarie Centre has seating, more spacious and adds character.

Suggestion of improvement: I only just realised that students at Macquarie university get 10% off if you spend over $10 at the newly renovated Woolworths. Some sort of deal will make it stand out and who doesn’t love dumplings?

Ends: June 29, 2014

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

Angela Bee

Studio Audience – The Full Brazilian

Irish comedian, Jimeoin, gives an opportunity for soccer fans to be part of a LIVE audience at TV show The Full Brazilian at SBS studios in St Leonards.

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“It’s World Cup time. Viva Brazilia! We’re cheering on the Socceroos, getting up far too early, shouting at the TV, calling the ref a one-eyed cheat, and marvelling at the player’s skills. Making sense of it all is The Full Brazilian, a prime-time, slightly anarchic entertainment program celebrating the 2014 World Cup.”

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Sign up with your availabilities on their website a couple of days before you want to go. Just be careful of putting which days you’re free because you might be going everyday!

You’ll receive a confirmation email with details so please don’t chuck this in your trash because it will be really handy, especially if you’ve never been to SBS studios in st Leonard’s before.

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My brother and I had an epic dinner (I gobbled down a Moo Burger thanks to Paypal in 5 minutes) and ran to get there by 6:30pm. The email said it was a 10 minute walk from the station but it felt like it was longer! There are also buses in the “Artarmon Loop” from Herbert St every 10 minutes but we just missed it.

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We got there all puffed and at reception they took our bags into the cloakroom. Yes, we got to keep our phones. Normally they discourage photos if the show is pre-recorded. The waiting room was filled with World Cup vibe.

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Check out those funky soccer seats! I would love LOVE to work at SBS!!

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We waited until around 7:10 before letting us in. Alright, we all want to know the hot spots to get on screen, right? The floor is actually ‘moveable’ because the cameras need to walk around.

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There are two sections: floor and seats.

Floor: you get to move around and the presenters encourage those at the back to come forward. It sucks when you’re short and you need to look up on the screens to watch the show but it’s totally worth it when you’re at the front and get to see all the action. At first it’s a tad weird because it’s a ‘standing audience’ but everyone’s in the same boat! You also see the band close up.

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Seats: your only camera opportunity is when you sit in the second or third row on the left side when you’re facing the ‘stage’. I was there for a bit but the cameras were definitely in my way. The bright side is that you don’t have to break a neck by looking upwards towards the screen?

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It was pretty cool to see Dicko and Archie. Photo ops with the comedians are available afterwards! Also loved the vibe from the enthusiastic Brazilian drummers and dancers.

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Verdict: Being part of a studio audience for a LIVE show is so much better. You get a laugh here at The Full Brazilian and time passes quickly. Stay on the floor to get up close and personal with the celebs.

Review Rating: =D =) =| =(

Product (Studio Audience at The Full Brazilian): =D

Ambience: =)

Service: =)

Value: =)

Would I recommend being part of the studio audience for The Full Brazilian to a friend? If you’re a soccer fan, yes. Over cheering is what they love so get on it. As mentioned before, I prefer LIVE shows. I was at another show quite a while ago and it honestly took more than three hours to film! That’s longer an a movie!

Highlight: standing in the first row and watching the whole thing live. It’s not everyday you get to see it all up close! Most LIVE TV shows such as Q and A have designated seats (but great discussions). Here, it’s more fluid so everyone’s a winner!

Suggestion of Improvement: shower us with more lollies! Haha I’m kidding but sometimes it helps the crowd! The cloakroom line was quite long afterwards by that can’t be helped and there were three girls helping out so they were pretty quick!

Ends: July 13, 2014

Link: http://www.sbs.com.au/programs/the-full-brazilian/join-our-studio-audience

Angela Bee

$5 for $10, or $10 for $20 to spend at Movenpick – Bondi

Pay half price for ice cream, waffles, pancakes, shakes, sundaes, desserts at Movenpick Bondi thanks to Groupon- winter days can get much sweeter, even in the cold!

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“Since creating its ice-cream concoctions in the kitchens of Swiss restaurants more than 60 years ago, Mövenpick Ice Cream has crossed oceans and expanded across the globe to deliver frozen treats to those with a sweet tooth. The ice-cream is still made in Switzerland using local cream, and contains no artificial flavourings or colours. ”

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This whole purchase was totally accidental. I remember flicking rough my emails in the morning and thinking that I would never go to Bondi any time soon but expect the unexpected! Yes. We chose Movenpick over Ben and Jerry’s, New Zealand Natural and others at Bondi. #datview

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What attracted me to the shop itself was the beautiful display of ice cream at the shop front. The flavours are exactly the same at the back so the front is neatly displayed with barely any scoop holes.

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The simplicity of red-ish pink and white made the store look nice and clean.

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The posters on the wall make ice cream seem so refreshing!

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It took so long browsing through the menu. The vouchers available were $5 for $10 worth, or $10 for $20 worth.

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This is what we bought:
Caramel and hazelnut waffles: $12.95. The waffles were very soft and didn’t have that crunch you would expect to have at Max Brenner’s. The ice cream combination was delightful and the waffles came out larger than what was expected from the photos of the menu.

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Deluxe Tasting Menu was a selection of 6 chosen flavours: $12.95. If you’re a sorbet person, mango was divine with little pieces inside and grape and orange gave a lovely citrus aftertaste. Chocolate and coconut gave a little separation from the normally hectic chocolate. Caramelita and Rum n Raisin were the standards. Pannacotta was a little creamy and my favourite was the maple and walnut flavour. All delicious and you can never go wrong! Don’t forget to taste test before you pick your choices!

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I had $4 leftover so I grabbed a much needed large cappuccino with a swirl of chocolate. So much sweetness and not bad coffee either! I was also looking at he Iced Shakes and there were some epic drinks with ice cream in them.

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The lady who served us was very patient and oh so friendly. She gave us knives, forks , spoons  and napkins and even some water at the end just in case!

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If I lived in Bondi I would love an (everyday) treat here…as long as I work it off later!!! #whatexcercise #imissblogilates

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Review Rating: =D =) =| =(

Product (Movenpick ice cream): =D

Ambience: =D

Service: =D

Value: =D

Would I recommend Movenpick to a friend? It was my grandma’s last weekend in Sydney and my dad was willing to spend anything for the best ice cream for someone who must eat ice cream before going to bed. If you love ice cream and you’re in Bondi, definitely come here! Super cheap and half the price you would normally pay in Ben and Jerry’s, for example.

Highlight: Sampling all the ice creams! We were there for one reason: ice cream. I love trying a bit of everything. The waffle was pretty good too and but softer than most other dessert bars. Everything was beautifully presented and staff were amazing.

Suggestion of Improvement: Can you please stop tempting me to go all the way to Bondi again? The voucher says it’s only valid in three locations – two in Melbourne and one in Sydney. Just be careful.

Ends: September 22, 2014

Link: https://www.groupon.com.au/deals/sydney/movenpick-ice-cream-1/718541539

Angela Bee

$29 Chocolate High Tea with Cocktails – Swissotel

Chocolate High Tea with Toblerone cocktails for $29 at the Swissotel was money well spent for a fancy day out.

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Crossroads Bar is located within the 5-star Swissotel Sydney. A place where traditional ideas and impeccable service unite with modern designs. Vibrant blues, purples and oranges pop against the dark wooden floor boards and elegant beige couches. Intimate pods provide exclusive entertaining spaces and an atmosphere of sophistication is evoked with floor to ceiling windows overlooking Market Street allowing natural light to flood the area.”

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Let the doorman tip his hat and salut you at the entrance before hopping on the escalators to level 7.

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It felt extremely clean and spacious and the restaurant and bar is cleverly closed in with the grey and red pods of seating – making it slightly romantic and secluded.

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The big red lanterns hanging from the ceiling definitely stood out.

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I showed my voucher and even requested for some candles for a friend’s birthday! The area was just simple and classy and I felt like a real lady sipping on my water in my (normal) cup.

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Our Toblerone cocktails came first and they were delicious. They tasted like chocolate milkshake with a tad of alcohol. Yuuuuum. Highly irresistible and I could’ve gulped it all in one go but no, I savoured it one sip at a time!

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Then the waitresses came with the high tea sets in a very professional manner. Ie professional attire and etiquette. However, I requested for a vegetarian option both in the email and I even double checked at the counter when I gave my voucher to them and still, there was no offer of replacement when we asked if there was supposed to be no meat not the tiers. All that effort for nothing! Urgh!

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Anyways, on the bottom there was a nice salmon bagel, cucumber sandwich, egg wrap, and the best was the mayo chicken on multi-grain baguette. Creamy and delicious! The savory was amazing.

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Scones should be the highlight of every high tea. There was a plain and chocolate one. Although I took the plain one, I thought it was very tasty, a bit fluffy and the jam was a very nice compliment. I loved how the top rises- let’s just say I love muffin tops!

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On the top, it was absolutely jam packed with chocolate. The chocolate cake was sooooooo chocolatey. It was like eating a block of soft chocolate. I’m not a fan of cream but the profiteroles were a nice touch with crushed pistachios on top. Again, the chocolate tart was dense and extra sweet with the cream and white chocolate flake.

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The best was the berry compote with the layer of chocolate mousse! A mixture of slightly sweet and sweet n soft textures!

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Girls love to talk and indeed we did until the coffee came. We were choc-ed it and could not order a hot chocolate haha! I had a skimmed cappuccino and by the way, you get a bigger glass if you get the latte. I don’t know why.

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One of us ordered the T2 tea and got a large fancy teapot.

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Loved the high tea here and it was definitely worth it’s money!! Chocolate high tea and cocktail for the chocoholics out there is like living a dream at Swissotel!

Review Rating: =D =) =| =(

Product (Chocolate High Tea and cocktails at Swissotel): =D

Ambience: =D

Service: =D

Value: =D

Would I recommend going to Chocolate High Tea with Cocktails at Swissotel to a friend? Straight out- Yes. How can you refuse high tea AND cocktails for only $29? Normally a cocktail at a cocktail bar is around $20 and a high tea could be up to $50pp. This is crazy amazing so if you like chocolate this is definitely where you should be heading!

Highlight: Oh the toberlone cocktail was such a sweet treaat!! I wish we could’ve ordered more!! Who says you can’t drink in the middle of the day? The place was really cute.. shame there weren’t any pods available to sit in so we had a spacious table and couch.

Suggestion of improvement: I was quite disappointed with the vegetarian option not coming out. I always take care when people have dietary requirements and in this case it was my vego friend’s birthday. Communication needs some improving!

Ends: July 25, 2014

Link: http://www.groupon.com.au/deals/sydney/swissotel-2/718443774

Angela Bee

Finders Keepers Markets – Sydney

$2 entry to amazing access to over 150 art and design stalls at Finders Keepers Markets was an explosion of fun and creativity on Friday and Saturday June 6-7 at the Australian Technology Park, Redfern.

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“We are independent design & art markets founded in Sydney, that supports new and emerging independent design. We aim to connect with others through our resources and projects. Our website is a growing source for the Australian art and design community and the supporters of our events.”

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Walking from Redfern station, exit at Gibbon Street so that you stumble upon a small pathway with the sign ‘Australian Technology Park.’ With a market this popular, you’ll find yourself following a crowd!

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After entering in the Locomotive workshop, the wide screen will get you in the mood! Luckily for us, we brought some extra cash  and wasn’t needing to wait in the long lines at the ATMs! Tip: bring cash. A lot of it.

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There was a $2 entry free and for kids under 12 it’s free! It was an easy gold coin in the tub, then we were given an orange sticker and off we went on our crafty adventure!

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Coming inside was like I was going to the Easter Show. There wear too many stalls, too many people and too many things to look at! Where to start? Do it systematically!

What I loved about the aisles were that they were spacious. Go up one end, then come back the same aisle on the other side. Not like your local supermarkets where you stroll up and down and everyone is looking at a million directions. This makes you see everything.

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Most things there were hand made, ethically conscious, recyclables. Look at these cat and watermelon designs.

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Necklaces.

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Clothes.

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Awesome people with names!

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Juke Case with music with ‘son valise’ (your luggage)!!

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As well as the stalls, there were some workshops like the Crafty Party where you learnt about lettering.

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And a workshop but you had to pay $35 for it. It included all your materials and extras. Looked fun but unfortunately were all booked out except three spots…

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There was even a foodies section with tons of yummy samples. Fairybread is always a winner!

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And this had real bees in their honey. It was kinda cool actually.

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A stage was in the middle with musical performances to set the mood with enough chairs and tables of all sizes for the guests.

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The food trucks also made an appearance but the queues were just super long… so just heads back inside and taste the spices, apple crumble and others you rarely see!

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I just wanted to highlight the creativity these stall owners had when organising the presentation of their spaces. It’s hard when you’re limited but these people did an amazing job to trying to ‘stand out’ from the the crowd.

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As we were leaving, the line multiplied by three fold. This was at around 1:30pm on the Saturday? So popular and so many people were carrying brown paper bags #sustainable #yeswearehipster

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Review Rating: =D =) =| =(

Product (Finders Keepers Markets Sydney): =D

Ambience: =)

Service: =D

Value: =)

Would I recommend going to The Finders Markets to a friend? If you love arts,c raft, creativity, or shopping, then you are in the right place. Obviously the space was dominated by the ladies but ey, there’s something for everyone! (My brother would’ve been bored though).

Highlight: too hard to decide! Probably seeing how creative everyone is! Most of the time you got to speak with the makers and they would explain how they made the product and he multi-purposeful ness of it so that was interesting!

Suggestion of improvement: this is tricky… We couldn’t find the toilets? There was perhaps just one sign that pointed in general directions but I had spotted one at the entrance. Just an FYI that things here are quite expensive so be armed with money!

Ends: occurs every season. Ie. Autumn/winter was this time round, and then Spring/summer is next on December 12-13, 2014.

Link: http://www.thefinderskeepers.com/markets.php

Angela Bee

The secret sauce to creating a killer event – Vivid Ideas, Sydney

Event planners out there, listen with your eyes because a Vivid Ideas on Friday 6th June brought together Yvonne Lee from Wildwon, Kelly Burge from Eventbrite, and others with fantastic insight on how to make that event experience a success at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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“Vivid Ideas is the Asia Pacific’s annual celebration of innovation, creativity and community, building audiences and markets for the creative industries, and offering professional development opportunities across the sector.”

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“A half day event where event experts share their secrets to creating a truly amazing event from beginning to end, and beyond.”

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It was kinda funny having security guards push the button for you for the elevator…anyways! I was a tad late but had enough time to grab a quick coffee and a muffin.

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First up was Yvonne Lee and she spoke how events were an experience. It’s adapted from the UX, or user experience, approach. To be honest, I didn’t know how much I knew about this and if you did IT, you would ace event planning!

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Here were her 5 secret herbs and spices for a successful event:
1. People will always remember how you feel – energy and atmosphere is key
2. Stretching the event horizon – your event starts from the time someone hears about it so content is key
3. Find your A team – partner power
4. Walk a mile in their shoes- Unpack personas, write a storyboard and map journeys
5. Follow your North Star designs – empower everyone with a culture of excellence

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I loved how she really emphasised on the experience of every person, including the volunteers, sponsors, speakers and attendees. Understanding the person and making sure that the experience is made will benefit both short and long term. Help, not hinder.

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Secondly, Kelly Burge from Eventbrite spoke about the tools and benefits of using the website to make your event go viral.

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Some included:
– the website itself
– event listing partnerships with Eventful
– social, you can see which friends are going to an event
– search, SEO could come up higher than the host! Oops!
– mobile, on the app
– notifications

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Did you know that for every share on social, there is an average of 8.7 visits, which equals $4.80 revenue. The one thing I got out of this session was that knowledge is power. Tracking traffic shows buyer behaviour and can make it easier for sponsorships and grants

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Finally, panellists including Tiffany from General Assembly, Julia from Sydney Festival, and Yvonne were answering pre-determined questions from Kelly on community building.

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Important points were:
> community building is constant, an ongoing community and engagement tool.
> emails should be sent with intention to help! not hype.
> Instagram is great for photos and videos and not one is the same. Everyone has a different perspective
> Twitter could be used as a customer service system, informative
> Facebook is a social sharing network

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In summary from the panel:
Tiffany– bring data to the conversation so use it to influence choices
Julia- make it easy to bring new people in
Yvonne- events are an ecosystem so do things with meaning and purpose

At the end of the event, we all received an Eventbrite cupcake as part of our memorable ‘experience’ and indeed it was! Thanks Vivid Ideas for organising this lovely event for those in the events industry.

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Review Rating: =D =) =| =(

Product (Vivid Ideas): =D

Ambience: =)

Service: =)

Value: =D

Would I recommend going to Vivid Ideas to a friend? If you are in event planning then this would’ve been a perfect workshop- even if you plan for club events at uni! There are tons of other events targeted at different people from a range of industries so get on it!

Highlight: definitely hearing the talks. It’s great having people whit so much experience from organising Progress 2013 alongside one of Obama’s campaigns, to a Roll On Long Lunch which I volunteered at earlier this year…it was a great chance to even ask questions!

Suggestion of improvement: the event went from 9am to 12 noon and I think we really needed some break times in between to network with those around us. The end was great too!

Ends: June 9, 2014
Link: Eventbrite, Vivid Ideas

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

$8 Burger and Milkshake – The Burger Mill Parramatta

Gourmet burger and old-fashioned burger for $8 at The Burger Mill brings the classic vintage days back to Parramatta.

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The Burger Mill is located in the heart of Parramatta’s CBD and adjacent to the station. Drawing inspiration from the American diners of the 1950’s, this restaurant has a funky and retro vibe with checkered floors and the classic combination of burgers and milkshakes.”

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(Sourced: News Limited)

If you walk from the train station towards the lower food court of Westfield, then up the escalators and then outside, head towards Church Street and you’ll find The Burger Mill on the corner. If you’ve passed the Town Hall, then you’ve missed it. It’s quite noticeable and next to a bakery.

Outside there are some simple yellow chairs and tables to just set the mood for when you go inside.

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I actually love the wooden scene and the random strings of vines hanging from the ceilings. It’s quite unique.

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Oh. My. Gosh. I love the yellow topped chairs here! I wished the waiters dressed retro-style too!

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(Sourced: News Limited)

The blackboard has written up the menu of delicious burgers but there’s also a paper version if you’re short-sighted.

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But your eyes will be attracted to this lovely piece of art work on the wall: a tree with burgers hanging off!!  Don’t we wish this all existed? #burgertree

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First up was the Chicken Schnitzel Burger with avocado, cheese, cucumber, baby spinach and house made aioli with a generous serving of chips.

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The brioche bun was tall, fluffy, slightly toasted and actually pretty sweet. It’s normally hardly noticeable but this looked quite yellow! The condiments were an excellent mix but the chicken schnitzel was slightly dry. Ps: look how tall this burger looks! Giant!

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Next up was Aussie Burger with cheese, caramelised onion, pineapple, beetroot, tomato, lettuce and home made mayo.

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I loved the freshness of the salad and the beef patty was pretty standard. I wouldn’t say that it was dam fantastic but I guess average? What did a burger taste like in the 1950s?

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The hot chips were the good ol zigzag ones. Ah McCain you’ve done it again! Ah yes! Crinkle cut is the word and they were lightly salted and crunchy! #hotchipsobssessed

Milkshakes are such a treat! I must admit, I don’t really drink them these days but once in a while it won’t be too bad for your health.. right? I’m not really dairy person so I didn’t finish mine but it was a good punch of sweetness in there.

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Although there are already burger joints such as Grilld (two in Parramatta might I add!) and Coco Cubano, this one is definitely a treat! And I also heard that the owner, Leanne Beck owns Infinity Bakery in Woolloomooloo (close to Cancer Council where I intern!) and Sweet Street Bakery next doors! #winner

Review Rating: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product ($8 Burger and Milkshake at The Burger Mill Parramatta): =D

Ambience: =)

Service: =)

Value: =)

Would I recommend $8 Burger and Milkshake to a friend? Yes! Burgers and chips are normally $10 and a milkshake for $7. The same restaurants have existed in Parramatta for a very long time so its nice to have something new.

Would I donate the money saved to a charity? I’m not too sure if I would normally pay $7 for a milkshake unless its from The Vogue Café.  $12 would’ve been a solid deal so $4 towards a charity.

Highlight: The kinda-sweet brioche! I miss France and I miss brioche! So good! and the crinkle cut chips bring me back to childhood days.

Suggestion of improvement: Maybe is the patties were juicier but next time I’m gunning for the Moroccan Lamb Burger!

Ends: October 19, 2014

Link: http://www.groupon.com.au/deals/sydney/the-burger-mill/718248866

Angela Bee

Opening Night Lights – Vivid Sydney

Two words: illuminated faces. Yes, to me that was the common theme in quite a few of the installations at the annual lights spectacular, Vivid Sydney, which opened free to the public yesterday and will be on display until June 9, 2014.

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“Vivid Sydney is a unique annual event of light, music and ideas, featuring many of the world’s most important creative industry forums, a mesmerising free public exhibition of outdoor lighting sculptures and installations, a cutting-edge contemporary music program and the spectacular illumination of Sydney’s iconic architecture including the sails of Sydney Opera House.

Vivid Sydney is where art, technology and commerce intersect.”

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My journey started off at Wynyard Station as I walked towards Martin Place. I think I did a good loop of the area covered by Vivid but you would probably need two nights to cover it all.

The first of our illuminated faces appeared as the first installation where there was a camera and people could adjust their face according to the centre piece. Clever and arty.

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We also went past the ‘rare and exotic winter (sky) flower’ made luminous by lights.

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Colour3 is a space filled with industrial water tanks illuminated with LED lights where Sydney’s many food trucks were present including: Eat Art Truck, Poklol, Agape Organic, Jafe Jaffles, Bite Size Delights, Woofys and Cantina Mobil.

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At MLC Centre, they transformed the normally odd shaped food court into something called ‘The Urban Tree Project’. Well, more of a garden with a massive tree with bugs and slugs crawling about.

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There was this massive dome, too.

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Intel had a ‘catch the blue butterfly’ competition but it was ultimately up to luck because everyone ‘caught’ it. #toostressful

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The display they had was beautiful though.

We then walked back down the other side of Martin Place where the business people had their Friday night drinks at the Colour3 Pop Up bar. So jelly. #cantwaittilimwhitecollar

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Ok, my friend and I were deeply contemplating if we wanted to get Messina. Everyone, literally EVERYONE around us was holding a white tub filled with goodness. The camera guys were there and this would be our possibly first and last chance to get some special Psychedelic Psundaes without waiting! Literally 30 seconds for Messina #quickestMessinaserviceever

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Yup, we decided on the Silly Cone Chips. It has delicious mango sorbet that actually takes like a mango, coconut sorbet- which is alright.. and they really need to drizzle more blue berry poopping candy! I love that stuff! The choco chips were pretty nice and the banana caramel was more like a mousse inside a cone. Was it worth $10? I’m not too sure.. you could get half a litre for $10 at a normal store.

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After sitting down the steps for dessert before dinner we walked towards Circular Quar and checked out their Tetris Bin in front of Custom’s House. You basically had to throw in a piece of rubbish when the white light circled towards you and to put down an object. It was kinda fun but didn’t know which shape to expect.

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Custom’s House was the same as last year. It required someone to dance to the beat so the colours on the house would appear. #samesame

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Heading towards Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), these funky little cicles got the kids rollin’ and screamin’.

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Next to it were buzzing butterflies if you clapped.

Oh, and of course, ‘Strictly Sydney’… really?

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The DF (dance floor) was a popular one for the kiddies too.

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#HiRay gave the opportunity for onlookers to ring a giant bell to keep the lights up on this display.

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Ah! We finally reached the visually appealing MCA after going through all these installations. There were heaps more but I’m just giving you a quick taste!

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And if you ever get stuck, there are information booths with maps to let you know where each display is. It’s best if you just follow the crowd (:

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So we kinda decided we needed solid dinner after sharing a Messina sundae at The Rocks. There were plenty of food stalls and some serious cooking machines.

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I decided on the japanese (made by korean) pancakes with seafood and gyoza! It looked like heaven and when I was walking to MCA to sit down everyone’s eyes were glancing at it! It was pretty yummy!! Might I add the hot dogs looked HUGE and were $10.

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Walking towards Overseas Passenger Terminal, we passed through a cherry blossom

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another facial light

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#vividsydney

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and the most picture-worthy installation- blue hexagoned tunnel.

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There was a massive line to go in but just walk right to the end and you’ll see it without queuing.

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How could I miss the iconic Opera House? This year was better than the random people doing random moves last year! I didn’t really understand last year’s but I loved the designs this year. There was a lightning storm, arty, colourful pattery things.. It changes every day so be sure not to miss it (although I don’t think anyone can..?)

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The buildings in the CBD were also part of the display as they were lighted up and there was a walky person hoping from building to building.

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Every Vivid needs a musical touch! Last year’s was the piano and this year’s is the xylophone !

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When I first saw this I thought they were rabbits but someone then mentioned that they were kangaroos! It’s like we’ve gone into Alice in Wonderland with these blown up animals!

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A second round of food trucks were closer to the Bridge

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and also a big screen of The Spirit of Patyegarang, which brings to life, and light a fascinating story from our country’s past!

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We walked until we were at Walsh Bay and could finally see the other side of the Harbour Bridge. Didn’t the mX say that Bridge-Climbers were asked to put on lighted vests? I think I saw them earlier in the evening…

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There are also light displays in Darling Harbour, towards the Opera House, Sydney Uni,, Carriageworks and other places. This took my friend and I three hours to do. There are so many pit stops and it’ll be a lights fantasy to your eyes. Light up your day by going to #VividSydney

Review Rating: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product (Vivid Lights Sydney): =D

Ambience: =D

Service: =D

Value: =D

Would I recommend going to Vivid Sydney to a friend? I think I went 7 times last year and I really liked this year’s too. I keep coming back and there is always something I’ve missed out/ haven’t noticed. Defs come, especially if you’re a tourist (you can even be one in your own city!)

Would I donate the money saved to my chosen charity? Is there a charity out there that supplies electricity to homes that don’t have any? I’m having difficulty finding one..

Highlight: Oh defs the displays. Those lucky bums who work around Martin Place and Circular Quay will have the best views. Grab some dinner from The Rocks and sit yourselves in front of the MCA with the Opera House in the background.

Suggestion of Improvement: we. need. more. bins. More. Tetris. Bins. TY. and paybe more seating areas so everyone can soak in the views. It’s crowded so be prepared to walk!

Ends: June 9, 2014

Link: http://www.vividsydney.com/

Angela Bee