Grab a cuppa at The Rocks Aroma Festival
What does Sydney have to offer in winter? After all, this is the city that evokes the image of golden glittering sun, clear blue sky, and sensational beaches. Well, what to do when you find yourself in Sydney in the middle of winter (Yes, they do have winter.) when the sun isn’t shining and it’s too bloody cold to go for a surf?
Good thing that the Sydney-siders come up with the genius idea of an annual festival to showcase the best coffee, tea, and chocolates of Australia. Even you are not a caffeine addict, the Aroma festival still has a lot to catch your eyes. The week-end long event features not only the aforementioned caffeine-derivative, but also exotic spices, inexpensive street food, bunch of goodies, and live music. Of course, it’s only fitting that this massive outdoor event takes place in the right locale, and where better to go than The Rocks? The Rocks is a place full of history to share with its visitors, a place that looks somewhat misplaced in the midst of the concrete jungle. Before the festival, I‘d been down in The Rocks numerous times, and I’ve always thought this place belongs to the history. During the weekend–long festival, I was finally able to do something different for a refreshing change, that is, making exciting culinary discoveries.
Looking back, the festival was quite a sensually overwhelming experience. Every direction we looked, there was something new, something to try, something to buy. Mouth-watering, meticulously-adorned cupcakes in all shapes and colors, freshly-brewed organic coffee for one dollar, festival sponsors giving away freebies, Lebanon-style BBQ, and literally just two steps away, ta da, professional belly dancers. On the other side of the festival, there‘s more to explore. We roved by stall after stall sampling free chocolate nougat and bonbons, with the jazz musicians playing in the background. Although the weather was miserable, our spirits were high. The highlight of the day is definitely Hari Har Chai. This local enterprise excels in the art of making chai-related beverages. They were offering beautifully-brewed soy chai tea and chai latté for only 1 dollar a cup.
It truly was a great pick-me-up early in the winter morning. The exclusively-selected chai spices give a hint of ginger and liquorice at the end of each sip, and it tasted heavenly with the full-cream organic soymilk. At the end of the day, we were absolutely knackered but satisfied from an all-day feast.
Just a friendly note
Aroma festival is not to be confused with Sydney’s Food Festival or The Rocks Sunday Market. The date of the festival varies annually, but it is always held over the winter months.
How to get to The Rocks
Walk up George Street toward the direction of Circular Quay.
During the festival, vehicles are off limit and the road was for pedestrians only.
If you’re taking train, get off at Circular Quay. The Rocks is west of the station. [more]
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