sydney winter festival 2010, cook and phillip square

  28 June 2010

OH HAI! It’s that time of year again! The mercury drops, the days get shorter, and everything is gloomy how about a nice mug of hot chocolate! And some ice skating?

The Sydney Winter Festival is baaack! Held at Cook & Phillip Square (opp Hyde Park) the ice rink has made a comeback and has grown in size. Entry is free and the tents surrounding the rink are more spread out compared to last year and the boy and I have arrived early to beat the crowds.

The rink is a beauty and it is oddly relaxing watching people zoom around, or, in most peoples cases, stumble around. The sessions are split up with figure skater routines set to the music of happy pop music or little mermaid songs no doubt aimed at the kid family crowd. Our stomachs are rumbling and we head off in search of food. But it seems arriving early was not the best idea as half the stalls had yet to start cooking! After wandering around the area I couldn’t find the poutine or the raclette or the baked brie which made me so sad for I was in much need of warm gooey cheese.

But I settled for my mug of hot chocolate ($8 – $5 for the mug) and the roasted chestnuts ($6 – ouch!). This year they’re using normal money and not the plastic snowflake tokens thank goodness I hate always having too much or too little leftover tokens!

The chestnuts look like brains. Um. Tasty chestnut brains!

Regular paella ($12) looked deceptively small but was about the right size for someone snacking their way around the festival. It was piping hot and chock full of mussels, prawns and calamari. Sadly the food stalls have high stall fronts so I couldn’t take photos of the food being cooked. Guess it’s for safety reasons as I remember the paella pans being dangerously close to passerbys last year. There’s less food stalls too but there is the Alpine Ski Hut which was warm and cosy with a fireplace and serves a buffet type of meal with beer for $15 but wasn’t ready when we arrived at 12 (??) (edit: lol not a buffet, you get a plate and choose stuff from the bain maries)

And of course I couldn’t go past a curly deep fried potato on a stick ($6 – ohgawd)

A sprinkle of chicken salt, a squirt of tomato sauce and nom nom nom

Every now and then a burst of ‘snow’ showers down, covering all who are in the immediate area.

Last shot of the rink from the steps of St Mary’s Cathedral. Tix are still available for the ice skating sessions but if you’re going for the food I’d suggest arriving after 12 so everything’s set up. The festival is running until the 4th July and if anyone is going let me know if you managed to try the poutine!

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