CBD chocolate crawl

Guylian

It seemed like a good idea in the morning, before we embarked on our crawl of the chocolate cafés and boutique chocolate shops of Sydney’s CBD. By mid afternoon, groaning and threatening to lapse en masse into a hypoglycaemic coma, we weren’t so sure anymore. However, looking back on it now, with a few days of fruit & vegies behind me, it really was day of sublime chocolatey goodness. Let me share it with you…

We started at the Guylian café in the Rocks. Between the five of us, we had chocolate fondue (above), chocolate tart, a pain au chocolat and a few heart-starting mochas. One hell of a breakfast.

From there we sought out the city store for Adora chocolates, and found it tucked away in a little arcade off Bligh street. I’d been to the main store in Earlwood before, but had no idea there was an outlet in central Sydney. We chose one bite-sized treat each – some truffles (chai, ginger and something called a Ben Hur), chocolate-dipped candied orange, and the most sublime white cinnamon-chili chocolate. They didn’t stay in the box (below) for long.

Adora

Next was Max Brenner in the Metcentre – just down from Wynyard. The teenage lovebirds shared a gorgeous tasting plate of six hand-picked chocolates. The rest of us went thirds in a chocolate souffle that oozed molten chocolate as soon the fork went in.

Brenner

We hadn’t thought it would be possible, but we were starting to reach our collective chocolate limit. We decided to pick up some little bits to take home from our next two stops: Haigh’s in the Strand Arcade and Bon Bon Fine Chocolates in the QVB. The new mango truffles at Haigh’s were irresistible and didn’t make it home after all. And look at those cute little goldfish all stacked up in the window of Bon Bon (below) – ridiculously cute!

Haighs and Bon Bon

Thank goodness it was a fair walk from there to our next stops – both in Darling Harbour. In Harbourside, we tracked down the St Moritz Chocolate Café. The website promised churros, but we couldn’t see any on the blackboard menu. There didn’t seem to be much chocolate at all, really, but we did find a small display case near the door, and bought a chocolate strawberry to take away.

A short walk around Darling Harbour led us to our final destination – the Lindt Chocolat Café in Cockle Bay Wharf. I started the day with a mocha, and finished with another. And then rolled all the way home.

Lindt

Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café
91 George Street
The Rocks, Sydney

Adora
2 Blight Street
Sydney

Max Brenner
Shop MG 24, Metcentre
273 George Street, Sydney

Haigh’s Chocolates
Shop 1, The Strand Arcade,
412 – 414 George Street, Sydney

Bon Bon Fine Chocolates
Level G, QVB
455 George St, Sydney

St. Moritz Chocolate Café
Shop 109, 2-10 Darling Drive
Darling Harbour, Sydney

Lindt Chocolat Café
104-105 Cockle Bay Wharf
Darling Harbour, Sydney

All Greek to me

Hornsby Greek Festival

The first ever Hornsby Greek Festival went “opa!” last weekend at Greenway Park, Cherrybrook. It was a hot, humid day, but the park was crowded with families enjoying fabulous Greek music and food.

We sat under the trees at the edge of the park, in earshot of the kids squealing on the dodgem cars, and ate our souvlaki and baby octopus while we watched the camels (Greek camels?) lollop around the perimeter of the oval. We took home a box of fresh almond shortbread (Kourabiethes) thinking it might last us a week, but they were so yummy they were all gone by Monday night!

I hope this becomes a hugely successful annual event – I’ll be keeping an eye out for it same time next year.

In praise of farmers’ markets

Thornleigh Farm Market

We were hoping for a sleep in on Sunday morning. No such luck. Our youngest needed to be at Scouts at 8am, so we were up and about at normal-school-day time. A terrible disappointment, until we realised that it was the morning of our local monthly farm market. We stopped by to discover that the joint was already jumping (the “joint” being the McDonalds overflow carpark – there’a a deep irony there). We picked up enormous ripe figs, end-of-season yellow nectarines, fresh turkish bread, two kilos of frozen sirloin steak and a pack of whiting rissoles to take home. Not only that – we also enjoyed a market brekkie of coffee and pain au chocolat, and still made it home before the teenagers had emerged from bed. (We did manage to tempt them out with the hot chocolate and chai we brought back.)

Our local market (Thornleigh Farm Market) is run by the local Rotary club, and has an ever-increasing variety of goods to buy, including flowering gum trees like the one in the photo above. We have a few things that are pantry (and freezer) necessities each month, but part of the joy of the market is the seasonal produce that you don’t usually see in the local supermarket – the zucchini flowers, the yellow and purple carrots, the sweetest little sugarplums… mmm-mmm.

I’ve listed some of our must-visit farm and organic markets below. What are your favourites? And what do you simply have to buy at every visit?

Thornleigh Farm Market
8am – 12pm, 3rd Sunday of the month
Phyllis Ave, Thornleigh

Eveleigh Farmers’ Market
8am – 1pm every Saturday
243 Wilson Street, Darlington

Castle Hill Farmers & Fine Food Market
8am – 12pm, 2nd Saturday of the month
Castle Hill Showground (enter via Carrington Road)

Hornsby Organic Food Market
8am – 4pm every Thursday
Hornsby Mall (by the clock fountain)

For a list of many of the other organic and farmers’ markets in Sydney and regional NSW, see the Australian Farmers’ Markets Association website.