Sydney Adventure :: Paddington

After a 12 hour blissful rest our super human powers had worn off and we were left to go about our day at a more normal speed. Bright eyed and bushy tail we decided to do what Aussies do… Go for a run around the Sydney Opera House and the water front trail in the Royal Botanical Gardens. 

The Royal Botanical Gardens and The Rocks are busy getting ready for Vivid Sydney at the end of this week, which is Sydney’s major winter event combining light, music, and ideas. There has been quite a bustle in the Rocks no matter the time of day but the morning jog around the Opera House was serene.

Fresh off our run it was time for a little breakfast. We took a short stroll from our hotel, through Hyde Park,  where it is under construction to build reflection pools leading up to the Anzac Memorial (the main commemorative memorial in Sydney). In Darlinghurst, we brunched at Edition Coffee Roasters a Norweigen and Japanese-fusion breakfast spot, where we feasted on passion fruit matcha pancakes with  miso syrup and a pork hoggi sandwich (called the porco rollo) topped with wasabi aioli and shredded cabbage.

On day 2 of this trip we are really digging the coffee scene… A bit like Stale Coffee Roasters (in Ballard) but on steroids. So, options a plenty, the only thing to do was order multiple forms of caffeine. Case in point, a coffee elixir. Now, elixirs are not something out of the ordinary for me but a coffee based one was new. The description on the bottle said, “looks like whisky, tastes like black tea, made from coffee beans… and unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before”. The description was right on, and the taste was amazing. 

Bellies full and heads buzzing with caffeine we headed out to the Art Museum of New South Wales. The galleries are free but the special attraction was a reasonable $16 (AUD) a ticket.  When we realized the special exhibit was all about the C’hang Dynesty we couldn’t resist.  The gallery was full of treasures and was right up Eric’s alley. The crowning exhibit was an augmented reality tour of the inside of an excavated tomb. Holding onto an iPad pointing at each wall the tomb came to life with amazing carvings, paintings, and statues. Another interesting attraction was the Embassey of Spirits. This featured several individual ‘Embasseys’ which allowed the patron to explore a series of different emotion evoking pieces of art. 

After a quick glass of wine (because we are us and had to have wine) we headed out of the museum and down to Harry’s Cafe de Wheels for a quick snack. This meat pie stand is world famous for its Tiger Pies, which are filled with curried beef and covered in mashed potatoes, peas, and gravy.  Admittedly we both found this place to be underwhelming; okay for a quick bite but we wouldn’t recommend actively seeking it out.  

Our next stop was the Paddington Resevior Gardens, which once accepted water from the Botany Swamps and pumped the station in the 1800’s…  From the Art Museum NSW to Paddington we walked through Darlinghurst. I don’t know about you all, but when I visit a new city I like to explore the neighborhoods and pick out the one I would most likely live in. For me, Darlinghurst was the one… Plush gardens and ornate iron fencing these beautiful homes screamed “buy me Liz”. The biggest challenge of this neighborhood was the steep hills we did not anticipate climbing to get to the Paddington Resevoir Gardens. 

So back to where I was… Oh yes… The gardens. Now it’s a beautiful and scerene garden escape plopped right in the middle of Paddington. A few photos later we headed to the Wine Library for a refreshing glass of white wine; after all, we had just walked a good 7 miles. Re-charged we headed over to The Winery for a second glass of wine and one of the best cured meat plates we’d ever had. Bellies full of meat and fermented grape juice we realized it was time for a more substantial meal so we headed over to Mr. Wongs for an amazing spread of Dim Sum, Wok fried seafood, fried rice, and twice cooked green beans with spicy pork. If the food was amazing, the cocktails were other worldly and the ambiance was superb. Part of me regrets not taking a picture of the glorious decor but I was too busy basking in food heaven.  This was certainly the best meal of the trip (so far).  

By the end of dinner we had made it to 8 pm, about another 90 minutes later than the evening before. The 8 miles of walking/jogging, an early sunset (5 pm), and a few libations had caught up with us. We retired to our hotel room for another blissful night of sleep.


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