Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Winter Festival at Bondi Beach & Good Food and Wine Show

As we pulled up to our house I spotted an industrial, classroom-style whiteboard across the street on the curb; it was a double-sided monstrosity on wheels, complete with a bag full of markers and accessories hanging from its side.  We rang the neighbors' doorbell, and they happily told us to take it-- which we did.  Wooo-hooo-- SCORE!   It was perfect timing,  my boys then spent most of their three and a half week school break playing school with the whiteboard.  BEST. GIFT. EVER!  I would have gladly paid the whiteboard $20/hour (going babysitting rate in Sydney) for all the entertainment it's provided, it was THAT good!  

And we did actually leave the house a few times during winter school break because there were some great things on in July around Sydney and we needed some action.

This past weekend the Winter Festival at Bondi Beach, called Bondi Bergstation began.  They've built an ice skating rink on at the beach along with an entire mini-village including a Max Brenners (famous for their hot chocolates), snacks, skate rentals, and snow, it was actually suds, but I won't tell those poor kids who've never seen snow before and now think it's foamy and smells like soap:. 

People who've never skated (I'm just assuming this by watching them) and people who clearly aspire for skating greatness, joined each other on the ice for 45 minutes sessions in which it was wall-to-wall skaters -- and lots of wiping out on the ice.

Here are some moments captured from this past weekend at the Bondi Beach Winter Festival:

The sea o' skaters.


The "snow". 

The snacks.  $6 for a stick with some spiraled potato cut into thin chips-- I think we went through six of these, probably the single most expensive one potato ever sold.


The rink at the beginning of a new skate session, before it got completely packed.  Note the aspiring skater in the pink tutu.


Hmmm, the Bondi Beach paramedic mobile?  How do they carry the stretcher on that?


Back view of the village perched up on the grassy area at Bondi Beach.

We also went to The Good Food & Wine Show at the Sydney Convention Center.  Normally we would have gotten a babysitter and left the kids at home for something like this, but the four of us are obsessed with a little television show called Masterchef Australia, it's similar to Top Chef in the U.S. (but better), and two of the Masterchef judges (Gary and George) were doing a gig at the Good Food & Wine Show. 

Unfortunately we had seats on the floor and couldn't see much.   There was a ginormous television screen above the stage so at least we had that view, but whatever, I could have stayed home for that-- especially considering that what they made was virtually identical to what they made on the TV show the same evening.    Though we couldn't see the cooking demonstration, we did however have an amazing view of a guy two rows in front of us who was plastered drunk.  He kept turning around like he was going to start acting even more belligerent, but luckily his drunk girlfriend kept him entertained by making out with him.  Family fun at its best.

So all in all, being that we were with our 5 & 6 year old boys and weren't planning on drinking an excessive amount of wine samples, the Good Food and Wine Show was a disappointment.  There were really no places to actually eat any actual Good Food, except for one small restaurant type area featuring five chefs (two of them were the Masterchef judges).  In all there were five dishes you could buy, and five starters-- it was pretty pathetic for a freaking food show.

Well I've just caught myself in a lie, there was one more place to eat, and it was packed (as there were no other options)-- the Sydney Convention Center cafe, hahaha!  It was basically hospital food-- and it was where everyone was eating!  Sorry, but that's sad- really, really sad.

So the Good Food & Wine show was a disappointment for us, and I don't think I've ever said that about any festival or event we've ever gone to in Sydney.  Maybe next time we get the babysitter and go there only for the wine tastings, I am absolutely certain that getting sloshed would have improved my experience.

Here are some of the things we saw at the Good Food and Wine Show 2010:




Photo from our floor seats taken with the camera hoisted in the air, our actual view wasn't this good.

Clearly I needed some of this.



Looks like my six year old thought the show would be better after a stiff drink.  We love limoncello!


The best part for us was the rides we went on in Darling Harbour after the show :).



lilDdownunder said...

Pshhh! I don't know about Master Chef being better than Top Chef, but it is one of the only decent Aussie shows there are!

I was wanted to go to the Food and Wine Show, but glad I didn't after reading your recap. The Winter Festival looks like so much fun though!

I'm a little ways north of Sydney on the Central Coast but Steve works in Sydney and I always love a trip down to the "big city" :)

nursemyra said...

Did you by any chance catch a glimpse of the Bondi paramedic? One of the motorbike guys who works the Eastern Suburbs is HOT! He's about 6'5" and two pickhandles across the shoulders. Every time I see him riding around town I want to fake a heart attack

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

lilDdownunder- Without kids and with the idea that you're going to a huge wine tasting it would have been better-- though there still wasn't actually food??

nursemyra- NOOO I didn't see that hot guy?? I wonder where he was?? Does he ride the bike or an ambulance? We did have a very hot paramedic come to our house twice for our six year old-- same guy twice, and he was just as cute the second time! His name was Ben-- any clue who your paramedic was??

Mimi and Joe said...

"I am absolutely certain that getting sloshed would have improved my experience."

Awesome! - Those are my thoughts on basically every experience in life :D


Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Mimi- Yes, I wish I had a cocktail right now in fact!

steck said...

I'm switching careers ASAP. Where do I sign up to become a paramedic?

Marvin the Martian said...

I haven't seen you in forever! Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you're doing good and having fun! I am SERIOUSLY jealous of your blackboard.

And that paramedic bike is handy. You just fold up the patient small, to fit in the saddlebag. ;-)

Teresi Family Oz Blog said...

It sounds like the Good Food and Wine show didn't quite live up to it's name. Although you probably would have been really let down if it had been called the Excellent Food and Wine Show, or the Ultimate Food and wine Show. Reminds me of the strip mall Chinese restaurant close to where I worked named, "OK Chinese Food". Nothing like keeping expectations in check. The Winter Festival however, looked like a blast. Miss you!

Jill Stevens, Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist said...

oh i love the photos with the snow. so amazing. it looks like you guys had so much fun!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Steck- good thinking!

Marvin- I've been very M.I.A. lately, I'll be blogging soon about what's going on-- DRAMA.

Ana- Miss you too- Did your furniture arrive? I'm not sure if I have your number??? I'd love to catch up!

Jillycakes- Yes we did! Thanks sissy.

Captain Dumbass said...

Love the Australian winter festival. Too bad its summer here or we could have shipped you some snow.

C. In Oz said...

Hi there! I saw your comments on some other expat blogs I read, and thought I'd drop you a line. I'm a Florida girl in Sydney, too! Actually, I'm currently in the States, waiting on my visa to return after a 3 month tourist visa. It's really nice to read about your experiences - hope you don't mind if I follow along!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Capt. Dumbass- That would have been great, in Florida our school rented a real snow machine. I'm not sure why suds would be a better idea???

C in Oz- So are you moving to Sydney? Where in Florida are you from?? I'm going to click your name to see if you've got info on here!

C. In Oz said...

Hey! Yes, I'm moving to Sydney - we have a place in Elizabeth Bay. My fiance is working there, so just waiting to be reunited. Soon, I hope. I'm from Sarasota - lived there for the better part of the last 10 years working for a theatre. Where are you from - did I read Tampa? I miss it, but will be happy to be around people of my age demographic, for a change!

Rassles said...

I used to have a friend named Limoncello. She wasn't really a friend, just some stupid bitch from high school with crazy ass parents, but still. Limoncello.

And I hate it when people boast good food and don't follow through.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

C in Oz- I think you'll be pretty close to me, so keep in touch and let's meet up when you get here! I am from South Florida but went to USF in Tampa. I've lived in Orlando also.

Rassles- Limoncello? Was that her dancer name? hahaha And I agree, don't say you're the "Good Food & Wine Show" when there's no good freaking food. come on people.

C. In Oz said...

Sounds great! I'm hoping the visa gods will let me back by mid-August. -Cristin

Oscar Zed said...

I cringe whenever anything is advertised as "Good...", especially food festivals.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Cristin- What kind of visa are you coming on?

Oscar Zed- Good advice, hahahaha-- get it?

JD at I Do Things said...

Sudsy snow! That's a new one. I guess I never realized Australia didn't get any snow. Really? You don't? Anyway, the festival looks like a lot of fun, and I would pay good money for those chips on a stick.

Cheap Hotels London said...

Its really one of the only decent Aussie shows there...

Shenanigans said...

We're Sydney natives and mad foodies and we thought the Food and Wine Show was TERRIBLE. We're never going again. There were almost no gourmet products and there were fist fights over the free samples of Nando's. All we bought was an obscure Barossa wine that we found last time we were in Adelaide. Other than that, it blew.

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J Bar said...

These shots are excellent.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

JD- It does snow in Australia, I think it even snows in the Blue Mountains which is only about an hour from Sydney-- I'm dying to go to the snow here but haven't yet! And the chips on a stick are amazing, you need them.

Cheap Hotels- agreed.

Shenanigans- Do I know you?

JBar- Thanks!

Compare Hotels said...

Absolutely AWESOME !!!! Nice pics.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

sounds like a fantastic event. the potato looks delish. really, what's not to love about fair food?!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Hotels- Thanks.

Preppy Pink- I agree! i wonder if they do funnel cakes in Australia??

Gare du Nord paris Hotel said...

Now that is awesome..Great festival it looks.Thanks for sharing.

Hotel Rive Gauche Paris said...

Good food & wine !!! What else can be better ! COOL !

Latin Quarter Paris Hotels said...

Nursemyra...That it hilarious :) ha ha

Cheap Hotels in London said...

Nice post.Great photography.Goo d food & good wine.This place is too cool.