Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Tourist In My Own City : Aroma Festival 2011

What are your Sundays usually like? For me, I usually sleep in until whenever I wake up. Sometimes that means sleeping till 11AM and sometimes that means sleeping until 3PM. Come to think of it, it's been an extremely long time since I've woken up on a Sunday before 11AM. 

But last Sunday, I made a massive effort to get up at 8AM because the Aroma Festival was on at The Rocks in Circular Quay. The Aroma Festival is an annual event that showcases a variety of imported and local coffee, spices, teas and chocolates. I've heard from friends who've been previously that it's like being in one massive open air cafe, in the sense that, no matter where you go, there's always that lingering scent of freshly brewed coffee. 

I love the smell of coffee. It's addictive, don't you think?

I always love going to The Rocks. It's got this great sense of history and antiquity with the cobbled streets and stone buildings. In a way, it's kind of romantic strolling along the street alone or with friends while reminiscing about the by-gone years. It's something different from the concrete jungle of the CBD, that's for sure. 

Of course, it also doesn't hurt that the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House are right in your face when you're exploring The Rocks!

I have wanted to the Festival for more than two years now but never got the chance to because I was always too busy. This year, I'm just as busy but I made a humongous effort to go. This year is actually my 'No More Excuses' Year. 

The Aroma Festival was split into four sections - the Orient, the Continent, the Latin Corner and the Oasis. Each corner had their own delights like Dim Sum, chai and herbal teas, Turkish coffees and Bolivian chocolates. 

There was also a range of live performances like the lion dancing in the Orient and the live music in the Latin, Oasis and Continent sections. 

At every corner there was someone brewing coffee, pouring out hot chocolate, making crepes, cooking meat wraps and tempting people over for cupcakes and nougats. All coffee stands sold their regular sized coffees for $2 and I chanced on some delicious hot chocolate for $4. There were so many different coffee brands and blends on show, making it extremely difficult to choose something to try. I ended up being boring and buying a cup of Vittoria coffee. I always drink Vittoria because it's just right for me. It's hard to explain. Hmm, it's smooth, creamy and the after taste is light - just the way I like it. 

I wish the coffee stalls sold smaller cups of coffee so that I could try other brands and blends. I'm actually one of those people who can only have one medium-strength coffee a day, otherwise I'd get the shakes!

The lines to get coffee and food were really long, so I didn't get to try much of the food. I really wanted to grab a chocolate crepe and a potato chip spiral, find myself a nice spot overlooking the Harbour Bridge and just relax. Alas, things rarely go my way these days! I was really pressed for time because I had work later in the day. I know right? Work on a Sunday? Boo! I felt so out of place in my work coat and pencil skirt! Everyone looked so comfy in their jeans, scarves and hoodies!

Ahh, maybe next year? AHAH.

We settled for a seafood pancake in The Rocks Markets which are on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Even there we waited for about 20 minutes to get our food.

I did go home with some Rocky Road - yum! I know the picture doesn't look very appetising  because of the lighting and what not. But let me assure you that they are super delicious! I got two original, one cookies and cream, one raspberry and cream, and one honeycomb for $10. It was buy four, get one free!

I've been trying to redo my entire diet to lose the horrifying 8KG I've gained since last year's March. But I guess any radical diet plan will have to wait until I demolish all those chocolates. Oh, dear me!


  1. this looks so fun! i realize i don't explore my city all that well and am trying harder to see everything. i love festivals like this, so much yummy foods esp hehe

  2. Hi ShinyPrettyThings!

    Thank you for commenting! Yeah I'm trying to make an effort to tour my own city more!