Lunar New Year Festival, Nurragingy Reserve, Doonside | 12 Feb

Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-DoonsideSo last Friday I went along to the Lunar New Year Festival at Nurragingy Reserve by accident. Being Valentine’s Day weekend, I had organised a special date night with the boy but I had misplaced the gift voucher we were meant to use. It’s a bit of a long story, we’ve just moved house and my very important box for of things like bills, and dinner vouchers has gone missing…So annoying right? So we decided to go cancel the fancy restaurant and instead go along to the Lunar Festival, hence why the visit was by accident. This was the first time I’ve attended the event and I think only it’s second year running. This is definitely a family friendly event with many families even deciding to bring along their faithful pooch.

Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-3 Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-4 Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-2This year, we’re celebrating the year of the monkey. Held at the beautiful Chang Lai Chinese Garden, this is truly a beautiful gem and the suburb’s best kept secret. I honestly had no idea this place even existed!

The event had 20,000 people walk through its doors on Friday night! The parking was well organised and had ample staff to assist with traffic flow and getting cars in and out happily and safey. Lots of festival goers even opted to park nearby and take a short walk.

The festival itself was very well organised with heaps of barriers to keep little ones safe, the bathrooms were conveniently located with lots of well thought out thoroughfares. There was a good mix of cute stalls, tasty snack stalls and cultural activities. Festival goers could learn their future from a fortune teller, try their hand at calligraphy, marvel at fruit carving and having handmade painted patterns on traditional fans. There was also a sizzling Korean cooking demonstration.

Fruit carving – I really wish this was a skill I could master. I was in a cooking class in Bali a few years back, and although the young chef showed us how to do some simple fruit carving, I could never quite master the art of rosette making using carrots. Mine just kinda looked like the end bit that’s left when you’ve finished munching on it.

Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-6 Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-5 Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-7 Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-8The main stage was set of rolling hills. It was a full-on evening with the schedule comprising of cultural performances from Asian cultural groups including dancers, performers and Japanese drummers.

I was so pleased to see many people of all walks of life and ethnicities celebrating together. The multicultural community just really embraced it all. There were little kids dancing to music that is not in English and they were having the time of their lives.

We had a delicious Korean spicy pork dish and a tasty Pad Thai with satay skewers. The skewers were really tasty but the Korean dish took the cake.

While we were queueing up for food. We noticed a stall next door selling Fairy Floss, which happened to be the biggest fairy floss I’ve ever seen. I’m assuming are meant to be shared between a family, but I bet you there were some really hyper active kids running around that night.

The highlight of the event was the fireworks on the bridge over the water. It was just so special.

Love, Festival Girl

NSW Food and Wine Festival – Sydney Cellar Door | Fri 21, Sat 22 & Sun 23 Feb

c0ef7ada-6da0-ecdc-365e-898801757b13Is it wine-oclock already? Sydney Cellar Door will be returning to Hyde Park South in February; Friday 21, Saturday 22 & Sunday 23rd as part of the 7th Sydney Morning Herald NSW Food and Wine Festival.

The best part about Sydney Cellar Door is that you get to celebrate a weekend of wine tasting and sample the best that Hunter Valley offers without the big drive to get there!

Since I’m sure this festival is going to be a big hit, it’s probably a good idea to pre-purchase your wine tokens now – do it now 😉 – to get to the tasting even faster.

OMG I didn’t even mention the food *drools… Not only will their be the very best local produce and wine from up to 100 wineries, there will be over 25 restaurant stalls. Bar Pho, Biota Dining, Cafe Opera @ Intercontinental, Colombian Coffee Connection, Eat Art Truck, Efendy, Feast on Mudgee, Food Society, Gelato Messina, Gourmet Gozleme, Hello Fresh, Mudgee Region Tourism, Nomad, PIE by Mick’s Bakehouse, Porteno & Bodega, Restaurant Cuvee, Salt Meats Cheese, Serendipity Natural Ice Cream & Sorbet, Shanghai Stories 1938, Via Napoli Pizzeria, Wine Odyssey Australia and Woofy’s will all be spending a day at the park with you – yay!

Remember, it starts tonight, so it might be a good idea to bring a picnic rug and a brollie (as we all know, Sydney weather is being temperamental at the moment) and reserve your seat at this big ol’ wine and foodie festival.

1899993_693955437321303_1788962033_nThe Details

Where: Hyde Park South, Sydney
When: February 21-23, 2014
Time: Friday 4pm-10pm, Saturday 11am-9pm, Sunday 11am-6pm

Wine tasting packages and tokens are now on sale. You can pre-purchase these here

Download Festival program here and images from here and here

Get on the NSW Food and Wine Facebook page for all the up-to-date news on what’s happening with the festival

Hope to see you there,

Love, Festival Girl



Pyrmont Festival of Wine, Food and Art: 18 – 27 May 2012


The Pyrmont Festival of Wine, Food and Art is happening right now! 10 days celebrating the best wine, food and art from Pyrmont and Mudgee Region in Sydney’s premier dining precinct: Pyrmont’s top chefs team up with Mudgee’s finest wine producers with a series of “Meet the Winemaker” wine and food matched lunches & dinners, Cooking Classes, Wine Appreciation, Cheese Master Class…and much more.

Mudgee Art Festival

Culture at Work
Friday 18 – Friday 25 MAY 2012″Art from the Land of Wine and Honey”
Works by 11 Mudgee artists – Sam Paine, Belle Brooks, Georgia Mansur, Kay Norton-Knight, Toni Behrens, Warwick Behrens, Graham Smith, Geoffrey Payne, Christine McMillan, Virginia Handmer and Reg Buckland.
11am – 5pm
6 – 8 Scott Street, Pyrmont
Ph: 02 9518 8813
Click here for more info

Tasting Event: Taste of the Star
Yum Yum Yum – The Star :: Thursday 24 MAY 2012 :: $40

A tasting extravaganza showcasing signature dishes from The Star’s top restaurants. Join us for this one-off culinary adventure in the Darling Hotel lobby from 6 – 9pm. Enjoy delicious tastings from our signature restaurants and bubbles for $40.

Head On Photo Festival: Sydney Institute, TAFE NSW
Friday 18 – Sunday 27 MAY 2012
I visited this Photography Exhibition when it was at The Rocks and it was pretty impressive. (Image included by Peter Solness)
Head On Photo Festival Sydney Institute, TAFE NSW will feature Head On Photo Festival is Sydney’s major innovative showcase for Australian and international photography of all genres.It is the largest event of its kind in Australia and the second largest in the world.This year the Sydney Institute through its school of photography are one of the major hosts of exhibitions, seminars and workshops being held by internationally acclaimed photographers and industry experts. Including three days of seminars being held by world renowned Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey.

Pyrmont Festival presents Mudgee wines in Pirrama Park & the 6th Pyrmont Art Prize: 20th May

Visit the Festival’s major outdoor event, with Mudgee wine tasting in Pirrama Park, Pyrmont on Sunday 20 May from 11am – 5pm. Try over 120 wines from Mudgee’s top winemakers. Tickle your taste buds with unique gourmet cuisine and local produce direct from Mudgee. Bring your picnic rug and choose from a diverse range of cuisines for lunch and be entertained by live acts and music from the best local musicians. Entry is free with wine tasting packages including souvenir wine glass available to purchase. Show off your creativity by taking part in the 6th annual Pyrmont Art Prize. Over $3,000 cash worth of prizes to be won…and much more.

18 – 27 MAY 2012
For more info, see the Event Program
Images from here

Hope to see you there
Festival Girl