Down Under Diary 8: Sweet Treats and the Best of Times

I’m going to put it out there and say that this might just be my favourite week we have spent in Sydney so far. Bold statement, I know, but I’ve made so many memories with Jack and seen so many new things this week alone. I sometimes have to pinch myself that this is how we spend our time now!

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Our week started when Jack and I went to Newtown to the Enmore Theatre to see the American comedian Theo Von. Jack is a huge fan of Joe Rogan’s podcast and since discovering Theo Von on there he has become a fan of his too. When Jack said that Theo was touring Australia, I earned myself some fiancé points and said that we should get tickets to go.

I’ve never been to Newtown before but it definitely has a different feel to it than a lot of the rest of Sydney I have been to. It definitely has a younger, more hipster vibe to it. There are more quirky bars, tattoo shops and vintage clothing stores than most other places I’ve seen, plus I don’t think we actually saw many people over the age of 40 there. We wandered around Newtown for a little bit then went to a pizza place called Rosso Antico. It opened at 5pm and by 5.15 the place was full. When we got the food, it wasn’t hard to see why. Jack went as far as describing it as the best pizza he’d ever had.

From there, we then went to the theatre to watch Theo Von. I was one of about ten women there and probably the most sober person in the room, but Theo was really funny. He’s a great storyteller and I don’t mind admitting I enjoyed the show more than I thought I would. I don’t think I’ll be copying his haircut anytime soon, but I wouldn’t say no to going to see him again.

Vivid, Sydney annual lights festival, launched this weekend and seen as it was the first time being here for Vivid for both of us, Jack and I went on the opening night. I met Jack from work at about 5.30 ready for the big switch on at 6.

We had heard about a Vivid dessert festival that was on at Circular Quay for the first weekend and we didn’t want to miss out – who in their right mind would miss out on a dessert festival?!

Some of the stuff like the light up candy floss was a bit of a disappointment – it was just candy floss with a battery operated glow stick inside – but most of the desserts looked and smelled amazing. We had deep fried Oreos with melted Nutella on top which were even more delicious than they sound and I had a watermelon drink that I would never, ever order again. The festival was a little pricey with the Oreos alone costing $13, but it was something different to go to and to be there for Vivid’s opening night was great.

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We have been told to walk Vivid on a weekday rather than a weekend because it gets so busy and trust me, it does. If you hate crowds, I would avoid Vivid on the weekend like the plague! We waited around Circular Quay to see the lights turn on and saw the Opera House lit up, then after the dessert festival we walked home across the Harbour Bridge back to see the view from up there. As always, it looked spectacular. We can’t wait to go back and explore Vivid properly when it’s a little quieter!

Saturday had the most perfect weather for exploring – not a cloud in the sky and sunny but with a nice breeze. Sydney locals are saying it’s cold here now but Jack and I find that this is our perfect weather. Everyone else is in coats whilst we are still in shorts and T-shirt’s!

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We have heard from many people that Balmoral Beach is one of the nicest beaches in Sydney, so we thought we’d give it a go this weekend – it did not disappoint! We walked down a million and one stairs to get there, but on the walk we got to see some incredible views of the harbour there.

On Sunday we went to the Taste of Manly event. It was a food and wine festival with three different music stages, located by the beach and in the sun – does it get more perfect than that?!

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I was pleasantly surprised by the prices there. For $15 you got a glass to keep and either a glass of wine or beer, then it was $5 for a refill. Australia is known for being very pricey when it comes to alcohol so to find out that we could enjoy a few drinks without breaking the bank was a nice surprise. The food was also really reasonable and of a great standard. For $5 I had a vegetarian taco and Jack had a Swedish meatball sub for $15, but there were so many options that it was hard to choose. My personal highlights were Pepper Tree wines and Crinitis desserts – I’m serious, they made the best lemon meringue pie I have ever hard! Even just posting this photo made my mouth water!

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Our weekend ended on a really special note. My favourite film is The Goonies and the local cinema, the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, holds retro film events. This week they were showing The Goonies!

I don’t think I have ever been as excited to go to the cinema, never mind to go and watch a film that I have already seen a million and one times! It was great to see trailers of old films and then to sit there and watch my favourite film on the big screen. I absolutely adore this cinema and it’s Art Deco interiors, plus it has so many great retro films on show. I think I need to become a member or get a loyalty card for there because I can imagine it is going to get a lot of custom from me over the next few years!

To end this post on a bit of a personal note, I’ve been getting out by myself a little more. This might not sound a big deal, but for me it is. I’ve found that spending my days writing in the apartment feels like my safe place and I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed when I need to go into the city by myself. Everything is new here and my phone is useless for directions so if Jack isn’t with me I tend to panic that I will get lost or miss my bus stop. However, this week I have pushed myself to go on little walks and see a few bits by myself and my confidence has really improved from this. I don’t think I’ll be going on a one woman trek across Australia anytime soon, but I’m still proud of myself for how far I have come. Leaving everything you know to go to the other side of the world is never going to be easy, but I am so proud of myself and Jack for how we have thrown ourselves into making plans and getting out here. I can’t wait to see where we end up next!

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