The Rocks Aroma Festival returns to The Rocks Sydney for the month of July

Sydney’s annual celebration of coffee culture, The Rocks Aroma Festival, is set to permeate the laneways of the historic precinct with an alluring line-up of events throughout July.

Coffee connoisseurs will enjoy a fun, educational and indulgent program of activities during the biggest and brightest celebration of the bean yet, culminating in the Aroma Festival Day, held on Sunday 26 July.

The Rocks’ streets will be overflowing with everything for coffee lovers, with more than 50 coffee and gourmet food stallholders, food trucks,vintage and specialty coffee carts, “latte art” competitions and demonstrations, pop-up bars and cafes, roving performers, live coffee painting, the Aroma Shots photography exhibition and a speciality coffee lab.

No other city in the world savours coffee like Sydney does. The Rocks Aroma Festival celebrates this passion with a program of intimate, educational and fun events for the coffee curious.

A highlight of The Rocks Aroma Festival will be the extremely rare opportunity to share high-quality coffee with international guests Moata and Ansha, who will talk about their native Ethiopia’s unique coffee culture. Presented by Paramount Coffee Project and Technoserve, Moata and Ansha will share their knowledge of the people, the culture and the process of coffee-making in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee.

Visitors will get to unleash their inner-barista and learn about some of the mysteries and methods of coffee-making at Brew Camp, a class on brew theory, pour over coffee and different types of equipment.

Meanwhile, Breville’s Latte Art Smackdown will see professional baristas battle each other in a knockout competition, and beer meets brew with The Rocks Brewing Co.’s One Shot pop-up bar. The Australian Specialty Coffee Association presents World Barista Champion Sasa Sestic and Latte Art master Habib Maarbani in a series of talks and demonstrations for enthusiasts.

There will also be free, 15-minute coffee or tea leaf reading, as well as a free Cosmic Coffee, Solar Hot Chocolate or Black Hole Tea with every 30-minute tour ticket at Sydney Observatory! Some of the indulgent caffeine-inspired beverages featured by The Rocks’ tenants include an espresso martini, High Coffee (High Tea’s eclectic caffeinated cousin), and an al fresco macchiato.

The Rocks Aroma Festival’s resident bands will play a mix of swing jazz, gypsy, and cabaret, and visitors will also be treated to an eight-piece roaming brass band. Visitors will also be amazed as they get to watch artist James Patrick in action as he creates unique canvases from “coffee paint”.

To get a taste of what’s on during The Rocks Aroma Festival, visit http://www.therocks.com

VIVID Sydney set to shine even brighter this year with its biggest program ever

Vivid Sydney, now in its seventh year, is set to shine even more brightly in 2015 when the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas delivers its biggest program yet. For 18 nights, from 22 May – 8 June, Vivid Sydney will again transform the city and harbour.

The 2015 program includes expansion into new city precincts Chatswood and Central Park , its biggest ever music program including Australian exclusives such as The Hoodoo Gurus at the Powerhouse Museum and Daniel Johns’ international solo debut at the Sydney Opera House, and heavy-hitting speakers at Vivid Ideas.

Vivid Sydney is an incredible public event that has seen amazing growth, attracting a record 1.43 million attendees in 2014. It’s the largest festival of its kind in the world, and with our biggest program yet, there’s even more to love about Vivid Sydney this year.

Favourite locations Circular Quay , Walsh Bay , Martin Place , and Darling Harbour are back with over 60 light installations and projections with even more opportunity for visitors to get hands on, more water theatre shows – this time with lasers and fire – and new and expanded programming at Pyrmont and The Star and the University of Sydney . The sandstone canvases of Customs House and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) will also return with spectacular new 3D projections.

With all eyes on the Sydney Opera House , Lighting of the Sails will once again take its place as the centrepiece of the amazing light spectacular during Vivid Sydney, with Universal Everything promising awe-inspiring projections that will reimagine the architecture as a living mural, with a diverse series of vibrant, hand-drawn sequences.

Vivid Music will introduce its most expansive program yet, featuring more shows and venues and an impressive line-up of local and international talent, The Hoodoo Gurus will perform an exclusive one-off show at the Powerhouse Museum and a new line up of cutting edge, innovative performances will be held across the city at new venues Goodgod Small Club , Oxford Art Factory and Freda’s , with the Seymour Centre , The Basement , The Argyle and Barrio Cellar part of the line-up again in 2015.

Part of the Vivid Music program, Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House features a 10-night run of exclusive Sydney-only performances and for the first time will also include two large scale outdoor events, internal light projections and an event for kids and families. Features include four exclusive performances from Morrissey, Daniel Johns in his international solo debut, Sufjan Stevens in his only Australian performances and FCX – 10 Years of Future Classics featuring Flume and Flight Facilities .

With a line-up of heavy-hitting speakers, Vivid Ideas introduces The Game Changers , a new talk series this year headlined by three global influencers: multi Emmy-winning writer Matthew Weiner , series creator and executive producer of Mad Men and former executive producer and writer on The Sopranos; Grammy-winning designer Stefan Sagmeister , whose clients include the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed and the Guggenheim Museum; and entrepreneur and publisher Tyler Brûlé , founder of the world-famous magazines Wallpaper and Monocle .

Vivid Sydney welcomes the return of Intel, a world-leader in computing technology, as event partner for the fifth consecutive year. 2015 Supporters include Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, City of Sydney, Sydney Opera house, The Star, Canon, Indeed, 32 Hundred Lighting, Oracle and TDC.

For more information on Vivid Sydney visit http://www.vividsydney.com.

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THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE -  2010 - Sydney, Australia  - Photograph by: JACK ATLEY / www.jackatley.com -  for The Sydney Opera House - PLEASE NOTE: IMAGE MUST NOT BE SOLD FOR ANY COMMERCIAL PURPOSE WIHOUT EXRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF JACK ATLEY/WWW.JACKATLEY.COM
THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE – 2010 – Sydney, Australia – Photograph by: JACK ATLEY / http://www.jackatley.com – for The Sydney Opera House – PLEASE NOTE: IMAGE MUST NOT BE SOLD FOR ANY COMMERCIAL PURPOSE WIHOUT EXRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF JACK ATLEY/WWW.JACKATLEY.COM

Wintergarden opens in the CBD with the best food vendors in town

On 20 March 2015, a group of food bloggers and media were treated to a degustation lunch at Wintergarden – a food-court and retail haven in Sydney’s CBD.  This upmarket food court not only offers the city’s tastiest treats, but services and retailers to save you rushing around during your work day. The Wintergarden is open now so get down and explore this glasshouse of food and greenery as Sydney begins to cool down.

The Wintergarden houses nine food tenants, serving everything from sushi to slow-cooked lamb, as well a few other residents designed to make your life easier. There’s a dry cleaner, and shoe repairer, a newsagent and naturally – a barber.

Chur Express, one of Wintergarden’s most popular food vendor, makes burgers that are consistently voted one of Sydney’s best. Chur Express sold over a massive 350 burgers on their first day of trading! Try a laksa from CBD Noodles – its co-proprietor Seong was the first man to bring this town’s favourite soup to Sydney over 30 years ago! Japanese food vendor Sushi Hub bring you the freshest in traditional sashimi and salads, bento boxes, maki rolls, Nigiri and soup.

A wintergarden wouldn’t be complete without fresh fruit and vegetables. And that’s exactly what Top Juice provide; made-to-order green drinks, nutritional juices, smoothies and protein shakes. Indulgent yoghurt and chocolate dipped strawberries are also available for the almost-guilt-free treat!

For a taste of Central America, Los Vida offers the best of fresh and authentic Mexican food. For a caffeine hit Crema at the Garden coffees will awaken the senses. They also have sweet and savoury treats to tantalise your taste buds. Named after the oldest thoroughfare on Manhattan Island that connected the farmlands to the heart of the city, Bowery Lane offers homely, seasonal food amidst a New York style cocktail bar and diner.

Artisan bread-makers Sonoma supply Soul Origin with their scrumptious baguettes. Buy one of their fresh salads for a healthy lunch. The Wintergarden Deli also sells wild salads and rustic frittatas. Not to mention their famous Nutella frappe (pictured).

Explore the Wintergarden now at 1 O’Connell Street Sydney and take a journey into a new CBD experience. Relax and enjoy the best of Sydney’s freshest food vendors within this beautiful atrium.

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Deckchair Arts provides a feast to the senses on a Sunday afternoon

It is a lovely Sunday afternoon when you are invited to take a seat by Sydney Harbour and be treated to delicious food, drinks and an incredible array of performing artists. On Sunday 15 March 2015, the well-loved deckchairs from the Writers Festival returned to Walsh Bay outside the event venue Simmer on the Bay for Deckchair Arts.

Deckchair Arts is an amazing arts performance showcase that is part of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Spectrum Now, which is presented by ANZ bank. The event was inspired by last year’s Walsh Bay Arts Table, which invites guests to sit in a deckchair by the water and enjoy an afternoon of entertainment and fine food.

Guests enjoyed performances throughout the afternoon including didgeridoo musician Matthew Doyle, spoken word performer Miles Merrill and special guest percussionist and composer Tony Lewis.

Guests were served an incredible array of food from Simmer on the Bay’s renowned chef. Brigid Kennedy, including prawns, oysters, paella, roast pork, duck pancakes, dumplings, and gelato accompanied by a wide selection of fine wines.

I could not think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

For more information about other Spectrum Now events go to: spectrumnow.com.au.

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