Sunday Slowdown | Spring in Sydney; Gourmet May’s Crispy Rolled Crepes; Chasing Dreams’ Passion cards

During the week, I saturate my days with corporate stuff (work work work! Gotta pay the bills). However on weekends I fill my senses with anything and everything that this beautiful city has to offer. On Sundays, I prepare myself mentally and emotionally for another full-on week at work, so I usually decompress and look for inspiring things that help revitalise my mind and soul. I’ve decided to create a Sunday Slowdown list of things that I love and enjoy; people, places, and events that inspire me, and everything else that I wish to share with my readers in the hopes that they will levitate your heart and soul as much as they have mine.

This is the first of my Sunday Slowdown.

Sydney is glorious in any season, but nothing more so than Spring. Think glorious sunny days, cool, fresh morning breeze, the rainbow welcome of baby flora and just the general bright and liveliness of the city as we wake up from our winter hibernation. You slowly peel away the million layers of winter that you apply before leaving your apartment; you start seeing more people in the gym and cafes for brunch; markets and events and shows start their spring/summer calendar; you start filling in your diary with endless social activities.

We are weekend brunch lovers. There’s nothing better than waking up at a decent hour on a weekend morning (think 8am), putting on your exercise gear, starting the weekend right with some endorphins, injecting your body with some good, proper coffee and beautiful breakfast grub, and then off to the markets. This weekend, we went to my favourite after-gym cafe Room 10 Espresso in Potts Point for our usual brunch (him the salt beef brisket with cabbage slaw sandwich; mine the smoked ocean trout open sandwich with soft boiled egg, fennel and rocket salad), walked to Kings Cross Markets for some window shopping / strolling, and then picked up a lovely bunch of poppies before settling back home. After a quick siesta, it was afternoon tea time. The sun was shining through my window and I couldn’t help but feel a little a lot grateful for this beautiful weekend scene.

Gourmet May’s Crispy Rolled Crepes in traditional vanilla and coconut | Gourmet May’s lavender and peppermit tea | Chasing Dreams’ Passion Cards (thanks Rhiz!) | Poppies in bloom from Kings Cross Markets

 

Gourmet May’s Crispy Rolled Crepes in vanilla and coconut – a delicious snack of crispy, flaky thin crepes in all its buttery goodness. Reminds me of the Filipino barquillos. It was perfect with the bonus lavender and peppermint tea that came along with the box. Thank you Gourmet May’s and Polkadot PR for the gorgeous crepe samples.

Chasing Dreams Passion cards – my good friend Rhiza is both an inspiration and an aspiration. A woman of Faith, these cards are for ‘doers, go-getters and dream chasers who never tire of pursuing their dreams!’. Go chase yours.

Room 10 Espresso – a small laneway cafe tucked away in Lankelly Place, Potts Point, Room 10 Espresso serves some of the best breakfast this side of town. Everything may be low key (coffee is superb, food menu is beautiful, atmosphere is relaxed) but the whole experience is quintessential Sydney brunch. Open Monday to Sundays, 10 Lankelly Place Potts Point.

Kings Cross Markets – from organic produce, scented candles, fresh blooms, to freshly cooked breakfast or lunch to fill your tummy. Go there to eat, drink (coffee or fresh smoothies), and people watch the wonderful Kings Cross crowd.

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Easy Saturday Sydney Rides

Mr J in his element

If you’re like me who has a partner who rides almost 200km a week, you would understand my situation: 5am wake up calls (for him), multiple jerseys and bike stuff mysteriously appearing around the apartment (and in our credit card statement), and that obsession with the next Rapha sale. But I’m also a proud cheerleader and occasional cycling companion, and happily holds the title of ‘Backout Queen’ to our own group’s ‘Backout Cycling Club’ that we share with a couple of other friends. I’m more of a casual, bandwagon rider – happy to take part in the annual MS Sydney to Gong ride, or do weekend rides around the harbour and Botanical Gardens en route to brunch.

The infamous penny-farthing bike at Bar Cycle, Walsh Bay

If you have 2 – 3 hours to spare on a weekend and would like to check out Pyrmont / The Rocks / Mrs Macquarie’s Chair / Circular Quay and back to Walsh Bay with a little Barangaroo side trip, here are some snaps from our most recent weekend ride in my most favourite city in the world, Sydney.

1. Underneath the Harbour Bridge and infront of the Sydney Opera House – Hickson Road

From Pyrmont, cycle through Pyrmont Bridge Road and take the Sussex Street exit. Go straight and it will take you pass the constructions in Barangaroo and to Walsh Bay. Cycle to the very end and you’ll be rewarded with this view…

One half of the best backdrop in the world (with the other being the Opera House)
Hello, beautiful

2. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair

From here you have two choices: (on a not so busy day, perhaps early weekend morning) cycle through The Rocks, down George Street, left on Hunter Street and make your way to the Botanical Gardens. Or, cycle your way through Circular Quay, up Macquarie Street until you hit Hyde Park, and make a left to the Botanical Gardens. Either way you’ll end up at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. You’ll get a front seat view of the Harbour, the Bridge and the Opera House. Pretty spectacular on a beautiful clear Sydney winter morning, if you ask me.

3. Art Gallery of New South Wales

After basking in the awesomeness that is the Harbour, ride up Mrs Macquarie’s Road and Art Gallery Road, and get cultured at the Art Gallery of NSW.

4. Bar Cycle, Walsh Bay

Now you must be feeling peckish and in need of some caffeine. Cycle down Market Street (watch out for traffic please), turn right to Kent Street, ride pass the old terrace apartments towards the end, turn right to Windmill Street, left at Pottinger Street and end up in Hickson Road (the famous roundabout with the installation of the crushing burden on top of the red car). Turn left to Hickson Road, and then right to Pier 6/7. Bar Cycle is on your right before Teras Bali. Here you will be rubbing elbows with some of Sydney’s most passionate Italian riders (and say hello to Alberto), drool over the latest Italian beasts (Colnagos), while enjoying that much deserved coffee and breakfast. The french toast is massive but oh so good (add some maple-drizzled bacon for that salty kick), and there’s also the usual bacon and eggs favourites. Get to know your bikes as well – like really, really get to know them – by asking Alberto in his bike shop that is adjoining the cafe. Admire Sydney’s beautiful harbour in the al fresco area, the cafe is open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 4.30pm.

5. Barangaroo Reserve, Barangaroo (near Millers Point)

Before you head home, why not take a leisurely ride through Sydney’s newest park in Barangaraoo – Barangaroo Reserve? It has 5.7 hectares of bike, running and walking trails that follow the harbour so you get to enjoy 360 degree views of our glorious Sydney Harbour – views of Darling Harbour, to Pyrmont (ANZAC Bridge), past Balmain, and ending right infront of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Park yourselves on the Stargazer Lawn and appreciate this urban jungle of a city we call Sydney in all its wonderful beauty.

To end your ride, head back home by cycling back, accessing the trains, ferries, or buses or plant yourselves in Darling Harbour and enjoy what’s on – it’s now Spring so there a few events lined up for Sydneysiders to enjoy.

http://www.sydney.com/destinations/sydney/sydney-city/darling-harbour

 

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Sunrises at Saratoga, NSW

Sunrises always fascinate me.

I’ve always found beauty in that few seconds, when the night turns into day.

When the moon and stars bid adieu, and the sun shyly peeks through the horizon.

When the air is fresh and crisp, and the gentle tweeting of the birds is all you can hear.

When the world slowly, carefully, quietly, gently wakes up to a new day.

Sunrises always fascinate me.

Sunrises at Saratoga, NSW

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