Sydney was treated to the Festival of Chocolate over 4-5 October when The Rocks was transformed into a haven of indulgence. By chance we spotted a poster advertising the event when we were gallivanting around the area on our Observatory and Pylon Lookout adventures. With the promise of chocolate there was no way we were going to miss this extravaganza.
We decided to visit on the Sunday with plans to get there super early to get a car space. Unfortunately, daylight savings started that morning meaning 9.00 am became 10.00 am and our plans were put behind us. On top of that, on entering our favourite car park ($25.00 for the day – but central to everything) we were asked if we dropping off luggage for the cruise ship. Um….no. Out we went (note to self: Circular Quay Car Park is closed when ships are in the harbour). These were mere blips in our adventure. We had chocolate to taste!!
Obviously such a fantastic festival is going to attract lots of people. Add to it a blue sky and a summer worthy 30+ degree temperature and The Rocks was pumping. We found parking under Hickson Steps. Hickson Steps are an important landmark for Sydneysiders. For those of you have read and then watched Playing Beattie Bow you may think they are the stairs from the movie, but I was corrected – they’re actually the Argyle Stairs which I will add to my Bucket List. (on a side note, I have found this great little post that uncovers many of the movie locations around Sydney. Another adventure perhaps?)
We reached the top, walked under the Harbour Bridge and began our chocolate adventures at the top end of The Rocks market. Our first stop was this amazing chocolate moulding stand where we watched chocolate pouring and the art of chocolate sculpturing. We were mesmerised – what artistry. The aroma of chocolate pulled us from our observations and we purchased our first chocolate treats – chocolate covered raspberry pops. Mouth watering just to think about them!
Strolling on we came across French pastries, chocolate covered toffee apples, chocolate pretzels, brownies, chocolate coated strawberries….sheer decadence surrounded us. The quandary to stop and sample and fill our tummies so early or to press on! I then spotted the Knafeh Bakery.
The Knafeh Bakery is AMAZING! I’ve eaten a lot of middle eastern food in my time, even Knafeh, but this stall was like no other and quickly became my favourite. They call it Jerusalem Street Food and it runs from a repurposed shipping container that they’ve set up specifically to output their delicious, Knafeh treats which are topped with pistachio and rose syrup. Interestingly, every worker has a beard! This Popup Bakery debuted at the Festival of Chocolate but I predict that it may become on par with the likes of Harry’s Cafe de Wheels. It’s that good and certain to become iconic.
On finally managing to move me on from the Knafeh bakery, we made our way through The Rocks towards Cadman’s Cottage. On a normal day this would take us around 5 minutes but this time it took us about 30 minutes as we moved through the crowd and stopped to sample more treats.
Miss N spotted the Serendipity Ice-cream stand which was an instant ‘must-have’. Here she chose an ice-cream flavour (chocolate), the coating (Belgian chocolate) and hundreds and thousands which she began eating with gusto. Being a hot day, it also started dripping! Thankfully I had packed wet ones!
More and more treats were sampled. On the way back to the car we made sure to go past the Knafeh Bakery so I could try another! Yum! What an amazing adventure. Around 4 hours later we started our journey home. There was no dinner for us that night after our day of gluttony!