Friday, March 28, 2014


We've just spent two wet and rainy nights (and days) in Sydney. On Thursday we took the opportunity to visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed (not for its architectural significance - but for its association with our convict/colonial  heritage) Old Government House in Parramatta Park - the oldest surviving public building in Australia.  

Governor Lachlan Macquarie and Mrs Macquarie were largely responsible for ensuring the building looked pretty much as it does today, by around 1815.  It was their "country" residence - an escape from the crime ridden and unsanitary conditions in Old Sydney Town.

I talked Rob into making our first visit to Parramatta (barely a half hour train journey from Central) because I was keen to see Miss (Phryne) Fisher's Costume Exhibition, displayed in the unpretentious but historic rooms of Old Government House. We're not regular watchers of the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries series but I for one am a sucker for a beautiful frock - especially if it dates from the twenties!

 ..not only frocks but coats, bags, brooches and lingerie..and beautiful hats too..

The exhibition left me much more aware of the brilliance of the award winning Marion Boyce and her costume team and much more appreciative of the beautiful Essie Davis who animates these costumes with such pizazz as the magnificent Phryne Fisher.

We had a lovely experience afterwards...taking a chance on lunch at the buzzy Criniti's on Church Street Parramatta.

The highlight for me was this dish...fichi e prosciutto: black figs wrapped in prosciutto san daniele with dolce latte gorgonzola cream. I think that is all my favourite food groups on the one plate (sigh)!

Other foodie delights were: Wednesday nights' dinner at Spice I Am on Victoria Street Darlinghurst, followed by proper Sicilian gelati from Messina - also on Victoria Street. I can't believe I have been visiting Sydney all these years without knowing about Messina (voted best gelato Australia - Good Food Guide).  We didn't even have to queue too long at 9.45pm on a Wednesday night!

It certainly won't be our last visit to Messina......

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