NEWCASTLE, A GREAT PLACE TO VISIT

April 3, 2014

NewCastleBeautiful Beaches

Easy accessibility would have to be one of the main reasons why Sydneysiders love visiting Newcastle. Approximately a three hour drive north of Sydney, Newcastle is located just off the M1 Pacific Motorway. Whether it’s a day trip or a more leisurely stay, if you have the time, take the coastal Pacific Highway as a pleasant alternative.

If you don’t want to drive, coach companies also provide regular connections. Newcastle is also part of the New South Wales City Rail network. Frequent daily return services operate from Sydney with CountryLink trains and their coach network connecting Newcastle via Broadmeadow station.

Flying is another option for those in a rush, with direct flights available from Sydney. Newcastle Airport is the fastest growing regional airport in Australia and is only 30 minutes from the city centre. Getting around the city is not a problem as NewcastleTaxis provide a 24 hour, seven day service, including the airport.

Night Markets

Night Markets

Newcastle’s excellent food and dining scene which offers fine restaurants, waterfront dining, chic cafes, cellar doors and boutique breweries has resulted in the city becoming one of Australia’s regional foodie destinations. Why not plan to visit the three day Food & Wine Expo at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, held during the last week of August.

Fresh local produce, organic foods, handcrafted clothing, artisan accessories plus local arts and crafts are all available at the city’s many markets. The Hunter Street Mall has night markets on the second and fourth Friday of each month. For chic boutique shopping, the unique East End is the place to go.

As Australia’s second oldest city, Newcastle has many historic hot spots. Visit Fort Scratchley, built in 1882 to defend the city from the threat of a Russian invasion; with its labyrinth of tunnels, experience how the installation helped defend Australia during World War Two. Alternatively, go on an East End Dark History Ghost Walk. Historic Watt Street comes to life each evening through an electric, interactive multimedia light display set to transport visitors through time. See heritage listed buildings, historic townhouses and Victorian terraces along Newcastle’s oldest street brought to life through colourful cinematography, lavish light ups and interactive installations.

The Newcastle Civic Theatre, complete with 1920’s décor, provides the theatre lover with a large selection of plays from comedy to drama, year round. There is also a large live music scene from the intimate ambience of Lizottes theatrical restaurant to the sounds of hip hop, orchestral and jazz. Pair fantastic food, quality wine and craft beer with bands at some of the many pubs around the city.

If you love the outdoors, try the coastal walk past three pristine beaches that are interlinked by Bathers Way, from Nobbys in the north to Merewether in the south. Total walking time at a medium pace is approximately three hours, ideal for a long walk on a temperate summer evening or a romantic stroll after dinner.

Whether it’s just a day trip, a getaway for a weekend or perhaps longer, the State’s second largest city has so much to offer.

Sandra Tiltman

Visit our social photo site: www.sydneysocialdiary.com


NEW WINTER CHOCOLATE MENU

April 3, 2014

IMG_4947

Chocaholics all over Sydney will be converging on Darling Harbour’s San Churro Harbourside to try their new chocolate themed winter menu. Full of items that are perfect for sharing and guaranteed to satisfy winter chocolate cravings, this new menu even offers a Cinnamon Breakfast Churro, in answer to the Spanish tradition of eating churros for breakfast.

IMG_4958 Nothing beats wrapping cold hands around a mug of steaming hot chocolate. San Churro’s new range of El Grande Spanish Hot Chocolates are made to a traditional Spanish recipe and are the ultimate indulgence. The 17 different hot chocolates are rich, thick and served with a choice of toppings. I tried the crushed malt balls, but the chocolate biscuit crumble and the marshmallows looked very tempting.

Winter is the time for comfort foods and the Chocolate Volcano is worth making the trip just to try one. This fabulous rich chocolate fondant pudding comes complete with a gooey chocolate lava centre and to tempt you even further, it’s served warm with a side of vanilla ice cream.

Even in winter, you can still enjoy an ice cream sundae. Their Cookies and Cream Sundae with white chocolate ice cream, hot chocolate fudge, milk chocolate, crushed chocolate biscuits and chewy pieces of macaron meringue is one that will put temptation in front of you.

IMG_4933

There’s a large selection of boxed chocolates and cakes on display to take home for later, plus a range of mugs. San Churro also has their own Hot Chocolate Mix, complete with instructions printed on the back, so you can make a perfect drink at home.

Sandra Tiltman    Photos: John Pond  

Visit our social photo site:   http://www.sydneysocialdiary.com