Warmth and light have returned to Sydney it seems, all be it temporarily.
So much so that I recently revelled in a happy lunch hour skating in front of St Mary's Cathedral followed by mini yum cha at Bodhi Restaurant's outdoor patio, situated just adjacent to and under the ice rink.
Part of the Sydney Winter Festival, a thrilling winters day can be enjoyed at the rink. This ski chalet novelty world is barely two minutes from everywhere else in the city.
It's also less crowded and cheaper during the day (Tip). You may even be entertained by the sparkly clad male/female ice dancers and St Bernard dogs that at times slide around with the bright orange booted rental skate public.
Afterwards, Bodhi's "buddhist vegan" yum cha offered satisfaction as well as health and apparent spiritual benefits. The waitress proudly boasted about the "fake meat" selections, meaning tofu treats made to taste meaty. This is usually where I get off the hippy train but confess that the menu has improved greatly since a visit some time ago when everything seemed to be made of water chestnut.
The selection is now varied and steamy with colourful, coconut, gelatinous desserts to try. The faux duck spring roles were worth a go too. All natural, all hand made and sustainable as well.
Finally, the cool gardens of Hyde Park provide sanctuary from city life and a peaceful, uninterrupted space to sit for a few minutes or more, before we jump into it all again. Vegan yum cha has clearly effected me.