A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at https://www.travelwithirenke.blogspot.com
Savour the flavours of diversity
Presented by Parramatta City Council, as part of the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Month, Parramatta Lanes is an annual festival of food and culture that will take your senses on a journey of fulfilment.
Over 4 nights, discover and explore 10 areas designated as lanes, serving up everything from waffle sensations to pizzas, curries, ciders and cocktails. Art, music and performances will also present in magical settings.
Food trucks are all the rage and a whole food court full of them will make their mark providing gourmet offerings. There's Mama Linh's with Vietnamese pulled pork rolls, beef brisket in Pho gravy and milkshakes with a reworked twist; Stroop Bros with their Dutch Stroopwafel; Happy as Larry and his special range of Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas with neon lights and a sound system; Eat Art Truck with awesome American BBQ street food and street art; plus more.
Wandering through this array of food are some strange creatures set to excite festival goers to discover a new magical realm within the landscape.
Location: Rolling up in Centenary Sq, Cnr Macquarie & Church Sts
Red Cow Lane A Garden of 1000 Years
Wander through this interactive garden, made from over a thousand hanging plants potted in recycled plastic bottles, and learn about the importance of sustainable ethos from artists Anna McMahon and Annie McKinnon.
Here you'll find traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern flavours along with cocktail concoctions, plenty of music and dancing.
Vibrant Turkish and Persian cuisine from Merrylands' Saffron Restaurant, Efendy Balmain and Sundweesh will tempt the taste buds. Gozleme, Lebanese breads with sweet and savoury fillings, and ice cream, are all on the menu.
Whilst there, visit the Parramatta Artists Studios and experience the Phenomena exhibition which explores the extraordinary through light, colour, magnetism and spirituality. Over at Raffles College there is another exhibition, Parramatta Seen, where students' photos display the rich diversity of Parramatta.
A mix of Arabic music and pop-up live music and dance performances from Western Sydney artists will also entertain you.
See the unique patchwork tunnel of tents illuminating a passageway through the City Centre car park. Made from discarded tent material, thorn-like pieces drip like stalactites from the ceiling, soft to touch but sharp in appearance.
Location: Macquarie Lane
Tropfest @ Lanes Pineapple Lane
Enjoy a showcase of award-winning short films from Tropfest's archives, spanning 25 years, along with delicious food from Monster Rolls and 360 Restaurant & Lounge.
Freshly baked baguettes filled with juicy meats and slaw and much more will delight as you relax in this lane.
Special talks will take place along with presentations for future film makers.
Once a private hospital, Willow Grove with its heritage house and lawns will turn into a rainbow of umbrellas and lights for you to enjoy a sunset supper. South-East Asian flavours will spice up your night along with DJ's and some great music, featuring a mix of pop, indie, roots, jazz and soul from up and coming musicians.
Food is from Temasek, O!momo, Korean BBQ and Paper Street ice cream with liquid refreshments from the Parkroyal Hotel. Try some Nepalese dumplings or Singaporean curries washed down with wines, ales and cider.
The Emporium is coming to the party with European fare matched with cocktails whilst street food cult dessert makers from Knafeh Bakery, the singing and dancing bearded bakers, will put out their famous Middle Eastern sweet cheese dessert from their repurposed shipping container. Topped with pistachios and sugar syrup it is the hottest 'in' thing on the street.
Groove to the music or sit back and revel in the show under the lights.
Location: Erby Plc
St John's Cathedral The Piazza
Twinkling lights and Mediterranean delights will lead you on a romantic stroll through street-style paella, Macedonian pastries and artisan chocolates. Balls Sydney will dispense gourmet meat ball subs whilst Courtney's Brassserie will provide some French Oh La La.
Warm up with waffles and Belgian hot chocolate shots or cool down with some gelato and enjoy some jazz music from Steve Morrison and trio in addition to laid back tunes from singer/songwriter Phil Davidson.
Location: 187 Church St, aka Centenary Sq
Roxy Carpark Slow Food, Fast Tunes
Relish all things smoked, pulled and grilled American style with gourmet burgers, rolls and a killer barbecue platter from 2 Smoking Barrels. La Raza will provide Latin American fare whilst Butter will serve up the best fried chicken.
KayterCon will launch a not-to-be-missed twisted dessert to satisfy the sweet tooths out there and Young Henrys will serve up their boutique beers they are known for.
Art-wise, a gathering of illuminated clouds made from milk bottles will descend on Roxy Walk reminding us of the emissions caused by the production and disposal of plastics that contribute to global warming and climate change.
Location: Macquarie Lne
UNE Future Campus Yanma: Exploration & Discovery
The historic old post office site, now home to the University of New England, will be the place for lamb rolls from Waroo Lamb and delicious cronuts and donuts from My Donut Box.
A stage will see music from emerging and established artists as well as performances from composer Andree Greenwell. Music staff from the university will demonstrate a mix of cutting edge digital technology along with wearable music controllers and opera, supported by Blush Opera.
An art installation features a listening station showcasing a compilation of students' new compositions. A gallery in the lane will see displays of selected art works from regional and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
From 7pm, you'll also find some community discussions on hot topics, such as new ways to support NSW growers and produce plus ways to embed creative processes into education and industry.
Heaven is here for all sweet lovers to indulge in mouth-watering cakes, mousses and desserts from KOI Dessert Bar, wild blended concoctions from The Smoothie Company and crazy creations from N2 Gelato. Your taste buds will be in overdrive.
As you eat, watch street artists perform to the beats of hip hop pioneers in the Parramatta Mission Fellowship Centre and wander through artworks with street art demonstrations. Special guest DJ's up the antics.
You can also take a guided tour through the beautiful church and listen to the Leigh Fijian Choir, nightly from 6pm.
Location: 119 Macquarie St
This fiesta starts from 5pm each night and getting there is easy with Parramatta being well serviced by trains and buses and car parks (check the map for locations). Alternatively, get some exercise and ride your bike as there are plenty of bike paths and greenways. Then there's taxis and Uber, with the latter offering free rides up to $20 for new users. For existing users, there's a 20% discount to and from the lanes.
Indulge and enjoy these balmy spring nights.
Images courtesy of Parramatta Lanes website and Facebook page.