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Monday, November 14, 2005

Newtown Festival

Ok. You know you're getting just a little bit obsessed when, faced with the choice of three festivals on a sunny Sydney Sunday, you choose to attend not one, not two, but all three of them.

I started off with the Newtown Festival in the morning, before heading into town for the Spanish Quarter Street Festival and then the Thai Food Fair.

Crazy? Yes. But I'm a sucker for festivals. You should know that by now =)

I met up with Saffron in the morning to check out the Newtown Festival. In its 26th year, the festival attracts over 10,000 people and is pitched as a family-friendly music-focussed event.

Newtown is usually described as "vibrant, hip and colourful". That means it used to be a really rough area until the 1970s, when the Bohemian artists moved in, the gays and lesbians took up residence, more money poured in, coffee shops flourished and now it's been gentrified to within an inch of its former existence.

There was plenty of colour and music at the festival though. Indie bands took to the various stages in the park, kiddies were entertained, and there were more pampered pooches than even Paris could fathom. They wore sequins, ra-ra skirts, fairy wings and antlers. I'm sure I spotted one pooch squinting desperately trying to summon his fairy godmother.

And I've just realised there actually was a dog show. A series of them in fact. So they were dressed up and really did have somewhere to go.

We breakfasted on that festival staple, gozleme, made fresh by the army of Turkish women who seem to frequent these outdoor events.

Ispanakli gozleme $8.00
(Turkish crepe with spinach and cheese)

Gozleme is made using a fresh dough of flour, butter and water. Rolled out into oval discs using what looks like dowel off-cuts, they are then scattered with either spinach or mince and topped with cheese. Folded in half into a rectangular pocket, the crepe is pan-fried on both sides until golden and served with a fat wedge of lemon for drizzling.

The crepes are piping hot, slightly crisp on the outside and filled with a melting cheesy mass of fresh spinach leaves. The lemon juice adds a little zing and although these are always phenomenally popular, I think the seven gozleme stalls we counted erred on the side of overkill!

We made a quick flit into the Newtown Writers Centre tent for an interesting talk on travel writing and then I bade Saffron farewell to continue my festival pilgrimage alone. Spirituality comes from within innit?

Next stop:
The Spanish Quarter. Take me there

The Newtown Festival is held every year
on the second Sunday of November.

Camperdown Memorial Park
10am -6pm
Corner Lennox and Australia Street, Newtown

Click here to see the photos from the Spanish Quarter Street Festival.
6 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 11/14/2005 10:29:00 pm


  • At 11/15/2005 6:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi AG, It's great that yr blog is always updated. I look forward to reading it everyday. So many festivals...so little time :) I might bump into you at the Glebe Street Fair this Sunday :)

  • At 11/15/2005 8:04 am, Blogger PiCkLeS said…

    I feel so robbed, I have to work at my 2nd job every Sunday I miss out on so many festivals!

  • At 11/15/2005 9:28 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi, im new to this whole food blog thing and I have to say, I agree wholeheartedly with Nora, I look forward to reading your posts too. I read your previous posts about the Farmers Market in Fox Studios and was very inspried to make a trip there myself. So off I went with my mother in tow last weekend. We loved it! We had the chorizo and mojo picon sauce she had the prawns... I think I drowned the chorizo because the saude tasted so good. Definitely something I will do again. Thanks : )

  • At 11/15/2005 9:39 am, Blogger Jess (fushmush) said…

    A very potent hangover stopped me from going to the Newtown festival. We brunched on South King St and watched hoards of people heading up to the festival. We decided we wouldn't be able to cope with the crowds and the sun when we were less than 100%. I wish I'd convinced myself to at least check it out!

  • At 11/15/2005 4:47 pm, Blogger ragingyoghurt said…

    mmm... gözleme. seven is a lot of gözleme stalls in one festival. but the balmain markets crew obviously gave it a miss -- i shared one there with my mother -- the combination spinach and mince. 'twas tasty. crunchy on the outside, hot and spicy on the inside, and much less oily than other gozleme i've had around sydney.

    when i went to turkey, i ordered a potato gozleme, and the filling ended up being hot chips! bonus!!

  • At 11/16/2005 8:05 pm, Blogger ragingyoghurt said…

    giant hazelnut macaroons?? argh i missed out on those. however, now i really really am very nostalgic about all those chocolate puddings. argh!


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