Bright Lights: Big City

 

Come sunset, the sandstone precinct at the historic Hyde Park Barracks comes alive, casting a warm glow over the annual Christmas Fare.

Behind the high stone wall and through the entry gates on Macquarie Street you’ll discover a stylish display of stalls, food vendors and a bar as well as picnic tables and benches under a canopy of large market umbrellas. This is how we do Christmas markets, Aussie style.

Just like a Christmas stocking, the Christmas Fare delivers pleasant surprises and genuine thrills. Buy food for the Christmas table or to put under the tree and visit Makers Lane, curated by the Australian Design Centre, featuring the work of our finest textile artists, ceramicists and jewellers

The accent is on the handmade, traditional and individual. At every stall you’ll find a cook or a maker who has explored the past, for recipes or techniques, to make a pudding or jam, a plate or a cup, that will look right at home on your Christmas table or make for a special gift for someone you love.

The art of ‘slow’ is alive and well. Pecora Dairy’s new raw ewe’s-milk cheese Yarrawa takes 100 days to reach a state of perfection – imagine the joy a wedge of this would bring to the cheese lover in your life – and the dried fruit for Our Festive Puds’ figgy pudding is soaked in brandy months ahead of baking day.

All around, a relaxed crowd wanders from stall to stall, filling their shopping baskets, meeting friends after work, stopping for supper and drinking in the atmosphere. When it comes to an icy cold gin and tonic or Summer Hop Ale from celebrated inner-city brewer Young Henry’s, resistance is futile.

So, once your handmade French market basket from 2 Duck Trading fills, with olive oil, chocolate, loose-leaf tea, pickles and jams, truffled honey, cheese, a wreath, plate and pot planter, take a seat and enjoy one of the city’s most beautiful settings, the Barracks at twilight.

About the Author

Image of Barbara Sweeney
Barbara Sweeney
Food Writer and Talks Host
Barbara writes about food – as a columnist and feature writer for Country Style magazine, writing about her...
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