It was a tricky day. We wanted to make the most of the first sunshine in what seemed like eons but the still sodden ground ruled out a trip to the park. For want of a better plan the four of us bussed into the city to explore. At the entrance to the Strand a new (well it may have been there for five years) chocolate shop – Bon Bon Fine Chocolate, caught my eye. It displayed pyramid shaped chocolates bearing the ASX logo. I smiled inwardly remembering a wannabe I used to work with who wore bull and bear cufflinks. I was tempted to enter and of course Dadabulous and the princesses needed no persuasion. We’d encountered a veritable pleasure dome with real chocolate (I’m talking over 70% cocoa) and a wonderful selection of exotic nougats.
It was less than five minutes before both girls chanted in unison – “I’m hungry, I’m hungry”. Before I could answer “well you should have eaten your breakfast then”, I serendipitiously noticed a narrow staircase in the corner leading to a basement cafe. We ventured down the marble stairs like Alice through the rabbit hole to discover the most charming little cafe/wine bar. Decked out in dark timber with the original ceiling beams exposed, it felt Parisian. The creamy, satisfying cappucinos were accompanied by tiny dark chocolate frogs. Unfortunately I didn’t get to savour this novel touch as the girls pounced on them. Apparently their fruit toast and fresh juice didn’t fill them up. Upon leaving the waitress gave us two golf ball sized boxes and told us we could take them upstairs and ask the shop assistant to put a free chocolate in them. Score!
We moved on to Dymocks bookstore where the whole lower level is a dedicated kids section. There’s tables and chairs and a steam engine for them to play on. There’s also a very cute Disney nook featuring all the characters from the classics, Peter Pan, Bambi, Snow White etc through to the new guard – Toy Story, The Incredibles and the like. Dadabulous scrutinized the sale tables whilst our princesses set about destroying the place. P1 had a wonderful time trawling through all the Disney Princess books whilst P2 ran riot kidnapping both an Elmo and a Zoey Monster doll. Bookstores are an endangered species but I hope Dymocks can hang on. Kids and books is such a worthy combination.
Our final stop for the day was Hyde Park. There we were surprised to find a busker encircled by kids. He was wielding some heavy duty bubble making equipment and producing gianormous soapy creations. The audience was captivated. Kids hurtled about trying to catch them with P2 leading the charge. Our princesses did some serious mileage chasing those mega-bubbles. Conveniently they were worn out for the bus trip home with P2 sweetly falling asleep on Dadabulous’ lap.