Sunday, 10 October 2010

Breakfast on the Bridge, Sydney

It's 4:30am on a Sunday morning and I'm awake. I may be bleary eyed and fighting my body's desire for sleep, but I am as excited as a 4 year old on Christmas morning as I jump out of bed and declare, "Let's do this!" 'This' refers to 'Mission B.o.B', what Mr Ladybird and I have code named the event Breakfast on the Bridge, and we have planned for this moment with military precision.

Today was the second annual Breakfast on the Bridge as part of Crave Sydney International Food Festival. Normally a very busy freeway connecting the northern and southern parts of Sydney, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is closed for this event and converted into one extraordinary picnic spot! Mr Ladybird and I were two of around 6000 very lucky people fortunate enough to get golden tickets to this event. Tickets were allotted by ballot, thousands entered for a chance to picnic on this great Australian icon.

By 5:20am, we're dressed and ready to go, and we make our way to the train station under the cover of darkness. We arrive at Milson's Point by 6am and are greeted by friendly volunteers. We join the queue awaiting the opening of the bridge at 6:30am. There's entertainment for everyone waiting  including comedic acts, characters on stilts and live music. The mood is upbeat, and in no time at all the queue starts moving forward.

We make our way around the corner of Alfred Street and there she is, the beautiful bridge is in sight!

There are also coffee carts lined up to the left of the freeway for picnic goers to grab a coffee before going through the gates. Never before have I been so glad to have a morning coffee - some call it an addictive substance, I call it the elixir of life!

At this point the weather is a bit overcast but seems to be holding up, and the sun is starting to peak through the clouds as if to greet us all as we make our way onto the bridge. Then suddenly we see green - I can't believe it - they've turfed the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the middle of the night! And yes, it's real grass! I later learn from speaking directly to the NSW Premier that the grass is to be recycled by the Wentworth Council after the event to turf a park - now that's what I call green event management :P

There's plenty more to come - so keep reading :)

There's music playing and there is more entertainment as we collect our bag of goodies containing NSW produce including Nudie juices, NSW oranges and Wallaby macadamia nut butter. Later we are also handed a fresh loaf of Brasserie Bread... Mmmm! There was also a tai chi demonstration - not every day that you get to do tai chi in a location like that!

It is incredibly surreal walking across a grassy bridge, and there is tremendous excitement in the air as people start getting settled. We make our way to our designated area on the southern side of the bridge and we lay out our picnic blanket and goodies. A baby size bottle of champagne, strawberries, croissants and sandwiches - perfect picnic fare :)

Other punters are tucking into their breakfasts as well and enjoying the atmosphere. NSW Premier Kristina Keneally chats with us briefly before taking a photo opportunity with our neighbouring picnic-goers.

This year's Breakfast on the Bridge is also a platform for Sydney's bid for the World Cup in 2022. Just meters away from us there are enormous, 6 metre high blow up soccer balls and big balloons.

We also discover that there are Socceroos at the event in support of the bid, and Mr Ladybird gets to meet Tim Cahill, Mark Schwarzer and John Aloisi! To say that Mr Ladybird is a soccer fan is an understatement.. he had watched the Socceroos play in Sydney only the night before, so getting to meet them and take pictures with them absolutely made his day :)

It seems as though today is a special day for a lot of people, including this couple who got married at Breakfast on the Bridge! The happy couple (Mira with flowers in her hair and John standing behind her) were beaming as the media snapped away at them posing with Kristina Keneally...

So it was all going really well, and I must say that we were incredibly impressed by the organisation at this event - it was fantastic! Unfortunately though, Mother Nature had other plans.. or perhaps she wanted to water in the turf (?)... because it started to rain!

Thankfully we had all been provided with ponchos in our bag of goodies, and there was a flurry of activity, squeals and giggles as people tried to keep themselves (and their picnics) dry... But some little people like this gorgeous little girl didn't seem to mind one bit!

Some decided to brave the elements, but like many, we decided to call it a day a little earlier than expected - very wet, yes, but our spirits not dampened. This was certainly a most memorable breakfast, and we enjoyed it thoroughly!

Making our way to Circular Quay station via The Rocks we bid the bridge farewell... Now that's what I call a picnic!!!

Ladybird x

Ladybird and Mr Ladybird attended Breakfast on the Bridge as guests of Tourism NSW


  1. This looks so fun!! You must have gotten up so early to get here by 6!! =O haha....I woke up at around 11 yesterday- by then it was already pouring =D

  2. I love seeing roads closed down for people-only events like this. Pity about the rain but looks like it held out long enough for everyone to enjoy themselves anyway!

  3. Hello Anna!
    Was great to meet you yesterday. Love the cake you made omg grats on the win!

    You are lucky to get tickets to the breakie I missed out sadly :(

  4. So very jealous! One day it'll be my turn, thanks for sharing your experience with us so we can pretend we were there too!

  5. Hey, lucky you! I missed out this year, but at the same time I quite enjoyed sleeping in, lol!
    It was nice meeting you yesterday, congrats on your prize, your cake was stunning! Let me know how you go with the radishes :-) Bises.

  6. Hi cardigan twin! You are so lucky you got to go, I think it's such a great idea for an event. Pity about the rain at the end but it looks like it was a blast anyway!

  7. hey anna! lucky you got to go - i didn't realise it rained, I was thinking to myself "those lucky ducks on the bridge, holding up traffic with the sun coming out!" - what a fun day though! I love the baby moet, a well executed mission B.O.B.

    On another note, it was so lovely to have met you yesterday! the cake was both delicious and amazing to look at - even the mini cake that demos got to eat :) such a fun weekend for you! have a great week!

  8. Wow! 2 picnics in one weekend. One of which was on the bridge. Lucky you!!! Great pics. I can't believe you had to get there so early!

  9. What an adventure of a picnic! Lucky you! :)

  10. Looks like great fun. I missed out this year - I registered but didn't get any places :(

  11. WOW! I never knew sydney had this event, what a wonderful idea. It looks like its an awesome event to attend, such a shame about the rain though. Your breakfast looks purrrfect! And how lucky your hubby got to meet some of the socceroos!


  12. Wow, you were incredibly lucky to get tickets! Also great that Mr Ladybird was able to meet football heroes.

    Sorry I didn't get a proper chance to chat with you yesterday but it was nice to put a face to the blog =)

  13. Oh wow! How lucky are you both to score tickets to the BoB. By the time I found out about the event, registrations was closed *sad face* You're breaky picnic did look fab, I mean, who starts the day off with Moet - very classy!

    It was nice to put a face to a blog and what a fabulous cake you made! See you at the next event :D

  14. Oh it looked like a fabulous day! such a shame it rained but that picture of the harbour bridge all covered in grass is so cool :)

  15. shame about the weather but you were so lucky to have the chance to breakfast on the bridge! great to finally meet ya and zomg the macarons on your cake were so cute!

  16. Oh I'm so jealous! You're so lucky! Looks like the perfect way to have breakfast, despite the rain!

  17. OMG that looks like so much fun, they used to close the river in Brisbane for river festival and have a dinner on it with fireworks and it did feel odd walking over the bridge with tables everywhere. Such fun experiences you did a great job sharing your experience, thanks.

  18. Ohhh looks like soo much fun!!! damn it! I always miss out!! and yet every year I say thats it im gonna do it next year! ... That's it I'm definately gonna do it next year! ;)

  19. How lovely! What a memorable experience!

  20. Lucky you to get to be there! What an experience :)

  21. This is such a cool event! If only Melbourne had an equivalent, maybe on the West Gate Bridge or something...

    How unfortunate that it started to rain, but I'm sure it was an amazing experience nonetheless.

  22. from one anna to another, i hope you don't mind that i included your post in the crave sydney food festival week one round-up of food blogging activities

  23. It's an amazing experience isn't it! We went last year and we had no idea what it would be like as it was the first year. We were wowed and in love with it!

  24. maureen truckner13 October 2010 at 14:41

    It was an amazing day, unlike anything I have experienced! That's me in the poncho in the rainy shots!!! My husband and I had he best time, and it was my birthday too!!! Couldn't have asked for anything better!!!


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