Paramount Coffee Project
A wonderful day started with brunch at Paramount Coffee Project in Surry Hills. Occupying the foyer of Paramount House Hotel – former headquarter of Paramount Picture Studios, the café enjoys high ceiling and plenty of sunlight. You would pick a seat – at the communal table where you can quietly read through the news or whatever suits the mood, catch up with friends, get a window seat for people watching, or sit at the high chairs and appreciate the barista serving espresso, latte, flat white and much more. Did we mention they make good food too? Their buttermilk fried chicken waffle tasted strangely harmonious.
“…there is a real emphasis on the quality of the coffee and paying tribute to all the hard work it takes to get the coffee in the cup.”
This statement taken from their website is what strikes us most. Indeed, nothing is to be taken for granted, be it a cup of coffee or a timepiece.
Hyde Park Barracks Museum
After a nice cup of joe, we headed to the Hyde Park Barracks Museum*. We were lucky enough to visit before its closure for renewal! Despite its central location, it felt like stepping into another time and space once inside. A UNESCO World Heritage site, there is a sense of tranquility albeit the weight this establishment carries. The architecture, the artefact and the stories kept us occupied for hours.
Australia’s oldest public clock
Countless personal stories make up this place - stories of love, care, resistance, resilience, separation and reunion. James Oatley, a clockmaker, was one of the convicts who lived in the barrack. He built the clock – Australia’s oldest continuously ticking public clock in 1819. A more reliable clock mechanism made by renowned British clockmaker Vulliamy & Son was installed in 1837, making it all the more precious.
Sitting under the trees, we could not help but think about the stories behind the watchmakers and whoever looked at the time on this clock. 200 years on, the clock is still gently ticking, quietly telling time in the middle of the city. It is a clock as much as it is a time machine linking us to the generations who came before us.
At the end of the day
The day ended with a stroll in the Royal Botanic Gardens. After soaking up the history and atmosphere of the museum, it was a pleasure to let the mind roam and simply enjoy the company of the plants.
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Paramount Coffee Project: 80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills Sydney 2010, Australia
Hyde Park Barracks Museum: Queens Square, Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
*The museum is currently closed for renewal and will reopen in late 2019.