On a hot, dry, windy, summer day, many Manly locals aren't complaining about the heat, they're just glad its not raining. For the past few years the Manly Jazz Festival has been more rain sodden than most would like. But today, there are no complaints and if anything, its a good excuse to eat ice cream, a sentiment shared by many if the queues are any indication.
The Jazz Festival extends from Manly Wharf all the way down the Corso to the Beach and there are 5 sets with different jazz musicians playing at each. Also along the beach are the Markets.
There is a free shuttle bus service operating every 20 mins from 11.00am to 6.00pm between the Festival and on street parking in Kenneth Road so we park there and bus it in for the short ride. While waiting at the bus stop, I misunderstand the sign completely and stand 12 metres away from it until my husband points out that it means no standing _for cars. _Ohhhhh.
Admittedly, I'm not a jazz afficionado so the interest for me lies in the markets. They're heavy in clothing and light on the food with only about 3 or 4 food stalls including Nougat Limar (a regular market fixture), biscuit stall, olive and oil stall and a bushfoods stall. Nothing particularly beckons and with the heat, I'm wanting more an ice cream than anything else.
The Royal Copenhagen near the beach has a queue two people deep snaking out the door so we walk to the other Royal Copenhagen a few minutes further down the Corso towards the Wharf. Its less packed as always but still very crowded and the staff try and organise people ordering which proves difficult as one can only see the flavours available by standing in front of the displays where people are trying to order.
We choose the Rum & Raisin and Toffee Crunch in one choc dipped one and Boysenberry Ripple and Passionfruit in another choc dipped cone. Double scoop cones are $5.60 and single scoop cones are $5.10 each with complimentary choc dipping and cream on top. There's also an array of complimentary syrup toppings (chocolate and caramel today) and sprinkles (hundreds and thousands, flaked almonds, chocolate sprinkles). We help ourselves to caramel syrup and almond flakes and exit quickly to eat our ice creams.
The ice cream isn't as sweet as you'd expect and the passionfruit is a firm favourite. The Boysenberry Ripple doesn't have a lot of Boysenberry, we prefer ribbons of the fruit streaked throughout the ice cream like the New Zealand Natural Boysenberry ice cream but Royal Copenhagen's boysenberry just barely tints the ice cream.
The Rum & Raisin is rummy enough but is missing the big fat plump raisins of the R&R by New Zealand Natural which I adore. The raisins are smaller and because they're unmacerated, they remain shrivelled. The Toffee Crunch is not bad, there are evenly distributed toffee and nut shards throughout but no ribbon of toffee.
No matter, I have come to my favourite part of the ice cream, the chocolate dipped waffle cone and we sit enjoy the breeze, heat and music. Bliss!
Manly Jazz Festival
On the October Long weekend every year
Saturday Sept 29th, Sunday Sept 30th, Monday Oct 1st 2007
Manly Wharf to Manly Beach