Pollination at The Calyx
Long business trip layovers in Sydney can be a blessing or a curse.
On a bad layover, I’m saddled with luggage, inappropriate footwear for traipising about Sydney’s CBD, and everyone’s at work or getting ready for bed.
On a good layover, I’m wearing sensible shoes, my luggage is checked in with a direct, connecting flight, and friends and family can hang out.
This time it’s a great layover.
I missed Mother’s Day in the Blue Mountains due to us Nomads living on the NSW mid north coast now. A week later we made up for it – my parents and Nan kept me company on a 4 hour layover between Sydney and Coffs Harbour. It’s the perfect amount of time to grab a bite to eat and make up for Mother’s Day.
For our replacement Mother’s Day, we visit the Royal Botanic Gardens and have lunch at the Calyx. The Calyx is a beautiful piece of architecture, using a clever mix of indoor and outdoor areas and regularly changing floral display exhibits. I love the light, open feeling to the building, and entering on this cold day, it’s warm and welcoming.
Today’s exhibition is Pollination at The Calyx.
An enormous green-planted wall spells out the word in plants – Dichondra, Syngonium and Heuchera. The volunteer staff tell us that the wall is the largest of its kind in Australia, and the plants used change with each exhibit.
Against the backdrop of this wall are the colourful garden beds, filled with orchids, daisies, gardenias and lilies. When you look above the garden beds, you can’t miss the giant bees also made out of a clever mix of vibrant plants and flowers. My almost 2 year old nephew, Declan, is obsessed with bees right now (and loves saying the word!) so we take photos to send to him.
The exhibit is busy, but people are courteous with letting others view and take photos, so it’s quite comfortable.
We have lunch at the Calyx Café after the exhibit. It has something for all of us with our very different diets. I have the vermicelli salad, made vegan on request. It’s filling, with lovely Asian flavours, and I’m pleased with the (sole) vegan option on the menu. I didn’t think to ask what the non-vegan item was in it, but I’m assuming it was fish sauce. Mai sai nam plah, I would have said when living in Thailand (a constant phrase I used there).
My Dad chooses the crispy pork bao, on my recommendation – I tell him how soft and pillowy and delicious a good bao is. Mum has the Spiced pumpkin salad beetroot, chickpeas, capsicum, quinoa, walnuts, feta salad, while Nan chooses a toasted croissant. We have some wine and beer to share, after all – this is our replacement Mother’s Day!
This was one of the nicest layovers I’ve had. It’s a good combination of indoor and outdoor activities in Sydney, Exhibitions at The Calyx are free to review, the food is delicious, and the exhibits change frequently enough that you can visit The Calyx semi regularly. It’s the perfect way to spend the day with your family.
The Pollination Exhibit closes on 15 August!