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Travel 101- HIBERNATE IN STYLE THIS WINTER IN THE LUXURIOUS NEW SUITES AT THE SEBEL PIER ONE SYDNEY

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With the newly released winter menu at Sebel Pier One Sydney, why not hide from the elements & indulge yourself with our delicious room service menu while relaxing in style in one of the new luxurious suites. Built over the waters of Sydney Harbour at Walsh Bay, you can devour the sensational new menu and awaken your tastebuds while gazing at the unrivalled harbour views. Take in some of the iconic landmarks, such as The Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Sydney Opera House or the famous smile of Luna Park, all while sipping on a glass of champagne in absolute luxury.

Sebel Pier One Executive Chef, John Slaughter, believes he has created a winter menu that will satisfy every diner’s palette. “Every season, I update the menu. I take a lot of time in choosing fresh produce that compliments the season and is readily available at that time of year. It’s important that we only use the highest quality food, sourced both locally and abroad, so that each mouthful is an experience in itself.”

As exquisite as the new suites, the ‘melt in your mouth’ Braised Beef Short Rib, Mirin & Soy on Chili Slaw is a must-have from the new menu. The Pan seared citrus pepper scallops with salted cucumber & sauce verge are the perfect way to start the evening whilst to finish, John Slaughter suggests you must try the Toasted Marshmallow, Strawberries, Lemon Curd, Champagne Chillout with Strawberry Sorbet.

Alternatively, dress for winter and have your room service outside, as four of the suites boast large balcony spaces. A wrap-around balcony for three of the suites, provide generous space with divisions to ensure privacy, while the fourth suite balcony offers an impressive 40 metre squared space jutting over the Pier. The space makes for an ideal setting for your own private alfresco dining and sunset drinks.

All of the new suites feature king size beds, a marble topped wet bar with Nespresso coffee machine, marble topped working desk, two LED flat screen TVs – one of which rises from the bed base, Foxtel, iPod/iPad docking stations and WiFi internet access. The bathrooms have (insert “a”) designer, deep standalone bathtub, soothing rainwater heads with side jets, double brass bowl vanities and deluxe amenity kits from Appelles Apothecary.

Complementing The Sebel Pier One Sydney, is its sister hotel in The Rocks, Harbour Rocks Hotel. This historic 59-room hotel was completely redeveloped in 2012 & delivers outstanding luxury and attention to detail while maintaining respect for the historical and architectural features of the original building. Both hotels are perfectly located to explore Sydney.

What’s On: Biggest Vivid Ever

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Visitors flocked to the biggest Vivid Sydney ever, which included the largest Vivid Light Walk expanding into North Sydney with the lighting of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Darling Harbour showcasing Australia’s first spectacular water show performances.

The Vivid Music program also expanded into new venues and Vivid Ideas featured more than 180 events with over 6,000 tickets sold. Over 40,000 tickets were sold for Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House.

Mr Stoner said, this year, Vivid Sydney achieved record results for NSW, with crowds significantly larger than last year.

“Vivid also reached audiences in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide through extensive media coverage. I am confident Vivid Sydney will have delivered this year well in excess of the estimated $10 million in economic impact,” Mr Stoner said.

“Vivid has huge appeal and has been successful in attracting visitors not only from this State and across Australia – where domestic travel packages were up 8% – but also internationally, with over 11,000 travel packages sold, including 7,200 from China.

“Bringing so many visitors into Sydney for this festival also delivered terrific results for local retailers who all embraced Vivid. Some of the waterfront restaurants at The Rocks saw a 300% increase in diners, with reports of their capacity last seen during the Olympics. Many Darling Harbour restaurants also experienced similar growth.”

The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest annual festival of light, music and ideas is a signature event in the NSW Events Calendar, owned and managed by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said the most successful Vivid Sydney yet was great testimony to the way the festival has been embraced by Sydneysiders and visitors alike, and the creative services industry.

“So much enthusiasm and passion is invested in making Vivid Sydney a wonderful winter event by not only the creative practitioners involved in the Festival itself, but the hundreds of thousands of people who attended. To be able to hold an event which attracts so many visitors, not only domestically but also from all over the world is very special, and of course is an important contributor to the goal of doubling overnight expenditure by 2020. During Vivid Sydney we hosted 76 media and 284 international travel buyers,” Ms Chipchase said.

“There has been excellent collaboration with key partners and sponsors as well as hundreds of local businesses and communities to make Vivid Sydney a success, and something that is looked forward to every year. It’s a hallmark event for Sydney and Australia, and is also increasing its fan base internationally.”

Vivid Sydney also saw success digitally, with almost 40,000 downloads of the free Vivid Sydney, more than 1 million people visit the vividsydney.com website since 1 May, a 200% growth in Vivid Sydney Facebook fans and a huge 2,800% growth of Vivid Ideas fans.

Vivid Sydney 2013 Highlights

Stepping into the history books with Sydney Harbour Bridge: the western façade was lit for the first time by Vivid Sydney partner Intel Australia and 32 Hundred Lighting, with North Sydney Council. It captured the imagination of everyone and even supported the NSW Blues ahead of the first State of Origin Game when Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, turned the bridge blue with NSW State of Origin vice-captain Robbie Farah.

Extending into Darling Harbour for the first time: more than 200,000 people enjoyed the dancing water fountains and dazzling light and water shows. The show was created especially for Vivid by French artists Aquatique Show International, and staged in collaboration with Destination NSW, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the Darling Harbour Alliance. The event was supported by Citibank, which hosted customers at its Pop-Up Bar.

The celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the world’s most iconic space traveller, Doctor Who: legions of costumed fans attend the one night only 3D-mapped projections on the façade of Customs House on Saturday 1 June. The projections, created by Sydney’s own The Spinifex Group, saw Doctor Who travel through space and time, pursued by some of his greatest enemies. The Spinifex Group also created the projections on the Sydney Opera House called Play, and Collaboration #3 with renowned artist Gemma Smith at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Vivid Ideas cemented its position as a champion of Sydney and Australia’s creative industries: it showcased Sydney as the place to collaborate, foster business connections and showcase new ideas. Headquartered on the sixth floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia with events at more than 25 venues across Sydney, Vivid Ideas grew in 2013 from 100 to 122 unique events and boasted a wealth of creative local and international talent including keynote talks by UK artist and Turner Prize nominee David Shrigley; IDEO’s chief creative officer Paul Bennett; street wear entrepreneur Johnny Cupcakes and big data artist Jonathan Harris.

More than 6,000 people attended 18 days of talks, workshops, panels and meet-ups at the Vivid Ideas Exchange with thousands more attending key creative industry events as part of Vivid Ideas including Semi-Permanent, AMPlify, Australian International Design Festival, Reportage Photography Festival, ISEA 2013, SPARC International Lighting Event, Mumbrella360, X|Media|Lab and more.

Over 40,000 tickets were sold to the 10-day music celebration Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House: audiences were attracted by a stellar line-up that included the world premiere of Empire of the Sun’s highly anticipated second album, Ice on the Dune, in addition to the eight sell-out Kraftwerk retrospective 3D shows, The Catalogue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8, and the Australian debut of r’n’b soul legend Bobby Womack.

Vivid Music, a new addition to Vivid Sydney sold more than 5,400 tickets for a program that featured leading-edge electronic dance and house music at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, a two-day program of innovative and experimental music at the Seymour Centre, dance music at The Argyle and the sold out performance of datamatics 2.0 by Japanese artist Ryoji Ikdea at Carriageworks for ISEA 2013.

2,000 people danced in front of Customs House to Move your Building: while thousands watched wild horses run across buildings and engines rev out of walls at the Audi installation Speed of Light, the Spinifex Group transformed the historic façade of the Australasian Steam Navigation Company building into a feast of light, colour and speed. Creative light sculptures and installations were selected from around the world, including artists from Germany, England, Italy, France, USA, Korea, Malaysia and New Zealand. Australian light artists featured from Sydney, Queensland, Victoria and regional NSW including Nowra, Wagga Wagga and Tuggerah.

Vivid Sydney’s Illuminating Quick Facts

• Over 800,000 cumulative attendees
• More than 200,000 attendees to Darling Harbour
• Media coverage in over 200 countries
• Over 40,000 tickets sold for Vivid LIVE
• More than 6,000 people attended Vivid IDEAS
• Over 5,400 tickets sold for Vivid Music
• 11,304 international packages sold*
• 7,200 of these international packages from China*
• 8% increase of domestic package sales
• 284 international trade familiarisation visitors (205% increase on last year)
• 40,000 people downloaded the Vivid app
• More than 1 million visitors to http://www.vividsydney.com
• 200% growth on Vivid Sydney Facebook page
• 2,800% growth on Vivid Ideas Facebook page
*Package sales over the Vivid period generated via JTG

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Vivid 101 – Vivid Sydney set to sparkle this long weekend

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The annual festival of light, music and ideas is set to attract tens of thousands to the illuminated harbour foreshore of Circular Quay, Walsh Bay, Darling Harbour and North Sydney, and to music venues across The Rocks and the Inner West, for the final days of Vivid Sydney this long weekend.

Darling Harbour’s Vivid Aquatique show has already captivated over 110,000 people across the first week of Vivid Sydney, and due to its growing popularity has now been extended to include more lights, new full-colour lasers and three new water jets to delight crowds, doubling its size and filling Darling Harbour.

With shows on the hour ever hour from 6pm until midnight, audiences will also be treated to new additional dazzling fireworks at more shows over the long weekend including three shows on Saturday night (at 7pm, 8.30pm and 10pm) and two shows on Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights (at 7pm and 9pm). Full schedule below.

Aquatique Show International has developed and installed choreographed water and light shows for the public entertainment for more than 30 years, and has amazed audiences in over 52 countries. The four different shows playing on rotation at Darling Harbour were designed especially for the Sydney public.

Vivid Sydney transforms the harbour city with light, music and ideas

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NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner officially opened the fifth annual Vivid Sydney festival (May 24 – June 10) by lighting the sails of the Sydney Opera House to unveil a stunning visual feast of colour, movement and world-class lighting artistry, with amazing 3D-mapped light projections by Australian creative innovators, The Spinifex Group.

Launching a greatly expanded Vivid Sydney this year, including lighting the Sydney Harbour Bridge and transforming Darling Harbour into a spectacular water theatre, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said the festival, which is owned and managed by Destination NSW, the State’s major events and tourism agency, reinforced Sydney’s position as Australia’s global city and the creative hub of the Asia-Pacific.

“After a few short years Vivid Sydney is now the Southern Hemisphere’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, and a globally renowned celebration of creativity and innovation,” Mr Stoner said.

“2013 will be the biggest and boldest Vivid Sydney yet, showcasing the city like it’s never been seen before to visitors not only from Sydney and NSW, but interstate and overseas, and promoting the world-class creative industries of NSW.

Vivid Light Shines Bigger and Brighter
“The Vivid Light footprint has tripled in size and for the first time Sydney’s famous Harbour Bridge will come alive with a spectacular installation created through a collaboration between Vivid partner Intel Australia and Sydney’s 32 Hundred Lighting, with support from North Sydney Council, in a world-first interactive programmable lighting installation on the bridge’s western face, controlled by the public from a touch screen located on the Luna Park boardwalk.

“With the Sydney Harbour Bridge installation visible from Balmain, North Sydney and a multitude of harbourside vantage points on the western side of the bridge, Vivid Light illuminates more parts of the city and is accessible to more people than ever before.

“In another first, Vivid Light has extended into Darling Harbour, transforming the area into a spectacle of dancing water fountains, water screen projection performances and dazzling light and water shows, never seen before in Australia, masterminded by France’s legendary Aquatique Show International. Water shows will play on the hour, every hour from 6pm each night of Vivid Sydney, with fireworks joining the choreographed performances each Saturday.

“Crowd favourites Customs House, Circular Quay, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, The Rocks and Walsh Bay will again become a canvas for the public to enjoy wonderful light projections and installations that will appeal to all ages,” Mr Stoner said.

With a record number of applications to be part of Vivid Light, one-third of all light installations are from overseas artists, demonstrating the unique platform Vivid Sydney offers to engage with the best of the global creative economy and foster international business opportunities.

“Vivid Sydney is where technology, commerce and art intersect—delivering real business outcomes. With 37 per cent of Australia’s creative industries located in NSW, supporting creative industries through events like Vivid Sydney is key to the NSW Government’s strategy to grow the NSW economy,” Mr Stoner said.

“In 2012 Vivid Sydney attracted more than 500,000 spectators and we anticipate numbers will reach well over 550,000 in 2013, injecting around $10 million in new money into the NSW economy.”

Vivid LIVE and Vivid Music – Loud and clear with a spectrum of world class talent
Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House tonight opens with a performance by electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk, who begin the first of a four-night presentation of their acclaimed retrospective series that also sold out at MoMA in New York and TATE Modern in London.

With more than 25 music events by leading international and national artists, highlights include the world premiere of Australia’s Empire of the Sun’s much-anticipated second album Ice On The Dune, Underworld’s electronic king Karl Hyde, and the 45-piece Heritage Orchestra performing Vangelis’ original Blade Runner score.

For the first time, an additional music program Vivid Music will be staged in the last week of the festival, focusing on electronic, experimental, improvised music, including the Terminal Projekt at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Vivid Sydney at Seymour’s New Wave: Sound, and special programs for ISEA2013 and the Argyle.

Vivid Ideas assembles big thinkers in biggest line up yet
The Vivid Ideas program brings leading creatives and thought leaders from across the world to Sydney in over 120 creative industry business events as part of Vivid Ideas, and was voted one of the world’s top ten ideas festivals in the world by the UK’s influential Guardian newspaper.

Vivid Ideas’ program focuses on innovation, discussion, and collaboration. Highlights include Australian-exclusive talks from visual artist and cult icon David Shrigley (UK), streetwear entrepreneur Johnny Cupcakes (USA), digital artist and storyteller Jonathan Harris (USA), IDEO’s Chief Creative Officer Paul Bennett (USA), and revolutionary product designer Jane Chen (USA/India).

Creative industry business events partnering with Vivid Sydney include Australian International Design Festival, The Digital Playground by IDEA Australia, International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) 2013, Semi-Permanent, Sydney Writers’ Festival, Reportage Photography Festival, X|Media|Lab, SPARC International Lighting Event, Sydney Film Festival, Mumbrella360, Head On Photo Festival, AMPlify, and CeBIT Australia.

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said, “Vivid Sydney is a ground-breaking event that builds the creative community of Sydney, as well as generating visitation from our key tourism markets. It is Sydney and Australia’s major festival in winter, and a signature event on the NSW events calendar. This year we have a free Vivid Sydney Harbour Shuttle ferry servicing Walsh Bay, North Sydney and Darling Harbour.

“I thank partners Intel, Citibank and Audi and other supporters, and encourage everyone to come and experience Australia’s global event city in a completely different light during Vivid Sydney.”

What’s On: People’s Choice Awards Shake Up 2013 Disaronno Mixing Star

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The public will have the chance to vote for their favourite cocktail in the Disaronno Mixing Star People’s Choice Awards hosted by actor and director Gracie Otto on Wednesday 15 May 2013.

This exclusive consumer event will be held at the The Loft, Sydney at 6pm – 9pm where three bartenders will compete for the People’s Choice Awards, by showcasing their original Disaronno cocktail creations that have been inspired by a favourite film scene.

Guests can sample and judge the specialty cocktails while enjoying delicious hors d’oeuvres.

The top three cocktails will be chosen from 15 submissions from around Australia judged by Club Suntory (www.clubsuntory.com) and selected to compete in the Disaronno Mixing Star National Final cocktail-making competition. The final three cocktails on offer will have been judged on the quality and taste of their cocktails and their creative link to the film scene.

At the event, the three final cocktails will be available for the public to taste and decide which cocktail should win the first ever Disaronno Mixing Star People’s Choice Awards.

Where: The Loft, 3 Lime Street When: Wednesday, 15 May 2013 Time: 6pm – 9pm
Entry: Free

For more information or recipe ideas visit http://www.themixingstar.com OR http://www.facebook.com/themixingstar

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What’s on** Fort Denison announces bonfire lights for Vivid Sydney

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Sydney’s famous Fort Denison, recently coveted by Ellen DeGeneres, has announced a series of light installations as part of Vivid Sydney, that will complement its program of dinners and Vivid Light artist talks being staged for the first time as a new addition to the 18-day festival of light, music and ideas, starting May 24.

FIRELIGHT @ FORT will see a giant 8-metre high, simulated bonfire propelled into the skyline every evening of Vivid Sydney (May 24 to 10 June) alongside several other works by a team from the Master of Design Lighting Design course at the University of Technology and sponsored by Philips.

The public will be able to see the works from the harbour foreshore and visit the island for the dinner and tour experience on select weekend nights during Vivid Sydney by booking the ferry and Dinner DeLights experience at http://www.fortdenison.com.au

The lighting installations on the island tell some of the history of Fort Denison during its 150 years perched in the middle of Sydney Harbour. It has been a defence outpost, a weather station and now a museum, restaurant and the home to many sensational evening events.

The giant artificial bonfire provides a welcoming beacon, inviting all indigenous tribes to come for a corroboree on the island that the local Aboriginal people called Mat-te-wan-ye. There will also be seven red chimneys reflecting the light of cosy hearths inside the barracks and lit windows will display silhouettes of the avian emblems of countries that were once seen as possible threats and invaders to the colony but are now our friends. The lone surviving palm tree on the island will cast shadows reminding viewers that there were once more palms on the island.

Designers Mike Day, Yiren Ding, Sun Jong Song and Alan Rose have created the whimsical and fun installations for great visual impact from the distance of the shore and to be enjoyed up close for the lucky visitors who take a ferry to the island from 6pm on the evenings of May 24, 25, 31, June 1, 7, 8 & 9. Ferries will depart Wharf 6 at Circular Quay.

Dinner DeLIGHTS includes a sumptuous two-course dinner overlooking the spectacular city lightshow, an intimate talk from Vivid Light artists and a guided tour of the historic Martello Tower, which offers breathtaking views of Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Vivid Sydney lightshow at Circular Quay.

Diners can take in the spectacular Vivid Light walk around Circular Quay, The Rocks and Walsh Bay before boarding a five-minute harbour cruise to the island for dinner and drinks from 6.15pm until 9.45pm, with return ferry shuttles throughout the evening.

Fort Denison Restaurant is a rare gem of Sydney, nestled amongst the sandstone walls of Fort Denison Island in the centre of Sydney Harbour National Park and offering a crowd-pleasing menu, inspired by the best of Australian produce.

Bookings for Dinner DeLIGHTS are $99 per person, which includes a two-course meal, the Vivid Light artist talk, return water transfers to Circular Quay, park entry fee and a guided tour of the Martello Tower led by NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service.

Places are extremely limited, so people are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment. For more information or to make a booking email reservations@tecatering.com.au or visit http://www.fortdenison.com.au

What: Dinner DeLIGHTS
When: 24, 25 & 31 May and 1, 7, 8 & 9 June 2013
Where: Fort Denison Restaurant
Bookings: reservations@tecatering.com.au
More information: http://www.fortdenison.com.au

What’s On: Vivid Sydney expands to illuminate Darling Harbour with Australian first – music and water spectacular

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner, announced today that Vivid Sydney 2013 will extend to the Darling Harbour precinct for the first time.

Developed, owned and managed by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, Vivid Sydney is an 18-day festival of light, music and ideas. It is the biggest festival of its kind in the southern hemisphere and will take place in Sydney from 24 May to 10 June.

For the first time in Vivid Sydney’s five-year history, Vivid Light will extend to Darling Harbour and transform the precinct into a spectacle of dancing water fountains, water screen projection performances and dazzling light and water shows, never seen before in Australia, masterminded by France’s legendary Aquatique Show International.

Aquatique Show International has developed and installed choreographed water and light shows for public entertainment for more than 30 years, amazing audiences in over 52 countries.

Mr Stoner said: “Vivid Sydney brings visitors something new and spectacular every year – and this year is no exception. Bringing Vivid Light to Darling Harbour will give visitors an amazing and unique Australian-first experience that will showcase the world’s best lighting and water technology, artistry and design. It’s sure to be something people will come back to many times over the duration of Vivid Sydney.

SOCIAL SPY** SYDNEY CELEBRATES REJUVENATION OF PARKROYAL DARLING HARBOUR, SYDNEY

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Sydneysiders this week celebrated a milestone in the history of one of Australia’s most respected hotel brands with the official launch of the PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney. Hosted by well- known travel presenter Laura Csortan and actor Rodger Corser, the event included a live performance from RnB star Timomatic and an intimate, surprise performance by X-Factor judge Natalie Bassingthwaighte.

Over 400 guests from the business, entertainment and travel & tourism industries enjoyed drinks and canapés in the expansive new lobby before moving to the new restaurant and conference floor.

There they were treated to an intricately crafted array of dishes inspired by PARKROYAL hotels around the world, including Myanmar, Vietnam and Singapore. As part of the showcase of destinations and experiences unique to the harbour city, Westfield Sydney staged a live fashion show to present the latest collections from their broad range of Australian designers. A destination itself, Westfield Sydney hosts some of the world’s most desired iconic brands and premium world- class dining options. Westfield Sydney also has an array of Concierge services popular with tourists and corporate travellers including the Westfield Sydney Privilege Card offering visitors to Sydney exclusive discounts, special offers and access to our onsite Concierge Team which includes the option of hotel delivery.

Among the guests were The Hon Martin Ferguson MP, Federal Tourism Minister, Tourism Australia CEO Andrew McEvoy and A. Patrick Imbadelli, President and CEO of Pan Pacific Hotels Group, owners of the PARKROYAL brand globally. Also in attendance were local stars Dan Ewing, Timmy Trumpet and Victoria Morish.

“This event perfectly heralded a new chapter for the PARKROYAL brand in Australia,” said Craig Bond, General Manager – Oceania of Pan Pacific Hotels Group. “Although PARKROYAL hotels offer exemplary service in half a dozen countries, the birth of the brand was here in Australia and it has been synonymous with hospitality in this country for decades. The rejuvenation of the DarlingHarbour property demonstrates to travellers both domestically and internationally that we will continue to provide a cutting edge hotel experience well into the future.”

The new hotel interiors were the work of internationally acclaimed design firm HASSELL, last year named Australasia’s number one architectural design practice in the BD World Architecture Top 100. The designers introduced a fresh, contemporary aesthetic that seamlessly merges the international characteristics of the PARKROYAL brand with Australian influences unique to the hotel’s locale. Incorporating the latest in hotel technology, the redesign will soon allow smartphones to be encoded as room keys.

Offering a personal level of service, the 340-room PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney is conveniently located on the eastern fringe of the CBD, placing it within walking distance of many of the city’s finest dining and entertainment options. With most of Sydney’s iconic tourist attractions nearby, it is perfectly situated for holidaymakers to explore the city at their leisure. For business travellers, the hotel’s Club Rooms offer a range of services and facilities including priority check-in, in-room Wi Fi, a complimentary laundry service and access to the Club Lounge to make their stay as streamlined as possible.

Photo credit on all is Belinda Rolland.

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WHAT’S ON** FEEL THE LOVE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY IN SYDNEY

This Valentine’s Day there is plenty to treat your other half to, or yourself!

Here is a comprehensive list for you to have a glance at, to give you inspiration for the day of love!

Valentine’s Day at Arras

At this stunning restaurant nestled in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, it’s the perfect choice for an inner city splash out. Think amazing food, stunning intimate interior and LOTS of brownie points! There’s a five course menu and an eight course degustation to choose from.

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Bucket List Bondi

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“Come in to The Bucket List and break bread with your Valentine on February 14!” – The lovely guys at Bucket List: Bondi ‘s beach-front trendy eatery, have baked a special heart shaped loaf.

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Top chef Tom has created a platter that he calls -‘Love to Share’. It promises to be amazing and has a bit of an aphrodisiac theme -rock oysters, tartare of salmon served with avocado crème, fresh figs , almonds, pomegranate and zucchini flowers … which will be sure to get you in the mood! at $40 it is incredible value.

Valentine’s Day with the Keystone Group

GAZEBO WINE GARDEN

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The Scoot N Root

Glass of Madam Coco rosé, 1 x red stemmed rose, shared platter of aphrodisiacs to start and a main course – $55 per person

Glass of Taittinger, 1 x red stemmed rose, shared platter of aphrodisiacs to start, a main course and dessert – $99 per person

*Have dinner with us then head then over to Darlinghurst Theatre to see Torch Song Trilogy. If we book for you – we can get you a concession rate to the play for $35!*

THE WINERY

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Fall in love at The Winery

Indulge in a desert tasting plate for two for $26 which can be ordered on the night.

MANLY WINE

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Surf, Wine and Love at Manly

A delicious dinner, decadent desserts and a wine list to swoon over! We also have a rose, chocolate and glass of bubbles for $15 to make your dinner that little bit extra special.

NEWTOWN HOTEL – THE ANIMAL

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Get animalistic this Valentine’s Day

Enjoy bubbles on arrival, a flower for your valentine and a feast for 2 from our Greek Eatery – $55 per person

AND if you are flying solo this Valentine’s day…

Sweethearts Rooftop BBQ

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Who needs boys anyway?

$35 Banquet menu including cocktails on arrival.

MCA Café’s “Sounds on the Terrace”

At the MCA Café in the Rocks, guests can soak up free live music and spectacular views from Circular Quay to the Harbour Bridge at the Café’s Sculpture Terrace where Sounds on the Terrace takes place. This is the perfect spot to start your Valentine’s evening with pre-dinner drinks before your dinner reservation nearby. Or you can make a night of it in the relaxed ambience, sipping champagne and enjoying shared plates with friends and loved ones. New Sydney-based act, Recall will feature music composed by Daniel OʼLeary on the night.

MCA Cafe & Sculpture Terrace

The MCA Café and Sculpture Terrace is located on Level Four of the Museum of Contemporary Art. The understated but luxurious finishes of the Sculpture Terrace provide a sleek contemporary backdrop to suit any occasion. Open to the public as well as Museum visitors, the café has a contemporary atmosphere in which to enjoy lunch, morning or afternoon tea, or simply to drop in for a coffee. The seasonal and sustainable menu changes daily, to utilise fresh, local produce.

Date: Thursday 14 February 2013
Time: 05.30 PM – 09.00 PM
Location: MCA Sculpture Terrace, Level 4 Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George St, The Rocks
Cost: Free
More Info: http://www.mca.com.au/events/sounds-terrace-14-feb/5822/

Vaucluse House Tea Rooms

At the Eastern Suburbs’ historic Vaucluse House Tearooms, Fresh Catering will present an exclusive dining event featuring live entertainment for couples celebrating Valentine’s Day, Thursday February 14th. The Tearooms are situated within the grounds of the Vaucluse House Estate.

Guests will be treated to a sumptuous three course dinner prepared by award-winning caterer, Fresh Catering, together with a glass of sparkling wine on arrival. With bookings available after 6pm, the price for each guest is $65. Live harp music will feature throughout the night, filling the room with a touch old school romance.

Celebrate Valentines at The Star Casino

The Darling

This February, The Darling hotel will be running its special ‘Be My Darling’ package including an overnight stay, romantic breakfast for two in your room and two cocktails at Cherry bar. For those seeking extra relaxation, it’s possible to upgrade your booking to a Jewel Suite for an additional $250 that entitles guests to a couple’s massage to the value of $350.

(Be My Darling $399; Jewel Suite Upgrade $250; to book quote “BEMYDARLING”; available Sunday-Thursday February 2013; 1800 800 830;www.thedarling.com.au)

Spa

In celebration of the month of love, The Spa at The Darling is offering two exclusive pamper sessions for both men and women – The Romeo and The Juliet. For the guys, what’s not to love about an invigorating sports massage, followed by a relaxing scalp massage and a refreshing beer afterwards as part of the treatment? The Juliet includes an express facial, back, neck and shoulder massage, the short and sweet pedi and an indulgent glass of champagne at the end.

(The Romeo – 1hr 15 $200; The Juliet – 1hr 30 $200; available February 2013; 1800 800 830; www.thedarling.com.au)

Sokyo

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The contemporary Japanese restaurant will be serving an indulgent eight course menu, created by renowned chef Chase Kojima, including some of the restaurant’s most famed dishes such as its signature sushi and Abalone Tempura. Chef Kojima brilliantly fuses traditional Japanese culinary craftsmanship with modern Australian flavour.

($120 per person; bookings required; www.star.com.au/sokyo

BLACK by ezard

Award winning chef, Teague Ezard, has put together a seven course degustation menu for Valentine’s Day showcasing what makes BLACK by ezard one of Sydney’s top restaurants. From a delicate sashimi through to a luxuriant wagyu rump, the menu features the perfect balance of Australian and Asian flavours.

($130 per person, matching wines $70 per adult; bookings required; www.star.com.au/black)


Balla

Stefano Manfredi brings the best of romantic Italy to your table at Balla this Valentine’s Day with a four course set menu beginning with an antipasti feast, followed by a choice of fresh pasta, a main course of either wood grilled John Dory or veal tenderloin, finishing off with a delicious Italian dessert.

($125 per person; bookings required; www.star.com.au/balla)

Cherry

With its stunning harbour views, Cherry bar is the perfect setting for a stylish pre-dinner tipple to begin your evening. Choose from a host of impeccably made cocktails, made with only the finest ingredients, including fruity Bellinis, aromatic Mojitos and robust scotch based drinks.

(www.star.com.au/cherry)

Rock Lily: Thursday 14th February

It’s rockabilly night at The Star’s live music venue this Valentine’s Day with a dance competition open to everyone! Strut your stuff on the dance floor to Australia’s best live swing acts for the chance to win prizes galore.

7:30pm-9:30pm – Aston Martinis

10:00pm – 11:30pm – Jordan C Thomas

(Entry is complimentary and no bookings are required. With a limited capacity, Rock Lily operates on a first in best dressed basis;www.star.com.au/rocklily)

24/7 Sports Bar Thursday 14th February

It’s set to be an unforgettable Valentine’s Day for cricket lovers this year as Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee and Brad Hadden make an appearance at the 24/7 Sports Bar. There’ll be a chance to get the players’ autographs, listen to a short Q&A and enter a competition to win a framed signed bat by the Australian Cricket team.

(Entry is complimentary and no bookings are required. With a limited capacity, 24/7 Sports Bar operates on a first in, best dressed basis)

For bookings, more information or enquiries, visit www.star.com.au or call 1800 700 700.

So as you can see there is PLENTY to choose from! Hope you have a simply wonderful day and celebrate it with those that mean the most to you!

SYDNEY SOCIAL 101’S MELBOURNE CUP INSPIRATION

So silly season is almost upon us and the true start of the festivities bestowed upon Australians over the summer period is of course the Melbourne Cup!

Sydney Social 101 has compiled a guide for the Melbourne Cup celebrations across Sydney.

In no order of preference, here they are in all their glory:

FOUR POINTS SHERATON

The Heritage Atrium will boast: Sweeps a DJ, the must-have Projection screen & TV’s so that you can capture the action as it unfolds,  lucky door prizes, a fashion show and live cooking stations.

All this for just $55 per person, which  includes all food and a glass of Chandon on arrival. Bookings here.
HUGOS
GRAZIA will be hosting the ‘Get Racey’ luncheon at Hugos Bar Pizza with Editor Amy Molloy. Tickers are $120 pp includes a 3-course lunch plus all beverages. If this sounds like an event you’d like to back, bookings can be made at 02 9357 4411.

KEYSTONE

The functions teams at Keystone are raring to go with a range of Melbourne cup packages. With a range of delicious meals, beer, bubbles on offer and big screens in each venue what better way to make sure you don’t miss out on the action! Each Melbourne cup package includes big screens, sweeps & fashion on the field. Plus TAB facilities a stone throw away from each venue.

The Loft, King Street Wharf – $99 per person, cocktail style. This includes a premium 3 hour beverage package and 8 piece canapé style lunch. For more information, contact 02 8070 2400 or functionsandevents@tksg.com.au

Cargo Lounge, King Street Wharf – $99 per person, cocktail style. This includes a premium 3 hour beverage package and 8 piece canapé style lunch. For more information, contact 02 8070 2400 or functionsandevents@tksg.com.au

Cargo Bar, King Street Wharf – $99 per person, sit down lunch. Includes 3 drinks and a 3 course meal, of a shared antipasto platter to start, alternate main and dessert canapés. To book, contact 02 9262 1777 or info@cargobar.com.au

Bungalow 8, King Street Wharf – $120 per person, sit down lunch. Includes 3 drinks and a 3 course meal, of entrée, alternative main, followed by dessert canapés. To book, contact 02 9299 4660 or info@bungalow8sydney.com

The Sugar Mill, Potts Point – $59 per person, sit down lunch. Includes 3 drinks and a 3 course meal, alternate main and shared dessert platter. To book, contact 02 9363 7333 or info@sugarmill.com.au

Kit & Kaboodle, Potts Point – $89 per person, cocktail style. Includes a premium 3 hour beverage package and 8 piece canapé style lunch. For more information, contact 02 8070 2400 or email functionsandevents@tksg.com.au

Gazebo Wine Garden, Potts Point – $130 per person, sit down lunch. Includes a glass of bubbles on arrival, 4 course lunch with a selection of 3 mains. To book, contact 02 9357 5333 or email info@gazebowinegarden.com.au

The Winery, Surry Hills – Choose between two options 1) $120 per person, cocktail style. Includes a glass of bubbles on arrival and a laneway style BBQ.  Or 2) $130 per person, sit down lunch. Includes a glass on arrival, 4 course seafood lunch with a selection of two mains. To book, contact 02 9331 0833 or email info@thewinerysurryhills.com.au

Manly Wine, Manly – $110 per person, sit down lunch. Includes a glass of bubbles on arrival plus a choice of his or hers 4 course menu with alternative mains. To Book, contact 02 8966 9000 or email info@manlywine.com.au

MERIVALE

The Kids Cup at ivy Charity luncheon is being held at the Ivy Ballroom of course! Tickets range from $200 per person or $2000 for a table. The cost includes three-course lunch including Chandon NV, wine and beer as well as sweepstakes, entertainment and live coverage of the race. All profits raised will go to Cure Our Kids. Bookings can be made here: 02 9240 3000

THE BERESFORD

Melbourne Cup After-Party at Upstairs Beresford. Punters can choose to continue the horseplay after the big race. Free entry and live entertainment including Furnace & The Fundamentals to party the night away, music to our ears!

BAVARIAN BIER CAFE

Bavarian Bier Café gears up for the race that stops the nation – The glamour and excitement of Melbourne Cup is fast approaching and Bavarian Bier Café is hosting fever pitched fun across its restaurants including CBD favourites O’Connell and York Street, Moore Park’s Entertainment Quarter, beachside suburbs Manly and Bondi, the north side’s Crows Nest and Chatswood, and Parramatta in the city’s west.

Whether you are excited to have a flutter on the horses or simply hoping to soak up the atmosphere of race day, Bavarian Bier Café is the place to treat yourself to more than just the office sweepstake this Melbourne Cup – with all participating venues screening the afternoon of racing live.

Special Cup day festivities include:

o    Sweepstakes, spot prizes and live screenings of the race across all restaurants.

o    Set menus including delicious homemade pretzels, Bavarian deli platters, schnitzels and traditional apple strudel. 2 course $49pp and 3 course $59pp. For bookings at Manly, Crows Nest, O’Connell Street and York Street restaurants.

o    Best dressed prize awarded to the most glamorous guy and gal.

Racing enthusiasts and aspiring trackside princesses alike can celebrate Melbourne Cup in true Bavarian style at Bavarian Bier Café. For more information about Melbourne Cup at Bavarian Bier Café, visit http://www.bavarianbiercafe.com/  or book by emailing reservations@bavarianbiercafe.com or callling 02 9259 5680.

Mumm Champagne Spring Carnival Bar at The BELLEVUE

Located upstairs at the Bellevue, the beautiful NV Mumm Champagne Spring Carnival Bar, styled by designer Michelle Leslie, was saturated with spring flowers, candles, painted murals, a freshly ‘turfed’ outdoor terrace and splashes of Mumm red and gold from the red carpet leading upstairs to lamp shades and Mumm imagery.

Set to be the place to be in Sydney during the spring racing carnival, the stylish ‘pop up’ bar will host Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Derby Day, as well as a special men’s dinner, a sumptuous Damien Pignolet dinner and the ultimate in Melbourne Cup day celebrations.

Bellevue Hotel co-owner and Riversdale Group CEO Paddy Coughlan welcomed guests, while ambassador for the NV Mumm Champagne Spring Carnival Bar Laura Csortan told VIP and celeb partygoers she was thrilled to be back from LA and in one of her favourite Sydney pubs for the launch of the bar, and DJ Alex Dimitriades spun cool tunes throughout the night.

The NV Mumm Champagne Spring Carnival Bar will run through until Melbourne Cup day on Tuesday November 6, and is available for group and function bookings.

MELBOURNE CUP AT THE OLD LIBRARY

From trackside to beachside all the glitz and glamour of Flemington will hit Cronulla when The Old Library Restaurant & Bar celebrates Melbourne Cup day in style.

A sumptuous three course luncheon  for just $75pp has been designed by Head Chef David Magill and showcases the very best in seasonal produce and modern Italian flavour.

David Magill says, “Spring isn’t just about racing, it’s also the time to celebrate nature’s bounty. So why not heighten your glass of Moët with the freshest the season has to offer.”

At The Old Library David’s spring inspired Melbourne Cup menu includes “Stuzzichini” (Appertizers) of snapper carpaccio, baby beetroots and blood orange and an amazing salad of marinated artichokes, broad beans, fennel, olive and purple potatoes.

There will be all the usual Melbourne Cup Day celebrations, including big screen broadcast of the races, a sweepstake and fashion parade that will help set the scene in the award winning stylish surrounds of the spectacular Old Library.

The Old Library’s Melbourne Cup Luncheon will run on Tuesday 6th November and is available from $75pp.  The Old Library is the only Shire restaurant to make it into the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide. Bookings are essential.

Address: 15 Surf Rd, Cronulla, NSW

Phone: (02) 9544 5360

Opening Hours: Thursday – Sunday, midday ‘til late

FIRST IN, BEST DRESSED AT THE 3 WEEDS THIS MELBOURNE CUP

Suits and frocks, fillies and jocks, Melbourne Cup unites style queens, gamblers and equine enthusiasts once a year and this November, Rozelle’s 3 Weeds restaurant brings the festivities to Sydney with a Carnival Cup Luncheon for all.

The Restaurant at 3 Weeds brings all the fun and excitement of Flemington to Rozelle with an elegant Melbourne Cup day menu devised by Head Chef Leigh McDivitt.

Large screens provide ample views of the racing action, while sweepstakes and prizes for best dressed make for some great fun off the track.

True to tradition, toast with a glass of bubbles on arrival, before indulging in a 3 course spring luncheon with entrees such as Camomile tea smoked quail with hand-picked crab, basil, sweet corn and ginger jus gras.

For those looking for a more casual experience, ‘Picnic In the Bar’ entails a gourmet hamper for 5, filled with delights such as Chicken & tarragon terrine and smoked salmon, dill & crème fraiche. The $150 hamper is perfect for a relaxing long ‘picnic’ lunch and comes with the promise of dry weather, unlike the imminent rain Melbourne is infamous for.

There will be plenty of activities on the day both in the Bar and Restaurant.  Try your luck in the sweepstakes or the team race tipping competition where $500 in 3 Weeds vouchers will be up for grabs.

There will be prizes for Best Dressed Male and Female so don your race day best and join the 3 Weeds this Melbourne Cup!

The Carnival Cup Luncheon, held on Thursday November 1st, is available from just $80pp

Bookings are essential.

To book, head to http://3weeds.com.au or P: 02 9818 2788

The Restaurant is open:

Dinner – Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm.

Lunch – Last Sunday of the Month from 12pm

Special Events – Upon request

SO what you waiting for, there is SO much to choose from – GET INVOLVED!

Echoer – Featured Blogger

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