Monday, March 26, 2012

The more ($$$$$) the merrier

Get Up & Go's trusty fact finder David Ellis says operators of upmarket SeaDream Yacht Club are used to having affluent guests come up with some unusual requests that make them stand out from the crowd.
But it was a group of Aussies in 2005 who still stick most in their minds. And not just because one of them paid a near-$700,000 to charter one of the twin SeaDream mega motor-cruisers to take 100 family and friends on a week-long voyage through the Mediterranean to celebrate his 60th birthday (and with 95 crew to ensure they did it in style.)
“Those guys made history,” recalled SeaDream’s President, Bob Lepisto on a sales visit to Australia last week. “They drank more beer in a week on board than anyone has ever done before or since in SeaDream’s 10 year history – so much in fact, that we were only half-way through the sailing when we realised they’d drunk a whole week’s supply and we had to go ashore and re-stock the whole yacht.”

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Calling for Hotel Windsor memories

Melbourne’s Hotel Windsor is asking people to share their memories and memorabilia of the famous hotel, from valet parking receipts to special menus, to help it build an archive that will preserve and celebrate the building’s history and the changes in fashions and social trends it has witnessed.
For decades, the Hotel Windsor has been Melbourne’s choice for special family celebrations, weddings, romantic trysts, and social and business functions. Now, on the eve of its 130th anniversary in 2013, the hotel is keen to ensure these moments live on for future generations.
“The Hotel Windsor has been an integral part of the fabric of Melbourne for almost 130 years,” Victoria Batters, Hotel Windsor marketing manager, said. “The history of the building, its design and development over the decades, has been thoroughly documented but there is a lot of social and cultural history that is missing. This is what we want to gather and collate, for our own records and to share with Melbourne.”

The hotel is particularly interested in receiving photographs, videos and records of weddings at the hotel, as a barometer of changing social trends. But any records and recollections of an event will be welcome, as the hotel prepares to celebrate its 130th anniversary ahead of many of the world’s leading grand hotels including the Savoy in London and the Ritz Paris.

“We’re looking for items such as menus people may have taken as a souvenir, invitations to a special event or dinner, valet parking tickets, and, of course, photographs that perhaps show the fashions of a particular time or aspects of the hotel,” Ms Batters said. “We’d also be grateful for any written recollections of a special event such as a wedding or anniversary and memories of Melbourne and the hotel at the time.”

The hotel is asking for memorabilia to be donated if possible, but otherwise is happy to take copies of materials submitted and return the originals. “Materials will be used as part of displays for the public and to up-date our historical files and records,” Ms Batters said. “It will also be useful for media, who often ask for historic images and anecdotes about the hotel and for online archives. We realize material will be very precious to owners and every item will be treated with the utmost care.

“The hotel hosts around 70 weddings every year so we’re estimating there have been about 3,500 wedding receptions here in just the last 50 years, and at least as many events, ranging from fashion shows to book launches and business conferences. It would be wonderful to compile a visual and written record of all of this.”

The names of people who submit information will go in to a lucky draw to win an accommodation package at the hotel. And any particularly special highlights will win their owner an afternoon tea for two, at the discretion of the hotel.

Material can be submitted by regular post to: The Marketing Manager, The Hotel Windsor, 111 Spring Street, Melbourne, 3000 or by email to

The 180-room Hotel Windsor was built in 1883, pre-dating some of the world’s leading grand hotels including the Savoy in London, which was built in 1889, the Waldorf Astoria in New York which dates back to 1893, and the Ritz Paris which opened in 1898.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Heston And Hulstone Work Up An Olympic Appetite

Heston And Hulstone Work Up An Olympic Appetite: Michelin-star chef Heston Blumenthal has unveiled the Olympic and Paralympic Games inspired menus created by rising star Simon Hulstone, which cabin crew will serve to three million British Airways customers during the Games....

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Afternoon tea with a chocolate theme

At the Langham Melbourne Hotel, there's a weekend treat that's not to be missed. Amid the chatter and clink of silver cutlery against fine china and the sound of laughter from the tables - a crowd gathers to taste some of Melbourne's finest sweet fare! I enjoyed afternoon tea there last week, and first came the heavy silver pots of tea (no teabags here). My tea was perfect for the eating road ahead for me - it was an elegant white needle tea - all the way from China. First up on the menu was a selection of finger sandwiches - egg, salmon, chicken; followed by the next layer down the tiered plate - baby quiche. Ahh next were the scones, with thick raspberry jam and solid King Island cream.
After a polite time between tea and scones I waddled over to the chocolate table and oohed and ahhed until I began to place the different offering on my plate - meringues, tarts, continental cream slice, baby cup cakes, all things of chocolate dropped from heaven.
No I didn't have them all - but I did my best to taste the rest.
Meet for the treat in Aria restauranrt for Tiffin Afternoon tea and also have the Chocolate Indulgence.