By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group Photos: David Hill, Deep Hill Media
Indulge in a feast of the senses this festive season as the Konzert Kollektiv fills the grandest of the grand Blue Mountains hotels with majestic Christmas music on December 22.
Accompanied by fine food and sublime sunset views, soprano Catherine Bouchier will join tenor Brad Cooper and concert pianist Katherine Day for an unforgettable evening at the Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains to mark the 200th anniversary of loved Christmas carol Silent Night.
The event will include well known pieces by Adolf Schulz-Evler, Percy Grainger, Richard Strauss, Peter Alexander, Peter Cornelius, Franz Lehár, Erich Korngold, Adolphe Adam and more.
As well as favourites such as Joy to the World and The Holy City (Jerusalem), the great carol of peace will receive special attention on its 200th anniversary.
According to legend, Silent Night was sung for the first time on Christmas Eve 1818 in a little church in the Austrian village of Oberndorf outside Salzburg. The story goes that the choirmaster hurriedly penned the hymn to be played on a guitar when it was discovered mice had chewed through the bellows of the church organ.
Escarpment Group guest services manager Meagan Iervasi said: “The story of Silent Night pefectly complements the Hydro Majestic, with that just right blend of magic, mischief and majesty.’’
The program will be accompanied by a five-course “taste of Christmas’’ degustation dinner of fresh regional produce showcasing the culinary talents of an international team of chefs.
Tickets: $145pp includes welcome cocktail, dinner and concert. BOOKINGS.
The Silent Night event will open a Christmas and New Year’s season of operatic proportions at Escarpment Group collection of luxury hotels.
Inspired by the sparkle of Christmas lights and the warm glow they bring to the festive season, the Wintergarden Restaurant will host a decadent five-course degustation with all the trimmings overlooking the spectacular views of the Megalong Valley. Cost: $125 adults, $65 children (3-12 years), children aged 0-2 years complimentary. BOOKINGS.
Christmas Day – December 25
Lunch: five-course lunch infused with Asian flavours overlooking the Jamison Valley. Cost: $189 adults, $65 children (4 – 12 years).
Dinner: five-course Asian-inspired degustation with a glass of sparkling cocktail on arrival. Cost: $169 adults, $65 children (4 – 12 years).
Lunch: seven-course contemporary Australian degustation featuring the freshest seasonal local ingredients served in the historic multi award-winning building. Cost: $229 adults, $119 children (4 – 12 years).
Lunch: five-course degustation featuring hot and cold traditional Christmas fare including a three-hour beverage package (standard beer, wine, soft drinks). Cost: $199 adults, $179 teenagers (13 – 17 years), $90 children (4 – 12 years).
Lunch: sumptuous three-tier feast featuring fresh seafood, charcutier selections, carvery and traditional Christmas desserts as well as a three-hour beverage package (standard beer, wine, soft drinks) in the understated elegance of the Wintergarden Restaurant. Cost: $199 adults, $149 teenagers (13 – 17 years) and $85 children (4 – 12 years).
Dinner: lavish five-course degustation featuring an elegant array of seafood, traditional Christmas roasts and dessert, with a glass of sparkling on arrival while enjoying the sunset over the Megalong Valley. Cost: $159 adults and $85 children (4 – 12 years).
- Each venue will be decked in traditional decorations, with bon bons on the table and even a visit from Santa for the children. Children aged under 4 years complimentary.
HYDRO MAJESTIC HOTEL
High Tea: Take advantage of the holiday season and extend celebrations to a three-tiered indulgence in the Wintergarden Restaurant against the backdrop of sublime panoramic views over the Megalong Valley. Cost: $75 adults and $45 children (4-12 years old).
BOILERHOUSE CAFÉ, Hydro Majestic Hotel
Lunch: Two-course casual meal in a funky venue with a glass of sparkling on arrival and views over the Megalong Valley. Cost: $75pp.
HYDRO MAJESTIC HOTEL
Celebrate global fusion with an evening of world music, a five-course degustation meal featuring outstanding fresh seasonal produce and the culinary talents of our team of international chefs. Tickets: $135pp includes glass of sparkling on arrival, degustation dinner and performance. BOOKINGS.
HYDRO MAJESTIC HOTEL
Retro Grooves: Dust off those platform shoes and Motown moves for a night of `70s DJ dance music. Make your New Year transition unforgettable with an extravagant five-course degustation, glass of sparkling on arrival and live entertainment and panoramic views over the Megalong Valley. Smart casual dress code applies. Cost: $159 adults, $85 children aged 4-12. BOOKINGS.
Go to hydromajestic.com.au or phone (02) 4782 6885 to book events, accommodation and dining.
By Ellen Hill for Nepean Valley Funerals Photos: David Hill, Deep Hill Media
A new business partnership between two Penrith mates has created an opportunity for local residents to celebrate the life of a loved one aboard the iconic Nepean Belle paddlewheeler.
Exclusive to Nepean Valley Funerals, the closed coffin funeral and wake package includes exclusive use of the Nepean Belle paddlewheeler, a non-denominational funeral service, coffin, flowers, celebrant, printed orders of service and condolence pack, with further additions such as a photographic tribute available.
After a memorable and respectful farewell ceremony, the coffin will be removed from the paddlewheeler and friends and family then continue to remember their loved one during a catered wake on a calming river cruise into the private nooks of the Nepean Gorge.
Nepean Valley Funerals owner Jim Mueller partnered with long-time mate and Nepean Belle owner Chris Bennett after the St Dominic’s College old boys sought to combine their love of Penrith, community, the Nepean River and their respective businesses in a joint venture.
Mr Mueller and wife Janet had identified the changing trends of funerals. Although traditional church/chapel funeral services will always remain important, some families now seek a non-denominational “celebration’’.
Incorporating the iconic paddlewheeler on the tranquil waters of the region’s most recognised geographic feature was the ideal solution, offering a unique weekday option for up to 150 guests with traditional customer service and values.
Everyone knows the river,’’ Mr Mueller said.It has so much meaning and holds so many memories to so many people with associations with the Nepean region.
“It might be a case of
Dad always loved being on the water’ orMum always wanted to go on a cruise’.’’
While Mr Bennett worked on the Nepean Belle as a deckhand when it was first launched as a tourist attraction in 1982 and bought the business in 2013, Mr Mueller was “kind of born into the funeral business’’, cared for when his mother was at work by an aunt who worked at a local funeral business.
“There are few services that are as sensitive or as personal as those provided by a funeral director,’’ he said.
“We’re helping people through the worst possible time in their lives.
“We aim to make this challenging time as bearable as possible, and our new funerals on the water option on the Nepean Belle will offer family and friends an opportunity to celebrate their loved one’s life at a personal, unforgettable event.’’
Like all services arranged by Nepean Valley Funerals, Mr and Mrs Mueller arrange and attend each one after liaising with all relevant parties including hospital, doctors, coroner, clergy, civil celebrants, cemeteries, newspapers, Births Deaths and Marriages, order of service and DVD providers.
“From the moment you contact us, we will be there for you,’’ he said.
All customer families receive a complimentary online memorial through Heaven Address.
Go to funeralsonthewater.com.au or phone 4722 8222 for more information about this unique celebration of life.
- Nepean Valley Funerals and the Nepean Belle are commercial clients of Deep Hill Media
By Ellen Hill for Urban Caves Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media
For the past five months, Wayne Marmion and Guy Brown have traversed a shared path of self-discovery, reflection and challenge.
Their journey has earned Mr Brown and his business, Urban Caves, a place among the finalists in the 2018 Blue Mountains Business Awards in the Employee Inclusion Award category.
Mr Brown employed Mr Marmion under a Nova Employment and Training subsidy program he learned about after meeting a Nova representative at a Blue Mountains Regional Business Chamber event.
It has been a life-changing experience for both of them.
Suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, former navy marine technical hull specialist, Mr Marmion struggled to leave his Wentworth Falls home before becoming a Nova client and being placed in a job at the Katoomba-based Urban Caves.
These days, he works alongside Mr Brown installing pre-fabricated cabins (urban caves), micro shelters and glampervans between Glenbrook and Lithgow.
“I like to give people a go,’’ Mr Brown said.
“It’s been a really good experience for me because I had a lot of prejudices about hiring people who were older, but Wayne is a bloody good asset to the business.’’
As well as having a wealth of experience and maturity, Mr Marmion was well presented, friendly, reliable and confident making suggestions.
“I’m definitely happy and proud to have Wayne onsite with me and I’d recommend people be open-minded and give people a go.’’
As well as investing again in his tool kit, Mr Marmion has regained his passion for building, creating, drawing, playing guitar and writing stories, pastimes he was emotionally unable to engage in for years.
“I’m reconnecting with who I was even before I was in the navy. I’m using my hands again,’’ the father-of-five said.
“Guy says he doesn’t want to take credit for this, but he should. There’s been a lot of benefits for me working for him that I don’t know how to quantify.’’
- Urban Caves is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media