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Posts tagged “Medlow Bath

Silent Night fills majestic Blue Mtns venue

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.

(l-r) Tenor Brad Cooper and soprano Catherine Bouchier

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.

Christmas Eve – December 24

HYDRO MAJESTIC HOTEL

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

ECHOES RESTAURANT

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).

DARLEY’S RESTAURANT

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).

LILIANFELS RESORT & SPA

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).

HYDRO MAJESTIC HOTEL

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.

Boxing Day (Wednesday, December 26)

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.

Rio to Rome – December 29

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.

New Year’s Eve – December 31

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.


Blue Mountains: Majestic entertainment line-up at Hydro

 

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group         Main photos: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Australia’s first tourist destination – the Blue Mountains – has wooed and wowed with luxurious romantic hideaways, fine food and sophisticated nightlife for more than a century.

Hundreds of the Sydney well-heeled poured off the steam trains and motorcades into the upmarket guesthouses and grand hotels to “take the air’’ on exhilarating bushwalks through untamed wilderness, indulge in spa treatments and embark on automotive adventures to charming picnic spots and thrilling cave systems.

At night they retreated into the opulence of sumptuous restaurants and lounges filled with exotic furnishings and artwork from around the world to indulge in cigars, cocktails, gossip and mischief.

The smoke has now cleared but the essence of that halcyon era remains in the dining rooms, ballrooms and discretely lit nooks under ornately decorated vaulted ceilings and domes of heritage establishments around the upper Blue Mountains.

The grandest of the grand Blue Mountains hotels (the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath), which once hosted legendary costume parties and opera performances by the world-class likes of Dame Nellie Melba, is again gearing up for a vibrant spring entertainment line-up accompanied by a host of seasonal food offerings.

First to command the iconic venue under the Live@theHydro banner will be Havana Nights, an evening of authentic Cuban music and seductive Saturday, September 29. Musical globetrotters can journey to Havana as they sway to the soulful sounds of Cuba, dance the salsa, rumba, mambo and cha cha cha and sip on rum mojitos and daiquiris in the Majestic Ballroom.

Then, on Saturday, November 3, the original Blue Mountains party palace will be taken over by retro grooves when The Australian Bee Gees Show – A Tribute to the Bee Gees performs the greatest hits of the adored `70s sibling trio. Straight from Vegas, the covers band featuring lookalike Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb will rock the Blue Mountains escarpment when it recreates hits like Staying Alive, You Should Be Dancing, How Deep Is Your Love, and Jive Talkin’.

Guest services manager of Escarpment Group, which owns the Hydro Majestic, Meagan Iervasi said: “Combined with fortnightly live music gigs in our Boiler House Café space, fine dining and opulent architecture and décor, the Hydro Majestic is fast becoming THE place to be for anyone looking for sophisticated weekend nightlife at reasonable prices in a seriously upmarket venue.’’

Tickets for both shows: $40pp entertainment only includes complimentary welcome cocktail; $135pp three-course dinner and show package featuring the freshest seasonal produce sourced by an internationally-trained team of award-winning chefs.

Dinner, show and accommodation bookings: hydromajestic.com.au or phone (02) 4782 6885.


Festive arrival for Santa at Hydro Majestic Hotel, Blue Mountains

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

The naughty and the nice will soon be revealed as stockings are opened around the world, but it appears Santa Claus is paying special attention to Blue Mountains locals and visitors.

A TV weather camera last week captured what appeared to be Santa reverse parking over the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath. The above image was taken at 4.05am last Monday [December 11] by the unmanned camera and has generated much interest on social media.

The unknown element above the building on the left side of the photograph could be interpreted as a herd of reindeer reverse parking in formation, while the light in the middle of the picture above the spire atop the Belgravia accommodation wing is an unidentified flying object (Santa’s sleigh perhaps?).

Neither of those objects are usually in the night sky over the Hydro Majestic and appeared for just a minute.

Hydro Majestic guest services manager Meagan Iervasi said: “No one has actually seen Santa in the past few days but the Hydro Majestic has so many rooms, even a couple that have been boarded up, and a rumoured secret passage that he could very well be roaming around upstairs unbeknown to us.

“The reindeers have eight kilometres of bush from the back of the hotel right down to the Megalong Valley to hide in.

“Our chefs have noticed a slice of Christmas cake missing from the fridge and a used glass with traces of milk in the sink each morning though.’’

In any case, visitors to Mark Foy’s legendary “Palace in the wilderness’’ can experience the magic of Christmas from the moment they enter the Casino Lobby under the famous Hydro Majestic dome where they are greeted with snow domes, sparkling sentinels and an enormous tree twinkling with baubles, while the Wintergarden Restaurant has been adorned with wreaths and table decorations, watched over by two massive golden reindeers.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

Hydro Majestic gangsters raise funds for Katoomba Hospital

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group            Photos: David Hill

The original Blue Mountains party palace will again resound with the likes of Al Capone, Dutch Schultz and Bugsy Siegel when the Hydro Majestic Hotel holds a Gangster Casino Night on Saturday, May 27, in support of Katoomba Hospital.

Guests can play Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, The Money Wheel with Majestic Money at casino-quality tables with professionally trained casino standard croupiers.

Prizes on the night will include accommodation packages, dinner and show tickets, day spa, high tea packages and more.

Money raised at the event will go towards refurbishing the waiting room in the Katoomba Hospital emergency department.

An 18 years plus age restriction applies for this event, which will begin with a three-course dinner in the Wintergarden Restaurant from 6pm-8pm during which there will be entertainment, followed by the casino in the Majestic Marquee from 8pm-11pm.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said Escarpment Group was pleased to help Katoomba Hospital, which had a 92-year-long history of caring for the health and wellbeing of locals and visitors.

“While we do enjoy reliving the decadence and party lifestyle made famous by the first owner of the Hydro Majestic, Mark Foy, Escarpment Group is very much involved in the Blue Mountains community.

“The staff at Katoomba Hospital work tirelessly for the good of others including, occasionally, our guests, so if we can help make their job easier and have fun along the way, then everyone wins.’’

There will be no cigars or opium like there was in the gangster era of course “but there’s no prohibition in 2017 so our bars will be open and serving a range of exotic cocktails’’.

To look the part, gents could wear a three-piece suit (pinstriped if possible) accentuated by a contrasting tie (never a bow tie) and suspenders, with a dark overcoat, a fedora hat, black dress shoes with white spats, a pocket square, watch chain with a watch and a thin, straight moustache.

“Gangsters were most definitely criminals but the mob bosses weren’t ruffians. They always looked snazzy – Al Capone was just as sophisticated as Rudolph Valentino,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

Flappers sported short sleek hair, shorter shapeless shift dress, a flat chest, dramatic makeup (often applied in public) and exposed limbs accessorised with a long string of beads; a beaded skullcap, fascinator headpiece or scarf; long satin gloves; stockings rolled down just below the knee; and Mary Jane-style shoes. Hair was worn in a bob, a chignon; or waves or kiss-curls around the hairline.

Tickets: $55 per person general admission to Casino includes welcome cocktail; $150pp includes three-course dinner in Wintergarden Restaurant plus entry to Casino event. Bookings: hydromajestic.com.au.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

Majestic snatch back of Ashes of retro dance at Hydro

Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge artistic adviser Angela Corkeron leads the 2016 attempt.

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group          Photos: David Hill

The Poms have snatched the Ashes (well, the Ashes of the retro dance world) and every pair of left feet will help give the Blue Mountains a sporting chance at reclaiming it on Saturday, February 25.

The annual Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge Guinness World Record attempt for the largest number of costumed people to dance the Charleston will be held at the world-famous Hydro Majestic Hotel at 11am sharp, with training sessions and registration from 10am.

The Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge first claimed the title in 2012. The local event broke its own record in 2013 with 276 dancers and again in 2014. It reached 360 dancers in 2015.

Then in 2015, the town of Bexhill in England snatched the title with 503 dancers, followed by a raid by Swing Patrol dance troupe in London with 975 dancers later that year.

Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge captain/artistic advisor, Angela Corkeron said: “We admit, we dropped the ball and were slammed when the Poms came out of left field. We just haven’t been able to get back to form since.

“But we’re Aussies and competitive recreation is our game. We’ve called time out and our match plan is to high kick that record right back at `em with full velocity.

“We need 1000 dancers on the team. We need sports people with that competitive spirit to help us smash the record for a six and bring that title home triumphant.

’’Participants don’t need to be professional dancers, just dressed in 1920s costume (a flapper dress and feather boa for girls and a suit and Fedora hat for blokes will do), registered for the event and able to attempt the Charleston dance for five minutes.

The Hydro Majestic Hotel is opposite Medlow Bath station on the Blue Mountains railway line, so parking is not an issue.

The Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge is a free event, although gold coin donations raise funds for Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service, whose volunteers tirelessly protect the community during bushfires.

Stay on after dancing your way into history for the Majestic Long Lunch and indulge in delicious regional food and wine. Cost: $95pp.

A highlight of the annual Roaring 20s Festival in the area, the Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge will be held in front of the pavilion at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, at 11am sharp on Saturday, February 25. Prizes for best performance and costumes will be given.

Go to www.charlestonchallenge.com.au to see a Charleston dance tutorial and www.hydromajestic.com.au to register for the Majestic Charleston Challenge and book other Roaring 20s Festival events at the Hydro Majestic, dining options and accommodation.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media         

Majestic fashion tips for Roaring 20s Festival

Roaring 20s Festival patron Claudia Chan Shaw

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group        Photos: David Hill

Roaring 20s Festival events at the original Blue Mountains party palace will be majestic opportunities to promenade art deco fashion to maximum elegant effect during the February 24-25 weekend.

Retro revivalists can dress to impress for three festival events at the Hydro Majestic Hotel:

Arrive at the Hydro Majestic Hotel in style with Blue Mountains Vintage Cadillacs

 

 

  • Majestic Journey on Friday, February 24: Couples will be collected from Penrith railway station at 10.30am in a fleet of vintage Cadillacs in the spirit of Mark Foy’s original cavalcade and proceed to the world-famous hotel, pausing en route at several historic landmarks. Once at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, guests can tour the splendiferous “Palace in the wilderness’’ before a three-course dinner overlooking the magnificent Megalong Valley. Cost: $2,000 per couple includes vintage car ride, light luncheon, entry to Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum and Everglades Historic House & Gardens, three-course dinner, accommodation and Majestic Long Lunch. Bookings: (02) 4782 6885 or hydromajestic.com.au.

 

Take part in the retro dance take-back

 

 

  • Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge, 11am on Saturday, February 25: The annual public dance-off will attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the largest number of costumed people dancing the Charleston. Registration and dance tutorial: www.charlestonchallenge.com.au.

 

Indulge in the most decadent regional gourmet food and wine in the Majestic Marquee

  • Majestic Long Lunch, 12.30pm-4pm on Saturday, February 25: Once the excitement of the Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge has quietened and retro revivalists promenade to glamorous effect, diners will graze on decadent regional fair and glimpse exquisite fashion from yesteryear from the Darnell Collection of International Vintage Couture. Cost: $95 per person. Bookings: (02) 4782 6885 or www.hydromajestic.com.au.

Long-time festival ambassador, fashion expert and owner of the Darnell Collection of International Vintage Couture, Charlotte Smith, said 1920s fashion was diverse, allowing people to wear outfits which suited their personal taste, social standing, financial state and moral beliefs.

The era was renowned for the emergence of the newly independent worldly-wise “flappers’’ with their flattened chests and shapeless sheath dresses.

 

However, Ms Smith encouraged festival-goers to look to fashion designer Coco Chanel and legendary stars of the silver screen Louise Brooks and Greta Garbo for jaw-droppingly beautiful eveningwear, the likes of TVs Miss Fisher and Agatha Christie murder mystery shows for everyday wear inspiration and the Downtown Abbey series for sophisticated upmarket attire.

Hair was worn short and slicked back or in a bobbed style. Those with long hair could create finger waves at the front and sweep the rest into a low chignon at the back to look like Mary Pickford or Fay Wray.

A modern style example would be television personality and festival patron Claudia Chan Shaw, whose personal wardrobe is heavily influenced by the `20s era.

Men liked to look dapper for every occasion and wore pure cotton or woollen clothes such as a pin-striped cricket outfit or cream linen suit accessorised with silk cravats (not matching but complementary, no ties), cotton or silk handkerchief, a walking stick or umbrella and a hat (golfing caps and fedoras were popular). Rolled up trouser cuffs showing a little bit of sock, a pair of braces and plain or tartan patterned vest completed the look which modern people might identify with The Great Gatsby or New Hamptons collegiate style.

Roaring 20s Festival patron Claudia Chan Shaw with a Blue Mountains Vintage Cadillacs car at Everglades Historic House & Gardens

Egyptology was all the rage, after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb by archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922. The 1920s was a time when people went adventuring to distant, exotic lands such as cruising the legendary River Nile.

Particularly relevant to the Hydro Majestic, people of the `20s (including original hotel owner Mark Foy) were fascinated with the Orient.

“Think cinnabar jewellery, turbans, zodiac starburst designs, that Greek key pattern, gold and lapis, red and chrysanthemum motifs, tiaras, vintage brooches, beaded or sequined bows, headbands with feathers or a jewel,’’ Ms Smith said.

As well as outside the world-famous hotel in front of crisp white walls and breathtaking valley views, retro buffs can show off their costumes when sipping a cocktail along the dramatically decorated Cat’s Alley, within the beautiful Majestic Marquee and against the enormous windows of the Wintergarden Restaurant during dinner.

Go to www.hydromajestic.com.au or phone (02) 4782 6885 for more Roaring 20s Festival information and to book accommodation and dining options.

* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

Roaring 20s Festival patron Claudia Chan Shaw with a Blue Mountains Vintage Cadillacs car at Everglades Historic House & Gardens


Blue Mountains: Hydro Majestic serves global dining palette

Hydro Majestic sous chef Max Vloet

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group               Photos: David Hill

Traditional dishes from exotic global locations infused with local flavours served by staff from around the world: the Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains represents the modern face and cuisine of Australia – as it has for more than a century.

The original Blue Mountains party palace will celebrate its history of cultural diversity during the Australia Day week with a World Degustation Day feast on Friday, January 27.

Hydro Majestic head chef Mate Herceg

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The Hydro Majestic has always embraced cultural diversity, not because its first owner Mark Foy was politically correct but because he genuinely loved people of all races, their culture, art and food – just as we do today.

“In fact, what is seen as progressive, even outrageous today, has always been normal at the Hydro Majestic. I mean, what was normal for a man who liked to dress in his wife’s clothing and held cross-dressing parties for his friends?’’

With the means to satisfy his every whim, the well-travelled Foy had the famous hotel dome pre-fabricated in Chicago and shipped to Australia. Dr George Baur of the Shoeneck health spa in Switzerland was hired to devise and supervise a program of diets and weird and wonderful treatments. Turkish coffee at the Hydro Majestic was served by Turkish waiters, Chinese tea by Chinese waiters.

Louie Goh Mong (“Charlie’’), centre, at the Hydro Majestic

Fascinated by all things Asian, Foy employed many Chinese workers who sold their traditional skills across the Blue Mountains during the Bathurst golf rush era around the turn of the 20th century.

One was Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed “Charlie’’, who worked as a cook at Foy’s Sydney home and managed the mayhem at the Hydro Majestic for 35 years.

Today, staff from 16 language groups work at the Hydro Majestic including English, French, Canadian, Russian, Chinese (all dialects), Portuguese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Italian, Indonesian, Thai and more. Mr Bruegger is German and head chef Mate Herceg has a Croatian background.

People visit the Hydro Majestic from all over the world and we must understand and accommodate their cultural needs,’’ Mr Bruegger said.In an internationally renowned destination such as the Blue Mountains it is expected of us and certainly received by our guests in all other mature tourism regions of the world.’’

Jazz singer Evelyn Duprai

Guests at the World Degustation Day banquet will be treated to global gastronomy through a decadent five-course food safari featuring flavours from all seven continents on Earth infused with the distinctive tastes of the Greater Blue Mountains and NSW Central West.

“We’ll also have a dish that’s quintessentially Aussie, because after all that’s our shared experience and we all love being here in this fantastic country of opportunity and diversity,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

The multicultural feast at the grandest of the grand hotels in the Blue Mountains will be designed and prepared by chefs from various cultural backgrounds with experience at internationally-recognised restaurants around the world including Michelin star restaurant-trained sous chef Max Vloet.

Guests can fully immerse themselves in the sumptuous theme with the dramatic colours and sensual textures of the hotel, the unrivalled views over a jaw-droppingly beautiful landscape set to the dulcet tones of African-Australian jazz songstress Evelyn Duprai.

World Degustation Day will be held at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, from 5.30pm to 9.30pm on Friday, January 27. Cost: $145pp includes seven-course dinner, sparkling lychee and mint cocktail on arrival and entertainment. Bookings: hydromajestic.com.au or (02) 4782 6885.

* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

The famous dome over the Casino Lobby


Hydro Majestic, Blue Mountains: Final Metropolitan Orchestra concert for 2016

Cocktails and Serenades 07

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group             Photos: David Hill

Celebrate the onset of sultry summer evenings, dusky sunsets over breathtaking views and mouth-watering regional fare to the sublime strains of The Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO) when the Hydro Majestic Hotel hosts its final Majestic Concert for 2016.

Winter Ball 12A 55-piece showcase will include a program of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture, Kats-Chernin’s Ornamental Air (for Basset Clarinet and Orchestra) and Andrew Doyle displaying the exceptional range of the clarinet in the virtuosic, lyrical Symphony No 7 by Beethoven.

The concert program will be accompanied by a lavish cocktail and dining package.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “We’ve had two Majestic Concerts and some of the biggest stars of the modern opera stage perform at the Hydro this year, so I’d say the grand traditions of culture and elegance that the Hydro Majestic is renown have well and truly been revived at the original Blue Mountains party palace.

“The music, the dining, the view and the magnificent heritage building itself combine to create unforgettable occasions.’’

Winter Ball 13Under the baton of founding artistic director and chief conductor Sarah-Grace Williams, TMO comprises Sydney’s most dynamic musicians and is recognised as one of the country’s most versatile orchestras delivering accessible and vibrant concert experiences.

The orchestra’s seven-year history features a star-studded array of highlight concert and/or album performances with the likes of Sumi Jo, David Helfgott, Marina Pior, Anthony Warlow, Elaine Paige, John Farnham with Olivia Newton-John, James Morrison, Kate Ceberano, Vocal Ensembles Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Chamber Choir, Figaro and members of Opera Australia and Children’s Entertainers Lah-Lah and Buzz.

Winter Ball 14The orchestra has been involved in special events such as BBC’s Blue Planet and Planet Earth in Concert, Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, Opera in the Vineyards, the National Rugby League grand final; and sailing the high seas as resident orchestra aboard the Bravo! Cruise of the Performing Arts.

TMO has commissioned, presented and recorded world premieres by several Australian composers and has workshopped new works by Paul Stanhope, Stuart Greenbaum, Matthew Hindson and James Humberstone.

Meanwhile, principal TMO clarinettist Andrew Doyle has performed with many bands, orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout Australia including the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Royal Australian Navy Band.

Symphony Under the Stars will be held at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, from 5.30pm to 9.30pm on Saturday, November 19. Cost: $150pp includes cocktails & canapes, two-course dinner, four-hour beverage package and concert; $55pp show only. Go to hydromajestic.com.au for more dining, event and accommodation details and bookings.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill MediaWinter Ball 30

Blue Mountains Opera Festival: Majestic drama over Hydro high tea

Sydney Cello Collective will play the Hydro Majestic Hotel

Sydney Cello Collective will play the Hydro Majestic Hotel

 

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

The grand traditions of Dame Nellie Melba and Dame Joan Sutherland will be revived when some of the brightest stars of the opera stage perform at the Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains during the October long weekend.

For the first time in decades, internationally acclaimed opera singers and musicians will gather at the original Blue Mountains party palace to present a weekend of operatic drama and passion.

Opera star Eva Kong

Opera star Eva Kong

Among them will be lead soprano in the recent Sydney Opera House production of Turandot, Eva Kong.

The first concert at the Hydro Majestic on Saturday, October 1, will be Cello Extravaganza featuring the Sydney Cello Collective (SCC).

Consisting of four cellists from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the SCC specialises in all things cello, performing music written and arranged for that combination with a repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary music.

Teije Hylkema, Andrew Hines, Elizabeth Neville and Minah Choe will premiere an especially arranged rendition of Nadirs Aria from Bizet’s famous opera Pearlfishers in the elegant Wintergardent Restaurant while guests indulge in a high tea extravaganza overlooking the magnificent Megalong Valley.

Later that day, Opera Australia soprano Eva Kong (currently playing Liu in Opera Australia’s Turandot), tenor Brad Cooper and bass Damian Whiteley will embark on a journey of humour, love, jealousy and tragedy when they perform The Love Triangle, inspired by highlights of the greatest operas and directed by pianist Grace Kim with Caro String Quartet.

Sought-after violinist Andrew Haveron

Sought-after violinist Andrew Haveron

On Sunday, October 2, Molto Cantabile will wrap up the festival when one of the UK’s most sought after violinists and Sydney Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Andrew Haveron performs with Grace Kim (piano) in a delightful program highlighting the beautiful operatic sound of his precious 1757 Guadagnini violin while guests nibble on decadent high tea delicacies.

General manager of Escarpment Group, which owns the Hydro Majestic, Ralf Bruegger said: “Passion and drama over scones and sparkling wine served with sexiness and humour – how operatic, how Hydro!

“With the majestic view overlooking the Megalong Valley, the dramatic history of the hotel (there’s been more than a few love triangles here, let me tell you) and the artistry of fine food prepared by our award-winning chefs, what better way to spend the weekend.

“Come for one concert or make a weekend of it.’’

Each high tea concert package ($85pp) includes a glass of sparkling wine on arrival with a sumptuous three-tier offering including an indulgent selection of gourmet sandwiches, warm fluffy scones, delicate pastries and the finest selection of handmade desserts served with Vittoria Coffee and La Maison Du The teas. Guests may choose an 11.30am or 12.15pm booking, with the concert from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

The Gala Dinner Concert package from 5.30pm to 9.30pm on Saturday, October 1, will include drinks and canapes on arrival followed by a two-course dinner with beverages. Cost: $150pp.

Go to www.hydromajestic.com.au or phone (02) 4782 6885 to book concerts, accommodation and dining.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

    Caro String Quartet will help revive tradition at the Hydro Majestic Hotel

    Caro String Quartet will help revive tradition at the Hydro Majestic Hotel


Blue Mountains: Moon Festival rises again at Hydro Majestic Hotel

Moon Festival 13

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group       Photos: David Hill

Asian street food, music, lanterns, lights and lions – lucky visitors to the original Blue Mountains party palace will experience all the sights and sounds of the Orient on Sunday, September 25.

Moon Festival 15The Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath will host its second spring Moon Festival to celebrate the season of re-awakening, traditional Asian culture, family and friends, new growth, harmony and the blessings of prosperity and abundance.

This year the harvest-themed event will be held at the Hydro Majestic Pavilion, where locals can mingle with international visitors to watch the exciting lion dance troupe performance under colourful lanterns.

Asian-inspired music will create extra atmosphere among the street stalls peddling dumplings, barbecued meat and seafood skewers, Banh Mi, fresh spring rolls, rice paper rolls, fried noodles, roasted corn cobs, Asian desserts and more.

General manager of Escarpment Group, which owns the Hydro Majestic, Ralf Bruegger said the Moon Festival was a chance to explore one of the most famous grand hotels in the world, celebrate the season of renewal and learn about the rich Chinese culture of the hotel.

“Around the turn of the 20th century, Chinese workers disillusioned with the lack of fortune in the Bathurst goldfields, found themselves stranded in the Blue Mountains with no money to return to Sydney.

Moon Festival 01“Mark Foy, the great Sydney retailer who built the Hydro Majestic Hotel, was fascinated with all things Asian and happily employed many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, who worked as a cook at Foy’s Sydney home and managing the mayhem at the Hydro Majestic for thirty-five years.’’

The Moon Festival would also give travellers another reason to visit the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and Mr Bruegger encouraged visitors to stay at least one night to explore the region, with its 400 bushwalking tracks and numerous lookouts, boutique shopping and unique attractions.

“We have the most fantastic sunset views in the area for those who linger. There’s few more magical moments than watching the valley glow and the sky changing while sipping on a cocktail or a glass of regional wine.’’

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival will be held at the hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, from 12pm to 4pm Sunday, September 25.

Go to www.escarpmentgroup.com.au to book accommodation and dining options at one of the four Escarpment Group properties in the upper Blue Mountains (the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges, Lilianfels Resort & Spa and Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant).Moon Festival 16


Yule love winter in the Blue Mountains

Yulefest Menus 05

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group                Photos: David Hill

Tis the season for fresh mountain air, toasty log fires, indulgent dining and even snow at the original Blue Mountains party palace this winter.

Yulefest Menus 01

 

Each Friday and Saturday throughout July, visitors to the Hydro Majestic Hotel can indulge in a decadent high tea featuring festive flavours such as ginger, cranberry and roast pork.

Alternatively, dine on the sumptuous five-course degustation with a lobster bisque and cream fraiche micro chive amuse, entrée tasting plate, a turkey main course, gin and tonic granita cleanser and traditional plum pudding dessert.

The exquisite experience begins on arrival as guests are wowed with the grandeur of the Casino Lobby featuring the iconic domed roof with spectacular chandelier before walking through the understated elegance and warm ambience of the Wintergarden Restaurant overlooking magical mist-filled valleys.

 

Hydro Majestic Hotel head chef Mate Herceg with the Yulefest degustation in the Wintergarden Restaurant

Hydro Majestic Hotel head chef Mate Herceg with the Yulefest degustation in the Wintergarden Restaurant

Hydro Majestic Hotel head chef Mate Herceg said Yulefest had been a tradition in the area since 1980 and today, winter was the season for which the Blue Mountains was most famous.

It gets us into the festive season twice a year and really, who doesn’t like Christmas?’’ Mr Herceg said.It’s a time to come together, eat, drink warming beverages and share stories.’’

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger encouraged guests to fully immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere by staying at least one night at the luxurious Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges at nearby Blackheath.

Yulefest in the Blue Mountains offers the European-style atmosphere people associate with Christmas with a frosty landscape outside and cosiness inside complete with roaring fires, hot food and drinks, traditional decorations and festive music that December really can’t match here, and it’s all just 90 minutes from Sydney.’’

 

Book your winter escape today at hydromajestic.com.au. Phone (02) 4782 6885 for more information.

* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

Yulefest Menus 12


Blue Mountains: New outlook for African choir

(l-r) Echoes Boutique Hotel waiter Leo Tran with Frank Kuteesa and Venerandah Nakato of Uganda.

(l-r) Echoes Boutique Hotel waiter Leo Tran with Frank Kuteesa and Venerandah Nakato of Uganda.

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group           Photos: David Hill

Members of an African children’s choir experienced the diversity of the Aussie workforce during their visit to the Blue Mountains last week.

(l-r) Frank Kuteesa and Venerandah Nakato from Uganda with Lilianfels restaurant manager Jess Fisher in the Orangery dining venue.

(l-r) Frank Kuteesa and Venerandah Nakato from Uganda with Lilianfels restaurant manager Jess Fisher in the Orangery dining venue.

 

As well as enchanting audiences throughout the mountains and Emu Plains with vibrant singing and drumming performances, Ubuntu troupe members spent last Friday, May 20, “job shadowing’’ (observing) at Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle’s electorate office at Springwood, Blue Mountains City Council, Nepean Hospital, RKE Engineering at Emu Plains, Katoomba Neighbourhood Centre, Rare Birds women’s fashion shop at Wentworth Falls and Selwood House Vet Hospital, Hazelbrook.

Blue Mountains tour organiser Brendan O’Reilly said the young men and women of Ubuntu were African Children’s Choir graduates with diverse career aspirations and were thankful for the opportunity to spend time in Australian workplaces learning about workplace culture and practices.

 

 

(l-r) Joash Kiraqqa and Hydro Pavilion supervisor Jake Lewer.

(l-r) Joash Kiraqqa and Hydro Pavilion supervisor Jake Lewer.

 

They’re about to study to become doctors, engineers, diplomats, designers – one wants to be a flight attendant,’’ he said.Blue Mountains employers have made a great contribution to their African guests as they work hard to expand their horizons and free themselves and their families from poverty.’’

Four young people spent the day at Escarpment Group luxury hotels Lilianfels Resort & Spa and Echoes Boutique Hotel at Katoomba, and in the Wintergarden Restaurant and providores pavilion at the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath before performing in a concert at Springwood High School that evening.

 

 

 

(l-r) Food & beverage manager Phu Le and Amos Emenyu in the Hydro Pavilion.

(l-r) Food & beverage manager Phu Le and Amos Emenyu in the Hydro Pavilion.

 

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “We welcome guests from around the world every day at our hotels so it was easy for us to host the young people from Ubuntu. We hope our new friends from Africa take home many good memories of their time in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. With beautiful warm smiles and excellent etiquette, I’m sure they would be well suited to careers in the tourism and hospitality industry.’’

 

The African Children’s Choir uses money raised from concert tours organised by charity Kwaya Australia and donations to educate children in poverty in Uganda, Kenya and elsewhere from primary school to university. Such concerts in the Blue Mountains have raised tens of thousands of dollars for education in Africa in recent years.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

    (l-r) Escarpment Group training & business development co-ordinator Meagan Iervasi, Venerandah Nakato, Frank Kuteesa and Lilianfels restaurant manager dance on the lawns at Echoes.

    (l-r) Escarpment Group training & business development co-ordinator Meagan Iervasi, Venerandah Nakato, Frank Kuteesa and Lilianfels restaurant manager dance on the lawns at Echoes.


Blue Mountains: Masquerade ball a majestic overture to winter season

Majestic Winter Ball 01

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group          Photos: David Hill

Herald the season the Blue Mountains is most famous for, winter, with an evening of fine dining, exquisite art and music opulence at a sumptuous masquerade ball at the Hydro Majestic Hotel on June 18.

Dressed in their most elegant masquerade ball attire, guests will nibble on canapes, sip cocktails and browse exquisite artworks by Warwick Fuller as he talks about his time as official tour artist to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall during their visit to Australia in November.

Landscape artist Warwick Fuller examines his work done on location from Admiralty House in Sydney during his recent tour with Prince Charles.

The works by Fuller, who paints landscapes from life, will be part of a special exhibition on display at the Boilerhouse Cafe curated by Lost Bear Gallery in Katoomba.

All displayed artworks will be for sale and one lucky guest will take home a painting as a gift.

After a two-course dinner created by award-winning chefs and featuring regional produce, the largest gathering of professional classical musicians ever in the Blue Mountains will deliver the second ever performance of Australian composer Sean O’Boyle’s new rhapsody on a theme of Mendelssohn which will premiere just the week before.

The audience will also hear one of the most demanding solo works written for the French horn, Strauss’ Horn Concerto no 1 with TMO’s own Michael Wray as soloist.

Cocktails and Serenades 01Under the baton of TMO artistic director and chief conductor Sarah-Grace Williams, more than 50 musicians will perform Beethoven’s arousing Coriolan Overture and Mendelssohn’s Symphony no 4 to nurture the cosy Italian atmosphere of the evening devoted to the colours of Europe.

The concert program will be accompanied by a lavish cocktail and dining package.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The first Majestic Concert received fantastic feedback from guests and professional reviewers who were impressed with the diverse experience and the excellent food as well as the quality performance of course.

“We know the food, the dramatic venue and the entertainment rivals the grand concert halls of Europe so we want people to really dress up in their most elegant best for the Winter Ball to ensure this concert becomes an occasion on a majestic scale.’’

Cocktails and Serenades 08The Metropolitan Orchestra comprises Sydney’s most dynamic musicians and is recognised as one of the country’s most versatile orchestras delivering accessible, first-class and vibrant concert experiences.

The orchestra’s seven-year history features a star-studded array of highlight concerts and album performances; special events; world premieres by several Australian composers; and new works workshops.

The final concert in the Majestic Concert Series will be Symphony Under the Stars on November 19 featuring Mendelsson’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture, Kats-Chernin’s Ornamental Air (for basset clarinet and orchestra) and Symphony no 7 by Beethoven. Guests will also indulge in a sultry evening of canapes and cocktails followed by a two-course dinner.

The Majestic Winter Ball will be held at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, beginning with cocktails and canapes at 5.30pm on Saturday, June 18. Cost: $145pp includes 4-hour cocktails and canapes package. Bookings and details: hydromajestic.com.au for more dining, event and accommodation details and bookings.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill MediaCocktails and Serenades 15

Biggest Blue Mountains classical muso gathering comes to Hydro Majestic Hotel

TMO in the famous Cat's Alley of the Hydro Majestic Hotel

TMO in the famous Cat’s Alley of the Hydro Majestic Hotel

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group          Photos: The Metropolitan Orchestra

The largest gathering of professional classical musicians ever in the Blue Mountains will add an extra layer of sumptuousness to a world-famous icon when The Metropolitan Orchestra performs at the Hydro Majestic Hotel this year.

TMO artistic director & chief conductor Sarah-Grace Williams

TMO artistic director & chief conductor Sarah-Grace Williams

Guests can immerse themselves in the delicate strains of the 32-piece string ensemble playing Little Serenade for Strings by Rojas, String Serenade by Dvorak and Tchaikovsky’s String Serenade conducted by Sarah-Grace Williams at Cocktails & Serenades during the first of three concerts on Saturday, March 12.

The sumptuous pairing of the Dvorak and Tchaikovsky string masterpieces filled with purity, beauty and passion will lift the spirit.

Composed just five years apart and written at positive times in each of the composers’ lives, these joyful and evocative serenades will be complemented by Rojas’ fresh and vivacious work, rounding out a sublime musical evening.

The exquisite concert program will be accompanied by a lavish cocktail and dining package.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The Hydro Majestic is the perfect backdrop to the Majestic Concert Series, with its elegant historic venues, sweeping landscape and delicious food.

Hydro Majestic 01

The iconic Casino Dome of the Hydro Majestic Hotel. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

“As well as harking back to the Mark Foy days when everything was luxury on the largest scale, these concerts featuring musicians of the highest calibre at such a fantastic venue is reminiscent of the grand concert halls of Europe.

“We’re not just putting on a concert. We are creating an occasion.’’

The second concert, featuring more than 50 musicians like the third, will be performed at the Majestic Winter Ball, which will officially launch the Yulefest season for the Hydro Majestic Hotel on June 18.

The event will include a three-course dinner package and the music program will feature O’Boyle’s Rhapsody on a theme of Mendelssohn, Horn Concerto no 1 by Strauss, Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and Symphony no 4 Italian by Mendelssohn.

The final concert will be Symphony Under the Stars on November 19 featuring Mendelsson’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture, Kats-Chernin’s Ornamental Air (for basset clarinet and orchestra) and Symphony no 7 by Beethoven. Guests will also indulge in a sultry evening of canapes and cocktails followed by a two-course dinner.

TMO in the Wintergarden Restaurant at the Hydro Majestic Hotel

TMO in the Wintergarden Restaurant at the Hydro Majestic Hotel

Under the baton of founding artistic director and chief conductor Sarah-Grace Williams, The Metropolitan Orchestra comprises Sydney’s most dynamic musicians and is recognised as one of the country’s most versatile orchestras delivering accessible, first-class and vibrant concert experiences.

The orchestra’s seven-year history features a star-studded array of highlight concert and/or album performances with the likes of Sumi Jo, David Helfgott, Marina Pior, Anthony Warlow, Elaine Paige, John Farnham with Olivia Newton-John, James Morrison, Kate Ceberano, Vocal Ensembles Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Chamber Choir, Figaro and members of Opera Australia and Children’s Entertainers Lah-Lah and Buzz.

The orchestra has been involved in special events such as BBC’s Blue Planet and Planet Earth in Concert, Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, Opera in the Vineyards, the National Rugby League grand final; and sailing the high seas as resident orchestra aboard the Bravo! Cruise of the Performing Arts.

The Metropolitan Orchestra has commissioned, presented and recorded world premieres by several Australian composers and has workshopped new works by Paul Stanhope, Stuart Greenbaum, Matthew Hindson and James Humberstone.

Cocktails & Serenades will be held at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, at 7pm on March 12. Cost: $145pp includes 4-hour cocktails and canapes package, $55pp show only. Bookings and details: hydromajestic.com.au for more dining, event and accommodation details and bookings.

  • Escarpment Group and the Hydro Majestic Hotel are commercial clients of Deep Hill Media

    The Metropolitan Orchestra in the famous Cat's Alley at the Hydro Majestic Hotel

    The Metropolitan Orchestra in the famous Cat’s Alley at the Hydro Majestic Hotel


Personal best for Hydro Charleston Challenge

Charlestone Challenge 02

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group          Photos: David Hill

The Hydro Charleston Challenge retro dance event in the Blue Mountains achieved a personal best record with 466 dancers clad in 1920s costumed at the Majestic Hotel on Saturday.

Participants flocked to the famous historic hotel at Medlow Bath to try to break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of costumed people to dance the Charleston but sidestepped the global record.

The Charleston Challenge in the Blue Mountains broke the official world record three years in a row but was thumped by the town of Bexhill in the UK in August with 503 people followed by the attempt with 975 dancers in London validated by Guinness in October.

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron said: “It would have been fantastic to have brought the Ashes of the retro dance world back to Australia but we smashed our personal best record of 360 last year and still achieved our primary goal, which was to have fun at an activity the whole community could join in.

“It was fabulous to see so many smiling faces despite the rain. There was a real party atmosphere.

“So congratulations to our English dance partners – we’ll be back next year.’’

The Hydro Charleston Challenge and other Roaring 20s events at the Hydro Majestic paid homage to the decade when the Blue Mountains cut loose in an endless round of hedonism and showed that Mark Foy’s “Palace in the wilderness’’ led the modern local party scene.

The 2016 Hydro Charleston Challenge was preceded by a Gangster Casino Night and followed by the Majestic Long Lunch featuring picnic hamper boxes packed with regional delicacies, and the sophisticated Shanghai Nights to herald the Chinese lunar New Year.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au for more event, accommodation and dining option information at the Hydro Majestic Hotel.

Click HERE to see some of the action from the day.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline PublicityCharlestone Challenge 03

Blue Mountains, NSW: Majestic Long Lunch a tasty festival event

Majestic Long Lunch 07

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group                  Photos: David Hill

Retro foodies can indulge in some of the most delectable regional fare in true Roaring 20s style when the Hydro Majestic Hotel hosts the Majestic Long Lunch on Saturday, February 6.

Dressed in their most elegant 1920s-style finery, guests can indulge in a generous picnic hamper packed with scrumptious locally-made and sourced fare.

The Majestic Long Lunch will be one of four Roaring 20s-themed events to be held at the original Blue Mountains party palace, including a Gangster Casino Night on Friday, February 5, and the Hydro Charleston Challenge and Shanghai Nights on the Saturday.

The festival will celebrate the sumptuous architecture, saucy clothing, outrageous dancing and jazz music of the hedonistic heyday of Australia’s first tourist destination, the Blue Mountains.

Majestic Long Lunch in the Hydro Ballroom.

Majestic Long Lunch in the Hydro Ballroom.

 

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The food and wine of the Greater Blue Mountains region is absolutely on a par with anywhere in Australia.

“With some of the best chefs in the country, it’s no wonder – and we have more than thirty of them working with us across our four Escarpment Group properties including Mate Herceg who is creating the main course for the Majestic Long Lunch.

“Many of the chefs in this region bring to their menus influences from multicultural backgrounds and training but incorporate the local and regional produce found from a one hundred mile radius of the Blue Mountains. That all creates a flavour unique to the region.’’

 

 

Long LunchGoodies packed into the luxury picnic boxes at the Majestic Long Lunch will include antipasto by Princess Pantry; a main course of Holmbrae chicken marinated in Pig In The House cabernet sauvignon certified organic wine from Orange for 24 hours, house-cured speck, local braised champion mushrooms served with Bakehouse on Wentworth four-hour garlic croutons, crusty French baguette and fresh tossed salads created by Hydro Majestic Hotel head chef Mate Herceg; mouth-watering regional cheeses from The Carrington Cellars & Deli; and a wickedly indulgent dessert by Josophan’s Fine Chocolates.

Each course will be matched with locally produced wines available for purchase from The Majestic Marquee Bar.

John Calton and Lyndey Milan hamming it up at the Majestic Long Lunch in the Hydro Majestic Ballroom.

John Calton and Lyndey Milan hamming it up at the Majestic Long Lunch in the Hydro Majestic Ballroom.

 

Add the most famous hotel in Australia and the magnificent Megalong Valley as a backdrop, a line-up of special guests and leading food identities Lyndey Milan OAM and Joanna Savill, live jazz music, dancing and a fashion parade, and Majestic Long Lunch diners are set for the most deliciously saucy event of the season.

The Roaring 20s Festival will continue throughout February at other venues around the Blue Mountains.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au to book the Majestic Long Lunch ($95 per person), other Hydro Majestic Hotel events and to register for the Hydro Charleston Challenge.

Main course served at the 2015 Majestic Long Lunch in the Hydro Ballroom.

Main course served at the 2015 Majestic Long Lunch in the Hydro Ballroom.

 


Blue Mountains: Roaring `20s Gangster Casino Night

Claudia

Roaring 20s Festival patron Claudia Chan Shaw. Photo: David Hill

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

In the tradition of Al Capone, Dutch Schultz and Bugsy Siegel, the original Blue Mountains party palace will reawaken the spirit of its Roaring `20s heyday when the Hydro Majestic Hotel holds a Gangster Casino Night on Friday, February 5.

The event, which will kick off Roaring 20s-themed events at the hotel during that weekend, will celebrate the era of breaking with tradition, crooks and prosperity.

Guests can play Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, The Money Wheel with Majestic Money at casino-quality tables with professionally trained casino standard croupiers.

roulette-table-and-casino-elements-Download-Royalty-free-Vector-File-EPS-124667Prizes on the night will include accommodation packages, dinner and show tickets, day spa and high tea packages and more.

An 18 years plus age restriction applies for this event, which will be held from 9pm to 11pm.

Net proceeds from the event will go to CareFlight aeromedical charity. Donation receipts are available on the night for cash-in purchases only.

Established in 1986 with a mission to save lives, speed recovery and provide the highest standard of rapid response critical care, CareFlight has since helped more than 5000 patients a year.

CareFlight relationship development manager Andrew Whitelaw said: “CareFlight’s first mission, close to thirty years ago was flying two children after an accident in Lithgow. From those early beginnings, CareFlight has continued to service the greater Blue Mountains communities. Without the generous support of these communities, we would not be able to take off – literally.’’

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said the luxury hotel group was pleased to help CareFlight, which often assisted other emergency services with search and rescue, lost bushwalkers and urgent medical transportation by highly trained and qualified medical staff.

The Gangster Casino Night would provide the pinch of outrageousness the Hydro Majestic was renowned for when it was opened by retail doyenne Mark Foy in 1904.

“Foy held legendary parties at the Hydro. They were totally over the top and hedonistic. His `Palace in the wilderness’ was where everyone who wanted to have fun went – the famous and the infamous.

“We’re still partying.

download“There will be no cigars or opium like there was in the 1920s, but there’s no prohibition in 2016 so our bars will be open and serving a range of exotic cocktails.’’

Elegant gangsters and flappers can relive the era of sumptuous architecture, saucy clothing, outrageous dancing and jazz music at the most famous hotel in Australia.

“Gangsters were most definitely criminals but the mob bosses weren’t ruffians. They always look snazzy – Al Capone was just as sophisticated as Rudolph Valentino,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

To look the part, gents could wear a three-piece suit (pinstriped if possible) accentuated by a contrasting tie (never a bow tie) and suspenders, with a dark overcoat, a fedora hat, black dress shoes with white spats, a pocket square, watch chain with a watch and a thin, straight moustache.

Flappers sported short sleek hair, shorter shapeless shift dress, a flat chest, dramatic makeup (often applied in public), exposed limbs and epitomising the spirit of a reckless rebel who danced the night away in the jazz age.

Accessorise with a long string of beads; a beaded skullcap, fascinator headpiece or scarf; long satin gloves; stockings rolled down just below the knee; and Mary Jane-style shoes. Hair was worn in a bob, a chignon; or waves or kiss-curls around the hairline.

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron leads the successful 2015 attempt

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron leads the successful 2015 attempt. Photo: David Hill

The popular festival will continue to swing at 11am on Saturday, February 6, when approximately 520 people attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the largest number of costumed people dancing the Charleston at the Hydro Majestic Charleston Challenge.

That will be followed by the Majestic Long Lunch from 1pm to 5pm featuring regional food and wine, special guests, dancing and jazz music.

Guests can complete their immersive 1920s experience with Shanghai Nights of cocktails and canapes, lights, lanterns and jazz music to celebrate on the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year.

The Roaring 20s Festival will continue throughout February at other venues around the Blue Mountains.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au to book the Gangster Casino Night ($65 per person) and other Hydro Majestic Hotel events and register for the Hydro Charleston Challenge.

* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Headline Publicity and Deep Hill Media

 


Blue Mountains: Hydro cuts loose for majestic good time

 

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By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group                       Photos: David Hill

Sumptuous architecture, saucy clothing, outrageous dancing and jazz music – the original Blue Mountains party palace will high kick back to its hedonistic heyday when it hosts Roaring 20s events in February.

Festival events will be held at the Hydro Majestic Hotel on February 5 and 6.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “Original Hydro owner Mark Foy held legendary parties at the hotel. You can still feel that energy in the place.

Hydro Casino Night final image“With just the right mix of decadence and mischief, all elegantly conducted of course, the Hydro is the perfect venue to celebrate the era when Australia’s first tourist destination kicked up its heels for a decade-long party – we’re still partying.’’

The most famous hotel in Australia sat out a few dances in recent years but has undergone an extensive sumptuous revamp and has a full social calendar once more.

The Roaring 20s Festival will begin on Friday, February 5, with the Gangster Casino Night to celebrate the era of breaking with tradition, crooks and prosperity – and this time there’s no prohibition.

Play Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, The Money Wheel with Majestic Money at casino-quality tables with professionally trained casino standard croupiers.

Prizes on the night will include accommodation packages, dinner and show tickets, day spa and high tea packages and more.

An 18 years plus age restriction applies for this event, which will be held from 9pm to 11pm.

Net proceeds from the event will go to CareFlight aeromedical charity. Donation receipts are available on the night for cash-in purchases only.

12339370_10153738764369029_809297172751268176_oThe popular festival will continue to swing at 11am on Saturday, February 6, when approximately 600 people attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the largest number of costumed people dancing the Charleston at the Hydro Charleston Challenge.

The Blue Mountains relinquished the mantle in August after a successful challenge by the Town of Bexhill in the UK with 503 people.

The dance-off will be held on the lawn in front of the Belgravia wing, the historic tennis courts overlooking the Megalong Valley and spill into the carpark in front of the Hydro Majestic Boutique.

The Hydro Charleston Challenge will be followed by the Majestic Long Lunch from 1pm to 5pm featuring food and wine and special guest Lyndey Milan OAM.

(l-r) Jodie Van Der Velden, Randall Walker, Lyndey Milan OAM and Pam Seaborn at a previous Long Lunch

(l-r) Jodie Van Der Velden, Randall Walker, Lyndey Milan OAM and Pam Seaborn at a previous Long Lunch

Guests in 1920s finery will graze informally from picnic hamper boxes packed with regional delicacies, promenade on the lawns and dance the afternoon away to the strains of a 1920s-style band.

Guests can complete their immersive 1920s experience with Shanghai Nights of cocktails and canapes, lights, lanterns and jazz music to celebrate on the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year.

“This will be a very beautiful event which reminds people of the romance of the 1920s and the elegance of the Hydro Majestic rather than the flappers and gangsters,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

“We will recreate the softness of the lighting, the feathers and fabrics, the sophisticated lines of the architecture. It will be like living a fabulous dream.’’

The Roaring 20s Festival will continue throughout February at other venues around the Blue Mountains.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au for more event, accommodation and dining option information and bookings and to register for the Hydro Charleston Challenge.

12356947_10153738765479029_4612624235059340938_o


Blue Mountains: Escarpment Group driving cutting edge technology

Recharge your own batteries inside an Escarpment Group luxury hotel at the same time

Recharge your own batteries inside an Escarpment Group luxury hotel at the same time

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

Continuing its tradition of being an industry and regional leader, the Escarpment Group collection of luxury hotels in the Blue Mountains is home to Sydney’s first Audi e-tron charger.

The initiative means that the most famous hotel in Australia, the Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath, and the only 5-star hotel in the region, Lilianfels Resort & Spa, are now clean mobility providers, offering the revolutionary plug-in to the new battery-run Audi A3 Sportback prototype.

In fact, the e-tron charger is just the latest in a string of firsts for the historic Hydro Majestic since it was built in 1904 by cutting edge retail doyenne Mark Foy.

A huge car enthusiast, Foy owned several of the first cars brought into Australia and inspired the first car rally from Melbourne to Sydney and subsequently, Sydney to the Blue Mountains.

Totally enamoured with the motor car, Foy then began Australia’s first motoring touring business, travelling from Blackheath to Jenolan Caves. With the exception of a line of steam omnibuses in Western Australia, it was the first public service motoring venture in Australia.

At the time, the hotel included a steam-driven generator imported from Germany, which produced electricity for the resort and the neighbouring township of Medlow Bath in the upper Blue Mountains.

The Audi A3 Sportback

The Audi A3 Sportback

The Hydro Majestic had working electricity four days before Sydney. It also had its own water supply, steam laundry, freezing works, sewage treatment works and was one of the first in the Blue Mountains to have a telephone system connected to the Sydney exchange.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “Mark Foy is well known for his legendary outrageous parties, but he was actually responsible for much progress in the Blue Mountains, in the tourism industry and for the nation,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

“Foy was a leader because he had the money to do it of course but also because he had the gumption and the foresight to take risks and make change. He refused to be bound by the conservative traditions of the day, nor would he accept hardship as a reason for not doing something.

“You could say that attitude is the unofficial philosophy of Escarpment Group – we don’t follow the pack, we lead it.’’

The e-tron plug-in is one of several green initiatives implemented by Escarpment Group across its four Blue Mountains properties which also includes Echoes Boutique Hotel and Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges to ensure the properties comply with 21st century environmental standards.

All seven dining venues at the hotels have a focus on local and regional produce to reduce food mileage, a composting plant will soon be installed at Parklands and there is an energy efficient plant room at Lilianfels which helps cut greenhouse gasses and energy by regulating heating and cooling of air and pool temperatures throughout the year.

One e-tron charger is available at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, while there are two others at Lilianfels.

“Simply plug in your car and recharge your own batteries inside the hotel,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

“Guests at Lilianfels will be pampered whatever they choose to do, while visitors to the Hydro can take a tour, a casual meal in the Boiler House Café or the Wintergarden Restaurant or light refreshments at the Hydro Majestic Pavilion or in the famous Salon du The and Cat’s Alley venue.’’

Go to escarpmentgroup.com.au for more information about accommodation and dining options.

* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

The Hydro Majestic Hotel and Lilianfels Resort & Spa have the first Audi e-tron chargers in Sydney

The Hydro Majestic Hotel and Lilianfels Resort & Spa have the first Audi e-tron chargers in Sydney


Blue Mountains: Full moon rising over Hydro Majestic festival

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival added spring colour to Australia's most famous hotel

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival added spring colour to Australia’s most famous hotel

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group                                    Photos: David Hill

A full lunar sphere rising above the original Blue Mountains party palace set the tone for the inaugural Hydro Majestic Hotel Moon Festival last weekend.

Chinese lanterns provided a cheerful glow

Chinese lanterns provided a cheerful glow

 

Several hundred people attended the event on Saturday despite inclement weather and those who visited on Sunday were rewarded with a clear sky and full moon.

The Moon Festival celebrated the season of re-awakening, traditional Asian culture, family and friends, new growth, harmony and the blessings of prosperity and abundance.

Guests wandered the harvest-themed stalls showcasing local and regional produce and feasted on Asian street food including noodles, dumplings and moon cake all under the cheerful glow of Chinese lanterns strung between the trees and the world-famous hotel buildings.

 

 

A dragon dance was part of the entertainment

A lion dance was part of the entertainment

 

There was also a Buddhist prayer session and a colourful lion dance performance.

Floating lanterns were an attraction for children

Floating lanterns were an attraction for children

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The Moon Festival was a great success. People came because the most famous hotel in Australia has come back to life and because we put on an event for the whole family.

 

 

“Official figures recently confirmed that the Blue Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in Australia and the Echo Point Visitors Information Centre rated the highest performing in the state but people need a reason to visit and Mark Foy’s `Palace in the wilderness’ is doing just that for locals and visitors.’’

 

A drum performance was part of the entertainment

A drum performance was part of the entertainment

 

 

 

The Moon Festival was just one of the events planned at the Hydro Majestic, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, including Oktoberfest from 12pm to 5pm this Saturday and Sunday, when visitors can nibble on fried chicken and sip German beer from commemorative steins.

Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival will be an annual event

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival will be an annual event

 


Revel in spring at Hydro Majestic Moon Festival, Blue Mountains

Celebrate the season of re-awakening at one of the most famous hotels in the world

Celebrate the season of re-awakening at one of the most famous hotels in the world. Photo: Brigitte Grant Photography

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

Revel in the season of re-awakening when the original Blue Mountains party palace, the Hydro Majestic Hotel, hosts a spring Moon Festival to celebrate traditional Asian culture, family and friends, new growth, harmony and the blessings of prosperity and abundance on September 26 and 27.

Wander the harvest-themed stalls showcasing local and regional produce at the undercover market by the cheerful glow of Chinese lanterns.

Sup on noodles, dumplings, barbecue skewers, wok-fried finger food and Asian-inspired desserts; taste traditional moon cake; see the exciting dragon dance and drum performance; and learn about the long association of Chinese culture at one of the most famous grand hotels in the world, recently refurbished back to its original glory.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said it was believed to be the first time a formal celebration with dragon dance had been held in the Blue Mountains.

“The Hydro Majestic actually has a very rich Asian history.

“Around the turn of the 20th century, Chinese workers disillusioned with the lack of fortune in the Bathurst goldfields, found themselves stranded in the Blue Mountains with no money to return to Sydney.

“Mark Foy, the great Sydney retailer who built the Hydro Majestic Hotel, was fascinated with all things Asian and happily employed many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, who worked as a cook at Foy’s Sydney home and managing the mayhem at the Hydro Majestic for thirty-five years.’’

Many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, worked at the Hydro Majestic Hotel during the Mark Foy era.

Many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, worked at the Hydro Majestic Hotel during the Mark Foy era.

The inaugural Hydro Majestic Moon Festival and Oktoberfest the following weekend will also celebrate the genuinely iconic hotel’s return to its rightful place as an alluring playground to locals of and visitors to the Greater Blue Mountains, Mr Bruegger said.

“The Hydro was Mark Foy’s `Palace in the wilderness’. It was over the top, a bit naughty and Foy himself was outrageous at times.

“Escarpment Group injected the building with that decadence during the refurbishment. Now we are filling the social calendar with fresh festivals and events to once again fill the hotel with life and laughter.

“The Hydro Majestic is once again the place to be to have fun.’’

The Moon Festival and Oktoberfest also gave travellers another reason to visit the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and Mr Bruegger encouraged visitors to stay at least one night to explore the region.

“We have plenty of beds, many different dining options and a kilometre-long world-famous hotel to explore,’’ he said.

“But we’re not greedy – roam the spectacular Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mt Tomah; wander the boutiques in the quaint mountain villages; stretch your legs on one of 400 bush tracks; ride the Scenic skyway, cablecar and train; and cuddle a koala at Featherdale Wildlife Park to or from Sydney.’’

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival will be held at the hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, from 2pm to 9pm Saturday, September 26, and Sunday, September 27. The dragon dance will be staged at 4pm both days.

Go to www.escarpmentgroup.com.au to book accommodation and dining options at one of the four Escarpment Group properties in the upper Blue Mountains (the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges, Lilianfels Resort & Spa and Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant).


Escarpment Group, Blue Mountains: leading edge on industry awards

Escarpment Group properties have been listed as finalists in 12 categories

Escarpment Group properties have been listed as finalists in 12 categories

 

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

The Escarpment Group collection of hotels has further cemented itself as the premier luxury accommodation provider in the Blue Mountains with all four of its properties named finalist in a prestigious industry awards.

The group was named finalist in 12 categories in the Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) NSW 2015 Awards for Excellence.

Lilianfels Resort & Spa, Katoomba

Lilianfels Resort & Spa, Katoomba

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “This is a fantastic result – all four properties making the finalist list, especially for the Hydro Majestic which has only been open since October 2014 and Parklands which opened in September.

“I am very proud to represent such a great team of hard working tourism and hospitality professionals whose commitment to providing the highest benchmarks in the area shines through in everything they do every day.

The Hydro Majestic Hotel, Medlow Bath

The Hydro Majestic Hotel, Medlow Bath

 

“In fact it’s great to see the Blue Mountains tourism and hospitality industry well represented at the awards with our colleagues at Fairmont Resort and The Carrington Hotel also finalists.

“This is an indication of the standard of visitor experience throughout the Blue Mountains, where visitors can be assured of world-class accommodation, customer service and dining.’’

Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant is a finalist in Regional Superior Hotel of the Year and Regional Restaurant of the Year categories.

Lilianfels Resort & Spa Blue Mountains is a finalist in Chef of the Year, Front of House Employee of the Year, Regional Deluxe Hotel of the Year and Regional Restaurant of the Year.

Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges is a finalist in Health Club & Spa Facilities of the Year and Regional Superior Hotel of the Year.

Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant

Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant

The Hydro Majestic Hotel is a finalist in Chef of the Year, Function Venue of the Year, Redeveloped Hotel of the Year and Regional Restaurant of the Year.

The TAA awards this year received its largest number of submissions ever, 281 from 67 top accommodation venues in NSW across more than 30 categories ranging from outstanding community service, best environmental practice and redeveloped hotel of the year through to the superior and deluxe hotels of the year categories and a range of individual staff awards.

TAA NSW chairman Nigel Greenaway said: “These venues really do showcase the best the NSW hotel industry has to offer – they quite simply are second to none and that is shown in the high quality of all the finalists.

Category winners will be announced at a gala awards night at The Westin Sydney on July 29. TV personality Catriona Rowntree will be emcee, with an after party at the Zeta Bar, Hilton Sydney.

Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges, Blackheath

Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges, Blackheath


Taste of Blue Mountains at Hydro Majestic Pavilion

Celebrate the spirit of the Royal Easter Show pavilions at the new Hydro Majestic Pavilion. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Celebrate the spirit of the Royal Easter Show pavilions at the new Hydro Majestic Pavilion. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

Celebrate the spirit of the Royal Easter Show pavilions of Sydney’s old showgrounds and experience a taste of the Blue Mountains at the new Hydro Majestic Pavilion interactive “living’’ history space.

Visitors to the historic hotel can discover the history of original owner Mark Foy’s “Palace in the wilderness’’ as well as the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area through interpretive displays and multimedia screening areas.

One of the main features of the pavilion will be the vibrant display showcasing boutique and unique food and wine from the Blue Mountains and surrounds including Mudgee, Bathurst, Orange and the Western Plains.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The gourmet food and wine of this region and its surrounds is exceptional quality.

“In fact, the region is fast becoming known as a food destination and I know that the Hydro Majestic Pavilion will become a tourist destination in itself soon.’’

Taste outstanding regional produce at cheese and wine tasting sessions. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Taste outstanding regional produce at cheese and wine tasting sessions. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Visitors to the 500sqm pavilion can browse the history and produce displays at their leisure and, on Saturdays between 12pm and 4pm, indulge in wine tasting before snapping up their own take home supplies.

Following the successful De Beaurepaire Wines cellar door wine tasting event on March 7, a different winery will be featured each month, with cheese tasting to also be introduced soon.

Winburndale Wines, Bathurst, will be the featured winery on Saturday, April 4, and Megalong Creek Estates Wines, Megalong Valley, on Sunday, April 5; Robert Steins Wines, Mudgee, will be on Saturday, May 2; Swinging Bridge, Orange, on Saturday, June 6; and Angullong Vineyard, Orange, on Saturday, July 4.

“This is a fantastic way to shop for food, very European,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

“There is no better way to feel the passion and genuine commitment to the ethics and ideals written on the packaging than to meeting the producer face-to-face and talk to them about how they grow or make the food or wine.

“And of course it makes sense to taste test your food before you buy.’’

The Hydro Majestic Pavilion is open from 9am to 5pm seven days.

Visitors to the pavilion will also soon be able to picnic on their delicious goodies at the new Majestic Point Lookout, picnic and market grounds and gaze out at the best views of the Megalong Valley anywhere.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au for a program of cellar door tasting events as well as other dining, event and accommodation details and bookings.

The Hydro Majestic Hotel was relaunched under Escarpment Group’s boutique label. The Escarpment Group is a unique collection of luxury escapes in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area also including Lilianfels Resort and Spa, Echoes Boutique hotel & Restaurant and Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges, each steeped in history and surrounded by dramatic landscapes and breathtaking views unique to the Blue Mountains region.

Regional produce is a main attraction of the Hydro Majestic Pavilion. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Regional produce is a main attraction of the Hydro Majestic Pavilion. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media