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Posts tagged “NSW Central West

Lithgow, NSW: Massive street party brewing for Halloween

Jackson Halloween 05

By Ellen Hill for Lithgow Tourism         Photos: David Hill & Ben Pearce

Australia’s biggest community Halloween dress-up party, biggest Trick or Treat lolly grab and record-breaking dance-off is on at Lithgow this Saturday, October 29.

Lithgow Halloween 01Be wowed by non-stop entertainment on two stages, boo-tiful Vivid-style lighting displays and spooky decorations and thousands of freakily-costumed people at Lithgow Halloween `16.

Strut your hair-raising stuff in a kooky costume parade, enter a spook-tacular image in the photo contest and support Lithgow Tidy Town’s Laneways project by buying a piece of abominable art at the skulls auction in the library.

Vampires and ghouls can mingle with superheroes and loveable fairytale characters in themed pedestrian precincts such as Alice in Wonderland between Bridge and Eskbank streets, Little Shop of Horrors (Eskbank St and Sandford Ave), Ghostbusters (Cook St Plaza) and A Nightmare Before Christmas (Sandford Ave).

Lithgow Halloween 04For families there will be market stalls from 2pm, unlimited rides (wristbands $10 from Lithgow Visitor Information Centre before the day or $15 on the day) and roving performers from 3pm and Trick or Treat outside accredited shops at 5pm.

Try to survive the redback interactive live movie and grab a bite to eat at one of the many stalls, restaurants and cafes along Main St.

The Main St mayhem will culminate in a thrillingly macabre performance when the spirit of the late King of Pop takes to the main stage in the form of world-renowned Michael Jackson impersonator Jason Jackson at 7.30pm.

Ben Pearse PhotographyHe will then lead a bone-chilling national record bid for the greatest number of costumed people to dance to the song Thriller at 8.50pm. Everyone is encouraged to take part.

Lithgow Halloween `16 is organised and hosted by Lithgow City Council, with support from local business sponsors including Lithgow McDonald’s, Centennial Coal and Energy Australia.

Lithgow Mayor Stephen Lesslie said: “This event will be a wonderful opportunity for the Lithgow community to gather together and enjoy a shared experience. We also welcome visitors from around Australia and are proud to show off the many achievements and attractions of our area.

Lithgow Halloween `15

Lithgow Halloween `15

“I encourage everyone to dress up and join the party that the council has put on, together with generous support from businesses.’’

Clr Lesslie encouraged locals and visitors to fully immerse themselves in the festival spirit and dress up for the occasion as a ghoulish zombie, monster, freaky vampire, fantasy character or loveable fairytale personality, goblin or fairy.

He recommended visitors stay overnight in the area to fully explore the surprisingly diverse range of scenery, dining options and activities available in Lithgow and surrounds including the Back to Hartley event at Hartley Historic Site on the way to Sydney on Sunday, October 30.

Go to www.halloween.lithgow.com for more information and Jason Jackson’s Thriller tutorial video to practice the dance before the record-breaking event.

  • Lithgow Tourism is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline PublicityBen Pearse Photography

Lithgow Halloween ‘16 to host biggest community dress-up street party

Lithgow Halloween 01

By Ellen Hill for Lithgow Tourism           Photos: David Hill

Dreadful Draculas, grisly genies, creepy clowns and terrible trolls will mingle with loveable fairytale characters, superheroes, goblins and fairies when Lithgow hosts Australia’s largest Halloween celebration on October 29.

Lithgow Halloween 07Organised and hosted by Lithgow City Council, with support from local sponsors including Lithgow McDonald’s, Centennial Coal, Energy Australia, Village Voice and Lithgow Workies, Lithgow Halloween `16 will again feature spectacular Vivid-style lighting displays and spooky decorations.

The main shopping area will be transformed into a fun-filled pedestrian zone with themed precincts, non-stop entertainment, Australia’s biggest Trick or Treat for children and a public Thriller dance-off lead by internationally renowned Michael Jackson impersonator Jason Jackson.

Lithgow City Council Tourism Manager Kellie Barrow encouraged everyone to join the hocus pocus in costume: “Costumes don’t have to be scary and they don’t have to be expensive. In fact, one of the favourite characters with kids in the past has been a local lady who dresses as Snow White and I suspect there will be quite a few interpretations of Michael Jackson this year to go along with the Thriller theme.

“Many of our shops in the CBD are stocked with affordable costume items and shops are beginning to install their window displays so there’s plenty of inspiration in town.

Lithgow Halloween 06“Lithgow has earned itself quite a reputation for costume parties, and we don’t do anything by halves – we have whole families coming in character. Even our mayor and local MP Paul Toole have traditionally thrown themselves into the spirit of the occasion and are unrecognisable.’’

Lithgow Halloween `16 will include something for everyone, with a range of free community events in public spaces through to ticketed events at private venues.

Ms Barrow recommended visitors stay overnight in the area to fully explore the surprisingly diverse range of scenery, dining options and activities available in Lithgow and surrounds including the Back to Hartley event at Hartley Historic Site on the way to Sydney on Sunday, October 30.

Go to www.halloween.lithgow.com for more information and Jason Jackson’s Thriller tutorial video to practice the dance before the record-breaking event.

  • Lithgow Tourism is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline PublicityLithgow Halloween 05

Lithgow, NSW: 21st century steps Back to Hartley

Lenore Davi of Katoomba Amusement Company and Vicki Hartley of Lithgow Living History

Lenore Davi of Katoomba Amusement Company and Vicki Hartley of Lithgow Living History

 

By Ellen Hill for Hartley Historic Site                    Photos: David Hill

Convict lashings and historic re-enactors will mingle with 21st century lasers at the annual Back to Hartley event at Hartley Historic Site on October 30.

To be held on All Hallows Eve, the family-friendly Back to Hartley event is an opportunity for locals and visitors to the area to explore one of the finest examples of colonial buildings at Hartley Historic Site and experience the beauty of the surrounds.

It will also wrap up a weekend of Halloween celebrations in Lithgow, which include Vivid-style lighting displays, spooky decorations, themed precincts along Main St, community Trick or Treat activity for children and a Michael Jackson Thriller dance-off on the Saturday.

Vicki Hartley of Lithgow Living History

Vicki Hartley of Lithgow Living History

The community event at Hartley is to promote heritage and raise funds for local charities, this year it will support Optimist Club Lithgow Branch, the local club of a worldwide volunteer organisation which works to support underprivileged youth in the area.

Hartley Historic Site is managed by National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) and buildings tell the story of the village from the 1837 Greek Revival Courthouse to Corneys Garage built in 1945 of timber and iron.

Wander up to see metal artist Ron Fitzpatrick at Talisman Gallery, browse the artwork at the only Aboriginal art gallery in the Central West at Kew-Y-Ahn Gallery, view the village from the highest point on the site at the magnificent granite tor and soak up the vibes of the past from inside the convict cells and courthouse.

The event will also showcase a variety of arts, crafts, regional produce and vintage cars and motorbikes. There will be refreshments for sale, sheep shearing and face painting, trike and pony rides and a petting zoo for children.

The atmosphere will be set with live music by Lithgow Folk Club and performances by Sally Anne’s Dancers, with Lithgow Living History group members roaming the site in full colonial costume and complimentary lashings of convicts heralded by the town crier.

There will be a laser tag knockout competition and an obstacle course run by the cadets from the 220 Lithgow Army Cadet Unit based at Marrangaroo and explore the new river boardwalk.

(l-r) Lenore Davi of Katoomba Amusements Company and Vicki Hartley of Lithgow Living History

(l-r) Lenore Davi of Katoomba Amusements Company and Vicki Hartley of Lithgow Living History

Check out the new premium accommodation at Hartley Historic Site on a guided tour with interior designer Marissa Starr of Old Trahlee and St Bernard’s Presbytery buildings. Enjoy an alternate fashion show organised by our own accomplished designer Elizabeth Elwell- Cook.

Hartley Historic Site manager Steve Ring said: “Events such as Back to Hartley, which was voted Lithgow’s best community event in 2015, breathe new life into this beautiful site and are a chance for the community to learn about their Australian heritage `on location’.

“Back to Hartley is also a chance for NPWS to work with the community to raise funds for a local charity or causes we both feel are important. This year we are pleased to be helping local disadvantaged young people through Lithgow Optimist Club.’’

He also encouraged visitors to explore the wider region: “If you’re coming from Sydney, travel up the Great Western Highway and see the Blue Mountains, spend the day with us at Back to Hartley, then drive into Lithgow and head home via the Bells Line of Road through the Hawkesbury to experience the World Heritage Area from a very different perspective.’’

Visitors can choose from a range of accommodation and dining options in the Lithgow area. Go to tourism.lithgow.com for more information.

Back to Hartley will be held at Hartley Historic Site, Old Bathurst Rd (just off Great Western Hwy), Hartley, from 9am to 4pm Sunday, October 30. Cost: $5 per vehicle goes to Lithgow Optimists Club. Details: (02) 6355 2117 or hartley@environment.nsw.gov.au.

* Hartley Historic Site is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity

(l-r) Lenore Davi of Katoomba Amusements Company and Vicki Hartley of Lithgow Living History

(l-r) Lenore Davi of Katoomba Amusements Company and Vicki Hartley of Lithgow Living History


Lithgow, NSW: Immersive colonial experience at Hartley

St Bernard's Presbytery at Hartley Historic Site.

St Bernard’s Presbytery at Hartley Historic Site.

By Ellen Hill for Hartley Historic Site            Photos: David Hill

New upmarket accommodation at the gateway to the NSW Central West gives visitors the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in Australia’s colonial past.

Hartley Accomodation 03Surrounded by pastures, heritage orchards, cottage gardens and charming sandstone buildings, the St Bernard’s Presbytery and Old Trahlee properties at Hartley Historic Site will open for bookings from June.

Managed by the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) since 1972 under the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, the buildings are among the collection of 17 historic structures at the site.

Hartley Historic Site manager Steve Ring said: “Visitors to the site can already catch a glimpse into colonial Australian life during the day. Now they can soak up the full experience overnight.’’

Hartley Accomodation 07St Bernard’s Presbytery and Old Trahlee both offer deluxe accommodation with carefully chosen colonial-style décor and furnishings yet with all the comforts of modern living.

“These are not just pleasant rooms in a nice but generic hotel. Like all NPWS accommodation experiences throughout the state, we have used unique antique knick-knacks and quality furnishings to complement the special character of both properties.’’

Set on the side of a hill overlooking the picturesque village, St Bernard’s Presbytery accommodates up to four people in one twin and one double bedroom. It has a full kitchen, spa bathroom, dining room and living room for guest use.

St Bernard's Presbytery at the Historic Village of Hartley.

 

The presbytery building is believed to have been built about 1860 and used as the home of the resident priest to St Bernard’s Catholic Church next door until the mid-1880s, after which it was leased by local families until coming under NPWS management in 1972 and used as a visitor centre until the mid-1980s.

“Just imagine sitting on the verandah with a glass of exceptional regional wine watching the sandstone of the buildings in the foreground and the Blue Mountains escarpment in the distance light up at sunset,’’ Mr Ring said.

 

 

Hartley Accomodation 30“In winter, what better way to end a day exploring the region than with a hot drink in front of a roaring fire?’’

While St Bernard’s Presbytery would be ideal for couples seeking a romantic retreat, the Old Trahlee property is best suited to families.

Built between 1846 and 1854 by John and Mary Finn, Old Trahlee accommodates six people in two double rooms and another with bunk beds.

 

Hartley Accomodation 11There is also a baby’s cot in a separate room and standard wheelchair access to half the property including the kitchen, ambulant bathroom and one of the double bedrooms.

While at Hartley Historic Site, guests can take a self-guided tour of the Hartley Courthouse and St Bernard’s Catholic Church, browse affordable Aboriginal art at the Kew-Y-Ahn Art Gallery, stroll along the Kew-Y-Ahn Bell Rock Heritage Trail, have refreshments at the Old Post Office Café and visit Talisman Gallery showcasing Ron Fitzpatrick’s metal art.

Old Trahlee at the Historic Village of Hartley.

Mr Ring also encouraged visitors to explore the wider region: “If you’re coming from Sydney, travel up the Great Western Highway and see the Blue Mountains, spend time with us, then drive into Lithgow and head home via the Bells Line of Road through the Hawkesbury to experience the World Heritage Area from a very different perspective.’’

St Bernard’s Presbytery ($390 per night, minimum two-night stay on weekends) and Old Trahlee ($280 per night, minimum two-night stay on weekends) are located at Hartley Historic Site, Old Bathurst Rd (just off Great Western Hwy), Hartley. Bookings: (02) 6355 2117 or www.bluemountainsgetaways.com.

Go to lithgowtourism.com, bluemountainscitytourism.com.au or visitnsw.com.au for information about dining options and activities in the region.

  • Hartley Historic Site is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline PublicityHartley Accomodation 09

Lithgow, NSW: Historic club sets table for changing food scene

35By Ellen Hill for Lithgow Workies Club                       Photos: David Hill

The oldest registered club in NSW is serving a modern era of upmarket dining for the home of Australia’s first industrial hub, Lithgow.

The new Esk Restaurant at Lithgow & District Workmen’s Club was part of a recent $6.5 million revamp which also included a new 36-room 4-star (self-rated) motel with two disability access rooms, a refurbished showroom, conference centre, art gallery and more.

27Established in 1887, the club (known affectionately as “the Workies’’) is located just west of the Blue Mountains at the gateway to the NSW Central West, an historic food bowl of the state and latest foodie hotspot.

Esk Restaurant was added to complement the existing successful Cino Café and club bistro, both of which will continue to serve traditional food and beverage favourites.

Armed with a diverse background ranging from mobile fast food to fine dining, club executive chef Tim Standing plans to gradually infuse the Esk Restaurant contemporary Australian cuisine menu with a growing amount of local and regional produce to tempt local tastebuds and attract visitors to the area.

Diners have already reviewed positively to the menu since Esk opened in January.

Club members and guests can expect a contemporary blend of traditional favourites with multicultural influences from Asia and Europe presented with the unique flavours of ingredients from the NSW Central West, Blue Mountains and the wider Sydney region.

“People’s expectations of club food has really risen,’’ Standing said.

26“They still expect to be able to get basic meals at a reasonable price like rissoles, sausages and mash, schnitzels, a good steak and pot pies but the quality has lifted a lot.

“Our first menu is not too intimidating but we’ll develop it into a very modern, contemporary restaurant using many local products over time.’’

Raising the culinary stakes has been the result of innovations in farming techniques and crop choices, manufacturing of boutique products and a migration of top chefs from Sydney onto the central plains.

Standing himself made the shift two and a half years ago.

“There’s loads of great chefs and restaurants out here in the west now,’’ he said.

“I want to be one of the best restaurants in town because I’d like all the restaurants in Lithgow to be good because that makes a food destination.

“If people drive up here Friday night and stay until Sunday, they’re not going to eat here every night, so we need other places in Lithgow to be good too, and they are.’’

(l-r) Head chef Aaron Engler and executive chef Tim Standing

(l-r) Head chef Aaron Engler and executive chef Tim Standing

Standing’s culinary passion began as a child. His mother was a cook and the family trawled the show circuit in fast food vans throughout Victoria.

Young Tim started his career as a hotel dish washer before an apprenticeship at the Dromana Hotel in Dromana. From there he worked at the best restaurant in the region, Moonlight Bay Resort.

When he was 24, Standing went to London and worked for agencies and hotel groups in upmarket areas as well as the large Slug and Lettuce group at the forefront of cutting edge pub food at the time.

Returning to Australia, he worked as executive chef with Captain Cook Cruises in Cairns then at the Union Hotel at North Sydney and The Watershed at Darling Harbour.

He was executive chef at the 500-seat Japanese restaurant Zenbu at Darling Harbour, Bamboo at Circular Quay, Liquidity at Rose Bay, The Zettle Room at The Exchange Hotel at Balmain and Il Baretto at Surry Hills.

25Standing opened his own pizza restaurant, Rialto Restaurant at Narrabeen, and Bar Rialto at Surry Hills before joining Lithgow Workies Club in 2013 where he is executive chef to about 35 staff at the Esk Restaurant, Cino’s Café and the club bistro.

Cooking is the one thing I was always good at,’’ he said.I cook at home. To me, going to work and cooking is not a job, its fun.’’

Most of Standing’s kitchen staff at Lithgow Workies Club are young locals. There are also four apprentice chefs and the club has two hospitality trainees.

Head chef Aaron Engler, 23, returned to his apprenticeship training ground 18 months ago after gaining experience throughout NSW and Canberra including in a 500-seat café, as a function chef, at the 5-star Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley near Lithgow and the hatted Darleys Restaurant at Katoomba.

24You go to Katoomba, Sydney and Bathurst and there’s great food everywhere,’’ he said.Esk Restaurant could be the beginning of a new contemporary Australian food scene for Lithgow.’’

Lithgow Workies Club general manager Geoff Wheeler said: “We’ve never had a dining venue at the club before where you can have table service and enjoy quality wines and food in a quality environment with lovely views and décor.’’

Esk Restaurant at Lithgow Workies Club, Tank St, Lithgow, is currently open for dinner from 6pm (last orders 8.30pm) Friday and Saturday. Bookings: esk@workies.com.au or (02) 9682 3807.

Singer Lisa Hunt. Photo: supplied

Singer Lisa Hunt. Photo: supplied

The official opening of Esk Restaurant, the new club motel and associated works will be hosted by media and sporting identity Mike Whitney in the new showroom from 7.15pm on Saturday, March 19.

The evening will be rounded off with spectacular entertainment from Australia’s “Queen of Soul’’ Lisa Hunt and her band in the revamped showroom. Tickets: $20.

Go to www.workies.com.au or phone (02) 6350 7777 to book and for more details.


Lithgow, NSW: Curtain raiser for state’s oldest club

Workies Showroom 05

By Ellen Hill for Lithgow Workies Club                    Photos: David Hill

The oldest registered club in NSW will take centre stage when the curtain officially goes up on the revamped showroom at Lithgow & District Workmen’s Club on March 19.

Club audi/visual manager Allan Gregory.

Club audio visual manager Allan Gregory.

The showroom is part of a $6.5 million refurbishment of the club, known affectionately as “the Workies’’, along with a new 36-room 4-star (self-rated) motel, art gallery, restaurant, conference centre and more.

The former Irish tavern space has been transformed into a new entertainment venue featuring a new stage and audio visual technology and table seating ideal for dinner shows.

The 3.12m wide dropdown screen over the stage allows for a diverse range of activities from business conference presentations to movie screenings for children down the track.

Lithgow Workies Club general manager Geoff Wheeler said: “Our showroom is one of the largest venues of its type in the area suitable for a dinner show, and we can more than double the capacity by removing the tables.

 

Club audio visual manager Allan Gregory

Club audio visual manager Allan Gregory

“It also offers flexibility to conference groups looking for venues with large presentation rooms, small breakout spaces and tabled meal areas. It even has its own full bar.’’

The showroom, which has already hosted capacity crowds for Tom Jones – the Australian Experience and other gigs, will be officially opened by media and sporting personality Mike Whitney along with the motel and other works from 7.15pm on Saturday, March 19.

The evening will be rounded off with spectacular entertainment from Australia’s “Queen of Soul’’ Lisa Hunt and her band in the revamped showroom. Tickets: $20.

Hunt, whose soulful style began in an African American gospel church, has had songs on numerous compilations around the globe as singer and songwriter and has sold more than a million records.

 

Singer Lisa Hunt. Photo: submitted

Singer Lisa Hunt. Photo: submitted

The Can You Feel It songstress debuted with her album A Little Piece of Magic and was on the international chart topper CD Soulsation by Lovestation.

Hunt’s American soundtrack compositions include Subway Stories and Goodnight Moon with Lauryn Hill, Natalie Cole, Pattie Labelle, Billy Crystal and Susan Sarandon, while her studio credits include sessions with famed producers Jellybean Benitez (Madonna), Toni C (Whitney Houston), Frank Farion (LaBouche, Milli Vanilli) and The Berman Brothers (Amber, Ultra Nate).

Her voice can be heard on several top 10 dance tracks all over the world including as “the voice’’ of Lovestation (UK), Club X (Germany) and D1 (USA). In Italy she has been the featured vocalist on tour and recordings of Zucchero Sugar Fornaciari for many years and has worked with a range of artist from Opera tenor Pavarotti to Ray Charles and has shared the stage with musical greats such as Eric Clapton, James Brown, Dionne Warwick, Brian May, Randy Crawford, Joe Cocker, Miles Davis and Andrea Bocelli.

In Australia Hunt has toured and recorded with Jimmy Barnes, Diesel, Radio Freedom, Midnight Oil and Johnny (B Good) Johnson as well as Ronan Keating, Macy Gray, Mouse T, Delores O’Riordan of The Cranberries, Tina Arena and Cheb Mumi.

Hunt has also appeared as an actress in Off-Broadway musicals, produced and starred in her own “bluesical’’ production The Roots Of My Soul and, for the past few years, toured the rhythm and blues retrospective Forever Soul in Australia and the Middle East and released more original music including the single Music Makes Me Free.

Workies Showroom 10The entertainment continues at Lithgow Workies Club with Jalapeno Deluxe playing the showroom on March 4 and the Lady Gaga & Katy Perry show coming up on April 15.

Mr Wheeler said the showroom entertainment line-up would be varied, with comedians to appear on the program in the future.

“We want people to come out of the city and other regions and enjoy our hospitality and see that there is so much to see and do in the area.

“Members and guests can now dine at our Esk Restaurant while watching the sunset over the mountains and Tuscan garden, watch a show, have a nightcap in the bar and then retire to their motel room just one minute’s walk down the corridor.’’

Lithgow Workies Club, Tank St, Lithgow, has regular entertainment in the showroom. Go to www.workies.com.au or phone (02) 6350 7777 for details, tickets and to book into the new motel.

  • Lithgow & District Workmen’s Club is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline PublicityWorkies Showroom 02

Lithgow, NSW: State’s oldest club sports newest facelift

Lithgow Workies Club general manager Geoff Wheeler

Lithgow Workies Club general manager Geoff Wheeler

By Ellen Hill for Lithgow Workies Club                    Photos: David Hill

The oldest registered club in NSW will unveil the newest facelift among its state peers when Lithgow Workmen’s Club Motel is officially opened on Saturday, March 19.

Renowned media and sporting identity Mike Whitney will be guest of honour at the event.

11Providing excellence in service, entertainment and leisure for almost 130 years, the Lithgow & District Workmen’s Club (known fondly by locals as “The Workies’’) is the oldest registered club in NSW.

Founded in 1887, the Workies has grown to more than 10,500 members with its backbone entrenched in the strong community ties of Australia’s first industrial hub – Lithgow, just west of the Blue Mountains at the gateway to the NSW Central West.

3Despite being the original stalwart of the state, the Workies boasts the newest club refurbishment in NSW.

A $6.5 million injection has resulted in major upgrades to the club including a new 36-room 4-star (self-assessed) motel with two disability access rooms, a refurbished showroom, conference centre, new restaurant, an art gallery and more.

Motel guests can access myriad first-class club facilities such as a kids’ centre, eateries and conference facilities via the Long Wall Gallery featuring local artworks just one minute from their rooms.

Club general manager Geoff Wheeler said the club’s top notch facilities catered for visitors from “across the world, across the state and across the road’’.

 

35Already an established leader in quality entertainment, dining, functions, weddings and conference facilities in the Lithgow region, Mr Wheeler was confident the improvements would further elevate the reputation of Lithgow Workie’s Club.

“We’re more than just a club.

“The new motel, facilities and Esk Restaurant means motel guests, conference groups from around the country can focus on business and bridal parties on the joy of their wedding while we look after everything else during their stay with us.

9“Lithgow has a rich history, is surrounded by beautiful country and has a friendly and growing community.

“The Workies is proud to have played a major part in the life of Lithgow for almost 130 years and is looking forward to being at the coalface as the area strengthens and grows as a tourist destination.’’

 

The motel will open for general bookings on Monday, February 29.

The official opening of the new motel and associated works will kick off with the official opening with Mike Whitney in the new showroom from 7.15pm.

The evening will be rounded off with spectacular entertainment from Australia’s “Queen of Soul’’ Lisa Hunt and her band in the revamped showroom. Tickets: $20.

Lithgow Workies Club Motel, Tank St, Lithgow, is now open for bookings. Go to www.workies.com.au or phone (02) 6350 7777 to book and for more details.

* Lithgow & District Workmen’s Club is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity15


Hartley, NSW: Aboriginal art gallery 40,000 years in the making

Kew Y Ahn Aboriginal Gallery, Hartley.

By Ellen Hill for Hartley Historic Site              Photos: David Hill

The only dedicated indigenous art gallery in the NSW Central West showcases the evolution of art from the ancient culture to convict Australia and then to modern Aboriginal talent.

The Kew-Y-Ahn Art Gallery was opened by then NSW Governor Professor Dame Marie Bashir AC CVO in June 2013 at Hartley Historic Site east of Lithgow.

Kew Y Ahn 08A partnership between Arts OutWest, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the OEH Heritage Division, the gallery features work by Aboriginal painters, weavers, designers, jewellers and photographers.

Hartley Historic Site manager Steve Ring said the gallery aimed to forge new relationships with the Aboriginal community of the region including the Wiradjuri people without being a strictly tribal gallery.

“Any person living in the NSW Central West who identifies as Aboriginal and is recognised by the Aboriginal community as such, may exhibit work in the gallery.

Kew Y Ahn 04“The idea of the gallery is to give Aboriginal artists the opportunity to grow into commercial artists: we deal with them on a commercial basis like any other commercial art gallery.

“It also provides us with a commercial link with the indigenous history of Hartley and the Aboriginal people who still live in this area.’’

Visitors to Hartley Historic Site can snap up affordable artworks from $3 bookmarks in Aboriginal colours; leather, bead and seed bracelets, hair wraps and leather cuffs; to artworks, paintings and photographs priced up to $650 by artists such as Scott McMillan, Peter Shillingsworth, Jaycent Davis, Tamara Leggett, Claudette Elliott, Tirikee, Tony Lonsdale and Nicole Trudgett.

The gallery is located in the old Farmers Inn building at Hartley Historic Site, one of the best examples of colonial Australia with 17 buildings of historic significance from the 1837 Greek Revival courthouse to Corneys Garage built in 1945 of timber and iron.

The village was declared an historic site under the management of NPWS in 1972.

Kew Y Ahn 07“Visitors can actually experience the evolution of art at the site from the crude convict scratchings in the cells in the old court house to the quality artworks exhibited in the Kew-Y-Ahn Art Gallery, which we like to say were 40,000 years in the making,’’ Mr Ring said.

One artwork has been part of the building for at least 120 years before the art gallery standard LED lighting and hanging wires were installed. Before the inn closed in 1895, an itinerant traveller painted a picture of a cockatoo on a wall of the inn in return for a free feed.

Kew Y Ahn 06In fact, art lovers can immerse themselves in art at the popular heritage attraction with a stroll along the Kew-Y-Ahn Bell Rock Heritage Trail and Talisman Gallery showcasing the metal art of Ron Fitzpatrick in the old woolshed behind Farmers Inn.

Arts OutWest will curate the ongoing exhibitions while NPWS manages Hartley Historic Site including the Farmers Inn building. The project forms part of Arts OutWest’s ongoing Aboriginal Arts Development program.

Kew-Y-Ahn Art Gallery in the old Farmers Inn, Hartley Historic Site, Old Bathurst Rd (just off Great Western Hwy), Hartley, is open from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4.20pm Tuesday to Sunday. Cost: Free. Details: (02) 6355 2117 or hartley@environment.nsw.gov.au.

 

Kew Y Ahn 09Mr Ring also encouraged visitors to explore the wider region.

“If you’re coming from Sydney, travel up the Great Western Highway and see the Blue Mountains, spend the day with us at Back to Hartley, then drive into Lithgow and head home via the Bells Line of Road through the Hawkesbury to experience the World Heritage Area from a very different perspective.’’

Visitors can choose from a range of accommodation and dining options in the Lithgow area.

Go to lithgowtourism.com for more information.

Kew Y Ahn Aboriginal Gallery, Hartley.


Leura pit stop celebrates regional wine circuit

Celebrate the regional NSW wine circuit at Leura Garage during Vinovember

Celebrate the regional NSW wine circuit at Leura Garage during Vinovember

By Ellen Hill for Leura Garage            Photo: David Hill

Mudgee winemaker James Manners will complete the dining circuit begun by his father in the 1980s when he visits popular pit stop Leura Garage Café-Restaurant as part of Vinovember on November 18.

Diners can learn about the family’s long association with the Blue Mountains food scene (Michael was one of the first in the 1980s to establish a fine dining environment in the area) and the story of how Manners Wine began over a long lunch in the south of France during the Meet the Winemaker dinner.

Leura Garage owner James Howarth said: “James being a prominent winemaker in the Central West and Michael’s restaurant history in the Blue Mountains represent what Vinovember is about – a celebration of great Blue Mountains food marrying wines from the Central West.’’

While international vino will also be feted, wine producers within 100 miles of Leura Garage such as Orange and Mudgee will be featured foremost and 2015 NSW Wine Awards winners announced on October 30 given victory laps.

“The Blue Mountains is the gateway to the Central West wine regions of Orange and Mudgee and we are fortunate to have prominent winemakers stop by on their regular travels from east to west,’’ Mr Howarth said.

As well as James Manners on November 18, diners can meet David Lowe of Lowe Wines in Mudgee on November 11 and Jason O’Dea from Windowrie Wines at Cowra on November 25.

There will be free wine tastings from 5pm to 7pm Tuesdays to compare local drops against their European counterparts, and customers will receive a complimentary glass of bubbles on Melbourne Cup Day, November 3.

Also, pay just $2 for each glass of wine poured from the bottle on each table on Mondays and kids will eat free with the purchase of any bottle of wine every Thursday.

“The food hasn’t taken a back seat because that’s what we do best. We are just shining the headlights onto the wines which enhance our food,’’ Mr Howarth said.

Now open seven days, Leura Garage diners can pre-book a table online.

Leura Garage, 84 Railway Pde, Leura, is open from 12pm til late. Bookings and details: (02) 4784 3391, info@leuragarage.com.au or www.leuragarage.com.au/bookings.

* Leura Garage is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity

 


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: indulgent dining on the edge

Local and regional produce is served throughout Escarpment Group properties

Local and regional produce is served throughout Escarpment Group properties

 

 

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group                                        Photos: David Hill

Discerning foodies seeking to savour the flavour of crisp Blue Mountains air and earthy tones of the Central West will find it in every bite served at Escarpment Group properties.

With few exceptions, food and wine served at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Lilianfels Resort & Spa, Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant and Parklands Country Lodges & Gardens is sourced from within a 100 mile (160km) radius of the kitchen and served to a delectable standard.

Executive Chef of Darley's Restaurant Lee Kwiez.

Executive Chef of Darley’s Restaurant Lee Kwiez.

A growing proportion of ingredients are even sourced from the 1000sqm edible garden at the Parklands property at Blackheath. Menus across Escarpment Group now carry a specially-designed logo printed next to items which include at least 80 per cent local and regional ingredients.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger, himself a career chef, compared the Blue Mountains food scene to that of northern Italy: “The food I have tasted up here is absolutely sensational.

“Our eventual aim is total fruit, vegetable and herb sustainability for all kitchens at all four Escarpment Group properties.

“It makes sense economically, it fits in with our business ethos and our guests expect it.’’

Hydro Majestic Hotel head chef Mate Herceg

Hydro Majestic Hotel head chef Mate Herceg

 

Hydro Majestic head chef Mate Herceg, whose team served 21,000 guests during May alone, said: “Things I can buy locally I will buy locally for my kitchen.

“We roughly know what type of produce is around at what time of year and we talk to suppliers about what’s coming up. We always know that artichokes are good in autumn but don’t use asparagus because it’s not in season here and comes from Peru or Mexico.’’

All items sold at the Hydro Majestic Pavilion are locally sourced from areas such as Lithgow, Orange, Bathurst, Mudgee, the Blue Mountains and Western Sydney.

Escarpment Group restaurants routinely use local and regional produce such as apples, chocolate, berries, herbs, bread, eggs, carrots, nuts, nasturtium flowers, tomatoes, quince, pears, plums, kale, broccoli, carbonero, trout and yabbies. Regional meat is served wherever possible.

Escarpment Group is committed to further developing the Parklands Kitchen garden and has also installed a state-of-the-art composting system which already takes all kitchen waste from Parklands and the Hydro Majestic.

Darley's Restaurant executive chef Lee Kwiez

Darley’s Restaurant executive chef Lee Kwiez

Multi award-winning Darleys Restaurant executive chef Lee Kwiez said: “I grew up on a thirty acre farm at East Kurrajong in the Hawkesbury so I really appreciate quality fresh food.

“It’s easy for us to serve our guests food fresh from the garden. We just send through a list of ingredients we would like to use in our menus and it is grown for us. The gardener also sends us lists of what is in the garden, as do our other local and regional suppliers and we incorporate those ingredients in our menus.’’

While he creates unique fine dining dishes for five-star guests at the hatted restaurant, the underlying influence on Kwiez’s cooking is his childhood.

“Mum was cooking shepherd’s pie when I was 14 or 15 and I thought `I want to be a chef’. For me, it’s all about the flavour – it’s all about the yum. Simple.

“Freshness, seasonality and locally grown: there’s not much of a carbon footprint because you’re not hauling vegetables from here to Sydney and then back again. We’re also looking after other local businesses.’’

(l-r) Darley's Restaurant executive chef Lee Kwiez and Hydro Majestic Hotel head chef Mate Herceg at the Parklands kitchen garden

(l-r) Darley’s Restaurant executive chef Lee Kwiez and Hydro Majestic Hotel head chef Mate Herceg at the Parklands kitchen garden

Mr Bruegger said Escarpment Group was committed to regional produce in its delivery of high-end tourism and hospitality on a scale rarely seen in regional NSW.

“The Blue Mountains has been renowned for its innovative cuisine and fine wines for a long time and we are proud to be a part of that reputation through our established Darley’s and Echoes restaurants at our five-star properties and now the various dining venues at the Hydro Majestic.’’

The full suite of Escarpment Group dining experiences is:

Wintergarden, Hydro Majestic: The light-filled restaurant with spectacular views over the Megalong Valley offers a premium afternoon high tea and a gourmet dinner menu in refined surrounds.

Eastern High Tea in Salon du The at the Hydro Majestic Hotel

Eastern High Tea in Salon du The at the Hydro Majestic Hotel

Salon du The, Hydro Majestic: The Flying Fox and Cat’s Alley have united to form the Salon du The, offering a refined Asian-inspired menu and a range of cocktails and wines with magnificent views of the Megalong Valley.

The Boiler House, Hydro Majestic: Casual all-day dining featuring traditional pizza, pasta and Australian cuisine overlooking the Megalong Valley.

Echoes Restaurant & Bar: The award-winning restaurant offers modern Australian cuisine with Asian influenced menus with specially selected local and important wines. Open daily seven days a week.

Darley’s Restaurant & Bar, Lilianfels: The multi-award winning hatted venue offers modern Australian cuisine served as a la carte or degustation menus with specially selected local and imported wines.

Go to www.escarpmentgroup.com.au for more information about individual properties, events and special offers.

The historic Darley's Restaurant

The historic Darley’s Restaurant