Shout Lunch Fight Hunger

On Friday, 20 May 2011, all Australians are encouraged to donate what they would normally spend on lunch to Shout Lunch Fight Hunger, a one-day initiative aimed at helping the hungry, homeless and needy.

All money raised will go to OzHarvest, a not-for-profit organisation that rescues unwanted food from restaurants, retailers, food outlets and corporate kitchens across Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle and Wollongong. OzHarvest distributes the rescued food to charities and homeless shelters daily, feeding communities in need.

It's pretty simple - bring your lunch from home and donate what you would normally spend on lunch to Shout Lunch Fight Hunger. All workplaces and individuals are encouraged to join in so why not whip up your signature dish and share it with your workmates, family or friends, so they can donate their lunch money too? Just one dollar equals one meal - $10 provides 10 meals to disadvantaged Australians.

2011 OzHarvest Shout Lunch Fight Hunger ambassador and celebrity chef Matt Moran said: "Why not show off your skills as a MasterChef and impress your workmates by bringing in a plate and at the same time, raise money for OzHarvest? It's a no brainer and who doesn't want to shout their mates lunch anyway?"

According to Bill Monk from the Eddie Dixon Centre at the Paddington Uniting Church, OzHarvest's contribution has been essential in helping support everyone who comes through these doors in search of food and refuge.

Monk said: "Donations of food received from OzHarvest provide vital support to the Eddie Dixon Centre - it's our front-line service to the needy, homeless and marginalised. OzHarvest's contribution of daily food products has allowed us to make thousands of good meals here each day and every year to feed the needy. Thanks OzHarvest!"

Since 2004, OzHarvest has delivered a staggering eight million meals to communities in need. Not only does OzHarvest help the disadvantaged, it also diverts good food from being dumped as landfill. Australian households alone throw away roughly $5.2 billion worth of food every year and it is estimated that close to three million tonnes of food per annum ends up in the rubbish. Imagine how much food goes to waste in households and the hospitality industry as a whole?

In 2011, why not join companies such as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Toga Hospitality, Vibe Hotels, Medina Apartment Hotels, Macquarie Bank and Gadens in registering for this worthwhile cause.

Here's how you, your company, your friends or your school can make a difference:

• Register or donate online at www.ozharvest.org , call Kim Morris on (02) 9516 3877 or email kim.morris@ozharvest.org

• Once registered, you will receive a Shout Lunch Fight Hunger info pack

• Each organisation needs to identify a champion or champions - for example, one on each floor, or in each department who can share the information, hand-out the bags and collect the lunch money at the end of lunch for an OzHarvest representative to collect. OzHarvest will provide as many paper bags as the organisation needs for each staff member to insert their money. We will also provide posters and relevant collateral to support this initiative.

• All money raised on the day goes directly to OzHarvest and remember, all donations over $2 are tax deductible. Why not encourage your employer to match employee contributions?

To request interviews with Ronni Kahn or for more information about Shout Lunch Fight Hunger please contact Louise Tran louisetran@liquidideas.com.au at Liquid Ideas on 02 9667 4211 | 0466 620 744 or Sally Lewis sallylewis@liquidideas.com.au  02 9667 4211 | 0410 311 501

About OzHarvest:

OzHarvest was founded in November 2004 by Ronni Kahn, an events organiser who was so stunned at the amount of food wasted she did something about it. Ronni Kahn was recognised as Australia's Local Hero 2010 as part of the Australian of the Year Awards. She has also been nominated as NSW Australia Day Ambassador for three years consecutively and was a finalist in two categories of Telstra Business Women's Awards 2008. In December 2008, Ronni was voted one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the (sydney) magazine and in April 2009 was a named a recipient of the Vodafone Australia Foundation's World of Difference programme.

Since 2004, OzHarvest has delivered over eight million meals. Using a fleet of 11 vehicles, OzHarvest rescues food from restaurants, retailers and food outlets throughout Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle and Wollongong to serves over 175,000 meals a month to 330 charities. Thanks to OzHarvest, many men, women and children at the agencies we support now have a wider supply and variety of fresh and cooked food, fruit and vegetables which they could not access previously.

Aussies take over iconic Queenstown waterfront hotel...

An Australian investment group takes over the lease and business of Queenstown’s historic landmark Eichardt’s Private Hotel today.

Melbourne-based Imperium Capital Group has a range of businesses including several in the hospitality area – it owns the Australasian rights to the T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant chain.

Eichardt’s comprises five luxurious hotel suites at the bottom of The Mall and four lakefront cottage suites, also on the Queenstown Bay waterfront.

The former business owner was Highland Resorts, which redeveloped the property after the 1999 floods – local tourism giant Skyline Enterprises has been the freehold owner since 2004.

Christchurch-born Andrew Cox, Imperium Capital Group’s managing director, says the purchase is “a strategic investment in an iconic brand in tourism in New Zealand”.

“We’re open to looking at other acquisition opportunities in the country now we’ve made this first step.”

Cox says management will remain the same.

The sale was brokered jointly by Queenstowner Terry Spice from Luxury Real Estate New Zealand and Rosa Carter-Holt from NAI Harcourts, Christchurch, and was the result of an international marketing campaign.

The family of United States billionaire Julian Robertson, who last year bought Queenstown’s swanky Matakauri Lodge, earlier negotiated to buy Eichardt’s.

by

 

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Mr & Mrs Smith has your Christmas stocking stitched up

Thinking of buying your loved one socks and hankies again this Christmas? Boutique accommodation specialists Mr & Mrs Smith can put the spice back in your festive season with this selection of smart and sexy stocking fillers.

**GET A GUIDE**
Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection: South-East Asia is the seventh book in the bestselling series of hotel guides from intrepid style-hunters, Mr & Mrs Smith. Aimed at the discerning traveller, this coffee-table essential showcases a carefully curated selection of South-East Asia's most gorgeous getaways: beach hideaways in Thailand, Malaysia and Bali, Indochine-chic retreats in Laos and Cambodia, and slick city boltholes in Singapore and Vietnam.

Fix yourself a Singapore Sling and settle in for that characteristic Smith mix of wry humour and need-to-know detail.

Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection: South-East Asia has an RRP $45 and is available from all good book stores or online at www.mrandmrsssmith.com. Guides to Australia/New Zealand and France are also available.

**GET A ROOM**
Buy a $200 Get a Room! voucher from Mr & Mrs Smith this Christmas and receive a bonus copy of Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection: Australia/New Zealand, our comprehensive guide to the best boutique retreats in this corner of the globe.
The book includes a complimentary BlackSmith membership, granting you instant access to exclusive offers and special gifts at any Smith recommended hotel.
Get a Room! vouchers are stylishly presented in an intricate black display box and can be used toward the purchase of accommodation at any boutique hotel in the Mr & Mrs Smith collection worldwide.
Left it too late? Our Get a Room! e-vouchers are the perfect last-minute gift. These electronic accommodation vouchers, available in denominations of $100 and up, will be sent to your inbox as soon as your order is processed.
All vouchers are valid for 12 months from date of purchase and are available online by visiting www.mrandmrssmith.com/au/products/gift-vouchers.

**GET A MEMBERSHIP**
Is there a better Christmas gift than a membership to the hottest travel club in town? A Mr & Mrs Smith membership entitles you to life-enhancing extras such as free gifts on check-in, accommodation offers and access to exclusive benefits from our partners including Koko Black, Tea2 and Mecca.
Mr & Mrs Smith also gives money back to its members each time they book which can be saved up and put towards your next Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel stay.
Memberships are available in three tiers, BlackSmith ($25), SilverSmith ($250) and GoldSmith ($499) and can be purchased online (www.mrandmrssmith.com) or by calling our travel team on 1300 89 66 27.

About Mr & Mrs Smith
Meet Mr & Mrs Smith, the boutique travel specialists with an expert eye for stylish holidays. An acclaimed travel publisher and hotel booking service founded in London, 2003, Mr & Mrs Smith recommends smaller, sexier hotels and properties from around the world that stuffy luxury guides and run-of-the-mill directory sites so often overlook.

Our name is a nod to couples who fancy checking into a fabulous hotel under this classic naughty-weekend pseudonym and we aim to ensure every weekend away is an unforgettable experience.

Mr & Mrs Smith guide you to the most inspirational places to stay from boutique hideaways, luxurious spa retreats or secret city havens. Each property has been rigorously researched, visited and anonymously reviewed, and each review gives the inside scoop on the best rooms, top tables and things to see and do.

You don't need to be a member to book, but join the Smith's unique travel club, and get access to exclusive, life-enhancing hotel offers, gifts and upgrades.

With a global online collection of more than 700 hotels and luxe rentals at www.mrandmrssmith.com , Mr & Mrs Smith has evolved to respond to travellers seeking unique and beautiful places to stay, the perfect antidote to faceless chain hotels.

A dedicated international online reservation service and phone access to the expert Smith travel team mean that style-conscious travellers can also check availability and book all the hotels in the collection at our guaranteed low rates.

For further information including images, please contact Rowena Fitzgerald or Sabine Zetteler at Mr & Mrs Smith:
E: Rowena@smithhotels.com.au / P: (03) 9419 6671/ M: 0413 210 940
E: sabine@smithhotels.com.au / P: (03) 9419 6671 / M: 0449 575 285

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Interview with Paul Kerr, CEO of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Paul Kerr, CEO of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, attended ITB Asia in Singapore last week. During the show Mr Kerr shared the latest developments at the luxury hotel brand which is celebrating its 20th anniversary next year. Small Luxury Hotels of the World now has a portfolio of 519 small independent hotels in more than 70 countries worldwide. The brand has seen robust and positive growth in 2010 including an increase in reservations of 16 per cent year to date in comparison to this time last year and an increase in revenue of 12 per cent since January 2010.

Anita Chan, Vice President Development Asia Pacific at Small Luxury Hotels of the World, gave an update on the latest additions to the brand, which only accepts five per cent of the hotels which apply to join. Small Luxury Hotels of the World has added 47 new properties to its portfolio since January 2010.

Speaking at the Small Luxury Hotels of the World stand at ITB Asia, Paul Kerr said: "We have exhibited at ITB Berlin for over 10 years but this is our first year at ITB Asia. Initial feedback from our co-exhibitors has been very positive. We recently relocated our Regional office to Singapore and this event will help us build our profile in the region and to drive reservations through our GDS code, LX for luxury." Click here to hear more from Mr Kerr and Ms Chan...


 

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Chocolate revolution melts Brisbane's heart....

Chocolate lovers of Brisbane, your dreams have finally come true! After 10 years of waiting,

wishing and requesting, the Bald Man is set to open his much-anticipated Chocolate Bar in

Brisbane. Opening its doors on 9 October 2010, the latest addition to the Max Brenner family will

surely delight devout chocolate followers with the intoxicating smell of melted chocolate wafting

through the warm Queensland air.

 

Set to open at Southbank, Brisbane's epicenter of fine food and shopping, Max Brenner's newest

Chocolate Bar will bring alive the inner child in everyone! Diners will be seduced with tempting

treats like the 100% Pure Chocolate Experience Iscream Max-Wich (RRP $12.50) while avid

shoppers will find choosing difficult in the Chocolate Shop with goodies like the Brown Cross

First Aid Gift Set (RRP $111) or Hazelnuts, deliciously caramelized and coated in rich praline (RRP

$18). No wonder Max Brenner is Australia's favourite chocolate experience!

 

"We have been flanked by overwhelming demand and requests from Brisbane residents to open a

Chocolate Bar here, so we're over the moon to finally make their wish come true!" said Max

Brenner himself. "Chocolate is meant to be a full sensory experience and Max Brenner Chocolate

Bar is a place to celebrate chocolate and become a part of our unique culture. We're so excited to

finally be able to share our love of chocolate with the people of Brisbane."

 

Queenslanders cannot seem to get enough of the Max Brenner experience with the Gold Coast

Chocolate Bars consistently packed to the brim with dedicated followers. The opening of the

Brisbane Chocolate Bar comes just before yet another Queensland opening in Broadbeach in

November this year.

 

Brisbane residents searching for an icy cold drink to keep themselves cool from the Queensland

summer sun should try one of Max Brenner's delicious choctails from his famous Alice Cup.

Inspired by 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', the Alice Cup was created to enhance the fantasy

aspect of the chocolate drinking ceremony. Choose from a wide range of delicious chocolate

concoctions- Banana Milk Chocolate Frappe, Peanut Butter Iced Chockie or Strawberry White

Chocolate Float- each one guaranteed to bring any chocolate fantasy to life.

 

For those after a heartier treat, Max's Tutti-Frutti Waffles (RRP $13.00) are a definite winner.

Drizzled with pure melted chocolate and served with creamy ice cream, delicious strawberries and

SEbananas, there's no sweeter way to celebrate the arrival of the Chocolate King in Brisbane!

 

But that's not all... the Max Brenner Chocolate Shop (also available online at

shop.maxbrenner.com.au) is a chocolate lover's dream come true. Featuring Max's signature

hand-made pralines in more than 20 exotic flavours it's also the perfect place to pick up a range

of gorgeous gifts - either a treat for yourself or a present for friends and family.

 

Personally recommended by John Travolta, Chocolate: A Love Story (RRP $35) is Max's innovative

cookbook that allows you to be Max the chocolatier at home while his spa collection, BODY offers

the perfect guilt-free indulgence for your skin. Created from pure cocoa butter and rare

confectionery ingredients, this decadent Spa Collection helps nourish and enrich the skin whilst

helping to improve its elasticity and serving as a source of antioxidants. Some of the luxurious

products in the range include the Ivory Coast Cocoa Butter Body Milk (RRP $26) and the Ivory

Coast Cocoa Butter Bubble Bath (RRP $26).

 

The opening of Brisbane's very own Max Brenner Chocolate Bar means the end of long drives to

the Gold Coast in order to get that one of a kind Max Brenner experience. So for those heading

for a day out at the beach, looking for a fun, unique night out or just passing by, pop in and get

treated to the ultimate chocolate experience that is Max Brenner. Be careful though, now that it's

so close you might not be able to stay away!

 

Max Brenner Brisbane will be open daily until late and is located on Shops 1.1 & 1.2 Stanley St

Plaza

Southbank, Queensland 4101. Phone: 07 3255 0411.

 

For more information or to shop the range online, visit www.maxbrenner.com.au  or follow on

Twitter@MaxBrenner to get some mouth watering chocolate inspired updates between visits!

 

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New Zealand - "In splendid isolation" - Max Anderson Sydney Morning Hearld

In splendid isolation

October 2, 2010
Extreme comfort ... the renowned New Zealand-owned Treetops, near Rotorua, offers game hunting.

Extreme comfort ... the renowned New Zealand-owned Treetops, near Rotorua, offers game hunting.

Max Anderson surveys the rise of Kiwi luxury lodges and defines the winning formula of style, wilderness and character.

I recently spent 18 days staying at nine luxury lodges, a tour of duty to find out how New Zealand's fabled wilderness retreats compare. Sounds idyllic, right? Actually, it was five-star overload - after consuming 158 courses of food variously described as ''wild'', ''organic'' and ''marbled'', I discovered bits of my lower intestine I didn't know I had.

Nevertheless, my lodge-athon proved valuable: what I'd previously regarded as a singular and definable five-star travel experience, I soon came to see as a bewilderingly varied beast.

Whare Kea on Lake Wanaka on the South Island.

Whare Kea on Lake Wanaka on the South Island.

Just like the safari camp and the ski chalet, the New Zealand lodge is a triumph of reinvention, the transformation of a utilitarian wilderness refuge into tourism gold. The original (and, some would argue, still the best) is Huka Lodge, once a 1920s canvas fishing camp on the Waikato River near Taupo, on the North Island, with fly-fishing so good it became famous among European royals. In 1984 a Dutch millionaire replaced the canvas with some contemporary homage to the Scottish Highlands hunting lodge and set new standards in antipodean luxury.

But it wasn't until the late 1990s that luxury lodges started springing up in spectacular corners of New Zealand. Bankrolled by foreigners, designed by Kiwis and serendipitously marketed by Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, they were tailored to meet the demands of American retirees on the Pacific-cruise circuit.

Among the first investors was the Australian Myer family, who built Whare Kea, a relatively modest, light- and view-filled escape on Lake Wanaka, on the South Island, in 1996. In 1999, Tom Tusher, the former head of Levi Strauss, built Blanket Bay, an edifice of schist and timber near Glenorchy.

Recent arrivals ... Split Apple Hideaway, which opened in July, gives guests a choice of BMWs.

Recent arrivals ... Split Apple Hideaway, which opened in July, gives guests a choice of BMWs.

Four years later, Julian ''Wizard of Wall Street'' Robertson used Huka designer Virginia Fisher to move on from the ''tartan and antlers'' theme in his lofty and ambitious installations on the North Island: Kauri Cliffs (Bay of Islands) and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers.

Today, there are perhaps 30 establishments legitimately combining the word ''luxury'' and ''lodge'', with at least four of these opening in the past year.

The best occupy valuable mind space among the world's wealthiest and most status-conscious markets, although the numbers of American guests, usually seen clutching Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report, still dictate whether it's a good or bad year (last year was bad). Brits and Australians are the next most-dependable patrons and there's growth among markets out of Russia, India and Brazil. If a lodge is closed then a private jet has probably delivered the likes of Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg or Brad Pitt.

Gabriel Residence sleeps eight in style, overlooking the Bay of Islands.

Gabriel Residence sleeps eight in style, overlooking the Bay of Islands.

As the range of lodges has expanded, so the price difference has widened: an entry-level suite with meals costs from $NZ400 ($306) a couple a night (Pen-y-bryn, low season); at Huka Lodge you'll pay $NZ1375 a person a night (high season). With the recent growth of exclusive-use pricing (see box), you can secure a sole-occupancy retreat for $NZ5000 to $NZ17,773 a night. A 15 per cent GST usually goes on top.

So what is a luxury lodge?

''Lodge'' is used on every conceivable Kiwi accommodation, including the roadside motel. The five-star end has a similar elasticity of definition but a luxury lodge is defined by a few more distinct criteria.

SceneryThe embarrassment of scenic riches in New Zealand means everyone gets a view.

South Island lodges such as Blanket Bay, the recently opened Matakauri (Lake Wakatipu) and Whare Kea and Tiritiri (Lake Wanaka) have Ring-side seats on Middle Earth, their picture windows gazing upon luminous glacial lakes fringed by snow-rimmed mountains. On the North Island, volcanic lakes offer prehistoric stillness, hot springs and world-class trout fishing. And the coastline is surprisingly glamorous with forest-clad uplands, beach snugs and clean blue waters where dolphins scatter shoals of fish - landscapes redolent of Big Sur and San Francisco but bought at a fraction of the price. Visit Kauri Cliffs in the Bay of Islands, Split Apple Retreat near Nelson or Earthsong on Great Barrier Island and you'll kick yourself for ever sneering at the idea of a Kiwi coast.

Isolation and gameMost lodges provide fishing options for guests (often aided by helicopter) but a few enjoy their own private wilderness and hunting grounds.

At Poronui, near Taupo, the sika deer roams free (at least until it gets shot) on 6000 hectares and the trout ply 40 kilometres of stream. There's a separate luxury tented camp so you can ''rough it'' beside crystal waters, although hunter-fishers can also retire to a gussied-up stable with snooker table and echoing wine cellar. The highly regarded Treetops, near Rotorua (a rare Kiwi-owned luxury lodge), has game coming out of its acreage and will lend you a gun dog while you shoot pheasant.

Some lodges offer tamed wilderness. Wharekauhau, for instance, sits on 1350 hectares of moody landscape that raises prize lamb (served at night); Kauri Cliffs has 1500 hectares overlooking the Bay of Islands (space enough to build spa treatment rooms within a totara forest); and at Cape Kidnappers, the 1500-hectare farm has sheep, gannet colonies and a kiwi bird population that guests can help track, catch and weigh.

While isolation is often desirable, it's certainly not guaranteed. Lodges near popular lake and coastal towns such as Taupo, Rotorua, Wanaka, Queenstown and Nelson are no less beautiful but it can be a surprise to find yourself winding through suburbs or new subdivisions to get to a retreat you'd associated with wilderness.

HeritageA surprising number of lodges sell on the back of historical grandeur. For example, Greenhill Lodge (1889) is all grace and gables near Hawke's Bay; Grasmere (1858), near Arthur's Pass in the Southern Alps, is an old limestone sheep station; and Otahuna (1895), south of Christchurch, is a dazzling restoration that once hosted the future king of England.

Canapes and cocktails feel especially right among timber-panelled libraries and tapestries but these intimate properties also allow for special touches. At Otahuna, for instance, you can accompany the chef in the kitchen garden to pick your favourite ingredients before joining him with a glass of wine as he cooks. (The property suffered damage in the recent earthquake but will reopen on November 14.)

Fine diningSome lodges boast of international chefs and award-winning sommeliers but all make tremendous play on the quality of Kiwi produce, from prized meats and fish to celebrated sav blancs and pinots. Timara Lodge, near Blenheim, has a Swiss chef with experience in Michelin-starred restaurants and its own vineyard; the Wharekauhau chef likes to ''forage'' for ingredients - feel free to join him in the fern-filled forest.

A point of differenceThe Farm at Cape Kidnappers is rightly famous for its spectacular (slightly insane) golf course built on a series of cliffs. Whare Kea, on Lake Wanaka, will fly guests in from the main lodge to its exclusive chalet 1750 metres high in the Buchanan Mountains. And Split Apple Retreat near Nelson, which opened in December, has quickly earned a following on the strength of its health-promoting ''functional food'' - a menu shorn of evils and boosted with hard-working treats, served in front of a view that makes you want to live forever.

So what constitutes a good lodge?

Clearly, the more of the aforementioned attributes a lodge can offer, the better. But for my money, the champion lodges are those whose owners also bring passion to the table.

Otahuna's rise and rise is due in no small part to its young American hosts, who tell a great story of restoring a timber liability to a local treasure (at a cost of $US10 million). If they're in residence at Blanket Bay, the Tushers are terrific hosts, people who have poured themselves as well as their money into New Zealand. And Dr Lee Nelson, of Split Apple Retreat, is a dietary guru, collector of ancient Asian art (much of it on display) and champion poker player; he and his talented chef wife, Pen, provide one of the most interesting lodge experiences on the circuit.

Finally, here's an example illustrating the fact that a great lodge is not dependent upon a profile, an architect or an especially steep tariff.

Manawa Ridge Lodge is perched on a sublime piece of Coromandel coast on the upper North Island. It's run by Willem and Carla van de Veen, who have invested time, love and craftsmanship in three highly unusual suites. Willem's polished tree boughs, rendered hay-bale walls and alfresco, pebble-lined spa baths conspire to leave guests feeling at peace.

The main lodge is similarly fashioned and features a quirky tower allowing you to drink in views with your champagne. The couple farm their land, pull their herbs and make their own sausages from wild pigs; you're welcome to join in and try anything you like, even culling a wild porker should you be so inclined (though most settle for art classes in the garden). At the bottom of a steep track is a magical beach of golden sand, fringed with gnarled trees and waterfalls.

Manawa Ridge is little known, doesn't translate well on the home-grown website and it's comparatively inexpensive at $NZ650 a suite including gourmet breakfast. But it's definitely one of New Zealand's little luxuries.

A lodge of one's own

THE past three years have brought the rise of the exclusive retreat in New Zealand, a scaled-down, host-free lodge for single parties of guests. Most are beachside properties owned by foreign developers who've thrown (several) kitchen sinks at their projects. This is the territory of Hollywood and the big end of business, for guests who appreciate that they're surrounded by parrots and punga ferns, not people and paparazzi.

The most recent example is Split Apple Hideaway, which opened in July (not to be confused with the nearby Split Apple Retreat). Costing $NZ7500 ($5746) a night, it's 400 square metres of Californian excess with three suites. It comes with televisions that disappear into the carpets, sweeping stairways, a Versace-like taste in art and an awful lot of glass looking down on to a stunning beach near Abel Tasman National Park. Guests make their choice of BMW from a range of four models. The venue is stocked with local food and wine but chefs will cost from about $NZ1000 a day.

Other examples include Lake Okareka Lodge near Rotorua: for $NZ5000 a night, you get the run of a lakeside lodge that has contemporary opulence and suite space to spare, with private chef and butler.

The Gabriel Residence describes itself as a ''simple modern building'' that sleeps eight. In fact it's a hilltop escape of 1100 square metres overlooking the Bay of Islands and starts at $NZ4200 a night (four guests), with food and chef extra. The nearby four-suite Rahimoana Villa in Eagle's Nest - an eyrie of glass and infinity pool - peaks at $NZ17,773 a night. Food and wine are included but the chef is extra.

If you're in the market for an exclusive stay and you can book far enough ahead, inquire also of a mainstream lodge: with a big enough party, the cost of exclusive hire of, say, Otahuna or Blanket Bay can be competitive.

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'Saffire' and 'True North' Join Luxury Lodges of Australia, Further Affirmation of the New Era of Experiential Luxury Travel in Australia

Two of Australia's outstanding luxury lodge experiences have joined Luxury Lodges of Australia, an association launched in 2010 to promote the uniquely Australian breed of luxury experiential lodges, domestically and internationally.


"It is the combination of an outstanding experience, key luxury standards, and a vital, immediate and powerful sense of place that guests experience while at Saffire and onboard the True North that make them both natural inclusions in the Luxury Lodges of Australia collection" noted James Baillie of Baillie Lodges, and Chair of Luxury Lodges of Australia.

'Saffire Freycinet' is Australia's new luxury coastal sanctuary on Tasmania's East Coast, delivering sophisticated, intimate style and an inspirational experience. Very recently open, Saffire's distinctive design and impeccable yet friendly service have triggered widespread excitement.

The range of signature regional experiences developed for Saffire's guests to connect with the landscape, history, culture, marine farms and wildlife of the Freycinet region is outstanding and the onsite Palate restaurant, under the guidance of chef Hugh Whitehouse, and Spa Saffire deliver exceptional dining and wellness experiences.

A cruise on the 'True North' has long been regarded as one of Australia's outstanding and revered adventure tourism experiences, and Australia's true floating luxury lodge. Cruises are activity based and designed for the most discerning traveller wanting to 'experience the destination' in some of Australia's most remote and hard to access coastal regions.

Commenting on his company's collaboration with Luxury Lodges, Peter Trembath, General Manager of North Star Cruises Australia (owners of true North), said; "Everyone at North Star is very excited to be part of this very strategic initiative to showcase the best of the best".
James Baillie also stated "This is an exciting time for Australia, and the time is right to showcase the wealth and diversity of our uniquely Australian luxury experiences. We haven't had both this depth and quality of product before. Australia has come of age in this important travel niche."

The association's website, www.luxurylodgesofaustralia.com.au provides a wealth of information on the 17 Australian Luxury Lodges, along with direct contact details It also features a useful 'Plan Your Trip' tools which assists with forming itineraries to some of Australia's most exceptional but remote regions, and offers important information about getting between lodges.


EDITORS NOTES

More about Saffire and True North:

Saffire, Freycinet - Saffire Freycinet is Australia's new luxury coastal sanctuary on Tasmania's East Coast, delivering sophisticated, intimate style and an inspirational experience.

Discreetly positioned overlooking the Hazards Mountains, Freycinet Peninsula and the pristine waters of Great Oyster Bay, Saffire blends mankind and nature with breathtaking beauty.

Featuring 20 luxurious suites, exclusive day spa, restaurant, guest lounge and bar, this new experience is a celebration of the art of service, internal and external wellbeing, local culinary delights, ancient landscapes and abundant wildlife.

In Palate restaurant, head chef Hugh Whitehouse has ensured innovative dining does not compromise the true flavours of the freshest local produce. Menus showcase the bounty of Tasmania's inspiring food culture.

Guests can restore their wellbeing at Spa Saffire which features three retreat rooms overlooking the inspiring landscape and a bespoke menu of treatments.

Activities while at Saffire include a visit to the marine farm for an up close and personal introduction to the local oysters, multiple hikes including to the world-famous Wineglass Bay. The Schouten Island Signature Experience has been designed exclusively for guests to deepen their East Coast discovery. There's a world of deserted islands, wild bushland and secluded beaches to explore in this exceptional region.

True North, The Kimberley - A cruise on the True North has long been regarded as one of Australia's outstanding and revered adventure tourism experiences. Cruises are activity based and designed for the most discerning traveller wanting to 'experience the destination' in some of Australia's most remote and hard to access coastal regions.

True North's flagship "Kimberley Wilderness Cruise" is a 6 or 13 night panorama of spectacular gorges and majestic waterfalls, islands and rugged coastline. Other trip options include the "West Coast Explorer" to the Abrolhos Islands and Ningaloo Reef; the "Coral Atoll Cruise" to the Rowley Shoals; "Sydney Rocks" an opportunity to discover wilderness on the doorstep of Australia's largest city and, the "Southern Safari" a safari at sea along the stunning South Australian coast including Kangaroo Island.

The True North has been designed to go where no other ship can go, with high levels of comfort and style. All cabins are spacious and feature modern décor and en-suite facilities.
Daily activities can include scenic walks, helicopter flights, fishing, snorkelling, cultural visits, picnics, flora, bird and wildlife watching, diving, exploring and more...

Multiple expedition vessels or 'tenders' take guests in small groups to experience the wilderness 'up close' and, the luxury of having numerous tenders means that everyone onboard has greater opportunity to do "what they want, when they want". Most cruise options feature an onboard helicopter opening up a whole range of options from scenic flights and heli-picnics to overnight camping adventures. True North offers the opportunity to discover virtually unseen and untouched parts of Australia.

Who are the Luxury Lodges of Australia?

1. Arkaba Station, Flinders Ranges - With 60,000 acres and just 5 rooms Arkaba's rustically chic homestead is an exclusive yet quintessentially Australian experience offering guests classic country hospitality while exploring the outback.

2. Bamurru Plains, Top End - Focussing on environmental sustainability and key luxury standards, this nine room camp exudes 'Wild Bush Luxury' bringing a touch of style to a remote and extraordinarily beautiful region.

3. Bedarra, Great Barrier Reef - A private hideaway, tropical island retreat, surrounded by lush rainforest and private beaches, Bedarra is all about understated luxury and as much privacy as is desired.

4. Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island - Nine contemporary beach-style suites, personal service, exceptional dining and the option to enjoy a range of activities combine to deliver a unique and exclusive Lord Howe experience.

5. Cape Lodge, Margaret River Wine Region - Described as one of Australia's finest gourmet establishments, Cape Lodge sits within 40 acres on its vineyard in the heart of the Margaret River wine country.

6. Lake House, Daylesford - This acclaimed dining destination and accommodation lies on the shores of idyllic Lake Daylesford 90 minutes from Melbourne in Victoria's Spa Country, and is at the heart of a regional food mecca.

7. Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef - A beautiful, natural, remote island retreat and northern-most reef resort with 24 white powdery beaches, five star cuisine and indulging spa treatments and an outstanding dive destination.

8. Longitude 131, Ayers Rock/Uluru - Luxurious, eco-sensitive and romantic. With just 15 luxury tents Longitude 131° is sited to face the majestic Uluru and is the ultimate, exclusive Australian outback experience.

9. qualia, Great Barrier Reef - Located at the edge of the reef on the secluded northern-most tip of Hamilton Island, with outstanding attention to design and an exceptional spa, the qualia experience is one of deep sensory sophistication.

10. Saffire, Freycinet - Saffire Freycinet is Australia's new luxury coastal sanctuary on Tasmania's East Coast, delivering sophisticated, intimate style and an inspirational experience.

11. Sal Salis, Ningaloo Reef - Where the outback meets the reef, and the best place on earth to swim with whale sharks, 9 wilderness tents and a team of passionate guides at Sal Salis offer an exclusive luxe wilderness experience.

12. Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island - Offering a unique fusion of nature and luxury, 21 luxe suites, breathtaking views to the great Southern Ocean, all inclusive rates, first name service and personalised experiential itinerary... the ultimate Kangaroo Island experience.

13. Spicers Clovelly Estate, Sunshine Coast Hinterland - A relaxed environment with old world charm, French contemporary style, fine dining restaurant, 10 suites, 22 acres of lush grounds and excellent day spa facilities.

14. Spicers Peak Lodge, Scenic Rim South East Queensland - Australia's highest non alpine all inclusive lodge is spectacularly located on the World Heritage listed Main Range National Park, with a focus on fine food and wine, bushwalking and mountain-biking.

15. The Louise, Barossa Valley - This luxury vineyard retreat combines absolute luxury and inspired design with Appellation, one of Australia's finest regional dining experiences, in the world renowned Barossa wine region.

16. True North, The Kimberley - Long been regarded as one of Australia's outstanding adventure tourism experiences, True North cruises are activity based and designed for the most discerning traveller wanting to 'experience the destination' in some of Australia's most remote and hard to access coastal regions.

17. Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Blue Mountains - Set within its own 4,000 acre conservation and wildlife reserve, this spectacular resort offers 40 individual suites with private swimming pools, distinctive dining, luxury facilities and exceptional Timeless Spa.

The Board of Directors representing the members comprises James Baillie, owner Baillie Lodges (Chair); Jim Carreker, owner of The Louise (Secretary); Phillipa Harrison, General Manager Sales Hamilton Island, representing qualia (Deputy Chair); Charlie Carlow, owner Wild Bush Luxury (Arkaba Station, Bamurru Plains and Sal Salis); and Judith North, Director of Sales, Wolgan Valley. Executive Officer, Penny Rafferty.

Further information available at: www.luxurylodgesofaustralia.com.au

Media contact:
Penny Rafferty
Luxury Lodges of Australia Ltd
penny@luxurylodgesofaustralia.com.auTel - 0428 633 408

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The Lifestyle Channel Signs Donna Hay...

XYZnetworks' The LifeStyle Channel today announced that it has signed Australia's leading food editor and best-selling cookbook author Donna Hay for a 13-part, half-hour series that will be seen exclusively on the channel early next year.

Produced by FremantleMedia Australia for The LifeStyle Channel, the new series Donna Hay - Fast, Fresh, Simple is Donna Hay's first television series and will reveal what makes her recipes, books and magazine so loved.

"Donna Hay has redefined food in this country. Her food isn't just delicious, it's always visually appealing and to see that come to life in this television series is so exciting," said Nicole Sheffield, General Manager, LifeStyle Channels.

"We pride ourselves on bringing our viewers the best lifestyle content from around the world along with the best talent. We have been talking with Donna for some time about developing a series together and we're thrilled that her first television series is for The LifeStyle Channel."

Donna's simple and style-driven approach to food is reflected in her award-winning cookbooks. She has sold more than four million copies worldwide, set the benchmark for food publishing and inspired a whole new generation of cooks.

"I'm so excited to be bringing the world of my books and magazine to life. This show captures my philosophy on cooking. It's about sharing my secrets and showing you how to get all the flavour without the fuss to create dishes that are achievable, look good and taste great," said Donna Hay.

Donna Hay - Fast, Fresh, Simple will showcase the natural charm and passion Donna brings to the world of cooking. A relaxed and composed cook, Donna loves to share her tricks and tips of combining fresh and pantry ingredients to create fast and simple dishes that are presented with her signature style.

"Donna is a wonderfully gifted woman. She holds an iconic place in the Australian food and entertainment landscape," said Ian Hogg, CEO, FremantleMedia Australia.

Donna Hay is the editor-in-chief of donna hay magazine, best-selling author of 18 cookbooks, newspaper columnist, creator of homewares and a food range, shop-owner of her first general store in Sydney and working mum with two beautiful boys.

Donna Hay - Fast, Fresh, Simple is being shot on RED, the latest in high definition, and will premiere on The LifeStyle Channel in early 2011.

Donna Hay - Fast, Fresh, Simple is a FremantleMedia Australia production for The LifeStyle Channel, available on FOXTEL and AUSTAR.

The LifeStyle Channel is part of the leading television channel and program production company XYZnetworks. XYZnetworks owns and operates eight leading brands including The LifeStyle Channel, LifeStyle FOOD, LifeStyle YOU, Channel [V], [V] HITS, MAX, Country Music Channel and The Weather Channel. XYZnetworks also owns Arena TV, distributes global giant Discovery Channel and jointly owns kids powerhouse Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. Collectively the channels reach more than 4.3 million* television viewers. XYZnetworks is equally owned by FOXTEL and AUSTAR. *Source - OzTam

For the full collection of Donna Hay cookbooks - click here

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Tourism Australia to Host "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Australia

Popular US talk-show, "The Oprah Winfrey Show," is set to travel to Australia this December to film at least two episodes that will air in early 2011. The announcement includes a partnership between Tourism Australia and "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which will enable Australia to be showcased to audiences worldwide as part of the shows, Tourism Australia Chairman, Geoff Dixon announced today.
Speaking at a media conference in Sydney today, Mr Dixon said Australia will be profiled on at least two full episodes plus the season premiere, which went to air overnight, as part of the program's 25th season. "The Oprah Winfrey Show" reaches a global audience across 145 countries.

Mr Dixon said Qantas Airways, Tourism New South Wales, the Sydney Opera House, Tourism Victoria, Tourism Queensland, R.M. Williams and Network 10 were also partners in the venture. Other States and Territories may also be given the opportunity to be involved through editorial profiling opportunities.

"The fact that Ms Winfrey has chosen to share her first visit to Australia with her television audience is a huge backing for our country and provides an amazing opportunity for Australian tourism," Mr Dixon said.

"We can showcase why there's nothing like Australia to audiences around the world and encourage them to come and explore our country for themselves whether it's their first time or their fifth time."

Audience members attending the show's farewell season premiere episode were given one of the biggest surprises in "Oprah" show history when Ms Winfrey announced that they were all going to Australia. "The Oprah Winfrey Show: Oprah's Farewell Season Premiere With Special Guest John Travolta" show aired at 9:00am this morning in Chicago (midnight Sydney time).

Tourism Australia's partnership with "The Oprah Winfrey Show," will see Ms Winfrey, her correspondents, and 300 of Oprah's most loyal viewers travel on an eight-day, seven-night trip to Australia, to film at least two episodes of the program during December.

The "Oprah" show cameras will be on hand to capture their journeys around Australia as well as bring everyone together at the steps of the Sydney Opera House - or as it will be known that week the "Oprah House" - for a spectacular show featuring Australian talent and special guests. Episodes will air first in the US in early 2011 and then roll out to other global markets.

Mr Dixon said the theme of the Australian visit "Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure" is a perfect fit for taking Australia's tourism message to the world.

"We know Australia is a dream destination for millions of people and the partnership with "The Oprah Winfrey Show" is a real opportunity to show how they can make their dream of visiting Australia a reality," Mr Dixon said.

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Australia-first Initiative to Support Regional Victoria Said to 'Undoubtedly' Grow Tourism in Regional Victoria

Tourism officials say an Australia-first initiative just launched by RACV and VisitVineyards.com will undoubtedly grow tourism in regional Victoria.

The partnership between VisitVineyards.com - Australia's largest online culinary travel guide - and RACV, will see RACV members offered unprecedented access to vineyards and wineries, winery restaurants, food producers, microbreweries and related experiences in regional Victoria.

Dubbed the RACV Regional Wine and Food Program, it is an extension of the Show Your Card and Save Program, and the first time in the history of the program this extent of wine and food products has been offered.

More than two million members will be able to enjoy some of Victoria's best winery experiences in more than 10 regions of Victoria - including the Mornington Peninsula, Gippsland, Yarra Valley, Geelong, Goldfields, Grampians, Great Westerns, Otways, Pyrenees, Strathbogie Ranges and North East Victoria - and it's growing.

With more than 37 years tourism industry related experience, Australian Tourism Export Council Chairman and global tourism advisor John King, says there is no doubt of its benefits.

King who is also Managing Director of Sydney-based tourism marketing and development consultancy Global Tourism & Leisure says it will not only drive tourism and increase spend in regional Victoria, but will grow knowledge of the producers, growers and farmers involved in the program.

"More and more people are saying they'd like to find boutique producers and wineries which are off the beaten track; with the journey as important as actually finding a little hidden gem - whether it's a gourmet cheese, or an undiscovered vineyard.

"VisitVineyards.com and RACV have now given an added incentive to drive an untapped tourism market to regional Victoria, providing a win-win for everyone.

"It is a sound initiative with direct benefits for the producer, the regions and the economy."

Chair of the Victorian Food and Wine Tourism Council, Tourism Victoria Board member and co-owner of her own winery, Janelle Boynton, says there is no doubt in her mind the initiative will provide economic benefits to regional producers.

"One extra visit to a cellar door, of a valuable interested client wanting to purchase, could sometimes double a small cellar door sales for the week. I know of customers making a visit to a cellar door as part of a planned trip and hoping to pick up some regional product - items that are not in the chains, and thus providing them a take home souvenir that they can share with friends."

She says with great discounts providing customers with an extra incentive, people will travel to take up the opportunities and spend more in the regions, helping to grow our State economy.

VisitVineyards.com CEO and founder Robyn Lewis says RACV members will also get the benefits of added information and itineraries for planning their Victorian regional food and wine and travel experiences.

"As Australia's leading online wine and food travel guide, with more than 30,000 wine, food and travel providers across every Australian region listed, visitors to the new RACV Regional Wine and Food Program website can also access our insights and knowledge of the best of wine, food and travel experiences."

She says for wineries it exposes them directly to a large new market.

"Our latest research of 1700 people interested in culinary travel shows that 70 percent take trips to wine regions up to four times a year - mostly by car. They want to travel to the regions, and this initiative will give them even more of an incentive to do that, as well as provide options and opportunities for those who don't know where to start."

"It's a way to get back to the days when wines were cheaper at the cellar door, not more expensive - and the program also includes food producers, so both wine and food travellers and producers can benefit directly."

The benefits also apply to members of interstate and international automotive organisations visiting Victoria.

About VisitVineyards.com

 


VisitVineyards.com is Australia's first and largest comprehensive online guide for wine and food travellers, providing up-to-date information, recommendations and reviews of the best regional culinary travel experiences in the country. In two years it has attracted more than 27,000 subscribers and is building its brand amongst culinary travellers.

VisitVineyards.com brings together more than 30,000 wine, food and travel providers across every Australian region to enable wine and food travellers to find out what's going on, the places not to be missed and information about their next destination. It features a range of current itineraries and Australia's largest wine and food events calendar.

Up to 20 wine, food and travel writers nationwide have contributed to the site, and VisitVineyards.com has also developed international alliances, including world-renowned wine writer Jancis Robinson MBE.

www.VisitVineyards.com

 

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The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards 2011

VITTORIA COFFEE RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR: Chef Mark Best in his Surry Hills restaurant Marque. Photo: Quentin JonesThe Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide gives Sydney diners expert advice on the many restaurants, bars and cafes in Sydney, from cheap and cheerful locals to fine dining for special occasions, keeping residents and visitors in touch with the best, most interesting, and most innovative places to dine in the city and suburbs, and further afield in regional New South Wales, as well as tips on dining highlights interstate and the wine regions of NSW.

It also provides those all-important practical details such as opening hours, price ranges, whether a restaurant takes cards, what their wine list is like, and whether they are child-friendly and/or cater for vegetarians.

Sydney dining has changed, say Good Food Guide editors

September 7, 2010
Cafe Sopra at Fratelli Fresh in Potts Point.

Cafe Sopra at Fratelli Fresh in Potts Point. Photo: Marco Del Grande

With rising emphasis on provenance, flavour and fun, the dining scene has shifted from formal to fresh, write Terry Durack and Joanna Savill.

Anyone interested in a crisp linen tablecloth should have no trouble snapping up a bargain on eBay. There are quite a few restaurants around town choosing to go unclothed.

It's all part of a shift towards more casual, accessible dining as a new generation of chefs and restaurateurs focuses on food, flavour and fun rather than formality and frills. So tablecloths are no longer the defining fabric of great dining and nor are their traditional accomplices: multi-million-dollar makeovers, uniformed staff and trundling trolleys of cheese and cognac.

This year has also seen the rise of small bars, many as devoted to food as they are to cocktails or wine.

Bloodwood bar/restaurant in Newtown.

Laidback ... Bloodwood Restaurant and Bar in Newtown. Photo: Tamara Dean

After seven months checking out more than 1000 restaurants, bars, cafes and good food stops around Sydney and beyond, the Good Food Guide team can confidently report that this is the year dining "got real". Eating out became more relaxed, there is better quality at lower prices and more dining options than we have seen for some time.

 In Pymble, Dietmar Sawyere, of Berowra Waters Inn fame, opened Ad Lib Bistro, serving no-fuss classics such as Holstein schnitzel, French onion soup and chocolate mousse. In Newtown, three ex-Claude's chefs swapped champagne and truffles for Bighead beer, garlic prawns and lamb kibbeh at the laidback Bloodwood Restaurant and Bar.

Even long-term three-hatter Greg Doyle of Pier in Rose Bay decided – in a blaze of publicity – to go back to the safer, less experimental cooking of his past in a bid to woo back lapsed regulars.

No tablecloths, no booking policies and no flash loos may once have meant no chef's hat. But a new energy and boost in quality has resulted in a swag of high-spirited places at which intelligent, lively cooking and personal charm go hand in hand. Among those donning the chef's toque for the first time are the greengrocer-driven Cafe Sopra, Surry Hills's paprika-scented Bodega and north shore newbie Ad Lib.

This year's Good Food Guide salutes a grand total of 15 newly awarded one-hat restaurants. We think it's cause for celebration.

Pub grub has also stepped up a notch, thanks to talented young chefs such as Leigh McDivitt at 3 Weeds in Rozelle, Brad Sloane at Balmain's Riverview and, most notably, Colin Fassnidge at Paddington's freshly two-hatted Four In Hand.

None of this puts the boot into fine dining. Our beautifully assembled gastronomic restaurants continue to surprise and amaze but with a more natural, less contrived, approach to glorious local produce. The global trend towards high-tech gastro-trickery was fun while it lasted but now whizz-bang new kitchen science is used more for the sake of taste, allowing each ingredient to speak for itself. Natural wine is part of this landscape, with more dedicated winemakers returning to traditional vineyard practices and minimal intervention. They're embracing organic and biodynamic principles, pushing non-filtered wines using natural indigenous yeasts and now more than ever, celebrating their own time and place.

Food production and processing is getting greener as chefs source locally and increasingly grow their own. They're also verifying animal welfare, reducing waste, cutting carbon emissions and recycling everything from old menus to building materials. And who would have thought the day would arrive when tap water would be offered as a matter of course?

Among other trends uncovered by our 37-strong reviewing team is the unstoppable rise of the north shore. Manly leads the way with a host of exciting new arrivals, including Best New Restaurant Manly Pavilion, the bright and bubbly China Beach and lively El Toro Loco.

Just when you thought there was nothing left to find out about coffee, a new generation of baristas and cafe-owners has begun purchasing beans direct, buying fair trade, bidding for rare micro lots in global auctions, roasting on-site and exploring new, gentler methods of brewing. Check out the best coffee spots in our ever-changing 10 of the Best lists; along with burger joints, sushi dens, dessert diners, green restaurants and Sydney's top views.

There are 31 new restaurants in the guide among the 250 scored reviews from the city and suburbs. Add to that 180 Global Gems, bars and cafes, and you have a pick of places for any occasion.

Out of town, tireless regional editor Angie Schiavone and her team criss-crossed the countryside to come up with more than 300 scored reviews and a terrific mix of cafes, provedores and growers' markets that display increasing regional strengths.

Wine writer Huon Hooke adds to the adventure with his guided tour of each region. And there's a traveller's guide to 67 interstate restaurants . . . but why go anywhere else?

The 2011 winners

Best Restaurant
Marque

Best Chef
Martin Benn (Sepia)

Best New Restaurant
Manly Pavillion

Young Chef of the Year
Jason Saxby, Quay

Three Hats
est., Marque, Quay

Two Hats
Aria, Assiette, Becasse, Bentley Restaurant & Bar, Berowra Waters Inn, Bilson's, Bistro Ortolan, Buon Ricordo, Claude's, Four in Hand Dining Room, Guillaume at Bennelong, Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Lucio's, Pilu at Freshwater, Rockpool, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sepia, Tetsuya's, Universal.

One Hat
Ad Lib Bistro, Altitude, Arras, Astral, BillyKwong, Bird CowFish, Bistro Moncur, Bistrode, The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, Bodega, Buzo Trattoria, Cafe Sopra, Catalina, Etch, Fish Face, Flying Fish, Golden Century, Jonah's Whale Beach, Koi, Longrain, Mad Cow, Manly Pavilion, Omerta, Ormeggio at The Spit, Oscillate Wildly, Otto Ristorante, Pendolino, Pier, Restaurant Balzac, Sailors Thai Restaurant, Sake Restaurant and Bar, Sean's Panaroma, Spice Temple, Yoshii.

Regional - Two Hats
Lochiel House (Kurrajong Heights), Rock (Pokolbin).

Do you agree with the results? Have your say

Top Awards

:: Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year: Marque

:: Emirates Chef of the Year: Martin Benn (Sepia)

:: Plumm Wine Glasses Best New Restaurant: Manly Pavilion

:: Navman Best Regional Restaurant: Lochiel House, Kurrajong Heights

:: Star City Professional Excellence Award: Peter Doyle (est.)

:: The Sydney Morning Herald Silver Service Award: Alon Sharman (Arras)

:: Louis Roederer Sommelier of the Year: Matthew Dunne (Aria)

:: Brown Brothers Wine List of the Year: Rockpool Bar & Grill

:: Small wine list of the year: Spice Temple

:: Regional Wine List of the Year: Margan (Broke)

:: The Josephine Pignolet Best Young Chef: Jason Saxby (Quay)

:: Vittoria Legend Award: Michael McMahon (Catalina)

:: Sydney Fish Market Best Seafood Restaurant: Fish Face

:: Dan Murphy's Best BYO Restaurant: Il Perugino

:: Coopers Sustainability Award: Margan (Broke)

:: iPhone App People's Choice Award: Tetsuya's

The Chef's Hats 2011

City

Three Hats: Marque, est., Quay

Two Hats: Aria, Assiette, Becasse, Bentley Restaurant & Bar, Berowra Waters Inn, Bilson's, Bistro Ortolan, Buon Ricordo, Claude's, Four in Hand Dining Room, Guillaume at Bennelong, Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Lucio's, Pilu at Freshwater, Rockpool, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sepia, Tetsuya's, Universal

One Hat: Ad Lib Bistro, Altitude, Arras, Astral, Billy Kwong, Bird Cow Fish, Bistro Moncur, Bistrode, The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, Bodega, buzo trattoria, Cafe Sopra, Catalina, Etch, Fish Face, Flying Fish, Golden Century, Jonah's Whale Beach, Koi, Longrain, Mad Cow, Manly Pavilion, Omerta, Ormeggio at the Spit, Oscillate Wildly, Otto Ristorante, Pendolino, Pier, Restaurant Balzac, Sailors Thai Restaurant, Sake Restaurant & Bar, Sean's Panaroma, Spice Temple, Yoshii.

Regional

Two  Hats: Lochiel House (Kurrajong Heights), Rock (Pokolbin)

One Hat: ashcrofts (Blackheath), Bacchus (Newcastle), Bamboo Restaurant and Bar (Casuarina Beach), bells at killcare (Killcare), Bistro Molines (Mount View), Caveau (Wollongong), dish (Byron Bay), Darley's (Katoomba), Eschalot (Berrima), Fins (Kingscliff), Italian and Sons (Canberra), Lolli Redini (Orange), Muse (Pokolbin), Neila (Cowra), No. 2 Oak Street (Bellingen), Ottoman Cuisine (Canberra), Restaurant Como.

The Chef's Hats 2011

City

Going up <

2 Hats: Four in Hand Dining Room

Sepia

1 Hat: Ad Lib Bistro, Billy Kwong, Bodega, buzo trattoria, Cafe Sopra, Catalina, Etch, Golden Century, Koi

Mad Cow, Manly Pavilion, Omerta, Ormeggio at the Spit, Sake Restaurant & Bar, Spice Temple.

Going down >

Bilson's (3 Hats > 2)

Tetsuya's (3 Hats > 2)

Pier (3 Hats > 1)

Restaurant Balzac (2 Hats > 1)

Sean's Panorama (2 Hats > 1)

Azuma (1 Hat > 0)

Bathers' Pavilion (1 Hat > 0)

Blancharu (1 Hat > 0)

Foveaux (1 Hat > 0)

Galileo (1 Hat > 0)

L'Etoile (1 Hat > 0)

Regional

Going up <

2 Hats: Lochiel House

1 Hat: ashcrofts, dish, Eschalot, Italian & Sons, Muse.

Going down >

Darley's (2 Hats > 1)

Journeyman (1 hat > 0)

Katers (1 Hat > 0)

The Old George & Dragon (1 Hat > 0)

Restaurant 11 (1 Hat > 0)

Tonic (1 Hat > 0)

Vulcans (1 Hat > 0)

Buy the SMH Good Food Guide book from http://www.cookbooks.com.au/,

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Preferred Hotel Group Named 'Hotel Brand Management Company' of the Year at 2010 HM Awards

Last week Preferred Hotel Group™ was named best 'Hotel Brand Management Company' in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific during the 8th Annual HM Awards for Hotel & Accommodation Excellence.

Hosted by Australia's travel leading industry publication, HM - Hotel & Accommodation Management, the awards were announced in Sydney and presented across 42 categories which included key staff, departments, properties and chains.

"It is wonderful to be recognised with such a distinctive accolade by our travel industry peers and the media. We thank HM Awards for giving us this special recognition," said Lindsey Ueberroth, President, Preferred Hotel Group. "We have had tremendous global growth this past year, expanding each of our brands, thanks to a focus on cutting edge technologies and the efforts of our world class global team."

Recognized as the region's leading accolade for the hotel industry, the HM Awards are voted on by a panel of 50 regional top industry professionals and media. This year the awards were presented in front of a record number 520 guests including the region's leading hoteliers, staff, key suppliers and dignitaries.

About Preferred Hotel Group™
Celebrating over 40 years of excellence, Preferred Hotel Group™ is a leading provider of business solutions for independently owned and operated hotels and resorts around the world. Services include sales, marketing, technology, distribution, and quality assurance. Comprised of more than 800 best-in-class hotels in over 70 countries, Preferred Hotel Group encompasses five distinct brands: Preferred Hotels® & Resorts (www.PreferredHotels.com ), Preferred Boutique™ (www.PreferredBoutique.com ), Summit Hotels & Resorts™(www.SummitHotels.com ), Sterling Hotels™ (www.SterlingHotels.com) and Historic Hotels of Americas®(www.HistoricHotels.org ). Preferred Hotel Group also offers I Prefer™ (www.iprefer.com ), an exclusive global guest benefits program, as well as Preferred Golf™, a membership program with entrée to the world's most spectacular luxury golf resorts (www.preferredgolf.com ). For more information, visit www.PreferredHotelGroup.com.

In September 2007, the company entered the luxury real estate market with the launch of Preferred Residences™ - a membership and exchange program for luxury shared ownership resorts that provide an exceptional level of service and amenities. Preferred Residences are held to exacting standards derived from the same Preferred Global Standards of Excellence™ on which the company has built its 41-year heritage in the hospitality industry. For more information, please visit www.PreferredResidences.com

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Wine & Gourmet Asia 2010 Reveals Expanded Program Line-up for October Event

The Gateway to Fine Wine, Food and Hospitality Markets in Greater China andAsia will be held from 28 to 30 October at The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel

(Macau, 26 August 2010) Returning to Macau for the fourth year, Wine &
Gourmet Asia 2010 will showcase a program of exciting events larger than
ever before, positioning the occasion as a platform to honour hospitality
professionals as well as facilitating business and networking in the
hospitality industry.

Offering a one-stop-shop for all in the hospitality sector, the event is the
only dedicated trade fair for the high-end food, beverage and hospitality
industry in Southern China and acts as a gateway for international players
to enter this lucrative market. Wine & Gourmet Asia 2010 will be held from
28 to 30 October at The Cotai Strip® Cotai Expo™ at The Venetian®
Macao-Resort-Hotel.

"We are pleased to announce that Wine & Gourmet Asia 2010 will feature an
expanded program, reinforcing the fair as an exciting must-attend calendar
event for industry professionals in the region. Wine & Gourmet Asia delivers
top quality buyers from the key markets of Southern China, Hong Kong and
Macau to attend what is a proven conduit for business. We are pleased to
see Wine & Gourmet Asia continuing to support the hospitality sector, on the
back of what has been a vibrant and successful year," said Mr Michael
Dreyer, Vice President Asia Pacific, Koelnmesse Pte Ltd.

Around 100 companies from 15 countries and regions will be exhibiting at the
fair, representing Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea,
Macau, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and the USA, and for the first
time participants from Austria and India. Four group pavilions will
highlight the offerings from Singapore, Macau, Spain and Korea. Over 7,000
visitors are expected at the event, with the focus on the markets of Macau,
Hong Kong, China and the Asia Pacific region.

Supported by the Macau Government Tourist Office, the Hosted Buyers Program
will be organized again this year as an additional service for selected
buyers. The expanded program will bring in 100 top buyers, an increase of
around 60% from 2009. The buyers come from major fine food and beverage,
wine and spirits importers, and distributors from Southern China and Asia
Pacific, who will meet and explore business opportunities with the
exhibitors.

Accompanying the trade fair, the line up of supporting events includes the
4th Asian Cocktail Championship, MORS Gold Pin Competition, Macau 4th
Chapter Pastry Competition and Display, Charity Silent Bid, Young Chef
Competition, and Macau Sommeliers Challenge. For the region's gourmands,
Wine & Gourmet Asia 2010 also presents the region's culinary expertise with
epicurean dinners taking place at leading partner establishments throughout
Macau over the same period.

Brand new to Wine & Gourmet Asia, and highlighting its prominence as one of
the key wine industry meetings in the region, is the Macau Sommeliers
Challenge, a promotion of the profession of wine services that complements
the region's booming hospitality industry and the ever growing importance of
fine wine in the Asian markets.

Also new to the line up this year is the Young Chef Competition, an event
that showcases the importance of promoting the development of young talent
in Macau. Jointly organized by the Macau Culinary Association MCA, Disciples
of Escoffier-Macau, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) and California
Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), the competition is a cook-off by promising young
chefs in Macau. The winners stand a chance to represent Macau in either the
Asia finals of World Young Hope Contest to be held in Europe in 2012 or the
Jeunes Commis Rôtisseurs in Switzerland.

The 4th Asian Cocktail Championship will see a record 140 bartenders from
Asia and beyond compete for the title. This popular and colourful event
showcases the best talent in cocktail flairtending as well as classic
cocktail creations. The event is co-organized by Koelnmesse, the Association
of Bartenders and Sommeliers Macau and China Hong Kong Bartenders
Association.

The annual MORS Gold Pin Competition is a major event for Macau's
hospitality industry, organized by the Macau Institute for Tourism Studies
and Tourism Industry of Macao. With the aim of motivating industry
professionals to continuously upgrade their skills, local hospitality
service staff from the top hotels and restaurants will compete in 12
categories covering front desk, food and beverage, housekeeping and
security.

Organized by the Macau Culinary Alliance, the Macau 4th Chapter Pastry
Competition and Display is also a showcase of local talent where
participants display their skills and creativity in creating art pieces in
the forms of pastry and chocolate sculptures, and Chinese vegetable
carvings. Visitors to Wine & Gourmet Asia will enjoy a display of the
winning pieces.

After the great success last year, wine professionals and aficionados should
not miss out on the second Charity Silent Bid of rare vintages, organized by
the Wine Society of Macao.

Known as an Epicurean Banquet of Wine and Gourmet, Wine & Gourmet Asia will
again host a series of Epicurean Dinners, set to be one of the main
highlights of Macau's dining calendar and position Macau as one of the
dining capitals of the region. Three days of gastronomic events assemble
the culinary teams from Macau's top hospitality establishments such as City
of Dreams, Sands Macao, The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel and Wynn Macao to
present the best dining experience that Macau has to offer.

Wine & Gourmet Asia 2010 is pleased to announce that celebrity chef Justin
Quek will be joining the line-up at the invitation of The Venetian® Macao.
Chef Quek is renowned for his French cuisine as demonstrated through his
work at Les Amis in Singapore and more recently at La Platane in Shanghai.

The invitation-only Opening Reception on 28 October at The Venetian® Macao
is a showcase of the culinary expertise from City of Dreams, Sands Macao,
The Venetian® Macao and Wynn Macao. This cocktail event is highly
anticipated by the regional hospitality professionals and providers as an
annual meeting point.

Masterchef promotions, a main highlight in the culinary program, includes a
six-course degustation menu presented by guest chef Janice Wong from
2am:dessertbar, Singapore, together with new Chef de Cuisine Guillaume
Galliot at Horizons, City of Dreams on 27 October. The innovative Chef Wong
is known for her artistic flair in edible creations that showcase
extraordinary texture and flavour combinations. The menu is priced at MOP
888++.

Culinary enthusiasts should also take note of the Masterclasses held by Chef
Anthony Alaimo of Wynn Macao and Janice Wong. Chef Alaimo will be sharing
the secrets behind some of his signature dishes at Ristorate il Teatro while
Chef Wong will be demonstrating how she creates Chocolate H20 Coral and
"Life in Wood" Textures of Chocolate. The Masterclasses are free for
registered visitors and will be held within the Wine & Gourmet Asia trade
exhibition.

The Gala Dinner on 30 October is a not-to-be missed calendar event open to
all lovers of gourmet food and wine. Lavishly held at the Wynn Macao,
tickets for the seven-course dining extravaganza are HKD1,980 (USD250), and
will showcase a spectacular menu created by the guest and hosting chefs.

Wine & Gourmet Asia is organized by Koelnmesse, organizer of the world's
largest food trade show, ANUGA, and is supported by the Macau Government
Tourist Office, Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute, China Hong
Kong Bartender's Association, Association of Bartenders and Sommeliers
Macau, Macau Institute of Tourism Studies, Macau Culinary Alliance, Wine
Society of Macau, Macau Frozen Meat Association, General Merchandise Canned
Goods & Wine Merchants' Guild and Hong Kong Chefs Association.

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Summit Restaurant - Sydney - Opens Private Dining Room

Salon Privé by Champagne Taittinger is the latest addition to the Summit Restaurant, presenting the epitome of first class private dining.

A collaboration between chef/owner Michael Moore and renowned New York designer, Thomas Bucich, Salon Privé has been cleverly designed to provide absolute privacy whilst showcasing the breathtaking 360 degree views of the entire city and harbour.

Features such as silver leaf walls delicately applied by hand, compliment glowing panels and lush gold mohair, giving the room a luxurious and elegant feel.

Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with a glass of Taittinger Champagne in the lounge area whilst taking in the stunning views, before moving into the main dining room. Accommodating up to 30 seated guests or 45 standing, Salon Privé is perfect for any intimate occasion.

Chef Michael Moore has created bespoke menus, blending an inspired range of top quality produce with the international flair one can expect from a first class dining experience.

Summit Salon Privé evokes the ultimate luxury private dining experience, world class food and service with intoxicating views, all in a very chic and cosmopolitan atmosphere.

About Summit Restaurant:
A venue of international style, the Summit offers a truly unique dining experience. Revolving 47 floors above the harbour in Harry Seidler's infamous Australia Square, guests are treated to a breathtaking vista of uninterrupted views that take in the entire city and beyond. Celebrity chef & owner, Michael Moore has taken this Sydney icon to a whole new level delivering world class food and exceptional service. The menu blends an inspired range of top quality local produce with the international flair one can only expect from a leading Sydney restaurant.

About Michael Moore:
Michael Moore is one of Australia’s experienced and most respected chefs. From humble beginnings in the UK, Michael started out in some of London’s best restaurants. Now twenty six years into a career spanning two continents, Michael has owned and managed numerous top restaurants both in London and Sydney including; The Ritz Hotel London, Kables, Craignend, The Bluebird London, Bennelong, Pruniers, Bonne Femme & Wildfire. He has earned critical appraise on both sides of the globe, as well as a number of coveted chefs’ hats from the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide. With 7 years on television under his belt, Michael is well known throughout Australia for his weekly TV cooking segments on CH9’s Kerri-Anne. He has also appeared on the Today Show, Domestic Blitz, Sunrise, The Morning Show, Sydney Weekender as well as holding a long standing relationship as guest co-host on CH9’s Fresh. Today, Michael is chef & owner of the Summit, one of Sydney’s most iconic restaurants.

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Ganache Chocolate comes to town!

Ganache Chocolate is proud to announce that they will open a Ganache Chocolate Lounge in Collins Street in late 2010 that will offer the widest range of handmade chocolate products in Melbourne.
The exact location is still a closely guarded secret but it will be very central and will give Ganache Chocolate a city base for their customers to be able to purchase their exquisite handmade European style chocolates.

“Our customers have been asking when we are going to be in the city ever since we opened our South Yarra lounge in April 2008 and we are very happy to be able to confirm that it will be this year, said Arno Backes, Master Chocolatier and owner of Ganache Chocolate.

The new lounge will have a classic European style, similar to the South Yarra lounge, and will offer customers a premium chocolate experience.

The main focus will be the stunning displays of beautifully handcrafted pralines made with the finest couverture chocolate as well as the extensive product range including decadent chocolate bars, gift wrapped chocolate figures and speciality hot chocolate.

The Ganache Patisserie will showcase Arno’s superb macarons and artisan gateaux that are all handmade at the South Yarra store.

“Every product will still be created by hand using traditional methods from my kitchen above the South Yarra chocolate lounge and we will deliver daily to the city location.

“We will also be launching a new range of single origin chocolates when we open the new store and new boutique desserts.

“I am very passionate about chocolate and love sharing my knowledge and Melbournians know quality chocolate so we are looking forward to giving them the ‘Ganache Chocolate experience’ in the city,” said Arno.

Ganache Chocolate
www.ganache.com.au  
250 Toorak Road South Yarra VIC 3141 T: (03) 9804 7485Open Mon-Thurs 8am-8pm, Fri 8am-10pm, Sat 9am -10pm, Sunday 10am-8pm

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Kellie Thomas moves to Channel 7 as the Food Editor for the second series of My Kitchen Rules

Born in WA, Kellie grew up in the UK and Bahrain. Following an International Hospitality degree and a stint cooking in the French Alps, she moved to London and set up her catering company, ‘Saffron’, cooking and teaching in the UK, Spain, France and Monaco.

Kellie moved to Australia in 2002 to work for the Australian Women’s Weekly, originally as a senior home economist developing recipes and then as the Test Kitchen manager. She presented segments on Fresh TV, held radio interviews and toured the country doing cooking demonstrations on the AWW National Road Train tour.

From there she moved to New Idea, as Deputy Food Editor, before editing the MasterChef Cookbook Vol 1, Our Family Table by Julie Goodwin and collaborating with Spanish chef Miguel Maestre on his first cookbook.

She has been consulting for the Cerebos food group, working with MasterChef magazine, developing recipes for brands such as Coles, Sunbeam, Lindt and Hardy’s wine and regularly appears on Natascha Moy’s radio show Food in Focus, discussing seasonal produce and fabulous recipes..

Kellie has recently moved to Channel 7 as the Food Editor for the second series of My Kitchen Rules.

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Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney wins top international wine list award

Leading wine and lifestyle magazine, New York based Wine Spectator has announced Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney as the first ever recipient in the Southern Hemisphere to receive a Grand Award in the recently published 2010 Restaurant Wine List Awards, which honour the word’s best wine lists.

Held by only 75 restaurants worldwide as of 2010, the Grand Award is given to restaurants that show an uncompromising, passionate devotion to the quality of their wine program. These restaurants all have passed rigorous evaluations, demonstrating that their wine lists, service, cuisine and ambience are worthy of the program’s highest honours.

Since its inception just over one year ago, Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney’s has been the recipient of many prestigious wine and restaurant awards. The wine list features over 3,600 different wines, ranging on vintages as far back as 1795. Although many of the legendary wines of the 20th Century are represented on the wine list, over 400 wines priced below $100 are also featured.

Directors of Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney, David Doyle, Neil Perry, and Trish Richards were thrilled with this award win and commended Sophie Otton and her team for their outstanding expertise, service and dedication to successfully presenting and managing the extensive list.

"To be one of 75 restaurants in the world and the only one in Australia in the 30 year history of the awards to receive Wine Spectator’s ‘Grand Award’ is a great honour and one that we are incredibly proud of," said Doyle. "It reinforces that Australia is firmly placed on the map in terms of being a world-class wine and restaurant destination."

Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne and Rockpool Sydney were also commended and received a ‘Best of Award of Excellence’, which is granted to restaurants that clearly offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style, while Spice Temple Sydney won an ‘Award of Excellence’ for its concise wine list of 100 wines.

Click here to buy Neil Perry's great Cookbooks from cookbooks.com.au

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Nobu Melbourne Welcomes New Chef De Cuisine Heather Zheng

Nobu Melbourne is pleased to announce the appointment of Heather Zheng as the award-winning restaurant’s new Chef de Cuisine.
Beijing-born, American-raised Zheng has recently re-located to Melbourne from Las Vegas where she has spent the last five years working in some of the city’s top restaurants. Zheng is no stranger to working with Nobu’s distinctive Peruvian-influenced Japanese cuisine as she has spent more than two years working at Nobu Las Vegas.

Most recently, Zheng was a sous chef at the acclaimed French restaurant, Andre’s. The multi-award winning restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star in both 2007 and 2008.

From late 2005 until early 2008, Zheng was a line cook and later promoted to be a sous chef at Nobu Las Vegas. During her time at Nobu Las Vegas the restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star.

Zheng was raised in Washington State and completed her culinary studies in San Francisco before moving to Las Vegas in 2005 where her first role was as a line cook at the French restaurant, Pinot Brasserie at the prestigious Venetian Hotel.

Nobu Melbourne’s menu will largely remain unchanged. However, Zheng’s interesting and unique background and varied experience in both French and Japanese cuisine brings a new dynamic to Nobu Melbourne, including the introduction of new dishes.

Robert de Niro, on his recent visit to Melbourne said he “has a love for the black cod with miso.”

Nobu Melbourne’s menus will reflect Chef Zheng’s arrival in the coming months.

Click here to buy now Nobu Cookbooks from cookbooks.com.au 

Bookings to the restaurant can be made by contacting Nobu Melbourne on  +61 (3) 9292 7879 

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Robertson Family Announce Opening of Matakauri Lodge Near Queenstown

The owners of acclaimed New Zealand North Island luxury lodges Kauri Cliffs and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers Julian & Josie Robertson and family have purchased a third property, Matakauri Lodge near Queenstown, New Zealand which will open on August 27, 2010.

The latest acquisition gives the Robertsons a first lodge on the South Island, and will complement their two spectacular North Island properties.

Ten minutes from Queenstown and spectacularly situated on Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri Lodge currently has four suites and six villas, each with private balcony looking out to a dramatic lakeside and mountain view, and a lodge room, plus generous lodge and dining facilities.

Since the change of ownership, the property is now closed and undergoing extensive refurbishments and interior design by New Zealand designer Virginia Fisher, with plans to re-open as a third luxury lodge on par with Kauri Cliffs and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in August.

Virginia Fisher hints at the new lodge’s style by saying, "it’s crisp and clean and full of natural light - and a bit more gusty and contemporary in feel than its two sister properties in the North Island. At Matakauri there was no real historical design reference to adhere to, so I was able to follow my instincts, have some fun with colour and add a touch of glamour here and there, always keeping comfort at the forefront. Natural materials will reflect the ruggedness that is very Queenstown. And huge bay windows will feature, taking full advantage of the gob smacking views", Fisher added.

While the Matakauri property will not have a golf course, like its two sister properties it will offer luxury accommodation, superb food and wine, exemplary service and stunning panoramic views.

Matakauri Lodge will provide an alpine lakeside retreat nestled in one of the world’s most serenely beautiful landscape settings, yet just a few minutes by car from all the attractions of Queenstown and the leisure activities this part of New Zealand’s South Island is renowned for.

New Zealand luxury lodges Kauri Cliffs overlooking the Bay of Islands, and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay, are highly regarded internationally and have received numerous accolades since opening in 2001 and 2007 respectively. Recently Travel & Leisure (USA) Magazine readers voted Kauri Cliffs the #1 Lodge/Resort in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in the 2009 World’s Best Awards and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers was voted #2.

In the same survey, Kauri Cliffs was ranked #17 and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers #21 on the World’s Best Awards list of Top 100 Hotels overall, the only two properties in Australasia to make it into the Top 100 list!

Most recently Travel & Leisure (USA) Magazine readers voted Kauri Cliffs the #1 Lodge/Resort in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in the 2010 World’s Best Awards- Service, and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers was voted #2.

Commenting on the acquisition, Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers Managing Director Jay Robertson commented, "we are delighted to be able to offer our guests the opportunity to experience the spectacular South Island of New Zealand and are truly excited about the plans we have for the new Matakauri Lodge when we reopen in 2010".

For more information on Matakauri Lodge as it nears completion, visit www.matakaurilodge.com

Lodge Tel:            +64 3 441 1008

Facsimile:             +64 3 441 2180

Email:                   info@matakaurilodge.com

Source: Media Release Matakauri Lodge

Date: 05 Jul 2010

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I Love FOOD Awards 2010 - LifeStyle FOOD

XYZnetworks’ LifeStyle FOOD Channel today announces its annual I Love FOOD Awards opens for voting this week. Following the phenomenal success of last year’s awards, with close to 100,000 votes received, the search is on to find Australia’s favourite places to eat out for 2010.
Each week over one million people watch the LifeStyle FOOD Channel and visit the channel’s website. This highly engaged community of food-lovers understand great food and the I Love FOOD Awards brings them together so they can share and compare their favourite places to eat out.

The I Love FOOD Awards are unique as they reward Australia’s best eat-outs as chosen by the Australian public. Everyone has the opportunity to become a food critic; judging, enjoying and sharing what they love about Australia’s culinary offerings.

Voting is easy! Simply go to www.lifestylefood.com.au to vote in the I Love FOOD Awards for your favourite place to eat out. Each vote goes in the draw to win $10,000! Voting starts on July 14 and finishes August 31, 2010. The winners will be announced early September.

The voting results will be available on Australia’s largest viewer voted online eat out guide at LifeStyle FOOD Channel - www.lifestylefood.com.au

If you thought the only way to show your appreciation for a great meal and excellent service was to leave a good tip, then think again. Here’s your chance to support your favourite restaurant.

This year we are also launching a new range of I Love FOOD products, perfect for home cooks, chefs and anyone who just loves food! The range includes aprons, chef jackets, t-shirts, oven mitts, wine coolers and eco coffee cups, all available at www.lifestylefood.com.au
LifeStyle FOOD Channel is available on FOXTEL and AUSTAR.

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