The inaugural Royal Croquet Club launches at Bondi beach

The weather at Bondi beach was perfect on Thursday 24 November 2016 for the launch of the inaugural Royal Croquet Club – an 11 day lifestyle festival of food and music.

Celebrities, VIPs and media gathered for drinks and a game of croquet on opening night at the Pol Roger Champagne Garden and Pimms Bar.

Celebrities that attended included: Home and Away star Nic Westaway; The Saddle Club actress Sophie Hensser; My Kitchen Rules winner Steve Flood; Big Brother’s Aisha Jade and Lisa Clarke; The Bachelor’s Keira Maguire and Kiki Morris; The Bachelorette star Matty Johnson and celebrity make-up artist Michael Brown.

Food was served from the pop up restaurants on site which included: Southern fried chicken from Butter; Frying Nemo burgers from Milky Lane; fried fetta balls, falafel and kefta from Old City Kitchen Bar; fluffy filled steamed buns and duck fries from Bao Stop; chicken satay skewers and roti from Mamak; bbq meats from Hoy Pinoy, and ice-cream served in look-alike Campbell soup tins from Gelato Messina. This food will be available for purchase for the duration of the festival.

There will also be a number of music acts during the festival including: Bag Raiders, Dope Lemon (Angus Stone), Electric Fields, Hayden James (DJ Set), Hugo Gruzman, Jarryd James, Jimmy 2sox, Kilter & Klue, KLP (DJ Set), San Cisco, Thandi Phoenix, Tom Tilley, and Wealth.
The 11 day festival will take over North Bondi from 24 November 2016 until 4 December 2016.
For more information, go to: https://royalcroquetclub.com.au/

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World-class winemaker, House of Arras, hosts intimate lunch at Chiswick Restaurant

On Thursday 24 November 2016, media and influencers attended the opulent House of Arras sparkling lunch to sample the exceptional cold climate Tasmanian sparkling on offer.

The menu was designed by head chef at Chiswick Restaurant, Tom Haynes, to compliment the flavours of the wine. All produce was sourced from Tasmania, which is not only the home of House of Arras but also Australia’s capital of sparkling wine.  Ed Carr, head winemaker of House of Arras, worked with Tom Haynes to ensure each wine matched the food perfectly.

Many Australian sparkling wines can stand on their own against French champagne and Italian prosecco, and one such brand is House of Arras who rivals the French options in terms of quality and value for money.

House of Arras has won numerous awards in Australia and internationally, including winning this year for the House of Arras Grand Vintage 2007: the ‘Grand Champion Wine of Show’ at the Royal Queensland Wine Show (which is the first time a sparkling wine has ever been awarded this top accolade); the ‘Best Wine of Show’ at the Sydney Royal Wine; and gold at the Decanter World Wine Awards and Decanter Asia Wine Awards. Further, the House of Arras Rose won best sparkling at the National Wine Awards.

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Guests were greeted and ushered into a private dining area for canapes of: Barilla oyster, lychee; and sorrel, and smoked eggplant, black garlic and chickpea that were served with House of Arras Brut Elite NV Cuvee 901. This cuvee has rich flavours of white peach, lychee, spices and fresh oysters.

The entree was Tasmanian yellow tail kingfish, peach, almond and succulents matched with House of Arras Blanc de Blanc 2007.  House of Arras Blanc de Blanc 2007 exhibits flavours of truffle, oyster, exotic spices and honeycomb.

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The second course was duck, cherry, artichoke and dandelion matched with House of Arras Grand Vintage 2007.  House of Arras Grand Vintage 2007 is a dry style of sparkling with complex nuance of exotic spice, truffle, meringue and natural yogurt.

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The main course was Greenham sirloin, Australian mushrooms and madeira matched with House of Arras EJ Late Disgorged 2002.  House of Arras EJ Late Disgorged 2002 has complex flavours of honey, nougat, sourdough toast and truffle.

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The dessert was shortbread, strawberries, black pepper and lemon fromage blanc matched with House of Arras Rose 2006.  This Rose is dominated by fresh strawberry and cream flavours but has secondary favours of toast, fresh mushrooms and lychee.

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if your looking for a Christmas gift under $100, try the House of Arras Rose ($82.99) or the House of Arras Grand Vintage 2007 ($76.99).  For a gift under $50, try the House of Arras Brut Elite NV ($49.99).

House of Arras is available through most major liquor merchants nationally.

Their wines are definitely going to be my favourites to enjoy this summer and over the festive season.

For more information about House of Arras, go to: http://houseofarras.com.au/