Food & Wine Picks for December

The end of the year is fast approaching which can only mean one thing… Silly season!
See our picks below for Christmas food & wine events happening in your area:

Newcastle

WHAT: Collective Christmas Party
WHEN: Saturday 16 December 2017
WHERE: The Edwards Bar
MORE INFO: alamodeevents.com.au/upcominevents/christmasparty

Hunter Valley

WHAT: ‘Tis the Season Christmas Dinner
WHEN: Sunday 10 & 17 December 2017
WHERE: The Verandah Restaurant
MORE INFO: http://www.verandahrestaurant.com.au/events-%26-tours/

WHAT: Christmas Lunch at Restaurant Botanica
WHEN: Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Spicers Retreat Hunter Valley
MORE INFO: Bookings Essential
https://spicersretreats.com/blog/events/region/hunter-valley-nsw/

WHAT: Christmas Day Luncheon
WHEN: Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Estate Tuscany
MORE INFO: http://estatetuscany.com.au/eat/christmas-day-2017/

WHAT: Christmas Eve Dinner, Christmas Day Lunch & Dinner
WHEN: Sunday 24 & Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley
MORE INFO: https://www.crowneplazahuntervalley.com.au/dining/dining-specials-and-events/festive-celebrations-hunter-valley/http://estatetuscany.com.au/eat/christmas-day-2017/

WHAT: Christmas 5 Course Al La Carte Lunch
WHEN: Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Circa 1876
MORE INFO: http://www.convent.com.au/events/escarpment-group-christmas-celebrations

Sydney

WHAT: Red Christmas Party
WHEN: Wednesday 13 December 2017
WHERE: Daltone House Darling Island
MORE INFO: http://www.doltonehouse.com.au/event/red-christmas-ball/

WHAT: Christmas Fare
WHEN: Thursday 14 December 2017
WHERE: Hyde Park Barracks Museum
MORE INFO: https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/events/christmas-fare

WHAT: Christmas Eve Dinner, Christmas Day Lunch & Dinner
WHEN: Sunday 24 & Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Intercontinental Double Bay
MORE INFO: https://www.icsydneydoublebay.com/home/whats-on

WHAT: Christmas Day Lunch
WHEN: Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Fratelli Fresh
MORE INFO: http://www.fratellifresh.com.au/whats-on/christmas-celebrations/

WHAT: Christmas Day
WHEN: Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Q Station Manly
MORE INFO: http://www.qstation.com.au/uploads/5/4/5/5/5455544/qs_xmas_2017_flyer_v2_web.pdf

Southern Highlands

WHAT: Christmas Lunch
WHEN: Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Milton Park
MORE INFO: http://www.miltonpark.com.au/whatson/milton-park-christmas-lunch

WHAT: Christmas Day
WHEN: Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Peppers Craigieburn
MORE INFO: https://www.peppers.com.au/Portals/3/PDF/Property/PeppersCraigieburn/Christmas-Day.pdf

WHAT: Christmas Feast
WHEN: Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Peppers Manor House
MORE INFO: https://www.peppers.com.au/Portals/3/PDF/Property/PeppersManorHouse/Peppers-Manor-House-Christmas-Feast-2017.pdf

WHAT: Christmas Buffet Extravaganza
WHEN: Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Gibraltar Hotel
MORE INFO: http://www.gibraltarbowral.com.au/news/christmas-lunch

WHAT: Christmas Lunch
WHEN: Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Biota Restaurant
MORE INFO: https://www.southern-highlands.com.au/events/whats-on/christmas-day-lunch-biota

South Coast

WHAT: Christmas Lunch Extravaganza
WHEN: Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Novotel Wollongong Northbeach
MORE INFO: http://novotelnorthbeach.com.au/What-s-On/celebrate-christmas-by-the-beach.html

WHAT: Christmas Lunch
WHEN: Monday 25 December 2017
WHERE: Sebel Harbourside Kiama
MORE INFO: http://www.sebelharboursidekiama.com.au/events

Travel Tips – Spain with Lincoln

One of the most amazing countries that I have ever travelled to is Spain. The culture and the country itself is all about diversity and passion. From the countryside to the cities the place oozes differences and fun. Food, music and siestas being the most memorable of those. For me the cities of Barcelona, San Sebastian and Madrid are amazing places and you could spend weeks in each of them exploring and getting off the well-travelled tourist path.

The two stand out memories for me are Tossa De Mar and the festival of La Tomatina.

Tossa De Mar is a quiet beach side village that we stumbled across when travelling in 1995. Amazing locals and the beach itself was almost as good as our Australian wonders. We spent 2 weeks here and the time flew by. Picturesque and very welcoming locals.

The festival of La Tomatina is held in a village called Buñol just outside of Valencia. You may have seen this on TV and as it shows it is absolute madness. The buildings are covered in plastic and large semi-trailers squeeze through the crowd and unload the tomatoes into the street. Then the fun begins and it becomes the largest food fight in the world. Goggles must be worn and the friendly fire ensues for 2 hours or so. Upon completion you are sticky but smiling and laughing with the locals and the tourists. The streets are then cleared and washed. Another hour after you would not have known it had even happened.

If I had the opportunity again that’s where I would go and do it all again.

Venue Spotlight – Novotel Wollongong Northbeach

Novotel Wollongong Northbeach boasts a beachside location, flexible function spaces and a reputation based on creating unique experiences.

With a dedicated event floor, 14 flexible and unique function spaces, ocean views, natural light and outdoor options Novotel Wollongong Northbeach can cater for small meetings and events to large conferences of up to 660 delegates. The latest addition of a new retractable roof on their rooftop terrace The Deck, has created the ultimate all weather event venue, allowing you to take in 360 degree views from the ocean to the escarpment while still being protected from the elements.

Novotel Wollongong Northbeach has an impeccable reputation based on meeting and exceeding expectations for service and quality. Our dedicated conference and special events team will ensure that your event is ‘Simply the Best’, delivered with professional service and achieving the desired results.

Conference Capacity: 660
Number of Accommodation Rooms: 204
Special Features: The 204 Accommodation rooms have recently undergone a full refurbishment. Modern amenities and luxurious touches in a coastal chic style.
Testimonials:

“Nothing was a problem for the Novotel staff. They made it very easy to host a successful and memorable conference and an AMAZING view from our conference room!”

  • FCM Travel Solutions

“The customer service and the quality of all staff was outstanding. The location was stunning and the overall experience was extremely positive.”

  • Coca Cola Amatil

Contact the Conference Team to discuss your next conference:
Website
Email: Jessica
Phone: 02 4224 3111

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Mitch

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events facilitator tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each of our facilitators about their lives both inside and outside of work.

Mitch Trevillion – Lead Facilitator

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
The variety of venues, activities and people we work with

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
The Survivor – a fun and energetic outdoor activity with a great mix of physical and intellectual challenges – perfect for banter between teams

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
Dressing up as a Downton Abbey character (long white socks, suspenders, linen shorts and a cap) at the request of a client thinking that everyone would be dressed up in theme. I was wrong.

My favourite hobbies are:
Tennis, surfing and learning piano

What I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
Conversations with Richard Fidler and Hardcore History

What was the last book you read?:
1984 by George Orwell

Favourite holiday?:
Snowboarding in Niseko, Japan

Have you ever had a nickname?:
“T-bone”

I am frightened by _____ :
Even mildly scary films

Favourite movie of all time:
The Usual Suspects – terrifying

First concert I went to:
Big Day Out

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Near to friends and family

What makes you angry:
Inequality

What makes you laugh the most:
Lately, The Book of Mormon and Big Mouth and otherwise, my own puns

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
“You Got It” by Roy Orbison

Food & Wine Picks for November

As the weather warms up, so too does the festival season! See below for our picks of the yummy events happening in November:

Newcastle

WHAT: Bitter & Twisted Beer Festival
WHEN: 4th & 5th November 2017
WHERE:
6-18 John St
East Maitland 2323
MORE INFO: bitterandtwisted.com.au

Hunter Valley

WHAT: Melbourne Cup
WHEN: Tuesday 7th November 2017
WHERE: Esca Bimbadgen
MORE INFO: Bookings Essential
bimbadgen.com.au/events/melbourne-cup-2017/

WHAT: Sculpture in the Vineyards
WHEN: Saturday 28th October – Sunday 3rd December 2017
WHERE: Wollombi
MORE INFO: sculptureinthevineyards.com.au/

Sydney

WHAT: EatSummer Twilight Food Market
WHEN: Saturday 18th November 2017
WHERE: Moore Park
MORE INFO: eatsummer.com.au

WHAT: American Thanksgiving Feast
WHEN: Thursday 23rd & Friday 24th November 2017
WHERE: VictorsFood
MORE INFO:  lp.victorsfood.com.au

WHAT: Taste Orange @ Lane Cove
WHEN: Sunday 5th November 2017
WHERE: Tambourine Bay Reserve, Riverview
MORE INFO: brandorange.com.au

Southern Highlands

WHAT: Not Your Average Wine Dinner
WHEN: Saturday 10th November 2017
WHERE: Artemis Wines
MORE INFO: eventbrite.com.au/e/not-your-average-wine-dinner-tickets-39032665754

WHAT: Sparkling Spring
WHEN: Sunday 19th November 2017
WHERE: The Loch Berrima
MORE INFO: theloch.net.au/upcoming-events/

Travel Tips – Florence Italy

During 2013 & 2014 Ruth spent 4 months travelling around the beautiful country of Italy. It is without a doubt her favourite place to visit, with everything from food, wine, art history and more. The first rule of thumb for anyone when they arrive in a new city is to WALK. Spend a day or two walking around the city centre & visiting gardens & galleries.

Florence

View from our Airbnb overlooking the Arno & Ponte Vecchio

Must see:

– Ponte Vecchio
– Basilica di Santa Maria Novella
– The Duomo
– Best view in Florence from Giardino Bardini
– Uffizi Gallery (birth of Venus is absolutely breathtaking)
– Hire a car/join a tour & drive through Chianti wine region
Chianti – plenty of wineries to see, make sure you visit:
Casa Sola for some really delicious wine & just down the road is San Donato, a little village that has the best pizzeria in Italy, Palazzo PretorioMake sure you order one of the Italian beers on the menu to go with your pizza.

Venue Spotlight – Anchorage Port Stephens

Make your next event memorable by selecting an experience where luxury meets the sea. By the pristine white sands of arguably the world’s most beautiful port, give your delegates an event they’ll cherish for years to come at Anchorage. Located half an hour from Newcastle airport or 2.5 hrs from Sydney, your guests can enjoy the finest cuisine in the region, breezy terraces and event spaces, and once-in-a-lifetime local experiences.

Conference Capacity: 160
Number of Accommodation Rooms: 80
Features: 2 Pools, Various Areas for team building activities, Private Marina
Testimonials:

“I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU  to you for the fabulous 2 day conference you pulled together for my team here at McDonald’s. I am still receiving great feedback on the event.

I know many of my request were “out of the ordinary” as far as conferences go but you truly excelled & delivered.

Your attention to detail & execution on everything was amazing from organising the external suppliers (photo booth, Christmas decorations, Pinnacle Events) to liaising with our cocktail team – Sweet & Chilli, ensuring the catering was perfect (big thanks to Chef Michael too) even right down to the personal room drops I needed early on day one – you truly are an asset to The Anchorage.

Another person who deserves thanks is Anya – she was amazing and her hard work didn’t go unnoticed.

I look forward to talking with you again soon for the team to come back in 2018 – I hope you will be there to work with us again.”

  • McDonald’s Australia, 2017

 

“I would like to extend my thanks to you both and the resort team as our group thoroughly enjoyed the stay, the service and accommodation. It is such a beautiful resort and a lovely place to have our leadership workshop.

The bottle of bubbles, cheese platters and card from Ali the GM in the room just added that final touch to a wonderful stay. The food was sensational, Day Spa exquisite and the conference room service was fabulous with Anya helping us on the day.

We enjoyed it so much so that the team who hadn’t stayed at the resort will be visiting soon with their families and we will look to make the workshop an annual event and hopefully stay an extra night the next time”.

  • NEC Australia, 2017

 

Contact Mitchell or Kristie at the Anchorage to discuss your next conference:
Website
Email: Mitchell or Kristie
Phone: 02 4984 2555

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Will

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events facilitator tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each of our facilitators about their lives both inside and outside of work.

Will Mason – Pinnacle Team Events Director

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
Meeting new people and working in a different environment every day.

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
Easy – Tikes on Bikes. Being there to witness a group donate bikes to underprivileged kids and help a company make such a big impact on some deserving kids is really heart-warming.

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
I can’t deal Blackjack….. my maths is too slow!

My favourite hobbies are:
Mountain Biking, Kayaking and adventure races.

What I’m listening to at the moment:
Podcast –  Casefile: True Crime

What was the last book you read?:
On the Trail of Genghis Khan

Favourite holiday?:
I’m easily pleased – as long as my wife and two girls are there I’m happy!

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Several – Bilby, Bill, Wonder Boy, Maso, Willo

I am frightened by _____ :
Scary movies….. I just can’t do horror films!

Favourite movie of all time:
Life is Beautiful

First concert I went to:
Hmmmm …. Perhaps Homebake Festival

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
I do love skiing and mountain biking so a pad in the French Alps would be pretty sweet.

What makes you angry:
Voice to text answering services

What makes you laugh the most:
My kids

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
Ice Ice Baby

Food & Wine Picks for October

Although the German’s kick off Oktoberfest celebrations in September, you will find that the Australian version tends to land more towards the end of October. Steins of beer, pork knuckle & giant pretzels – what’s not to love! Continue reading for the when & where to celebrate Oktoberfest in NSW:

Sydney:

Oktoberfest In The Gardens

When: 28 October 2017, 1pm-9pm

Where: The Domain, Sydney CBD

The hugely popular Oktoberfest In The Gardens comes to Sydney every year. When it arrives, it brings with it all the best German beers, ciders and wines, as well as food stalls, performers, entertainment and competitions across various stages from afternoon to night. With a complimentary drink and commemorative event stein, there’s no better place to celebrate Oktoberfest. Get in quick as Oktoberfest In The Gardens is usually a sell-out event.

For more information and tickets: Oktoberfest in the Gardens

 

Munich Brauhaus

When: 16 September – 28 October 2017

Where: Munich Brauhaus, Cnr Playfair & Argyle St, The Rocks

In true Munich Brauhaus style, a slew of competitions and activities also come with the celebration including pork knuckle championships and a dogs of Oktoberfest competition. For the dedicated, you’ll also have the chance to become an Oktober-Boss. To achieve this accolade, you’ll have to take up four hard-to-resist challenges which includes eating a pretzel, drinking four 1 litres steins, eating a schnitzel and chowing down on a pork knuckle. You have six weeks to complete this and when you do, you’ll receive bragging rights, a commemorative T-shirt, limited edition stein and invite to the closing party.

For more information: Munich Brauhaus

 

Blue Mountains:

The Carrington

When: 28 October 2016

Where: The Carrington, 15-47 Katoomba St, Katoomba, Blue Mountains

For one day and one day only, the historic grounds of The Carrington in the Blue Mountains is transformed into a family-friendly Munich-inspired festival. As a bonus, the local Katoomba Brewing Company’s specially brewed Oktoberfest Lager will be available. As will a jumping castle for the kiddies.

For more information: The Carrington

 

Wollongong:

When:
Friday, 20 October, 2017 at 5pm – 11pm
Saturday, 21 October, 2017 at 10am – 11pm
Sunday, 22 October, 2017 at 10am – 6pm

Where: The German Club, 636A Northcliffe Dr, Kembla Grange, NSW 2526, Australia

The Wollongong Oktoberfest is an annual event run by volunteers to promote German Culture throughout the Illawarra. This will be the 28th Oktoberfest and is the largest Regional Oktoberfest in Australia. 3 days of fun filled entertainment of music, arts and dance. Experience a taste of European culture with a great selection of European food and beverages.

For more information: Ticketbo

Thanks to Finder.com for the hot tips

Where are you coming from? Communication within the Team.

After almost 15 years of working with teams I am still so fascinated with communication within teams and the impact that it has. For me personally, some of the key factors that contribute to the effectiveness of communication within a team are intent, ego and self-awareness.

parentadultchildWhere are you coming from? Do you really want peace in this situation or are you just after an argument? This is so often the case and potentially, some people are parked in this place permanently. This can be due to generational legacy, conditioning and state of mind. The ability to recognise and then shift your intent is a very powerful tool. If you want war that’s what you will be faced with. Shift your intent to peace and harmony and that’s what you will encounter. Be careful what you project.

The shape, tone and make up of our communication can also have many origins and therefore many varying effects. Ego is a factor for all of us. Within teams the ability to keep your ego in check and being aware of it can be a key factor in communicating within the team. Transactional Analysis is a great theory to read up on. Please click here with thanks to Business Balls. This theory of Eric Berne may help to explain the type, tone and impact of communication within your team. How do you communicate with others and what impact do you have upon them?

Self-awareness – oh I wish it could be purchased at a hardware store. That statement in itself is self-righteous. We all believe we are right and potentially also aware. Self-Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, your strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. It allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment. But you can’t get it at the shops. For me, the most amazing teams are able to be very truthful and open with their communication to each other around impact. People are made aware of the impact they are having upon others in a helpful and supportive manner. If this doesn’t take place in a trusting environment there will be defensiveness and frustration. All of this meaning there is truth in it for the person involved.

So keep on track and persevere with the practice of being a good communicator and a good team player.