Tag Archives: tamburlaine

A Drink of the Gods!

16 Sep

So, last post I chatted to y’all about the food.

The spread we’re putting on gives everyone a chance to eat something we think they’d enjoy, so we’re pretty happy with our choice!

Another thing Mr Big and I needed to mull over was the beverages, and this task was a lot easier for us than the catering. At Tamburlaine, the packages include wine, sparkling wine, beer, soft drinks, and juice. They probably have water there as well (it’s just not stated on the package). We’ve also requested sparkling grape juice for the pre-teens who want something sparkly to drink during toasts (or just during the party).

The wine to be drunk will be either from the Wine Lovers Range or the Members Reserve from Tamburlaine Wines. The wines are said to be organic, and therefore, the hangover is meant to be less severe. We’ll be going for the Wine Lovers Range and over the course of the planning year-and-a-half, have sampled the wines.

Like the food, there were several things we needed to consider for our guests:

  1. My family and friends aren’t big wine drinkers. The wine I do manage to get them to drink are mostly the sweeter wines – Moscato, late harvest Rieslings, and botrytis.
  2. Mr Big is a BIG red wine drinker, which is ironic since he’s a Kiwi, and the Kiwi climate is better suited for white wines and milder reds, like the Pinot Noir. His favourite red drink is the Shiraz.
  3. I’m a white wine drinker. I love my sweeter wines, but really don’t mind anything else. I like my wines to be milder, and can drink red wines with a softer character.
  4. There will be Kiwis there, so we need to accommodate for them too. New Zealand is known for their white wines, specifically Sauvignon Blanc and Rieslings. That means we need a good range of white wines which will please the Kiwi palette.
  5. Not everyone is a wine drinker, so we needed some alcoholic beverages which weren’t wine. Enter my dad, who knows his beers
  6. There will be kids there and teenagers under 18! We needed to ensure they were happy with their drinks too. (The legal drinking age is 18 in Australia, as opposed to 21.)

With all of that said, here is what we’ll be drinking:

White Wines:

Red Wines:

Sparkling:

Light beer: Hahn Light

Standard beers: (choice of 2)

  • Tooheys New
  • Pure Blonde

Spirits: On a per consumption basis of $7 / nip

Non-alcoholic Drinks:

  • Orange juice
  • Water
  • Soft drinks
  • Sparkling grape juice

First off, let’s go through why we chose those particular wines.

Basically, these are the wines that showcased the flavours of Tamburlaine, and particularly, of Australia. I’m not patriotic (although I do like Australia), but we thought it would be pretty bad form to give Kiwis Sauv Blancs and Rieslings from an Australian winery. Hunter Valley is known for their Verdelhos, so we wanted to showcase this by using the Verdelho as a wine. The Marsanne was chosen because it was unique – it was mild, flavoursome, and easy-drinking. The Late Harvest Riesling was chosen for my family and friends – it’s not too heavy, it’s mildly sweet, and so, good to drink for those who aren’t really into wine but wanted to drink something alcoholic other than beer.

The red wines were easy to choose. Shiraz was chosen because Mr Big loves it, and it’s his wedding. He felt bad for wanting to choose it, since not everyone is a Shiraz-drinker, but I told him that, if we were going to have a wedding, the Shiraz needed to be present. The GSM is similar to the Marsanne – it’s unique, mild and easy to drink. I love drinking the GSM because it makes me feel classy, without the heaviness of the Shiraz. The Rose was again, another easy choice. It’s a red drink, but it’s not heavy like most reds. It’s a good one for my friends and family who don’t drink too much and want something mild.

Both sparkling wines were chosen simply because they’re awesome. Who doesn’t love drinking a bubbly beverage? What’s even better is Tamburlaine will be adding splashes of fruit juices to their Vintage Blanc de Blanc during cocktail hour to add some extra flavour. The Scarlett Bubbles is the closest thing Tamburlaine have to a Moscato, so I know my friends will be chugging that one down.

The rest of the drinks are pretty self-explanatory. For those who don’t drink wine, we have beer. Mr Big and I aren’t too fond of beer. He can drink it, I can barely drink it (read: get halfway through one bottle and give the rest to Mr Big). My dad, a big beer drinker, suggested those three, so we decided to go with his choices, since we trust him wholeheartedly!

The non-alcoholic drinks will be for our guests ages 0-17. My junior bridesmaid/Groom’s Homie Oddball will be of that group, so they’ll be drinking fruit juices, soft drinks, sparkling grape juices, and perhaps even water. We wanted to make sure the kids were happy with the choices of drinks, so we added the sparkling grape juice, particularly for the pre-teens like Oddball.

Spirits, unfortunately, are dished out on a per-consumption basis of $7 per nip. I’m sort of glad about this, because I don’t want (too many) shots at the wedding. If our bridesmaids or groomsmen buy a round of nips for a round of shots, well, ok, that’s their choice, but I’m not a big spirit drinker to begin with (it goes STRAIGHT to my head) so I’m sort of happy that spirits are on a per consumption basis…

And that’s our drinks folks! What do you think? Did we consider our guests? Do you think it’s good that Mr Big and I chose the Shiraz over, say, a Merlot? Do you think anyone will be bummed out that the spirits will be on a per consumption basis?

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Balancing the Banquet

14 Sep

(Alternate Title: The Bighorns versus The Food)

Between my Masters work, the wedding, and Life, I began thinking about menu options. At the four-month mark of the wedding, I decided it’ll be good to knock a few things out of the way. One of those was something Mr Big and I excitedly discussed EVERY time we thought about our venue: the food.

Now Tamburlaine provides catering and drinks in a package, so that the bridegroom couple don’t have to worry about finding their own catering company. Plus side – we don’t have to do the additional searching. Not-so-much-a-plus-side, that meant we HAD to use their company. But after mulling over the menu, we concluded that they sounded delicious, and so, we settled with Tamburlaine, comfortable with the menu and the catering company they use, Wine Country Catering.

Unfortunately, we then found out (after putting a deposit down) that the catering company no longer does tastings (BALLS!!!) which completely bummed us out (we wanted to taste some food dammit!). The catering company, however, is known as one of the most prestigious catering companies for corporate, weddings, and other events, so we concluded that we weren’t worried about the quality of the food.

The most difficult for us in this foodie journey, being lovers of food ourselves, is choosing the food.

Let me just post a few pictures of the foods from Wine Country Catering to demonstrate what I mean:

Steamed asparagus with Persian feta tartlet served with honey roasted tomato and chilli jam. / Image from The Barrel Room.

Fromage Blanc tart with peanut brittle and Persian fairy floss // Image from The Barrel Room.

I don’t know what this is, but it looks good / Image taken from The Barrel Room.

Uhm, can people say, yes please!

So, from those pictures above, you can see that Mr Big and I had a pretty tough choice on our hands. Luckily, there were a few things that helped us choose:

  1. Chinese weddings often serve seafood only as that is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity to the bridegroom couple
  2. Not all of our guests can have seafood only, for example, the mother-of-the-groom and the groom himself dislike eating lots of seafood, and some of our guests have a severe allergy to certain types of seafood
  3. Some of our guests are picky regarding certain meats, for example, BM Cupcakes doesn’t eat beef and lamb, Groom’s Homie Oddball doesn’t eat lamb, we have three vegetarians, and one of our photographers is vegan.
  4. Some of our guests are lactose intolerant and another is allergic to chocolate, so dessert needed to be carefully considered.
  5. We’ll have children there! So they need to be kept happy and fed.

Now, in order to ensure that point 1 could be met, to an extent, we needed some seafood options. However, we had to cater for point 2. Point 3 meant that we also had to have a meat that everyone could eat. Point 4 meant that dessert needed to be carefully considered. And so, with all of that, we decided on the following:

  • V – vegetarian
  • SF – seafood

Canapés: (choice of 4)

  • Potato rosti with roasted beef and caramelised onion
  • Spinach and pinenut filo pastry parcels (V)
  • Satay chicken skewers
  • Roma tomato and fresh basil on garlic bruschetta (V)

Entrée: (choice of 3)

  • Smoked salmon, potato and rocket salad served with horseradish cream and capers (SF)
  • Slow cooked pork belly salad with braised cabbage, sautéed bok choy and an orange soy dressing
  • Tempura battered king prawns with Asian greens and honey/chilli sauce (SF)

Mains: (choice of 3)

  • Herb-crusted perch fillet, baked with lemon and parsley beurre blanc served on creamy mashed potato (SF)
  • Corn-fed chicken supreme filled with pinenuts, spinach and feta on linguine pasta with basil pesto cream sauce
  • Roast of soy and thyme beef rib eye served with roasted chateaux potatoes, dutch carrots and seasonal vegetables

Dessert: (choice of 2)

  • Fromage blanc tart with peanut brittle and Persian fairy floss
  • White and Dark chocolate terrine with raspberry coulis and fresh seasonal berries

Tea and coffee at a station which where the cake will be plated up for our guests.

And in keeping with point 5, we chose the “party platter” for the kiddies, so they get a selection of things to eat.

Children’s Options

  • Party platter – nuggets, party pies, frankfurts, etc.

Dessert: Vanilla ice cream with chocolate toppings (other flavours available upon request)

As for the vegetarians, we got a general consensus from our vegetarian guests and settled on this:

Vegetarian Options

Entrée:

  • Steamed asparagus with Persian feta tartlet served with honey roasted tomato and chilli jam

Main:

  • Sweet potato and fresh herb gnocchi with a saffron cream sauce, fresh shaved grana padano

Hopefully our guests like the food! We’re certainly excited!

In the next post, I’ll talk about every adult’s favourite things at weddings: BOOZE (and non-alcoholic drinks).

So what do you guys think of the menu?

Accommodating ourselves!

20 May

So, I recall mentioning we were quite happy with the accommodation we procured for our guests.

Now I’m going to talk about accommodating ourselves. On the follow-up to the wedding, we’ll be staying with our guests at the Crowne and spending as much time as we can with our friends and family. We’ve got a few things planned, but we’re still unsure, so we’ll see how it goes! However, after the wedding, Mr Big and I want to spend our first night together as husband and wife in private seclusion. So we’ve been trying to find a place to stay – just the two of us.

Enter the Château Élan.

The Château Élan is located on a HUGE block of land called The Vintage. It’s basically resort living for the retired up in the Hunter Valley and you can even buy a house or a block of land there. Mr Big saw the place and was immediately IN LOVE. He wants to buy a house up there, which I’m all for, but we both know that won’t be in the books until much later in our lives.

At the end of the long driveway of The Vintage is Château Élan, which calls itself the “Luxury Hunter Valley Hotel”. It has four types of accommodation: the Spa King, Spa Suite, 1-Bed Spa Villa, and 2-Bed Spa Villa.

I perused through the website and upon seeing the Spa Suite, was instantly hooked.

The Spa Suite offers so much, including an open plan living space, a spa and a king bed. You’ve also got easy access to the spa onsite (which I probably won’t use, since we’ll be there for one night).

spa suite_chateau elan

Open-plan living space. / Image taken from the Château Élan website.

On Saturday 18 May, we went to Château Élan to take a look around.

When we arrived we were shocked by how big the place was. The drive down to the actual hotel took about 2-3 minutes (maybe even 5!) but when we finally arrived and parked we were in awe. Just outside on the hotel grounds we saw wallabies grazing.

wallabies_chateau elan

Wallabies right out front! / Image taken from the Château Élan website.

The hotel itself was beautiful.

chateau elan

Image taken from the Château Élan website.

When we walked up to the front we were greeted by one of the hotel staff who quickly sorted out what we wanted and kept us comfortable. Meanwhile, I was feeling horrible because I was holding a cup of coffee from another winery in their café. In a few moments time, our guide – Christina – came out to show us around.

We were taken to the Spa Suite.

the spa_chateau elan

The Spa – I can’t wait to use this… / Image taken from the Château Élan website.

We had a tour around one of the ground floor Spa Suite rooms and were given tips when booking, like mentioning we wanted one of the first floor rooms (and she even mentioned the room numbers!) and the view towards the golf course (the other side is the view of the car park – not as pretty!).

view golf course_chateau elan

The view of the golf course / Image taken from the Château Élan website.

We were able to have a good look around and a good chat with Christina, and by the end, Mr Big and I were pretty sure that would be the place to stay.

It’s also located right next to one of our favourite wineries – Bimbadgen Estate – and it’s only 5 minutes from Tamburlaine, where we’ll be having our reception. All-in-all, we’re both über happy with the choice and can’t wait to spend the night there!

Also, bonus for my coffee-loving self. They have this som’bitch:

nespresso_chateau elan

Yes please! / Image taken from the Château Élan website.

A Nespresso machine!

I love coffee, so this is perfect, especially after a day of smiling, excitement and being wed! Mr Big and I are both super excited to end the night in this fabulous place, and I can’t wait to make myself a coffee (I’m sad, I know).

Who else is excited about something that’s probably completely unnecessary? Do you think Mr Big and I made a good choice?

First DIY Project!

2 Apr

Hello all!

I mentioned in an earlier post how I was planning a whole bunch of DIY-ish projects. Well, we started one yesterday!

This project is for the reception, and involves us cutting wine bottles using a bottle cutter specially designed for cutting bottles (it’s got knobs to adjust for heights and everything!). We bought  it for $40 from an Australian website (http://www.etchingindustries.com.au/g2-bottle-cutter/ – the G2 bottle cutter!). The bottle themselves were provided by the lovely Lou from Tamburlaine, our wedding reception coordinator. She’s been so awesome throughout the process, and providing us with bottles has saved us SO much time!

As for the project itself, we’d been putting it off for some time, but because Monday was our “stay at home and be lazy mofos” day, I got restless.

Seriously restless!

I asked if GP wanted to try cutting a few bottles to make sure our DIY project would work. So we started with two bottles – the Sparkling Scarlett Bubbles bottle and Verdelho bottles from Tamburlaine Organic Wines.

It was a failure.

Let me explain…

A few weeks prior, I had removed the labels by soaking the bottles in a bucket for a few hours and then carefully peeling. The Scarlett Bubbles’ labels were difficult to peel (I had to use a scraper to get it all off), but the Verdelho bottle just peeled right off beautifully. I was happy and thought that this might not be as hard as I initially thought.

Now skip ahead a few weeks to yesterday night.

After the labels were soaked, peeled and gone, we used the bottle cutter to etch a line over the base of the bottle where we wanted it to detach. This is a lot easier then it sounds. All it requires is some gentle pressure and a steady hand. GP was able to etch two relatively thin lines in the bottle (although he made the lines slightly thick because of “re-etching” – i.e. going over the already etched lines. We later learnt that a thinner line makes it a lot easier to detach).

After we etched the lines we got two big bowls – a bowl filled with boiling water from the kettle, and a bowl filled with iced water. We then began dunking each into the water baths, making sure to keep them in there for 5-10 seconds each dunk. Our first effort was a complete disaster. The Verdelho broke off but was crooked, and the Scarlett Bubbles didn’t even budge.

Disappointed, we decided we’d try again, but this time only with the Verdelho bottles.

This time I did most of the etch (one solid, thin line from start to finish, except for one bottle which I thought I hadn’t etched) and GP did the dunking into the water baths. This time we used a pot over a stove fire on a low simmer to keep the water at boiling point. We kept the ice water bowl.

And it was perfect!

Let me show you a picture! 🙂

wine bottle centrepiece candle holder

It’s a little hard to see on the image, but the glass was smooth all the way around. We’re going to sand down the glass just in case because we don’t want any unwanted little fragments ruining our night and our project. But overall, the bottle were perfectly detached!

All in all, we’re both super stoked that it worked! I’ve soaked and de-labelled four more Verdelho bottles and we also want to attempt the Bubbles bottle again with our new technique.

Wish us luck!

E x

A Place to Party: Venue-finding

4 Nov

Last time I left you with a list of potential venues, but we didn’t have anything solid just yet. The Sebel Kirkton Park Hotel was a great place, but there were a few things that Mr Big and I believed didn’t really work for our wedding. At the same time, we had also been looking at two other venues which I haven’t mentioned: the Hunter Valley Gardens and Tamburlaine Organic Wines. As you may have guessed, the Sebel Kirkton Park, the Hunter Valley Gardens (HVG) and Tamburlaine made up our top-three venues.

During our search, I had stumbled across the HVG…

hvg_ben adams

The Border Garden. Image via Polka Dot Bride. Photography by Ben Adams Photography.

…and Mr Big stumbled across Tamburlaine.

tamburlaine_cavanagh

Tamburlaine Winery, exterior. Image via Polka Dot Bride. Photography by Cavanagh Photography.

The reception venues were both beautiful and, like the Sebel, there were pros and cons for them both. Before we move on, our criteria for the reception venues were:

  • Needs to comfortably fit approximately 120-150 guests with room left for a dance floor and a live band.
  • Allowed guests to move around freely inside and outside.
  • Has good wine and food!

We compared the two venues, including the potentiality of having the ceremony and reception at both, and this is what we came up with:

The Hunter Valley Gardens

The Hunter Valley Gardens (HVG) is a massive privately-owned garden which allows public entry (at a price, but that’s reasonable). It has a working restaurant onsite, the Garden Terrace, right next to one of the mini-gardens. Mr Big and I didn’t get to take a step inside as the wedding coordinator instead took us to the ceremony venues (more on that later!) but we checked out the specs through the website and the package given to us.

hvg_garden terrace

Unfortunately the best image I could find of the Garden Terrace. Image taken from the Hunter Valley Gardens official website, showing the Garden Terrace (left) and the outside courtyard and amphitheatre (right). Photography by Photography on Hermitage.

The Yays!

  • Definitely has some inside and outside flow, with an outside terrace that overlooks the Oriental Garden
  • There’s an amphitheatre outside specifically for the dance floor and a live band
  • The menu items look delish!
  • They give you discounts on ceremonies if you hold your reception there also

The Boos!

  • The room fits approximately 110 guests seated on round tables, so it doesn’t fit one of our criteria
  • About 60% of the menu items seemed to be too “fine dining”
  • The price per head wasn’t exactly reasonable

The Bighorn Conclusion: We loved the ceremony spaces, but the reception space wasn’t exactly what we had in mind. It didn’t fit our approximated guest list and the price per head was what ultimately made us change our mind. Otherwise, it’s a wonderful place for a smaller wedding.

With that, let’s move on to the next venue.

Tamburlaine Organic Wines

Tamburlaine Organic Wines is a working winery. They’re Australia’s largest producer of organic wines and began in the Hunter Valley in 1966. As such, they have vineyards located on their Hunter Valley property which have been used for photography by many weddings.

tamburlaine_vineyards

The vineyards onsite at Tamburlaine. Image via the Tamburlaine official website. Photography by Kelly Luker.

Onsite they have the Member’s Lodge where they hold receptions for weddings.

tamburlaine_exterior_dusk

The Member’s Lodge at dusk. Image taken from the Tamburlaine official website. Photography by Renee Moore.

The Yays!

  • The venue fits up to a maximum 180 guests.
  • The venue practically looks after itself, with flexible packages which allow the couple to guide the look and feel of the wedding
  • There’s a wraparound porch around the Member’s Lodge with a sitting area
  • The menu is both extensive and delicious

The Boos!

  • If we invite 170 guests, we won’t have room for a live band
  • The walls are a dark blue, so may clash with specific colour schemes
  • Sparklers are considered a fire hazard, and therefore, a no-no

The Bighorn Conclusion: This fit everything we needed: it was big, but not too big; it was flexible; it had the seamless open-plan flow; a good food and wine selection; the ability to have a live band; and finally, great customer service.

I may be biased when I say this, but Tamburlaine had won our hearts hands down. Initially, we were super bummed about the sparklers, worried about the dark blue, and apprehensive about the guest count, but in the end, it really did all work out. With the flexibility, customer service, and the beauty of Tamburlaine, we decided to pay our deposit for Tamburlaine in October 2012 (more than a year before our wedding!).

We’re super happy with our choice and can’t wait to celebrate at Tamburlaine with our nearest and dearest.

Talking venues! and we have a date!

23 Oct

Hello readers,

How long has it been!? Sorry for the long, long absence guys. It’s been a quiet few months ’cause the fiance and I have been waiting and waiting on a date. We FINALLY have one! YAAAAAY! (It only took 6-and-a-bit months…). Now the wedding ride really starts. As the title suggests, I will be talking about different venues we’ve been thinking about (though the title could also suggest that the venues themselves can talk… but seriously, what kind of venue can talk?).

We’ve been looking at different places to have the reception and ceremonies, but we’re pretty sure we’ll be having our reception at Tamburlaine Organic Winery. We haven’t booked anything yet (a fact that completely confuses my parents) but we’re having serious conversations on places to have the ceremonies. We have about four scenarios with which to do the wedding which I’ve got written down in a Word file:

Scenario 1:

Civil Ceremony: Hunter Valley Gardens

Tea Ceremony: Hunter Valley Gardens

Reception: Tamburlaine Organic Winery

Scenario 2:

Civil Ceremony: Hunter Valley Gardens

Tea Ceremony: Tamburlaine Organic Winery

Reception: Tamburlaine Organic Winery

Scenario 3:

Civil Ceremony: Hunter Valley Gardens

Tea Ceremony: Place of accomodation (where we’re staying)

Reception: Tamburlaine Organic Winery

Scenario 4:

Wedding at the Sebel Kirkton Park Hotel

Scenario 5:

Wedding at the Hunter Valley Gardens

As you all may know (if you’ve been following the blog so far), we’ll be having two ceremonies: the ‘Western’ civil ceremony and the ‘Eastern’ tea ceremony. My mother was a little bit confused about the whole thing (even though I’ve been trying to explain it to her over the past six months) but I think we’ve settled that issue. Anyway, we’ve finalised that the civil ceremony needs to be performed between 11AM-12PM because of some cultural thing that states that I (eichanist) have to be handed over by my family to GP’s family between that time (otherwise known as the “Giving Away” portion of the civil ceremony). In Chinese tradition this means the groom drives over to the bride’s house, plucks her out of her family home, and drives to his parents’ house (where the tea ceremony will take place).

Of course, this is impossible if you’re having a mini-destination wedding like GP and me. Not only that, but GP’s parents live in Christchurch, New Zealand, so having the tea ceremony there isn’t really an option. So we figured that we can incorporate this Chinese tradition into the civil ceremony. When my dad ‘gives’ me to GP, I’m being relinquished from my family and being accepted into his. Or something like that. Now the only problem is where do we have the ceremonies?

Enter the five scenarios listed above.

All five scenarios have their pros and cons. We’re trying to keep the wedding within a localised ‘suburb’ of the Hunter Valley called Pokolbin (all locations are within this area) which makes travelling a lot easier for everyone. Tamburlaine and the Hunter Valley Gardens (HVG, for short) are about 5-10 minutes apart from each other. The Sebel Kirkton Park Hotel is located a little further away, but the distance isn’t huge. If we do use the Sebel Kirkton though, we’ll be using the hotel for all of the day’s activities. To make it more transparent, I’ll break down each venue/location and make note of their pros and cons.

The Hunter Valley Gardens (HVG)

The Ceremony:

As far as we can see, when using the HVG for a reception, you get to use the Gardens at a discounted rate for ceremonies. You also get the Gardens for 2 hours for photography (including a buggy to ride around in) and there’s a wet-weather option included (which is the onsite non-denomination Chapel). The photography and the wet-weather option is included regardless of the use of the HVG as the reception, but the discounted rate on the ceremonies is a bonus, especially because we’re keen to have both the civil and the tea ceremony there.

The Garden itself has five ceremony locations:

  1. The European Formal Gardens
  2. The Sunken Garden
  3. The Waterfall Outlook
  4. The Oriental Garden
  5. The Lakes Walk Rotunda

GP and I really liked the look of the Waterfall Outlook for the civil ceremony and the Oriental Garden for the tea ceremony. Because the Oriental Garden only sits a maximum of 70 guests, we’ll only be inviting family and close friends to this one. The Waterfall Outlook is in a shaded area, so guests won’t overheat in the sun (since we’ll be getting married at about the height of January). We’re also trying to think of what to do with the bugs, since there’ll be a lot of mosquitoes and flies about.

The Reception

There are two locations: the Tempus Two Barrel Room and the Garden Terrace. GP and I like the look of the Garden Terrace if we did the wedding at the HVG. It’s basically their restaurant in the morning. We haven’t been inside, but from what I’ve seen there’s a deck with rolling doors which open up completely to create a seamless inside-outside atmosphere. The deck itself overlooks the Oriental Garden, so it’ll be perfect if we have the tea ceremony there (guests could perhaps watch while drinking pre-dinner drinks).

The venue sits approximately 110 guests on round tables and 140 on long tables. Because we’re estimating about 120 people, we’ll have to use the long table option if we use this place. The dance floor itself is outside in an amphitheatre they have there, so a live band could be set up outside. It really is a pretty venue, though there are some flaws.

The HVG doesn’t have much in the way of seafood (which is a big cultural thing during Chinese weddings). I’m not too fussy about having seafood at the wedding ’cause I’m not a big fan of seafood. Another thing about the HVG is the cost per-head. The venue hire isn’t too bad, and on Sunday (which is when we’re planning on having the wedding) there’s a 50% discount. Unfortunately, the price-per-head for HVG for the Premium package (the best one they have) stands at about $20 more than the best packages of all the other venues we’re looking at. The Deluxe package (the next one down) is about the average price of the more expensive packages in other venues. GP also didn’t like the fact that the names of their foods sound too snobbish (e.g. “rabbit ragout on a bed of…”) though they do have more humble (and yummy-sounding!) offerings.

I also have a feeling that centrepieces and decorations are all “taken care of” by the venue, which takes the decisions away from us (the bridal couple). I would like a say on what goes where and how things are presented. I know GP doesn’t really have a head for decorations, but I’m sure he wouldn’t like the control taken away. It is our wedding after all. Need to remember to bring this up when we see them (hopefully I get a reply tomorrow).

Tamburlaine Organic Winery

The Ceremony

Tamburlaine do ceremonies on the lawn just outside the venue. There’s a little seating area with French-style chairs and tables and I’ve seen the pews they use to set up for seating. The setup is simple – 4 pews with satin sashes, rose-lined aisle, a wine barrel for signing of the Marraige certificate, and a garden arch. The lawn is not as pretty as the HVG, mostly just grass and Eucalyptus trees (very Australian). Some couples have gotten married in front of the manmade lake they have there, but that lake is mostly covered by reeds from the lawn (though looks stunning on the verandah at the back of the venue). We’re not too keen to have our ceremony here, but it is an option we should think about.

The Venue

Tamburlaine’s venue is called the ‘Member’s Lodge’ and juts out onto a manmade lake (the verandah I mentioned above) surrounded by reeds. It’s really pretty. Tea lights spatter the inside and outside of the venue and the venue itself is huge. It easily fits 150 people, so fits our guest list criteria. Like the Garden Terrace at HVG, doors can be opened to go out onto the deck outside, causing a seamless inside-outside environment. This is important for GP, as that was his one major ‘want’ in regards to the venue.

Decorated, Tamburlaine looks very pretty. My parents (especially my father) has an issue with the excessive use of white because of its symbolic interpretations to death in Chinese culture, but decorators should be able to change the colours (or spatter coloured tealights throughout). Also something I have to make mention of. The interior of Tamburlaine is a dark blue, so ‘wedding colours’ might be a little difficult to incorporate. Luckily we’ve picked out two major colours: red and yellow. Add blue and what do you get?

Beauty and the Beast colours.

I’m lame, I know…

Which brings me to the next topic, Tamburlaine gives you an enormous amount of flexibility when planning the wedding. They have a ‘make your own package’ deal where you can pick and choose what you like (and don’t like) to alter the per-head cost. This means you can tailor it to your budget. Food is also extremely varied: heaps of seafood, beef, chicken, lamb, duck, etc. The down side to Tamburlaine is the fact that you can only use their wines, but having tasted their wines, it’s not too bad. The sweeter wines are very nice, a fact which you need when tailoring to my side of the family (and my friends).

Sebel Kirkton Park Hotel

The Ceremony

GP and I haven’t been to the Sebel yet, so there’s not much I can say about it. The packages look okay, so do the pictures of the locations, but GP has some reservations against it. We’ll be checking the place out 3 November and I can give a more comprehensive rundown. All’s I can tell you is the Sebel Kirkton Park has three locations to choose from for the ceremony:

  1. The Manor Garden
  2. Between the Urns
  3. Wisteria Walk

Ceremony packages are only available when the reception has been booked with the Sebel.

The Reception

As above, we haven’t checked the place out. But from pictures I’ve seen, both venues – the James Busby room and the Hunter Rothbury room – have a courtyard which you can go out too. I’m not too sure if it’s as seamless as the HVG and Tamburlaine, but the interior (from picture) looks really good. The packages are well-priced too. Unfortunately, the cheapest one is only a ‘cocktail’ function, which forces GP and I into the next package up (we want a dinner-wedding). After our visit here, I’m sure I can give more information about the place.

 

That’s all for the venues. Not much of a segue, I know. In other news, I’ll be going shopping with my bridesmaids in about… a month from now. 😀