Monday, August 30, 2010

Alloneword Celebrates 1st Birthday!

Twelve months ago Brisbane punters were introduced to a boutique nightspot where cutting edge sounds merged seamlessly with an electric atmosphere.

Alloneword - 188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley - will celebrate one year on with a VIP event this Thursday September 2, and will open its doors to the public from 9pm to kick start a massive weekend of birthday celebrations.

Over the last year, a veritable who's who list of Valley-dwelling fashionistas and creative types have had their musical desires fulfilled by a stellar selection of international and national DJ’s that this anything-but-mainstream bar has offered up.

With the love of music as the foremost motive for its creation, Alloneword has grown to mean an unrivalled venue with unique sounds and one that boasts the finest bartenders who are only too happy to create the perfect potion with all the confidence, technique, and panache one would come to expect from the city’s best.

Well heeled locals and visitors can find Alloneword behind a simple door next to the Stepp Inn. You are immediately greeted by a tres’ cool bar featuring low black mirrored ceilings, clever lighting and velvet upholstered booth seating. Continue deeper and you find yourself in an incredible open, outdoor space bounded by brick walls and covered in rocking stencil art.

Visit Alloneword

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Maldives is a collection of tiny atolls, renowned for their remarkable corals and amazing variety of colourful marine life. Scattered like gems across the Indian Ocean, the 1190 islands of sparkling white beaches straddle the equator and form the most mesmirising island playground you thought you could only dream of.

Swim to your hearts content across the tranquil crystal clear waters and indulge in the luxurious pleasures offered of as nature's delights and the exquisite Maldives accommodations. All you need do is relax and let it all sweep over you as you live the unforgettable moments that will stay in your memory forever.

Here you can swim, sunbathe, snorkel, scuba or visit the nearest 'deserted' islands or explore the magnificent marine life. You'll never tire of the innumerable species of irridescent fish that flit about you.

Most resorts are located on their own island many having beach or over-water bungalows. The lifestyle is absolutely relaxed with little need for footwear at any time.

The tropical climate of Maldives is warm all year round, determined by the monsoons. Being on the equator though, the monsoons are mild as opposed to neighbouring countries.

The southwest - May to October - brings more rain and wind, while the northeast monsoon - December to March - is a dry season with very little wind. The minimum temperature averages 25C and the maximum averages 30C.
Visit Honeymoon Havens to view resorts and packages available in the Maldives

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Crane: The Caribbean's First Resort

Stylish and understated, the vibe at The Crane is chill…very chill. It's all about taking a dip in a private pool, dining at the on-site restaurant and basking in the warmth of the Barbadian sunshine. 

With a secluded beach and a reputation as the Caribbean's first resort (built in 1887), The Crane combines history and a sunny elegance that makes for a smart stay in Barbados. Lounge on the spectacular powder-soft, pink sand, caressed by the rays of the Caribbean sun and fanned by gentle Trade Winds, and you will understand why The Crane Resort is regarded by those that know it as one of the most beautiful places anywhere in the world.

Preview Jetsetter's The Crane Sale starting 27/8/10

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lady Windermere's Fan

Prepare to be charmed by Wilde's trademark wit and intelligence in this comedy of manners, presented by the Canberra Repertory SocietyLady Windermere's Fan was Oscar Wilde's first produced play, and it was an instant success on the London stage.

In the play, Lady Windermere considers leaving her husband of two years when she believes he's been unfaithful with a woman...and their world begins to unravel. Journey with us through this series of misunderstandings and deceptions, in their high-society world.

Lady Windermere's Fan
Directed by Tony Turner
10 - 25 September, Weds—Sat Book Online or call 6257 1950.

Preview: Thursday 9 September 8pm
Season: 10 - 25 September, Wednesday - Saturday 8pm
Matinees: Saturday 18 & 25 September 2pm
Twilight: Sunday 19 September 5pm
Directors Workshop: 200 Years of Style - 1700-1900 (A voice and movement workshop) time TBC

Single ticket prices
Adult $35
Concession/Preview/Matinee/Twilight $27
groups of 10+ receive $2 off each ticket

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sheraton on the Park Unveils New Conservatory Bar

Glamour has arrived on level one, at the Sheraton on the Park, in the form of the new Conservatory Bar. The $250,000 refurbishment of this iconic bar and terrace has transformed this intimate space to “the” drinks destination in the city.

Enjoy a wide selection of the finest cocktails (all your favourites and more), wines of the world, local and imported beers and a variety of spirits, your choice of beverage will not be hard to find in this chic establishment. To complement your beverage, The Conservatory Bar offers a delicious tapas menu including Crisp Whitebait with Garlic Aioli, Salt and Pepper Squid with Chilli Soya Sauce and Shaved Prosciutto de Parma, Fetta Cheese with Watermelon, Thyme and Crisp Toasted Baguette Slices, friends are converging at the “Con Bar” as the venue to catch up and re-connect in comfortable surrounds

There’s a chance to rub shoulders with international and local celebrities, many of whom choose to stay at the Sheraton on the Park- the celebrity hotel of choice. Whether you want to mingle with others at “The Great” communal table in the centre of the room made from recycled Iron Timber or hide away in the more intimate and sleek “Concaves”, the Conservatory Bar’s sexy and much desired booths; the choice is yours.

The outdoor terrace, with sweeping views of Hyde Park, gives visitors an al fresco option and live piano entertainment with the globally acclaimed, Gregg Arthur, is a feature every Thursday and Friday night.

International designer, Joseph Pang’s vision of luxury for this sleek CBD hotel has been brought to life in this refurbishment, whilst still retaining the spectacular views over majestic Hyde Park, Sydney Middle Harbour and St Mary’s Cathedral.

The Conservatory Bar and Terrace is open from 5pm till late Sunday to Wednesday and from 2.30pm till late Thursday-Sunday. For more information please call 02 9286 6000 or email

Friday, August 20, 2010

Australian Chamber Orchestra - Viennese Masters

Viennese Masters is presented by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, featuring works by Schubert, Beethoven, and Brahms. Vienna was the centre of 19th century music-making and these three composers were its masters. More, the Clarinet Quintet was Brahms’ supreme achievement in chamber music and Beethoven’s Septet made him a celebrity in the city.

"The ACO has often performed on so-called original instruments without trumpeting the fact. This time, however, we’re proclaiming the use of gut strings and welcoming period wind virtuosi Craig Hill, Darryl Poulson and Jane Gower, principal bassoonist in John Eliot Gardiner’s orchestras. There’ll be eight of us on stage performing two monumental works of the chamber music repertoire. Since Satu first started performing Schubert’s Rondo Brillante, she always heard the piano as an orchestra, so we’re bringing the piano part to life with our mini-orchestra." Richard Tognetti
Tour Dates:

• Sat 25 Sep, 8:00 PM: Canberra Llewellyn Hall, ANU, Canberra
• Sun 26 Sep, 2:30 PM: Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne
• Mon 27 Sep, 8:00 PM: Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne
• Tue 28 Sep, 8:00 PM: Adelaide Town Hall, Adelaide
• Wed 29 Sep, 8:00 PM: Perth Concert Hall, Perth
• Mon 4 Oct, 8:00 PM: Brisbane - QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane
• Tue 5 Oct, 8:00 PM: Sydney - City Recital Hall Angel Place, Sydney
• Wed 6 Oct, 7:00 PM: Sydney - City Recital Hall Angel Place, Sydney
• Thu 7 Oct, 7:30 PM: Wollongong - Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Wollongong
• Sat 9 Oct, 8:00 PM: Sydney - City Recital Hall Angel Place, Sydney
• Sun 10 Oct, 2:30 PM: Sydney Opera House, Sydney

Visit Viennese Masters

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cantina: Presented by Brisbane Festival 2010 and Strut & Fret Production House

Cantina is a place of faded glamour and alcohol flamed passion. In the seediest of drinking holes, torn between the past, present and future, Cantina explores the rapture and torture of desire, and the tension between harsh reality and escapist fantasy. The inhabitants of Cantina find refuge in this late night world of sex, sweat and tequila. Their amazing skills contrast with the heartbreak of their lives.

The Spiegeltent’s mirrored round will be transformed for Cantina with a tightrope strung across an open fire and people sleeping on a bed of forks. As this circus cabaret unfolds, the line between passion and violence is never quite clear. Cantina comes from Strut & Fret Production House, the creators behind of Feasting on Flesh, A Company of Strangers and the Tom Tom crew.

Co-created by and featuring: Chelsea McGuffin (CIRCA, QTC, Vulcana Women’s Circus), Mozes (La Clique, Acrobat, Circus Oz), David Carberry (CIRCA, Tom Tom Crew), Daniel Catlow (Tom Tom Crew, Flying Fruit Fly Circus), Henna Kaikula (Finland) and Nara Demasson (Vulgargrad, Blue Drag, The Wikimen).

Show Information:

VENUE: Spiegeltent, King George Square, Ann Street Brisbane CBD
WHEN: 9pm each evening. Sun 5 – Sat 25 September 2010. No Monday performances
DURATION: 60 minutes (no interval)
TICKETS: Adult $40.00, Concession $30.00, Groups $30.00 (min 10 people). (includes booking fee, additional charges may apply)
BOOKINGS: Moshtix: 1300 438 849 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Illuminated Wonderland - Floriade NightFest

For five nights only, from 22nd to 26th September, 2010, Commonwealth Park is transformed into an illuminated wonderland of beautiful blooms and non-stop entertainment. Floriade NightFest will enchant you with everything from movies, comedy, acrobatics, cocktails, bustling markets, food, wine and plenty more to keep you entertained the whole night long.

Take a ride on the 35-metre Ferris wheel and be captivated by the stunning evening view of Commonwealth Park and nearby inner-city precincts. Pack a picnic and head for the giant inflated screen where you can watch films under the stars. Visit the Carnival Stage & Bar where performers such as Patrick McCullagh, Dave Thornton, Mr Quirk, Jacques the Cheeky French Waiter and the List Operators will have you in stitches.

Watch renowned floral designers, Michael Woods from the House of Holland Florist and Bernie Gadd from Champagne and Roses Florist, create beautiful arrangements in the ActewAGL Look 'n' Learn Marquee.

There’s plenty for the kids as well, including the National Zoo & Aquarium’s Riveting Reptiles Exhibition and side-splitting comedy and amazing acrobatics by The Gigalees Crazy Circus Show at the Floriade Kid’s Corner. 

Nightfest ticket prices* 

Adults (17 years and over) $20 
Child (5 to16 years) $10 
Concessions (pensioners, seniors and student ID card holders) $10 
Family (two adults and two children) $50 
Children (4 years and under) Free

*Price per night. Transaction fees apply. Some activities around the park will incur an additional fee.

Friday, August 13, 2010

How To Stretch Your Holiday Budget

Sprinkling some cost-free events into your itinerary can stretch the holiday budget, reports Jane E. Fraser for The Age Traveller. You just need to know where to look, especially in the big cities.

When was the last time you went on a trip and spent less than you intended? Away from home and in holiday mode, overspending is right up there with overeating for easy traps to fall into. Yet you may regret cutting back on activities and experiences, especially if it is a destination you are unlikely to visit again. So it pays to make the most of freebies where you can get them.

Free tours, entertainment and attraction tickets are out there if you know where to look and the savings can be considerable. Guide book author Meryl Pearlstein says even in an expensive city such as New York, you can find plenty of freebies.

One of the best examples of freebies for savvy travellers is the museums and art galleries that offer free admission on a certain day of the week or at a certain time of day.
While some museums and galleries are free year-round, many charge about $15- $20 an adult, which can really cut into your holiday budget.

Some cities offer free visitor tours through schemes such as the Global Greeter Network (, where residents volunteer to give up their time to show tourists around. The Global Greeter Network is available in 16 cities around the world, including Melbourne, Adelaide, New York, Paris, The Hague, Buenos Aires and Toronto, and the organisation says at least another 50 cities are looking at introducing it. 

Aside from being free, the tours offer an authentic look at a city because guides can show you what they really love about their city, without being beholden to any commercial interests. The only catch is that you often need to make contact well ahead of time to ensure someone is available for your travel dates. 

Keeping track of free offers is not easy but there are many ways to find out what is available.
Destination websites often contain sections on free activities, although you may find the hot tips buried among banal suggestions such as "take a stroll in the park".

Guide books can be a better source of information, as long as they are up to date. One of the best ways to find out about freebies is to walk into the local visitor information centre and ask. Visitor centre staff and volunteers can often tell you about things not in the brochures and they may be able to point you in the direction of other money savers such as cheap transport and discount restaurant nights.

To read the full article visit The Age Traveller

Thursday, August 12, 2010

NAB Barossa Gourmet Weekend at Moorooroo Park

Looking for the perfect excuse for a weekend getaway? If you haven't already experienced the gourmet food and boutique wines on offer at Moorooroo Park, then the Barossa Gourmet Weekend at Moorooroo Park is not to be missed!  

What: Six course long table featuring South Australian seafood and game, matched with boutique wines from Moorooroo Park Vineyards. 

When: Lunch - Sat 21st August at 1:30 and Sunday 22nd August at 1:30
Dinner - Saturday 21st August at 6:30

Cost: $160 pp including wine.

Bookings are essential and can be made through Moorooroo Park on 08 8563 1123. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cook Islands

Pristine beaches, gentle breezes, sunsets that take your breath away - Jane Cassie explores the Cook Islands for

After taking a quick puddle-jumper flight from the capital Cook Island of Rarotonga, to the sleepier island of Aitutaki, you will be blissfully removed from anything that resembles urban civiliization.After a short pontoon boat ride to the island of Akitua (and home of the island’s solo property, Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa) you’ll experience a modern day version of Fantasy Island seclusion on 37 acres where billowy palms line the pristine beachfront.

Accommodations at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa consist of 37 units in various styles: Beachfront bungalows have spectacular views and private hammocks. Garden bungalows are surrounded by manicured flora. Overwater bungalows cantilever directly beyond the shoreline to offer a quick lagoon dip right from each private front deck.

There are two dining options: the Bounty Restaurant where the free continental breakfast buffet is displayed each morning and dinners are served nightly, or the more casual fare at the beachside Flying Boat Bar and Grill, offering the added perk of a picturesque panorama.

Various destination wedding packages are available. The Akitua Special includes marriage license, flowers, bottle of bubbly, dinner for two, and string band accompaniment. The One Foot Island Wedding whisks the couple away to an even more remote (yes, it’s hard to imagine!) island with the same perks and pleasures. For a little extra, you can even have a dance performance included.

Your vision will blur from the trillions of sparkles reflecting off the surreal lagoon before you, boasting every hue of blue from the palest celadon, to the most brilliant turquoise. Distant tropical motus (islets) fringe the trancelike surface and are linked by a continuous strand of reef like a necklace of emerald gems. White wash crashes over the ridge of craggy coral, and the indigo abyss beyond melds with bluebird skies.

Visit Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa Web site

Monday, August 9, 2010

Top Ten Towns in Europe You've Never Heard Of!

Keszthely, Hungary

Done Venice, Paris and London? Ticked off Prague, Budapest, Berlin and Dubrovnik? It may be time to delve a little deeper on your next European adventure. Here are some of the best under-the-radar towns and cities you should know about, writes David Whitley for The Sydney Morning Herald Traveller.

1. Ohrid 

Where? Macedonia.

Lake Ohrid is sandwiched between Macedonia and Albania, almost forming a bowl in the middle of surrounding mountains. The lake is surrounded by pretty holiday villages and monasteries (noticeably more so on the Macedonian side than the Albanian) but the major town of Ohrid itself is the real treat.

It has always been a popular resort among eastern Europeans but the rest of the world is just cottoning on. It'd be easy enough to just enjoy the boat trips and beaches but head up into the forests and along the cliff tops and you find numerous photogenic forts and churches.


2. Kutna Hora 

Where? Czech Republic.

Often done as a day trip from Prague (it's only an hour away), Kutna Hora is worth a bit more time. It's a lot more laid-back than the Czech capital - and delightful to stroll around when the sun comes out.

You could happily spend a couple of days ambling by the river and through the squares, stopping every few hours for a hearty meal and a giant beer in a pub garden. But it's the quirky attractions that give Kutna Hora an appeal beyond being pretty and having a cool gothic cathedral. The most famous of these is the Sedlec Ossuary - a chapel made almost entirely from the bones and skulls of monks.


Kuressaare, Estonia

3. Kuressaare 

Where? Estonia.

Estonia's Baltic Sea islands have long since been discovered by the Finns and Swedes, who pile over on the ferries, but the rest of the world is yet to catch on.

The biggest island - Saaremaa - mostly feels as though it is stuck in a time warp. It's an island with an independent character, where forests and windmills predominate.

Kuressaare, the main town on Saaremaa, is livelier and with good reason. It's a gloriously picturesque town dominated by a large, well-preserved castle dating from the 13th century. It's possible to hire a row boat and go splashing about in the moat around the castle.


Cetinje, Montenegro

4. Cetinje 

Where? Montenegro.

Montenegro's capital Podgorica doesn't match up to the beauty of the rest of the country. Most visitors stay on the coast but a day trip from there to Montenegro's former capital makes for a fabulous alternative to sunbathing.

Cetinje can be found high in the mountains and the views on the drive through them on the way from coastal Kotor are spellbinding at almost every turn.

Once there, you've got a small town crammed with palaces and mansions. Most of these have been turned into houses, embassies or schools but one particularly grand building houses the National Museum of Montenegro plus an art gallery.


5. Keszthely 

Where? Hungary.

Outside of the Nordic countries, Lake Balaton is Europe's biggest lake. It has always been a popular holiday spot for central European tourists and is known colloquially as the Hungarian Sea.

Balaton is one of Europe's great bargain holiday spots - bed and breakfast accommodation for a family can cost a pittance outside the absolute peak of mid-August - and Keszthely is the best base.

It's the only town around the lake sizeable enough to have a life of its own outside the tourism sector and thus has most life to it. Highlights include the vast Festetics Palace and the Marzipan Museum, depending on your tastes.


Friday, August 6, 2010

The Proposal Package from Hilton Sydney

Make sure they say “yes”!… Hilton Sydney’s ‘proposal consultant’ and new package will help you secure the right answer to your proposal! ‘The Proposal’ package is part of Hilton Sydney’s “Love Me, Love Me Not” series, and provides everything you need for a foolproof marriage proposal.

A first for Hilton Sydney, the package provides a host of unique, luxurious and tailored inclusions, complete with your own ‘Proposal Consultant’, to help plan your experience from beginning to end and secure that all important ‘yes’.  The only question left is when to pop the question.

Included in the package is overnight accommodation in one of the Hilton Sydney’s signature suites and an intimate candlelit dinner for two in a glass brasserie.  You will have your own private waiter, sommelier and chef plus the opportunity to have resident celebrity chef Luke Mangan design your own personal proposal menu.

Couples can then enjoy the ultimate in-room indulgence with a Champagne Bath Master Package served with Veuve Clicquot Rose. The Hilton’s Bath Master will create a spa experience for you in the comfort of your own suite, drawing a luxurious bath with candles, rose petals and chilled Veuve Clicquot Rose to toast your engagement.

Guests will also receive an $850 gift voucher to spend on an unforgettable experience with RedBalloon.  You can choose from a variety of experiences to add a personal touch to your romantic proposal.  For the thrill seeking couple, why not pop the question during the rush of skydiving; or for more romantic types, get down on bended knee while hot air ballooning or on a scenic seaplane flight of Sydney.  To complete your proposal, newly engaged couples can also look for the perfect ring from Bunda Jewellery, with a consultation with the jeweller organised on request.

Hilton Sydney General Manager, Paul Hutton, said, “’The Proposal’ has been designed to create the ultimate marriage proposal to help you secure the answer you want.  A marriage proposal can be the most romantic as well as most daunting moment of a couple’s relationship.  If it’s done right, it’s a moment you will remember for the rest of your lives, which is why Hilton Sydney has created ‘The Proposal’ package to give lovers the best chance of success.  We will help our guests create a memorable experience that makes it simply irresistible to say anything but yes!”

The Proposal package is available from 17 May 2010 and is priced from $1999 per night.

The package includes:
  • Accommodation in Relaxation Suite, King Suite or Master Suite
  • Breakfast in the Executive Lounge with full access
  • Champagne Bathmaster Package served with Veuve Clicquot Rose (wine bucket, glasses, pillow, candles, rose petals, card, soap)
  • Intimate dinner in glass brasserie with a private waiter, Sommelier and Chef plus liaise with Luke Mangan to design your own personal menu
  • $850 Red Balloon Days gift
  • Ring Consultation with Bunda Jewellery
  • Your own personal ‘Proposal Consultant’ to assist in the planning of your perfect package
For more information on the packages, and bookings visit