Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Creative Streaks from Pen to Paper



The Annual Sydney Writers Festival returns 16 – 22 May with a walloping 300+ events that attract over 100,000 locals and tourists. Merging writers from multiple, diverse backgrounds, if books are your vice, then you can mingle amongst novelists, musicians, screenwriters, journalists and major storytellers. Prior guests included Dermot Healy, Eleanor Catton, Alan Cumming and James Wood. 
 
As a nonprofit organisation, there will be many free events taking place but the full line up will be announced end March so keep checking their website or follow @SydWritersFest.

In the meantime, a flurry of confirmed activities are already posted on the website, primarily taking place at Carriageworks. These include bestselling author Simon Winchester, discussing his new biography of the Pacific Ocean on 3rd March and Andrew O’Hagan warbling on his new novel, The Illuminations on the same night. On the next evening, check out Alexander McCall Smith who will serenade you with his love stories & tales from the globe, followed by Elizabeth Gilbert, worldwide bestselling author. 


Whether you’re a NSW resident or visiting the city during May, you can support the Writers Festival in a multitude of ways. From being a Patron to a Corporate Partner, providing a general one time or ongoing donation or volunteering. With applications opening on the 8th February for a sole month, the volunteer inauguration day is held on the 8th May along with a rundown of your role and tasks at the festival. All bookworms who want to be in the thick of the event and are not from Sydney, this is the most incredible opportunity and experience you most likely will appreciate for a long time.

The Festival features regular podcasts with past and upcoming authors, some that may be presenting at the May event. From literature to fiction, nonfiction, leading public intellectuals, scientists and the media are featured in these interviews. It’s worth rummaging around and listening to the podcasts.

Only 20 minutes by car or an hour scenic walk & ferry ride to Cremorne Point from downtown Sydney, what better way to unwind after each daily festival activities than chilling at our Manor, overlooking the Harbour. It may inspire you to grab your iPad, string a few words together and see if your own writer’s magic comes to life. The scene is set, the sun is going down, you have a glass of wine at the ready and the opening chapter is ready to be written. The festival attracts many hotel guests to Cremorne Point Manor so remember to book your room sooner than later as we’re booking out fast.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sydney Coastrek March Endurance Challenge



On the 4th March, the Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek takes place with a 50 or 55km (up to 34 miles) event for all female powerhouses. Raising money to support The Fred Hollows Foundation, the event is open to both genders but each team of four must have at least two women in the party. 
 
Registration closes on 31st January so you better sign up pronto if you’re an interested Sydney local or visiting NSW and looking to pump up your heart rate. If you’re a singleton, you can easily find a team on their website in the ‘Plan and Train’ section and request to be part of their crew.  It also features information about training with the experts, understanding the terrain and route and how to use brainpower per step. A great perk is the 15% discount for bulk training packs of 5 so you can get into your smarter gear-up groove in preparation for the big day.


Anyone new to the scene? There’s an introductory unlimited training pass to help you strengthen your body and mind, while also making a few new pals along the way as you exercise together. Feeling the need to step it up a tad? The organisation also hosts a Wild Walk and Wild Weekend Escape, including trips through the course while you become familiar with the route. 

The website is ridiculously, impressively compact and easy to understand: From the downloadable map of the Coastrek to the breakdown of each segment path and the registration checklist to the ‘essential information guide.’ There are also numerous briefing event days, where it’s highly advised two members of each team attend at least one of these. Once the event is over, enjoy a huge celebration party on the 17th March, giving you time to heal those muscles with arnica, deep heat pads and old fashioned Epsom Salts.

Again, as the event is a charity fundraiser, attendees, volunteers and donors charitable cash will help the Foundation provide medical moolah to restore sight in blind people. With a $3m goal fund, the Foundation is not just Sydney centric yet helps 19 countries worldwide. With 32 million blind people and over 90% living in developing countries, statistics show that 4 out of 5 blind people do not need to be in this disability environment. So when you sign up to take the challenge, email everyone you’ve ever met to donate to your team, post your fundraising page and link socially (at least once a week) and host fundraising potluck parties to generate greens. 

If you’re visiting Sydney and entering the challenge, check Cremorne Point Manor as a first choice, affordable option accommodation. We’re off the beaten path in a quiet area, surrounded by an abundance of greenery and perfect for training in our neck of the woods. If you do stay with us and enter the race, let us know and reference this blog post. We may just have a congratulations surprise waiting for you once you’ve completed the course and returned back to our Manor for some well deserved R&R!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Chinese New Year Monkey’s Lift Off



From the 6th to 21st February, the Sydney Chinese New Year celebrates the Red Monkey. Keeping with typical, flamboyant Aussie tradition, the festival will max to new swinging heights. From tours to exhibitions, entertainment and cultural events, most being free, if you’re a huge fan of this celebratory time, then grab your banana and let’s get this blog post jumping from tree to tree.
 
The streets of Sydney are going to come alive with enormous lunar lanterns, street fairs and the traditional Dragon Boat Race on the Harbour. They’re 12 metres long with up to 20 paddlers so you absolutely won’t miss them and their beating drums. The event comes with 80 attractions, yes 80, and the website includes a full calendar of what’s on every single day. From Lunar Lanterns of the Horse, star attraction Monkey, Rabbit and Tiger, if you’re visiting the city for only a few days during this time, you’ll be entertained to the hilt.

Also make a note of the starting date on the 6th where you can enjoy the Chinese Garden Highlights tour, Lion Dance and Kids at the Arthouse. Following this is the Outdoor Fair, Yin and Yang of the Monkey, Children’s Day and Kensington Street’s Chinese New Year Celebration.  

 
On the 10th is the Chinatown Historical Walking Tours, Legend of Qin Dynasty:Shaanxi followed by the 12th with a Red Fire Monkey Banquet. Other attractions we’re keen for you to check out are the Australian Chinese Brush Painting Society expo, Chinese Cultural Folk Dance Seminar and Monkey Tales (or Tails?). How about all visitors coming to the city around the 20th? You can wow over the One Hundred Names in Tofu, Wushu Workshop, Poon Choy Feast and Chinese Tea Ceremonies & Tastings. 

The website also features an ‘Our Pics’ page for specific personalities such as the Freebies, Most Popular and the fantastic ‘Hipsters’ categories. If you’re really going to venture right into the culture of the city, check out For The Brave featuring Dames of Thrones Burlesque Show, Slide The City (water included) and Speed Dating (32-42 year olds). Want to veer off the beaten track, learn the Art of Taxidermy, Sound of Music Singalong or Risque Revue. For all Brits or lovers of British comedy, way past the expiration celebration dates, how about booking yourselves into Faulty Towers: Dining Experience. Don’t presume you’ll get seated, served or receive anything you ordered from the menu.

As all the events are taking place downtown, dodge the water attractions, plop yourself on a ferry and within 10 minutes, you can be back at Cremorne Point. There’s no monkey business about our hotel, it’s all straight up serenity and stunning Harbour views. With the king of the jungle nearby at Taronga Zoo, you may hear the lions roar at night from Cremorne Point Manor, competing with the roosters who are lined up for 2017, as your personal alarm clock.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Beauty Expo Is Never Skin Deep



Happy 2016! Late summer may seem like light years ahead but as we all know that days run into months at a rate of knots, we’re preparing you for the 20 – 21 August. With the New Year now underway and barely in its embryonic stage, a great resolution this year could have dual meaning: planning for amazing events you want to visit in Sydney and keeping check on maintaining your outer beauty. 
 
Taking place at the Sydney Exhibition Center, The Beauty Expo Australia will be jam packed with tips on wellness, spas, and all topics that will make your eyelashes curl. With a popular subject on the agenda, if you’re a maven on the glam scene, you should check out the Face2Face Make Up Awards and Nailympia, giving credit to excellence in nails and make up by Aussies.

An addition to this year, that was tried & tested with great success in 2015, is the Paramedical Conference that conjoins with the Australasian Academy of Cosmetic Dermal Science and Laser Lounge. This is a must attend event if you have a beauty salon or starting your career in the paramedical beauty arena. It will explain vital tips on how to integrate a medi-clinic within your business and you can mingle with experts to gain valuable pointers. This is perfect for beauty graduates, salon owners and medical practitioners looking to involve beauty products within their offerings to clients. 


For salon owners, now is the time to start contacting the organizers to discuss exhibiting at #BeautyExpoAustralia. Not only will it provide incredible foot traffic and exposure to your business but you can chin wag with leading buyers, sellers and be in the hub of your target audience, all in one weekend fell swoop. From advertising to using great exhibitor marketing kit resources and expanding your demographic clientele, the website includes a flurry of advice on how to get started.

If you’re a beauty magnet consumer, you can start to schedule events at the Expo using their Event Planner. No more galloping around from exhibit to seminar with your foundation melting in panic for fear of missing out. Simply click the event planner link and start tagging your wish list of what to do, so you can build a favourite list of products, sessions and brands you’re most interested in. One great tool is the ‘who’s visiting’ feature, so you can easily source industry bods that are also attending. The ones you’ve tried to contact forever but will be clicking their heels on the same carpet as you during the weekend. Yes, those ones.

A positive weekend of gorgeous people and products requires a glass of wine each evening. Remember to book your hotel in Cremorne Point so you can sit back, relax and watch the sun set from Cremorne Point Manor.  Rest up your eyes, scour your freebie samples and remember to get your beauty sleep. It’s known as a natural face lift, don’t you know?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Music, Monkeys & Mammals Festival



From the 28th January through to 12th March, Twilight at Taronga Zoo takes place where a huge line up of artists performs against the Sydney Harbour views. As the Zoo’s reaching their centennial year, their amphitheater will be taking this series of entertaining events to a new level in 2016. With open air shows each evening in the zoo grounds, the lineup includes Courtney Barnett, recently receiving eight nomination nods for the ARIA Awards, Josh Pike and Missy Higgins. Bjorn Again are back due to the obsessive ABBA fans at the Valentines weekend performance and other favourites include Ladysmith Black Mambazo and The Waifs.
 
All the Twilight at Taronga entry tickets include free return ferry from Circular Quay from 5pm, bus transfers from the zoo entrance and half price same day entrance to the zoo itself. Therefore, you can monkey around with the animals and then chill out at the gig that same evening.

As this is a not for profit event, all Twilight proceeds are directly injected into the Taronga Conservation Society Australia. So you know your entry fee will be directly helping wildlife conservation, environmental sustaining and scientific research.

Ticket prices for each show varies but the average ranges around $70.95 for adults, $56.95 for kids and discounted group rates. The rates are slightly steep but they do include taxes and booking fees. The tickets are available per concert so unfortunately, you can’t buy discounted tickets for multiple days in one fell swoop. Also take into account some the gigs have sold out already.


If you’re too free spirited to make your own picnic, don’t fret. The festival organizers will have fabulous (dahling) gourmet antipasto hampers for pre purchase. The quirky range of offers include the all out Spritz Hamper at $89 (meat or veggie), the premium hamper at $99 and a few sideline alternatives. Then again if you’re so incredibly lazy that you can’t possibly carry a single thing to the gigs, you can also pre order backrest seats at $30, seats and cushions at $35, a combo of seats, cushions and blankets at $45 and a picnic rug at $60. Any more laid back and you’ll be mistaken for a sloth. 

The accompanying Roar & Snore packages have sold out due to seriously popular demand, but if you’d like a non Twilight Roar & Snore package, click this link for more information. 

The big bonus for Cremorne Point Manor guests is that we’re a spit’s throw away from the zoo so once you’re all music and animal wiped out, within 16 minutes by ferry, you’ll be back at our Manor. When you think the night’s just winding down, sit on our guest balcony, watch the same Harbour view and even though you missed out on Roar & Snore, many of our customers do hear the zoo lions express their vocal abilities quite loudly at night. Music to your ears, right?