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Blue Mountains: Majestic setting for Mystic High Tea


Indulge in high tea in the Wintergarden before having a tealeaf reading in Cat's Alley.

Indulge in high tea in the Wintergarden before having a tealeaf reading in Cat’s Alley.

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

Tea drinking guests of the Hydro Majestic Hotel can discover “what a day may bring forth’’ when the tealeaves are read at the new Mystic High Tea experience on weekends.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “Tealeaf reading goes along with the quirky activities people remember about the Mark Foy period of the Hydro specifically and the end of the Victorian era in general.

The gorgeously refurbished Wintergarden venue overlooking the Megalong Valley.

The gorgeously refurbished Wintergarden venue overlooking the Megalong Valley.

“This is a new attraction we are introducing as part of our continued journey as part of the history of the Greater Blue Mountains region.

“Nowhere else in the Blue Mountains can you indulge in a high tea, wander through the halls of history and have your tea leaves read.

“Everything we do here is done with elegance, good taste and fun. Tea leaf readings are a bit of harmless fun that will help re-create the mischievousness of the original `Palace in the wilderness’.’’

Tealeaf reading, or tasseography, is one of the most common divinations or fortune-telling methods. It interprets patterns of tealeaves (or coffee grounds or wine sediments) and will be practiced in the sumptuous Cat’s Alley venue at the world-famous hotel.

Guests may have their tealeaves read in the dramatic setting of Cat’s Alley after indulging in high tea in the Wintergarden.

The activity involving “the cup that cheers but not inebriates’’ represents refinement, prestige and vogue, just like the exquisitely refurbished Hydro Majestic Hotel.

Continuing with traditional practice, the Hydro Mystic High Tea readings will be conducted only by women, considered to hold the qualities of peace, comfort, and refinement, which will be epitomised in the forms of Juliette Frederick and Sophia Helene at the Hydro.

High tea is served in the Wintergarden, while tealeaf reading is conducted in Cat’s Alley at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, from 12pm to 4pm every Saturday and Sunday. Cost: $40pp after normal high tea costs. Go to http://www.hydromajestic.com.au for more information.

Retire to the dramatic setting of the famous Cat's Alley for a tealeaf reading.

Retire to the dramatic setting of the famous Cat’s Alley for a tealeaf reading.

Four Steps to Reading Your Tea Leaves by Juliette Frederick

STEP 1:

Once your tea is cool enough, begin sipping.

If you are right-handed, lift your cup with your left hand.

If left-handed drink with your right. If ambidextrous reach for your cup, stop and use the other hand.

STEP 2:

Now that you are quiet and relaxed, concentrate on the issue foremost in your mind, block out all thoughts and empty your mind.

If there is a stubborn thought that keeps returning, that will be the subject of this reading. Hold that thought. Otherwise, if nothing comes to mind, this will be a general cup reading.

STEP 3:

Breathe deeply. Drink your tea, leaving a couple of teaspoons of liquid in the cup. Hold your cup in your hand and give three good swirls clockwise. This will disperse the tea leaves around the inside of the cup. Gently pour out the remaining liquid by turning the teacup over into the saucer.

STEP 4:

Put your hand on the upside down cup and wish.

Take 3 breaths before turning your cup over.

Now your reading begins.

Owner of the Hydro Majestic Hotel, the Escarpment Group, is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

 


Shanghai chic at Hydro Majestic Hotel, Blue Mountains


Shanghai chic has returned to the Hydro Majestic Hotel. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Shanghai chic has returned to the Hydro Majestic Hotel. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

Shanghai chic has returned to the Hydro Majestic Hotel, after the recent opening of the Salon du Thé tearoom and bar.

Decorated in rich Oriental reds, far eastern murals and luxurious furnishings, guests can rediscover the understated decadence of the Empire with a refined Asian-inspired menu and a range of cocktails and wines.

Shanghai chic has returned to the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Blue Mountains.

Shanghai chic has returned to the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Blue Mountains.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The Salon Du Thé is part of one of the most famous spaces in one of the most famous hotels on the planet, Cats Alley in the Hydro Majestic Hotel.

“Cats Alley is often remembered as notorious for prowling women and men seeking company from ladies other than their wives. But the décor and clothing was always classy.

“With blood red walls, peacock feathers and sumptuous furnishings, Cats Alley and the adjoining Salon Du Thé have been beautifully refurbished by interior designer Peter Reeve to reflect that naughty heritage.

“And who knows what history modern guests will make in the future.’’

The Salon Du Thé has a unique ambience in addition to its magnificent views of the Megalong Valley.

A range of Eastern snacks are now available Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

A range of Eastern snacks are now available Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Visitors can lounge in high-backed chairs while nibbling on Eastern fare such as dumplings, Vietnamese rice paper rolls and Chinese twice-cooked pork belly and sipping delicately flavoured tea or a fragrant drop from the regional wine and popular beverage list.

Cat’s Alley has once again morphed into a hip bar/gin palace where elegant visitors can meet over jazz and martinis at sunset.

The venue will complement the other dining experiences across Escarpment Group properties including the Wintergarden and Boiler House Café at the Hydro Majestic, Darley’s Restaurant at Lilianfels and Echoes Restaurant & Bar.

Nearly six years in the making, the Escarpment Group has almost completed its roll-out of the Hydro Majestic Hotel exquisitely refurbished facilities.

Visitors can experience the spectacular Casino Lobby and luxurious Wintergarden, the stylish Delmonte conference and dining rooms and casual dining at the Boiler House Café and bistro.

Eastern High Tea in the Wintergarden at the Hydro Majestic Hotel.

Eastern High Tea in the Wintergarden at the Hydro Majestic Hotel. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

One of the grandest ballrooms in Australia, the Majestic Ballroom boasts vaulted ceilings, open fireplaces and the glamour of yesteryear for weddings and formal events.

A new addition to the Hydro Majestic property is the providores pavilion showcasing quality regional gourmet food and wine and interpretive history displays.

Also new will be the Majestic Point Lookout, picnic and market grounds, providing public access to the best views of the Megalong Valley, perfect for picnics, markets, wine fairs, music and the lost art of public promenading.

“The Hydro Majestic is one of those rare hotels that is a true global icon,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

“In a way, it belongs to the people of Australia because everyone from everyday people to celebrities and prime ministers has a story to tell about staying here.

“Blue Mountains locals have also taken ownership of the Hydro, waiting (impatiently I’m sure) for the refurbishment to be complete so they can bring their friends and family here for a meal and a show, as well as have a look themselves.’’

The Salon du Thé is open from 4pm to 10pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au for more dining, event and accommodation details and bookings.

* Escarpment Group, which owns the Hydro Majestic Hotel, is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

Sip cocktails while watching sunset in Cat's Alley. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Sip cocktails while watching sunset in Cat’s Alley. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media


Taste of Blue Mountains at Hydro Majestic Pavilion


Celebrate the spirit of the Royal Easter Show pavilions at the new Hydro Majestic Pavilion. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Celebrate the spirit of the Royal Easter Show pavilions at the new Hydro Majestic Pavilion. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

Celebrate the spirit of the Royal Easter Show pavilions of Sydney’s old showgrounds and experience a taste of the Blue Mountains at the new Hydro Majestic Pavilion interactive “living’’ history space.

Visitors to the historic hotel can discover the history of original owner Mark Foy’s “Palace in the wilderness’’ as well as the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area through interpretive displays and multimedia screening areas.

One of the main features of the pavilion will be the vibrant display showcasing boutique and unique food and wine from the Blue Mountains and surrounds including Mudgee, Bathurst, Orange and the Western Plains.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The gourmet food and wine of this region and its surrounds is exceptional quality.

“In fact, the region is fast becoming known as a food destination and I know that the Hydro Majestic Pavilion will become a tourist destination in itself soon.’’

Taste outstanding regional produce at cheese and wine tasting sessions. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Taste outstanding regional produce at cheese and wine tasting sessions. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Visitors to the 500sqm pavilion can browse the history and produce displays at their leisure and, on Saturdays between 12pm and 4pm, indulge in wine tasting before snapping up their own take home supplies.

Following the successful De Beaurepaire Wines cellar door wine tasting event on March 7, a different winery will be featured each month, with cheese tasting to also be introduced soon.

Winburndale Wines, Bathurst, will be the featured winery on Saturday, April 4, and Megalong Creek Estates Wines, Megalong Valley, on Sunday, April 5; Robert Steins Wines, Mudgee, will be on Saturday, May 2; Swinging Bridge, Orange, on Saturday, June 6; and Angullong Vineyard, Orange, on Saturday, July 4.

“This is a fantastic way to shop for food, very European,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

“There is no better way to feel the passion and genuine commitment to the ethics and ideals written on the packaging than to meeting the producer face-to-face and talk to them about how they grow or make the food or wine.

“And of course it makes sense to taste test your food before you buy.’’

The Hydro Majestic Pavilion is open from 9am to 5pm seven days.

Visitors to the pavilion will also soon be able to picnic on their delicious goodies at the new Majestic Point Lookout, picnic and market grounds and gaze out at the best views of the Megalong Valley anywhere.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au for a program of cellar door tasting events as well as other dining, event and accommodation details and bookings.

The Hydro Majestic Hotel was relaunched under Escarpment Group’s boutique label. The Escarpment Group is a unique collection of luxury escapes in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area also including Lilianfels Resort and Spa, Echoes Boutique hotel & Restaurant and Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges, each steeped in history and surrounded by dramatic landscapes and breathtaking views unique to the Blue Mountains region.

Regional produce is a main attraction of the Hydro Majestic Pavilion. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Regional produce is a main attraction of the Hydro Majestic Pavilion. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media


Blue Mountains: Darley’s the best restaurant in Australia


 

Darley's Restaurant has been voted Best Restaurant in the Book A Restaurant 2015 Top Rated Annual Awards.

Darley’s Restaurant has been voted Best Restaurant in the Book A Restaurant 2015 Top Rated Annual Awards.

Words by Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

Darley’s Restaurant at Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa is the best noshery in Australia. Its Book A Restaurant award proves it.

The 2015 Top Rated Annual Awards are the result of real diners rating their top Australian restaurants through bookarestaurant.com.

The multi award-winning Darley’s, a Hatted restaurant inducted into the Hall of Fame for Best Regional Restaurant in 2011, is located in the heritage listed original homestead of sixth Chief Justice of NSW Sir Frederick Darley on the 5-star Lilianfels Resort & Spa property at Echo Point.

It is part of the Escarpment Group collection of luxury properties which also includes the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath, Echoes Boutique Hotel at Katoomba and Parklands Country Gardens and Lodges at Blackheath.

Sir Frederick bought the Darley’s property in 1888 and built a retreat so his family could access the mountain air for their daughter Lilian, who may have contracted and died from tuberculosis. It is assumed the house was named Lilianfels is in honour of Lilian, coupled with the German fels for high land.

Diners voted Darley's a top Romantic Rendezvous restaurant.

Diners voted Darley’s a top Romantic Rendezvous restaurant.

Today, Darley’s Restaurant, which has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment, overlooks lush manicured gardens with soaring mountain views.

The main dining room seats up to 50 people and features two open ornate fireplaces, spectacular leadlight windows, crystal chandeliers, luxurious designer wall prints, evocative artworks and plush furnishings that illustrate style and grace.

With its magnificent décor, Darley’s sparkles with newly revived old world charm accentuated by a magnificent setting and unrivalled destination – the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

The Top Rated Annual Awards recognise restaurants across five categories: Best Restaurant, Quality of Food, level of service, Romantic Rendezvous and Fit For Foodies.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “We have always been confident that the quality of the food, service and décor at Darley’s Restaurant is world-class but it’s great to have that vote of confidence from the people who matter the most to us – our patrons.

“Congratulations to Darley’s executive chef Lee Kwiez and his team of chefs and wait staff especially for this award.’’

Darley’s Restaurant was included in the Top 50 Rated list for an impressive four categories (Best Restaurant, Quality of Food, level of service and Romantic Rendezvous).

Diners who make a booking online through bookarestaurant.com have the opportunity to recommend the restaurant to other diners and friends.