Sydneysiders this week celebrated a milestone in the history of one of Australia’s most respected hotel brands with the official launch of the PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney. Hosted by well- known travel presenter Laura Csortan and actor Rodger Corser, the event included a live performance from RnB star Timomatic and an intimate, surprise performance by X-Factor judge Natalie Bassingthwaighte.
Over 400 guests from the business, entertainment and travel & tourism industries enjoyed drinks and canapés in the expansive new lobby before moving to the new restaurant and conference floor.
There they were treated to an intricately crafted array of dishes inspired by PARKROYAL hotels around the world, including Myanmar, Vietnam and Singapore. As part of the showcase of destinations and experiences unique to the harbour city, Westfield Sydney staged a live fashion show to present the latest collections from their broad range of Australian designers. A destination itself, Westfield Sydney hosts some of the world’s most desired iconic brands and premium world- class dining options. Westfield Sydney also has an array of Concierge services popular with tourists and corporate travellers including the Westfield Sydney Privilege Card offering visitors to Sydney exclusive discounts, special offers and access to our onsite Concierge Team which includes the option of hotel delivery.
Among the guests were The Hon Martin Ferguson MP, Federal Tourism Minister, Tourism Australia CEO Andrew McEvoy and A. Patrick Imbadelli, President and CEO of Pan Pacific Hotels Group, owners of the PARKROYAL brand globally. Also in attendance were local stars Dan Ewing, Timmy Trumpet and Victoria Morish.
“This event perfectly heralded a new chapter for the PARKROYAL brand in Australia,” said Craig Bond, General Manager – Oceania of Pan Pacific Hotels Group. “Although PARKROYAL hotels offer exemplary service in half a dozen countries, the birth of the brand was here in Australia and it has been synonymous with hospitality in this country for decades. The rejuvenation of the DarlingHarbour property demonstrates to travellers both domestically and internationally that we will continue to provide a cutting edge hotel experience well into the future.”
The new hotel interiors were the work of internationally acclaimed design firm HASSELL, last year named Australasia’s number one architectural design practice in the BD World Architecture Top 100. The designers introduced a fresh, contemporary aesthetic that seamlessly merges the international characteristics of the PARKROYAL brand with Australian influences unique to the hotel’s locale. Incorporating the latest in hotel technology, the redesign will soon allow smartphones to be encoded as room keys.
Offering a personal level of service, the 340-room PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney is conveniently located on the eastern fringe of the CBD, placing it within walking distance of many of the city’s finest dining and entertainment options. With most of Sydney’s iconic tourist attractions nearby, it is perfectly situated for holidaymakers to explore the city at their leisure. For business travellers, the hotel’s Club Rooms offer a range of services and facilities including priority check-in, in-room Wi Fi, a complimentary laundry service and access to the Club Lounge to make their stay as streamlined as possible.
Photo credit on all is Belinda Rolland.
It’s a popular dining experience for both guests and locals, and last night The Grace Hotel launched its Seafood Buffet!
Set in the Brassiere on the second floor, there was a variety of treats such as prawns, sea bass, oysters and other mouth-watering fish selections to choose from.
The buffet is available Tuesdays – Saturdays each week from February until July 27, and is priced at $45 per person.
And if you don’t fancy seafood then there is pork, potatoes, chicken as well as the usual menu still available.
Excitingly, Sydney Social was invited along to sample all the goodies on offer. Each section is split into starters, main and there was even a sweet stand with many delicious cakes on display.
The hotel, on Pitt Street, is set right in the heart of the city centre – so it’s an ideal spot for business meetings, family dinners or even a romantic meal for two!
Sydney’s Social’s reporter Jennifer Fletcher was guest blogging for the opening night.
This Valentine’s Day there is plenty to treat your other half to, or yourself!
Here is a comprehensive list for you to have a glance at, to give you inspiration for the day of love!
Valentine’s Day at Arras
At this stunning restaurant nestled in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, it’s the perfect choice for an inner city splash out. Think amazing food, stunning intimate interior and LOTS of brownie points! There’s a five course menu and an eight course degustation to choose from.
Bucket List Bondi
“Come in to The Bucket List and break bread with your Valentine on February 14!” – The lovely guys at Bucket List: Bondi ‘s beach-front trendy eatery, have baked a special heart shaped loaf.
Top chef Tom has created a platter that he calls -‘Love to Share’. It promises to be amazing and has a bit of an aphrodisiac theme -rock oysters, tartare of salmon served with avocado crème, fresh figs , almonds, pomegranate and zucchini flowers … which will be sure to get you in the mood! at $40 it is incredible value.
Valentine’s Day with the Keystone Group
GAZEBO WINE GARDEN
The Scoot N Root
Glass of Madam Coco rosé, 1 x red stemmed rose, shared platter of aphrodisiacs to start and a main course – $55 per person
Glass of Taittinger, 1 x red stemmed rose, shared platter of aphrodisiacs to start, a main course and dessert – $99 per person
*Have dinner with us then head then over to Darlinghurst Theatre to see Torch Song Trilogy. If we book for you – we can get you a concession rate to the play for $35!*
Fall in love at The Winery
Indulge in a desert tasting plate for two for $26 which can be ordered on the night.
Surf, Wine and Love at Manly
A delicious dinner, decadent desserts and a wine list to swoon over! We also have a rose, chocolate and glass of bubbles for $15 to make your dinner that little bit extra special.
NEWTOWN HOTEL – THE ANIMAL
Get animalistic this Valentine’s Day
Enjoy bubbles on arrival, a flower for your valentine and a feast for 2 from our Greek Eatery – $55 per person
AND if you are flying solo this Valentine’s day…
Sweethearts Rooftop BBQ
Who needs boys anyway?
$35 Banquet menu including cocktails on arrival.
MCA Café’s “Sounds on the Terrace”
At the MCA Café in the Rocks, guests can soak up free live music and spectacular views from Circular Quay to the Harbour Bridge at the Café’s Sculpture Terrace where Sounds on the Terrace takes place. This is the perfect spot to start your Valentine’s evening with pre-dinner drinks before your dinner reservation nearby. Or you can make a night of it in the relaxed ambience, sipping champagne and enjoying shared plates with friends and loved ones. New Sydney-based act, Recall will feature music composed by Daniel OʼLeary on the night.
MCA Cafe & Sculpture Terrace
The MCA Café and Sculpture Terrace is located on Level Four of the Museum of Contemporary Art. The understated but luxurious finishes of the Sculpture Terrace provide a sleek contemporary backdrop to suit any occasion. Open to the public as well as Museum visitors, the café has a contemporary atmosphere in which to enjoy lunch, morning or afternoon tea, or simply to drop in for a coffee. The seasonal and sustainable menu changes daily, to utilise fresh, local produce.
Date: Thursday 14 February 2013
Time: 05.30 PM – 09.00 PM
Location: MCA Sculpture Terrace, Level 4 Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George St, The Rocks
More Info: http://www.mca.com.au/events/sounds-terrace-14-feb/5822/
Vaucluse House Tea Rooms
At the Eastern Suburbs’ historic Vaucluse House Tearooms, Fresh Catering will present an exclusive dining event featuring live entertainment for couples celebrating Valentine’s Day, Thursday February 14th. The Tearooms are situated within the grounds of the Vaucluse House Estate.
Guests will be treated to a sumptuous three course dinner prepared by award-winning caterer, Fresh Catering, together with a glass of sparkling wine on arrival. With bookings available after 6pm, the price for each guest is $65. Live harp music will feature throughout the night, filling the room with a touch old school romance.
Celebrate Valentines at The Star Casino
This February, The Darling hotel will be running its special ‘Be My Darling’ package including an overnight stay, romantic breakfast for two in your room and two cocktails at Cherry bar. For those seeking extra relaxation, it’s possible to upgrade your booking to a Jewel Suite for an additional $250 that entitles guests to a couple’s massage to the value of $350.
(Be My Darling $399; Jewel Suite Upgrade $250; to book quote “BEMYDARLING”; available Sunday-Thursday February 2013; 1800 800 830;www.thedarling.com.au)
In celebration of the month of love, The Spa at The Darling is offering two exclusive pamper sessions for both men and women – The Romeo and The Juliet. For the guys, what’s not to love about an invigorating sports massage, followed by a relaxing scalp massage and a refreshing beer afterwards as part of the treatment? The Juliet includes an express facial, back, neck and shoulder massage, the short and sweet pedi and an indulgent glass of champagne at the end.
(The Romeo – 1hr 15 $200; The Juliet – 1hr 30 $200; available February 2013; 1800 800 830; www.thedarling.com.au)
The contemporary Japanese restaurant will be serving an indulgent eight course menu, created by renowned chef Chase Kojima, including some of the restaurant’s most famed dishes such as its signature sushi and Abalone Tempura. Chef Kojima brilliantly fuses traditional Japanese culinary craftsmanship with modern Australian flavour.
($120 per person; bookings required; www.star.com.au/sokyo
BLACK by ezard
Award winning chef, Teague Ezard, has put together a seven course degustation menu for Valentine’s Day showcasing what makes BLACK by ezard one of Sydney’s top restaurants. From a delicate sashimi through to a luxuriant wagyu rump, the menu features the perfect balance of Australian and Asian flavours.
($130 per person, matching wines $70 per adult; bookings required; www.star.com.au/black)
Stefano Manfredi brings the best of romantic Italy to your table at Balla this Valentine’s Day with a four course set menu beginning with an antipasti feast, followed by a choice of fresh pasta, a main course of either wood grilled John Dory or veal tenderloin, finishing off with a delicious Italian dessert.
($125 per person; bookings required; www.star.com.au/balla)
With its stunning harbour views, Cherry bar is the perfect setting for a stylish pre-dinner tipple to begin your evening. Choose from a host of impeccably made cocktails, made with only the finest ingredients, including fruity Bellinis, aromatic Mojitos and robust scotch based drinks.
Rock Lily: Thursday 14th February
It’s rockabilly night at The Star’s live music venue this Valentine’s Day with a dance competition open to everyone! Strut your stuff on the dance floor to Australia’s best live swing acts for the chance to win prizes galore.
7:30pm-9:30pm – Aston Martinis
10:00pm – 11:30pm – Jordan C Thomas
(Entry is complimentary and no bookings are required. With a limited capacity, Rock Lily operates on a first in best dressed basis;www.star.com.au/rocklily)
24/7 Sports Bar Thursday 14th February
It’s set to be an unforgettable Valentine’s Day for cricket lovers this year as Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee and Brad Hadden make an appearance at the 24/7 Sports Bar. There’ll be a chance to get the players’ autographs, listen to a short Q&A and enter a competition to win a framed signed bat by the Australian Cricket team.
(Entry is complimentary and no bookings are required. With a limited capacity, 24/7 Sports Bar operates on a first in, best dressed basis)
For bookings, more information or enquiries, visit www.star.com.au or call 1800 700 700.
So as you can see there is PLENTY to choose from! Hope you have a simply wonderful day and celebrate it with those that mean the most to you!
Over 250,000 lights have been added to this year’s Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens ensuring that the event, with over 1.25 million lights in total, will be the best yet! The Gardens will be filled with vibrant colour, incredible light and sound displays every night from Friday 9th November, 2012 until Saturday 26th January, 2013 (excluding Christmas Day and night).
In its sixth year, Christmas Lights Spectacular is the largest lights display in the Southern Hemisphere, making it a must see for the entire family and a great way to kick start that festive season.
The much anticipated event has won the prestigious Hunter Region Tourism Award for ‘Best Major Festival or Event’ for 2009, 2010 and 2011 earning it a place in the Hall of Fame within this category.
Hunter Valley Garden s General Manager, Kyle McKendry says, “This year will be bigger, brighter and better than previous years. We’ll have live entertainment for all ages, delicious food and wine and more Christmas lights than ever illuminating the Gardens.”
The Twelve Days of Christmas music and light display in the Border Garden, the cactus musical extravaganza and the three mega trees that are an incredible 12, 9 and 6 metres high are sure to amaze visitors. There are also light and music displays throughout the Storybook Garden and the greatest story ever told at the nativity scene.
Embrace the Christmas spirit with harmonious tunes, millions of glittering light displays showered across the spectacular grounds of Hunter Valley Gardens and jolly visits from Santa, (photos available).
Gates will open nightly from 6.30pm, with pre-lights entertainment and food stalls. The lights display will commence at 7.30pm.
Entry to Christmas Li ghts Spectacular:
Children (4-15 yrs) $15.00
Children 3 yrs & Under FREE. Each child will receive a FREE glow stick.
Family (2ad+2chd) $60.00
Extra Child (with Family Pass) $5.00
Day/Night (Return) Adult $35.00
Day/Night (Return) Child $15.00
Annual Pass (unlimited entry to Hunter Valley Gardens)
Family (2ad+2chd) $225.00
Child (4-15 yrs) $60.00
To find out more about the Christmas Lights Spectacular, please visitwww.hvg.com.au or call 02 4998 4000. In the event of wet weather, please visit our Facebook or Twitter page or contact Hunter Valley Gardens to find out if the Christmas Lights Spectacular will be open.
Christmas Lights Spectacular accommodation packages are available. For bookings and enquiries please contact Harrigan’s Irish Pub and Accommodation on 1800 800 522.
So I’ve spent the past three days and three nights sailing around the Whitsundays with Anaconda iii.
It was an amazing tour, which consisted of four dives, including one night dive!
Sydney social had an amazing time! Thorough review to follow, here’s a snap shot in the meantime!
I’m off to go sunbathe
I’ve been in Byron Bay since Friday and it’s amazing! Here is a snap shot of my travels so far, full post to follow!
Big thanks to Summerhouse, Byron at Byron, Cape Byron Kayacks, Woody’s Surf Shack and The Beach Hotel!
The iconic 91-year-old, 3 storey heritage hotel The Glenmore has re-opened, honouring its rich history, while getting a new breath of life, after nine months of loving restoration. Sydney Social 101 headed last night for a night cap to check out what all the fuss was about…
Sydney Social was advised that within an hour of opening its doors to the public on Friday afternoon, the sensational rooftop, featuring Utzon’s Corner - where Sydney Opera House architect, Jørn Utzon is said to have sketched his masterpiece – was filled with patrons old and new.
Several new features have been added to ensure future generations will continue to call The Glenmore their favorite CBD hotel for years to come. From the retractable rooftop guaranteeing the stunning Sydney Harbour views can be enjoyed all year round – rain, hail or shine; to the newly created lower ground floor Ladies pamper parlourandthe environmentally friendly cellar keg pumps.
The most notable change is on the middle floor with the opening of The Glenmore Lounge. Originally used as accommodation, The Glenmore Lounge, with its own cocktail bar, lounge area and Juliette balconies now hosts a collection of elegant rooms that are ideal for private dining or gatherings. They are: the Grand Dining Room, Pool Room and Club Room.
The Glenmore Lounge was inspired by Louise Lovely, the famous Australian-born Hollywood actress, who was known to charm The Glenmore patrons with her glamorous ways and Hollywood tales. However, if The Glenmore walls could talk, they would also have many tales to tell.
From the outside however it’s still the same old much loved Glenmore – which isn’t a bad thing!
As evidenced by some of the fascinating items recovered during the restoration, which included: a copy of The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper dated 22 October 1940; Sections of sandstone kerb and road surface on the alignment of Gloucester Walk; and a Holey Dollar Dump coin.
Dedicated to keeping a record of the past intact for future generations, the priceless relics discovered during the restoration, will eventually be displayed in The Glenmore for all to enjoy.
“We have been overwhelmed by the amazing reaction to the restoration and re-opening by both our Rocks locals and tourists alike” said Managing Director, Martin Short.
The Short and Anderson families have gone to great lengths to ensure the meals served from the new kitchens are better than ever at the same great prices, including signature meals: The Glenmore Burger, The Glenmore Club and The Glenmore Hot Dog.
Whether you come to drink in the views, relax on the rooftop, or linger in the lounge with a Glenmore Iced Tea, now the doors have re-opened, come and unlock a new experience at The Glenmore in The Rocks.
From now until November 14, 2012, Sheraton on the Park commemorates the brand’s milestone anniversary with a celebration party and attractive offers
Sydney Social 101 was one of the very lucky invitees to join in the celebration of Sheraton’s 75th anniversary with a Feast on Wednesday 18th October.
Sydney’s iconic Sheraton on the Park hotel celebrated in style last night to mark the Sheraton brand’s 75th anniversary, and the launch of the hotel’s new restaurant concept Feast.
Guests, including Elka and Thomas Whalan, Sophie Falkiner, Tracey Spicer, as well as Masterchef talent Alvin Quah and Courtney Roulston, enjoyed delectable treats from the kitchen, with new Head Chef David Watson at the helm, and Chandon was generously poured throughout the night. Entertainment from the White Rabbit Trio provided the perfect ambience for the hotel’s picturesque setting overlooking Hyde Park.
To celebrate we were invited to trial the signature buffet restaurant Feast to announce the launch of its new Award-winning Botanica Brasserie, famed for its Seafood Buffet, which was named Brasserie/Café of the Year at the TAA (NSW) Awards for Excellence in 2012, 2010 and 2008 has been fully renovated and re-launched as Feast.
The transformation to Feast includes a new lounge area, private dining booths and communal tables, as well as offering the only al-fresco terrace in the city with unparalleled views over Sydney’s magnificent Hyde Park. It honestly looks stunning and I can imagine it will be a regular for business meetings and special celebrations for many Sydneysiders and visitors alike!
Might I just say without reservation that the food was absolutely unbelievably out of this world! Think lobsters, sushi, roast beef, international cuisine, cheese, baked bread, salads, pizzas and the most amazing desert selection I’ve ever seen in my life!
The concept of the new Feast restaurant is international in style with a strong focus on bringing the energy and elements of the kitchen to the forefront for its diners. The open plan kitchen facilitates live, interactive cooking, with a stone hearth oven as its visual centrepiece.
The new-look 250 seat restaurant will serve up a world of flavours for in-house and external guests, including a wide variety of meats and seafood grilled to perfection, as well as the very best in Australian produce and local favourites creatively prepared and presented. From the stone hearth oven, diners will also enjoy Gourmet Pizzas and fresh roasts, as well as home-made bread and delectable desserts.
In conjunction with the launch of Feast, the appointment of new Executive Chef David Watson was announced at the event, who brings a wealth of culinary experience to the kitchen with a history of appointments in luxury hotels and Michelin-star restaurants around the globe, including The Raffles Hotel in Singapore, The Dorchester in London and Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford. Most recently, Watson was the Complex Executive Chef of The Westin Gurgaon New Delhi and The Westin Sohna Resort & Spa (impressive resume hey?!)
In his new role, Watson will complement the contemporary, diverse and colourful dining experience presented by Feast, with his unsurpassed expertise in crafting dishes across a wide variety of international cuisines. Watson will also oversee operations in The Gallery Tea Lounge and the hotel’s Conservatory Bar at Sheraton on the Park.
In addition, it’s not just us that get to have all the fun! From now until November 14, 2012, along with over 90 Sheraton hotels across Asia Pacific, Sheraton on the Park announced a series of celebration activities to celebrate the brand’s 75 years of hospitality legacy.
As part of the brand’s celebration in Asia Pacific, Sheraton on the Park invites guests to take part in the celebration with two special offers. Book a stay at Sheraton on the Park from now until November 14, 2012 for a stay until 31 January 2013, guests can opt to enjoy the following offers:
- “75 Free Room Nights” – For 75 days starting from September 1 to November 14, 2012, Sheraton on the Park together with Sheraton Hotels & Resorts in Asia Pacific is giving away 75 complimentary room nights every day. Book a minimum stay of 3 nights and guests can enjoy the third night complimentary. For a stay of six consecutive nights, guests can enjoy two nights complimentary.
- “Pay for Breakfast at 1937 price” – Alternatively during the same period, guests can also choose to book a stay at standard rates and enjoy breakfast for two at the rate of US$0.95, the price of breakfast in 1937 when Sheraton first opened its doors.
For more information, visit www.sheraton75.com
In addition to the Sheraton’s brand celebration offers, Sheraton on the Park also rolls out a series of activities to commemorate the brand’s major milestone. The exciting activities include:
From now until November 15, guest can celebrate the anniversary at the hotels Conservatory Bar with a $7.50 glass of house selected wine or beer. This offer is also available for guests in Botanica Brasserie and The Gallery Tea Lounge.
Guest will be delighted with an afternoon tea at The Gallery Tea Lounge for $75 for two people; including two glasses of Chandon. Or, why not try Specialty 75th Anniversary Dessert – Lamingtons. These house made delights offered on the lunch buffet daily throughout the 75 days of celebration, or in The Gallery Tea Lounge on weekends.
Sheraton on the Park will celebrate seventy-five years; with the launch of its new signature buffet restaurant Feast. The restaurant will been transformed and refurbished: a new lounge area, private dining booths and communal table as well as the only al-fresco terrace with the views of magnificent Hyde Park give the restaurant a complete new look and feel.
For more information, please visit sheraton.com/Sydney
Last week Sydney Social was invited to the launch of the hip boutique design hotel, QT Sydney. As Sydney’s first new-build property to grace the city in a decade, Sydney Social 101 guarantees you won’t have seen anything quite like it.
QT Sydney is a highly curated fusion of cutting-edge art, bold interior design and historical architecture that melds two of the city’s most majestic historical buildings, Gowings and The State Theatre, offering a new way to experience a design-led hotel. The hotel is built on the city’s fabric, embracing Sydney’s cool set in its showcase of electronic art forms and exuberant design. Sydney Social 101 can image it becoming a haunt for the ‘cool set’ for a drink after work during the week.
The eccentricity of the hotel is off-set by the historical features of the building, resulting in a distinctive space that celebrates an eclectic mix of unique artefacts, bespoke furniture and a daring use of colour and art. All with different quirks and nuances the hotel brings alive an exciting sense of intrigue to 200 guest rooms.
With new drinking and dining establishments QT Sydney becomes a destination not only for residents but visitors as well. On the ground level, Parlour Lane Roasters connects the hotel entrance to bustling Market Street and transforms into an aperitvo wine bar in the late afternoon. Gowings Bar & Grill on level 1 brings an innovative but unpretentious dining experience to the city and above that is Gilt Lounge, a cocktail bar catering to Sydney’s late-night party scene.
The flipside to QT’s energetic bar and dining scene is SpaQ, a sanctuary for relaxation offering a host of spa treatments and packages. The spa’s contemporary concept incorporates a retro-style barber shop which offers a traditional cut-throat shave. Sydney Social 101 will post a review of this soon!
Retaining original timber floors, the rooms in the Gowings Building are bright and airy with eccentric touches and embellishments. The adjacent State Theatre rooms boast exclusively designed carpets and rugs which offer a lush embracing feel, brought together with kooky cool, lights lamps and room accessories.
QT Hotels and Resorts is the concept of AHL, one of Australia’s premier entertainment, hospitality, tourism and leisure companies. Other properties currently in the portfolio for QT Hotels and Resorts include the Gold Coast and Port Douglas resorts with other hotels flagged to open in the next 2 years.
The event was fantastic, frequented by the Sydney ‘IT’ crowd, the champagne and food just kept on coming. Sydney Social 101 reccomends that you check it out, whether you live here, or if you’re visiting on holiday!
For more information on QT Sydney :George & Market Streets, Sydney NSW 2000
Here’s some Social Spy** shots from the evening:
- Raun Sutton, 37 of Western Australia, sheds almost 40 kilos and is named Australia’s 2012 Slimmer of the Year -
On Wednesday 19th September Sydney Social 101 was invited to witness a pretty amazing awards ceremony; the 2012 Weight Watchers Healthy Life Awards – As we sat and waited with baited breath at the stunning Zeta Bar at The Hilton in Sydney’s CBD we saw Raun Sutton’s inspirational weight-loss and lifestyle transformation story, which saw him lose a staggering 39.7kilos (a third of his body weight!), and clinch the title of ‘Slimmer of the Year’.
Almost 500 national entries were received, with judging based on weight-loss, health improvements, efforts to inspire others and overall transformation, Raun was one of the five Australian State finalists selected to attend the gala event.
Proving that gender is not a barrier when it comes to losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Raun won over the judges to become Australia’s first-ever male winner in the history of the competition.
Now a role model for other Aussie men, Raun is happier and healthier than ever. Commenting on his motivations and new-found way of living he said:
“My decision to join Weight Watchers came last October when I experienced what I call ‘a shatter moment’. I was walking to work one day, feeling unhealthy, out of breath and perspiring. I caught sight of my unhappy self in my size XXXXL shirt and 44-inch waist trousers, and realised that something had to change.Taking advice from a work colleague, I joined my local Weight Watchers group and haven’t looked back since.
“At first I was surprised at how simple Weight Watchers really was! I still eat out and have the occasional glass of wine, but I’m now educated on healthy eating, portion sizes, balanced meals and knowing how to live and enjoy my life.”
Speaking at this year’s Awards, Weight Watchers Australasia Managing Director, Joseph Saad said:
“What a year it’s been! The 2012 Healthy Life Awards have uncovered a wealth of unique and truly inspiring stories. These awards are definitely not about discovering the member who has lost the most kilos in the shortest space of time, some of our contenders have demonstrated how simple changes to their everyday habits have had a significant impact on their health and general well-being.
“We’re so proud, and somewhat overwhelmed, by the confidence and opportunities that have arisen across our members’ lives as a result of being on the Weight Watchers program. With so many success stories to celebrate, we faced some challenging decisions when judging for this year’s awards.
“However, we’re thrilled to be crowning our first-ever male ‘Slimmer of the Year’! Gone are the days when weight-loss programs are women-only zones, men need a helping hand too and Raun further cements the message that the Weight Watchers way of life can be tailored to suit so many Aussies, regardless of their age, gender and target goals.”
Commenting on his triumph, Raun added:
“I’m happier and healthier than ever, and feel blessed to have had my story recognised and celebrated nationally. It’s been an amazing and incredibly humbling experience, which has provided me with all the tools I need to maintain my goal weight forever.
“Looking back at pictures of myself at my unhealthiest, it’s easy to see how unhappy I was. For those wanting to take the first steps towards a healthier life, I hope my story encourages you not to hesitate any longer.”
In another first, Raun will become the only male Weight Watchers member to have ever graced the cover of the Weight Watchers magazine when he stars alongside New Zealand ‘Slimmer of the Year’, Janneke van Rooijen in the December issue.
With his new title and beach-ready body, Raun will soon be enjoying his prize of a six-night escape for two in the Cook Islands flying Air New Zealand.
With almost 500 remarkable stories submitted from across Australia and New Zealand, entrants to the 2012 Healthy Life Awards have lost a staggering 10,347 kilos! As a Platinum Partner and in celebration of each kilogram lost by this year’s entrants, Weight Watchers is donating $10,347 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Throughout the evening Sydney Social 101 and other guests were treated to yummy canapés and the wine also kept on coming! All in all a very inspiring event, which Sydney Social 101 has the honour of attending for the second year ina row!
For more information and to read more about this years winners at the 2012 Weight Watchers Healthy Life Awards, visit: http://www.healthylifeawards.com.au