Chef Penna’s Organic Ethos

Chef Penna’s organic ethos is a big part of his recipe for success.  Bacchus Head Chef Mark Penna’s team have long prided themselves on sourcing the very finest produce available to produce their award winning menu dishes.

Bacchus Yagaburne BeefIn keeping with this philosophy Chef Penna has secured an exclusive agreement with Yagaburne Beef to supply Bacchus with a premium selection of organic meat cuts that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Chef Penna said more than ever before Brisbane foodies were seeking organic and hormone free dining options. “The beef we source from Yagaburne is free range, chemical , antibiotic and HGP free,” he said. “Not only is it of the very highest quality, it tastes wonderfully flavoursome and is beautifully tender as well.”

Keen to try it for yourself? Just ask for the Chef’s Selection cut on the grill menu when you next dine at Bacchus.

Chef Penna’s Organic EthosLocally produced organic vegetables also feature heavily on the Bacchus menu.“We source our vegetables from an award winning local producer in the Lockyer Valley, a region that boasts the tenth most fertile soil in the world,” Chef Penna said. “Everything they produce is 100% chemical free and watered with pure mountain spring water from Blackfellow Creek. Using the very finest produce is absolutely vital in producing the standard of meals we deliver in the Bacchus restaurant.”

To learn more about these wonderful suppliers click on the links below:

Yagaburne Beef

Bauer’s Organic Farm

And, of course, Bacchus Bar Restaurant Pool.

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Race Day at Rosehill Gardens

Just a reminder that it is Race Day at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, November 29. And after a day at the races, you can let the party continue across the road at Rydges Parramatta in your choice of two great bars.

There wiRace Day at Rosehill Gardensll be live entertainment in the Winning Post Bar and, upstairs, you can dance the night away with DJ Peter Nick.

If you get peckish, we also have two terrific choices – Stock Café (modern café style menu of the Fire & Ice buffet) or a more intimate dining experience in our award-winning Steeds Club Grill & Bar.

Or really make it a great weekend and stay overnight!

Just for the record, here are your humble blogger’s picks…

Race 1: Right Away

Race 2: I Am Impressed

Race 3: Mamwaazel

Race 4: Miss Alibi (each way)

Race 5: Either Beyond Thankful or Metaphorical (a bit on each?)

Race 6: Generalife

Race 7: Shamalia (each way) – Our Boy Malachi is a bit too short-priced

Race 8: Dream Choice

Also happening nearby this weekend there’s Stereosonic at Sydney Showground, Western Sydney Wanderers taking on Sydney FC at Pirtek Stadium and Historic Sports & Racing Car Association at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Rydges Parramatta can look after all your accommodation needs.

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Alex Williamson: Dumb Things I’ve Done

You can catch Alex Williamson: Dumb Things I’ve Done at The Playhouse, Darwin Entertainment Centre on Saturday, December 13 at 8:00pm. The show is strictly 18+ with the rating for offensive language and sexual references. If you can handle two of the ‘big’ swear words, you should be fine. The Age reviewed Alex’s show as “disturbing and distressing”… and if you have any doubts, perhaps Google away and find some “Shooter Williamson” clips. Yep, he is 18+… but funny!

Alex as always, it’s irreverent and caustic and his show features music, standup and his own unique “slide show”. Alex is the first Aussie to successfully straddle “YouTube Star” and main stream comedy sensation. With his subscriber base across social media platforms now at around one million he has a following that has resulted in sell out shows at Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney Comedy Festivals along with performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He is having a great year…

Alex began performing stand up in 2007, going on to feature prominently in the high profile RAW Comedy national talent search run by Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This live comedy background blended with his talents as a film-maker, provided an unrivalled platform for him to launch himself onto the internet via YouTube along with all the other major social media platforms; where he has also showcased instrumental abilities (piano and guitar), acting skills and singing talent.

This multi-media comedy experience is unique, pushes boundaries and has left audiences gasping for breath between gales of laughter (and sometimes just gasping for breath).

If you are visiting Darwin, Rydges Airport Hotel and Rydges Airport Resort can look after all your accommodation needs.

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William McInnes Book Launch

Just a reminder about the William McInnes book launch that will happen on Monday evening, December 1, at Rydges Perth (cnr Hay & King Streets) at 5:30pm.

Boffins Bookshop in conjunction with Rydges Perth are pleased to host actor and author William McInnes to launch his latest title Holidays, a book that is sure to reignite nostalgia of the joy of family holidays.

The Australian-born actor and author is best known for his work on The Time of Our Lives, Seachange, Blue Heelers and for his riveting performance in the title role of the telemovie, Curtin. While best known for Curtin and the characters Matt Tivolli, Senior Constable Nick Schultz and Max Connors, he has won Logie awards for Most Outstanding Actor for My Brother Jack and East West 101 as well as Best Actor in a Leading Role at the 50th Australian Film Awards for Unfinished Sky.

This is Williams only event in Perth and it is bound to be popular. Tickets are $20 or $47 (this one includes a copy of the book). Other titles by the author include The Birdwatcher and Worse Things Happen at Sea, written with his late wife Sarah Watt.

Ticket price for An Evening with William McInnes includes a drink on arrival, as well as assorted canapés. Book signing will also be taking place on the night, which is the perfect opportunity to have your book signed and dedicated by the author himself.

And, of course, for all your accommodation needs, Rydges Perth will give you the warmest of welcomes.

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Joe Blake the Snake

Joe Blake the Snake has Magic Bite with Fans…

As a proud sponsor of the CQUniversity Cairns Taipans, our team at Rydges Hotels and Resorts in Cairns is keen to bring you news on how our city’s local NBL basketball team is faring while introducing some of the key players and team members. This month we are delighted to feature the only two-time, NBL, All Star mascot in the National Basketball League, Joe Blake!

Joe Blake – he’s a snake by the way – is a much loved, fan favourite at the Cairns Convention Centre who has many claims to fame – most importantly, his prowess at entertaining kids and adults from the sidelines since the club’s early days.

Joe, tell us a little bit about yourself….

I’m just a normal Snake who enjoys long walks on the baseline and the soulful sounds of 5000 screaming Orange Army fans!

Is there a Mrs Blake or indeed, JBjnrs??

I prefer to keep some mystery about myself; I’d hate to disappoint all the lady snakes out there.

Joe Blake the SnakeWhat about life as a mascot…..is it something you always aspired to?

Not exactly. I’d always wanted to play for the Taipans, but it’s hard to make it as a pro basketballer when everyone’s worried about your lethal bite. So I stayed on the sidelines and focussed on my lethal sense of humour instead.

How do you keep yourself fit and looking good?

(Blushes)Why thank you! It’s all about diet really. I’m partial to Crocodile sandwiches with a side of Hawk and Violet Crumble for dessert. I’ll also eat Wildcat for a snack on the run…

What do you love the most?  The pre game entertainment or random acts of humour to rouse the crowd during breaks in play?

I love playing off the crowd during the game and targeting opposition players and coaches that ask for it on any given night. In the past few seasons Shane Heal has been easy prey, as well as those grubby NZ Breakers. But I still love getting around the arena and throwing out those Snakes lollies!

Are you just a funny snake or do you have to prepare and rehearse your antics well in advance of game night?

I like to think I’m funny, but I do have to rehearse. Particularly when dressed up as a lady-Snake – high-heels are difficult to walk in!

What would be your greatest claim to fame?

I once made it onto ESPN’s Sportscentre for crash-tackling an unruly fan who pushed me off my scooter mid-act.

What about if your team is on a losing streak, how do you keep your fans motivated and inspired?

Usually by reminding them that at least we don’t live in Townsville. Enough said!

When you are not performing, where can we find you and what will you be doing?

Again, I’m a mysterious Snake, but I’ve had some good fun this season spending time with my sponsor, Cairns Hardware. Although I’m not allowed near the power tools any more…

Rydges is an event partner for your team – how important is a good night’s sleep after the game?  What do you personally like in a hotel room??

It’s very important, and I’m thankful to have Rydges to look after me after games. The rooms are very comfortable, although I discovered that the opposition teams also stay here; I hope you guys don’t make them too comfortable!

What do I like in a hotel room? I’m a big fan of more eccentric décor, like hawk plumage or crocodile leather furniture. Other than that, a nice big bed to slither into after a game, and hearty breakfast the next morning.

Which reminds me, did you guys get my feedback card about adding Wildcat to the breakfast menu?

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Readers, please note – we will take all of Joe’s feedback on board and report back. And, of course, Rydges has all your Cairns accommodation needs covered at Rydges Tradewinds, Rydges Esplanade Resort and Rydges Plaza Hotel.

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Husky in Darwin

If you would like to catch Melbourne indie-folk band Husky in Darwin the band is appearing at the Entertainment Centre (Studio) on Saturday, December 13 at 7:30pm.

Husky really kicked off by winning the Triple J Unearthed contest to play the Push Over Festival. They have opened for bands such as Devendra Banhart, Gotye and Neil Young & Crazy Horse. In 2011, they became the first Australian band to be signed to Sub Pop records and in March 2013 won the bi-annual APRA Award.

The band enjoys being busy. Following the first album, Forever So, the reviews and sales saw a tour of Australia, the United States and Europe for two years straight and the last 18 months they have been meticulously crafting the second album, Rucker’s Hill.

To mark the album’s release Husky is on the road again with a tour that encompasses 16 headline dates and two festival appearances.

Rucker’s Hill was written by Husky Gawenda in a makeshift studio at the back of his house and the result is 13 new songs including the lead single, I’m Not Coming Back (below). On the album slow, delicate tracks nestle nest to driving folk songs with evocative lyrics, harmonies and fine musicianship always present.

If you are visiting Darwin, Rydges Airport Hotel and Rydges Airport Resort can look after all your accommodation needs.

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Canberra Attractions

Canberra AttractionA couple of Canberra attractions that run until Monday, March 9 2015 are In the Flesh at the National Portrait Gallery and Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story at the National Museum of Australia.

In the flesh is an enthralling and immersive experience of contemporary figurative art that explores the concept of humanness.

The exhibition invites you to contemplate the nature of consciousness, self-awareness and emotional states through the works of ten Australian artists. Confronting the themes of intimacy, empathy, transience, transition, vulnerability, alienation, restlessness, reflection, mortality and acceptance. In the flesh dwells on the interface of the mind and the body.

In the FleshBookings are not required and entry costs $10 ($8 Circle of friends and concessions).
Visitors under the age of 18 are admitted free of charge, courtesy of St. George Bank.

With any visit to the National Portrait Gallery, it is worth allocating time to the main part of the gallery (you can browse the portraits here) – and the Portrait Gallery Café serves up delightful meals and snacks.

Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story at the National Museum of Australia features 500 historical artefacts that tell the nation’s horse story, including icons of Australia’s thoroughbred racing history, horse-drawn vehicles and riding equipment, and trophies won by leading equestrians and rodeo stars.

Canberra AttractionMost Australians have a ‘horse story’, whether it be about a horse they have known or one that touched them from a distance. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $12 concession, $7 for full membership Museum friends and children under 16 years get in free if accompanied by an adult. Tickets can be purchased at the Museum or online through the Eventbrite website.

Australians have lived with, loved and depended on horses since Europeans first settled on the continent. The beautiful animals have been trusted companions, partners in the thrill of the chase, reliable workers, and a source of pleasure, freedom and adventure for thousands of people. This exhibition explores how horses have helped to enrich our lives, built our society and shaped our environment. It invites Australians to reflect on the enduring and sometimes complex relationships between people and horses. There is a lovely video preview below.

If you are visiting Canberra, Rydges Capital Hill can look after all your accommodation needs.

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Right Top: Divide by Sam Jinks (In the Flesh)

Right Middle: Unsettled Dogs by Sam Jinks (In the Flesh)

Header and Right Bottom: From the Spirited website.

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Jason Mraz at The State Theatre

Fans can catch Jason Mraz at The State Theatre in Sydney on Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7. Jason is a multi-talented, multi-Grammy winning singer/songwriter/performer. He is arguably best-known for his record-breaking classic single, I’m Yours which went 4 x platinum in Australia (video below). That hit went platinum many times over in some 20 countries.

Jason is known as one of the world’s hardest working and most loved artists. His journey has taken him from playing coffee houses in San Diego to arenas, amphitheatres and stadiums around the world. He also has a life away from creating and performing music. He is a keen surfer, a farmer/gardener and filmmaker and a photographer. He is also a committed ‘global citizen’ – as a social activist and philanthropist he is passionate about the environment and LGBT equality.

This tour celebrates the release of Jason’s new album, YES! And the concert will feature his collaborators on that album, Raining Jane.  The venue opens at 7:00pm for the 8:00pm show. Fans will be rewarded with a powerful, inspiring and memorable concert. If you are travelling to the concert and looking for accommodation, Rydges World Square and Rydges Sydney Central will make you welcome and look after all your needs.

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Jason Mraz at The Palais

Fans can catch Jason Mraz at The Palais Theatre in Melbourne on Wednesday, December 3. Jason is a multi-talented, multi-Grammy winning singer/songwriter/performer. He is arguably best-known for his record-breaking classic single, I’m Yours which went 4 x platinum in Australia (video below). That hit went platinum many times over in some 20 countries.

Jason is known as one of the world’s hardest working and most loved artists. His journey has taken him from playing coffee houses in San Diego to arenas, amphitheatres and stadiums around the world. He also has a life away from creating and performing music. He is a keen surfer, a farmer/gardener and filmmaker and a photographer. He is also a committed ‘global citizen’ – as a social activist and philanthropist he is passionate about the environment and LGBT equality.

This tour celebrates the release of Jason’s new album, YES! And the concert will feature his collaborators on that album, Raining Jane.  The venue opens at 7:00pm for the 8:00pm show. Fans will be rewarded with a powerful, inspiring and memorable concert. If you are travelling to the concert and looking for accommodation, Rydges Melbourne in the CBD and Rydges on Swanston on the city fringe will make you welcome and look after all your needs.

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Underwear in Fashion

The Queensland Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum, London, are revealing fashion’s secret history this summer with Undressed: 350 Years of Underwear in Fashion. The exhibition runs until February 1, 2015.

Underwear in FashionFrom the modesty of Queen Victoria’s drawers to the satin revolution of the Wonderbra, the constriction of 16th century iron corsetry through to the avant-garde freedom of Vivienne Westwood, Undressed: 350 Years of Underwear in Fashion features more than 80 highlights from the V&A’s collection, many of them for the first time on public display.

The museum is open daily from 9.30am to 5.00pm (closed Good Friday, Christmas Day & Boxing Day. Open ANZAC Day from 1.30 pm). General admission is free. Entry charges apply to the Sciencentre and some special events and exhibitions. The Undressed: 350 Years of Underwear in Fashion exhibition has an entry fee of $21.50 for adults, $19 concession and children under 15 are free of charge. The recommend at least an hour to enjoy the exhibition. If you would like to see this one and the Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion exhibition at GoMA there are discounted joint exhibition tickets (can be used on different days).

The Queensland Museum is on the corner of Melbourne and Grey Streets, a short walk from Rydges South Bank for all your accommodation needs.

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