Dracula - the Netflix teaser is out . . .

From the creators of Sherlock comes a brand new take on the most famous vampire of them all: the magnificent, brooding, deliciously deadly Count Dracula…

The Count Dracula legend transforms with new tales that flesh out the vampire’s gory crimes — and bring his vulnerability into the light. Dracula launches globally on Netflix (ex UK and IE) on Saturday 4th January 2020.

Source: Netflix

Belvedere Vodka Launches Belvedere Ginger Zest

Belvedere Vodka, the world’s first super-premium vodka, has introduced the newest innovation in its award-winning portfolio: Ginger Zest. On shelves now, Belvedere Ginger Zest is a refreshing blend of tangy ginger and juicy spring lemons with a touch of grapefruit, creating a unique flavour profile perfect for a variety of cocktails.

Reinforcing its natural philosophy, Belvedere uses a distinctive, time-intensive maceration process that ensures its Polska rye vodka is imbued with only real spices and fruit, rather than adding synthetic essences. Ginger Zest is created by extracting fragrant oils from pure Chinese ginger, Spanish lemons and South African grapefruit that have been immersed in a bath of Belvedere Vodka. The result is a delicious, smooth liquid of uncompromisable quality and character, infused with notes of ginger spice and balanced with zesty citrus.

“In Polish history, vodka was known to be warmed with spices,” said Matt Pomeroy, Global Director of Education at Belvedere Vodka. “In developing a new maceration, we wanted to remain true to our Polish heritage, while staying contemporary and innovative. Blending an exotic yet very current spice, like ginger, with the approachable flavours of grapefruit and lemon makes for a refreshing, beautifully-balanced drinking experience.”

“We recognized a distinctive opportunity to create a product that’s in line with an exploding food and drinks trend,” explains Rodney Williams, President of Belvedere Vodka. “While ginger-flavoured beverages are on the rise, there are very few ginger vodkas in the marketplace. We set out to make one that harnesses the bright and exotic flavours of this versatile spice and strengthens our all-natural, less-is-more approach. The result has exceeded our expectations.”

Ginger continues to rise in popularity because it is an extremely versatile flavour that adds brightness to a wide variety of dishes, livens up classic cocktails and has natural healing, anti-inflammatory properties. When ginger and spring lemons come together in Belvedere Ginger Zest, the result is soft, sweet and naturally warming.

Source: Belvedere Vodka

News from Chiva-Som as a new Australian Naturopath and Nutritionist enters the fold

Chiva-Som has appointed Renee Grandi as Naturopath and Nutritionist, bringing a wealth of experience and extensive knowledge of the latest in industry research and development to the resort’s team of health and wellness experts in Hua Hin, Thailand.

Australian-born Renee is passionate about helping others achieve their health goals, with an understanding that disease manifestation is multi-factorial through mind, body and spirit imbalances.

She believes that investigating biochemical pathways, mental health and nourishment issues with real achievable step-by-step support will improve overall health and wellness for lasting results.

“Integrating traditional wellness and scientific research is key to supporting the body’s own healing mechanisms and nourishing weakened systems” said Renee.

She will provide health lectures at Chiva-Som and practices supporting hormone imbalances, menopause, mental health, sleep maintenance, fatigue, digestion, detoxification, immune conditions, pain management, nutrition and healthy lifestyle integrations.

As a Naturopath, Renee is tuned into all body systems and facilitates a comprehensive health analysis for guests to help determine underlying factors contributing to disease.

“Life doesn’t always go to plan. Being imbalanced is physically and mentally draining, and I truly understand this without judgment. We have every right to be happy and healthy,” she said.

Renee has completed an Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Medicine, Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy, Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Naturopathy, Bachelor in Metaphysics and is an accredited member of the Australian Naturopathic Practitioners Association.

She was previously Naturopath and Nutritionist at Brisbane Livewell Clinic in Queensland, Australia.

A pioneer in global wellness, Chiva-Som reopened in October 2019 following the fourth and final stage of its extensive renovation program, which has transformed the resort.

Chiva-Som Hua Hin is Asia’s first comprehensive wellness resort, providing proven transformations towards optimal wellness.  Nestled in seven acres of tranquil grounds, this beachfront resort is dedicated to revitalising the mind, body and spirit (represented by its tri-part logo). Western practices and Eastern philosophies are brought together in the wellness resort which provides services for guests to develop healthy habits and lifestyle transformations. It has been recognised by readers and industry experts alike as one of the outstanding wellness resorts in the world for since its launch 24 years ago.

Chiva-Som can be reached by car in under three hours, private plane in 25 minutes from Bangkok and chartered helicopter in 40 minutes from Bangkok.

Source: Chiva-Som


Westpac OpenAir has unveiled a phenomenal line up of films for its 2020 season, to be screened at the beautiful Mrs Macquaries Point between 9 January and 21 February.

The summer program will feature a line-up of 14 premieres and preview screenings over the 44 nights, opening with the special gala preview of the hotly-anticipated Bombshell starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, John Lithgow and Margot Robbie. Oscar® contender Little Women (Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet) will join Guy Ritchie’s pulsating London crime drama The Gentlemen (Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant), and Taika Waititi’s TIFF Audience Award-winner Jojo Rabbit (Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson, Sam Rockwell), as three New Year releases sure to be in high demand on the harbour.

The program will also feature a selection of 2020’s most talked about films, including:

  • The premiere of Robert Egger’s acclaimed The Lighthouse (starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe);
  • Preview screenings of True History of the Kelly Gang (Russell Crowe) and the Jamie Foxx drama Just Mercy;
  • The Toronto hit biopic A Beautiful Day in The Neighbourhood featuring two-time Oscar® winner Tom Hanks;
  • The hilarious comedy Like A Boss starring Rose Byrne and Salma Hayek;

  • Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield;
  • A stunning new adaptation of the British drama Emma featuring Anya Taylor-Joy and Bill Nighy;
  • The Current War starring Benedict Cumberbatch;
  • The Marie Curie biopic Radioactive starring Oscar® nominee Rosamund Pike;
  • The Full Monty director Peter Cattaneo’s touching and hilarious Military Wives and;
  • Hotly-anticipated biographical drama The Professor and the Madman starring Mel Gibson and Sean Penn.

On top of all that, an Australian classic will be re-imagined when Westpac OpenAir partners with the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) and Paul Mac on Saturday, 15 February for the world premiere of NFSA Restores: The Sentimental Bloke, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the film with a new digital restoration. ARIA award-winner Paul Mac has composed an extraordinary musical score to one of Australian’s greatest silent films and will be performing this live at Westpac OpenAir. A Sydney summer experience not to be missed!

Audiences can also look forward to another opportunity to see some of 2019’s biggest and brightest box office hits on the harbour screen with Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood, Charlie’s Angels, Ride Like a Girl, Hustlers, Rocketman, Fisherman’s Friends, Official Secrets, Ford V Ferrari, Marriage Story, Blinded by the Light, Downton Abbey, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Knives Out, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Cats, and Pain & Glory.

The world-class program will be complemented by a choice of a full service restaurant or gourmet casual dining with previously announced high-profile chefs James Viles (Biota, Bertha’s Meats) and Clayton Wells (Automata, A1 Canteen) in charge of creating the 2020 menus for the world’s most beautiful cinema.

Tickets for Sydney’s most sought after summer event are on sale via Ticketmaster.

Source: Westpac Open Air

First look of Sequoia at Mount Lofty House and Tasting Australia event

South Australia will have a brand new super-luxe offering for local and international visitors with Sequoia set to rival the world’s best when it officially opens in the Adelaide Hills in September 2020.

A private and secluded sanctuary with uninterrupted panoramic views, the $15m luxury lodge will offer guests the ultimate six-star experience and be the first of its kind on mainland Australia. Overlooking the patchwork Piccadilly Valley, Sequoia is proudly South Australian owned and operated by David Horbelt and his business partner Malcolm Bean.

Named after the three giant Californian Redwood trees planted by the original owner Arthur Hardy, Sequoia will feature 14 contemporary guest suites with access to a private club lounge, gardens, sundeck and natural spring-fed hot pools.

Overseen by Horbelt with input from local architects and designers, every room in the spacious 75sqm open-plan suites will enjoy spectacular, unparalleled 180 degree views. The sunken lounge room will feature a Basket Range stone-clad gas fireplace while guests can sleep under the star-filled sky on a king-sized bed.

The iconic 30-acre Mount Lofty estate has long been synonymous with decadence and celebration. Perched on the valley rim and separate to the original house, the private retreat will have its own dedicated guest relations team and secure entrance to attract VIP guests.

Offering an unrivalled level of highly personalised service, Sequoia guests will have access to all of the property’s lavish amenities including the three-hatted Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, Arthur Waterhouse Lounge and Stables Day Spa.

They can also choose from a catalogue of bespoke experiences that celebrate South Australian stories. Not available to the general public, think private behind-the-scenes tours with local winemakers, getting up-close and personal with native icons or connecting with local identities and brands.

Known for its spectacular rolling hills and quality local wine and produce, the Adelaide Hills region is quickly becoming the first choice for Australians looking for a respite from bustling city life.

Conveniently located just 15 minutes from Adelaide CBD and 30 minutes from the airport, Mount Lofty House offers a short escape that feels a million miles away, yet is close to everything you could need.

Mount Lofty House will give an exclusive sneak preview of the lodge, six months ahead of its official opening, with a sensory inspired experience featuring the best food, wine and music from South Australia. The overnight Tasting Australia adventure begins with a limousine transfer to the estate and Sequoia Sparkling beneath the giant tree that shares its name.

From here guests can choose to relax during a 30-minute spa treatment or discover the nuances of Adelaide Hills gin during a guided tasting. Evening canapés will be served as the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra performs live before guests connect with representatives from flagship South Australian brands RM Williams and Jurlique.

On Tuesday 31 March experience a menu crafted by Hardy’s Verandah’s own awarded chef, Jin Choi and internationally celebrated ‘paddock to plate’ chef, Jared Ingersoll, while the menu on Wednesday 1 April sees a visionary gastronomical collaboration between Duncan Welgemoed (Africola) and Paul Bentley (Magno Brasserie) derived from an infusion of native Australian ingredients with unique Mexican preparation techniques.

Both menus will be expertly matched with wines by iconic South Australian producer, Penfolds to complete a picture that will linger in your memory forever and a bottle of Bin 28 Shiraz per couple with a Kangaroo Karmine leather wine bag will see you take a little of the experience home with you too. Before you retire, gather around a bonfire for after-dinner marshmallows, stories and stargazing before turning in to Sequoia for the night.

Tickets $3000 per room. Event information: https://tastingaustralia.com.au/events/the-luxury-brands-of-south-australia

Source: Mount Lofty House