Qantas summon sommeliers & mixologists

MORE surprising than the fact Qantas has taken sommeliers and mixologist on board is the fact that our national carrier is the third biggest purchaser of Australian wine. Yes, THIRD.

The airline has announced a new team of wine experts and ‘mixologists’ from the Rockpool Group, who’ll be responsible for choosing the wine, champagne, spirits and other liquid refreshments for the airline’s domestic and international flights and lounges.

The new team, named The Qantas Rockpool Sommeliers, will feature 16 experienced sommeliers and mixologists (aka, mighty fine cocktail gurus.)

Qantas Chef and restaurateur Neil Perry said his team’s expertise in wine and mixology will offer the very best restaurant experience in the sky to Qantas passengers.

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“Rockpool has worked with Qantas for over 18 years to design menus and we are thrilled to be working more closely to select beverages for the airline,’’ said Mr Perry.

“We are committed to continue providing the finest Champagnes and the boldest wines from across Australia and deliver a restaurant experience on the ground and in the air.”

Gareth Evans, CEO Qantas International, said the group is providing an exciting new direction for the airline’s wine and beverage program.


“Qantas’ new holistic approach to food and beverage will mean not only matching our menus with the perfect wine, but with the perfect cocktail or champagne,” said Mr Evans.

“We invest over $15 million dollars in the Australian wine industry every year, so we take the selection process very seriously. We are really proud to showcase Australian wine to the world, and we’ll keep supporting boutique Australian wineries as well as the iconic drops that have defined Australia’s global winemaking reputation.

“Qantas is the third largest purchaser of wine in Australia and we also invest significantly in training our own teams to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge to recommend wines to our customers,’’ added Mr Evans.

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Among the group is Head of Sommeliers Australia, David Lawler and one of only two Master Sommeliers in Australia, Sebastian Crowther, as well as head bartenders of Rockpool restaurants around the country.

The sommeliers will blind taste, review and select from 1,200 Australian wines and Champagnes over four days each year and provide tasting notes for the International First and Domestic Business cabins.

They also provide recommendations while the Rockpool mixologists will create monthly cocktails.

More than 150 cabin crew are currently trained as on-board sommeliers and more will be joining this group this year while over 2000 Qantas Cabin Crew have completed an introductory, intermediate or advanced level of wine training. Cheers!

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In a land of egos, gloss & glamour, Sarah Harris is one genuine Aussie TV face who tells it like it is

IT IS something that many women in the media perennially discuss: longevity, equality ... and all that damn maintenance.

“It’s awful and it’s constantly holding up a mirror and looking at yourself. It’s so narcissistic and can make you feel really insecure,’’ says Sarah Harris, co-host of Ten’s Studio 10.848888-4e706f7a-251e-11e5-8e62-599d05d26d65

“I know at home if I start using derogatory language about myself, whether I’m having a fat day or feel disgusting, Tom will pick me up on it and say don’t use that sort of language because we don’t want to use that language around our kids when we have them.”

Sarah announced her pregnancy just last week, after marrying her ‘IT nerd’ husband Tim Ward in July 2014.


Sarah joined The Morning Show’s Larry Emdur and the original Bachelor-turned-fitness-guru-turned-Dancing With the Stars contestant Tim Robards in a new ‘On the Couch’ video series with, talking fame, celebrity and ‘real’ life in between.

“When I’m in the make-up room or wardrobe department and we have young female stylists there, they don’t need to hear me say those sorts of things.

“It’s one of those things, you have to start with change but you want to impress people with what comes out of your mouth and what is in your head, rather than the size of your bum.”

Last year, a number of TV faces chose to go make-up free on national TV, but did that exercise actually prove anything?

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to wear make-up,’’ smiles Sarah. Hear, hear!



“What I think it did show is that all of this is fake,” Sarah says.

“I had a girl who follows me on Twitter and is 16 and she sent me a message and said ‘you always look so happy on TV’ and ‘happy in your Instagram posts’. ‘You look like you have got your life together, what is your advice?’

“And I was like NONE of that is true,” laughs Sarah.

“I am like everyone else, I am trying to keep all the balls in the air. I’m not putting up me sitting on the couch watching Law & Order, eating grated cheese out of the bag because that is pretty much what I am doing most days.

“Every day is a struggle for me to get up and do some exercise so I can feel better about myself. “Lena Dunham is using this new phrase: ‘It’s not about the ass it’s about the brain.’”

“It’s so true — you should exercise for your mental health. We present these polished, picture perfect lives to people and it’s not true and I think what taking the make up off showed was ‘hey we are just normal people’.”

Sarah admits that social media platforms like Instagram often promote a filtered, fake and often unrealistic lifestyle.

“It all comes from a deep insecurity — we want people to like us. And you hope you can get ‘likes’.”

Fortunately Sarah has a gang of friends that have been with her forever and keep her well and truly grounded. Always upfront and genuine, Sarah also admitted that it was an ill-fitting bra that made her think she may have been pregnant.

“I have a really solid group that I have had for many years,” she says.

“They are the ones who will tell you when you are getting too big for your boots or being a wanker and will pull you back down to earth.

“My husband is the same. He is completely out of the media which is great. He is an IT nerd and he kind of keeps things in perspective.

“I think sometimes it is pretty easy to get caught up in the finer details of this crazy media game and he is there to just go you know “you’re not a nurse who just pulled a 15 hour shift at a hospital, come on, you are working in television, pull yourself together.”

“And that is what you need. You need to hear that sometimes. It is good to surround yourself with those sorts of people, otherwise you can’t keep your head in place.”

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Giorgio Armani: nails couture again.

Giorgio Armani Privé Couture Fall 2015

What do the color hot pink and the word “Shocking” say to you? If the invitation had come from Yohji Yamamoto or Alexander Wang, one might imagine some inventive send-up of Schiaparelli. But decoding the message from Giorgio Armani — an impossible game.


What wasn’t difficult to imagine: that Armani rakes in a fancy crowd. This time out, Naomi Watts, Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen turned out. They took in a show that wasn’t at all about adventurous appropriation, nor did it focus on a single hue. Rather, Armani’s shocker — and that might be the right word after last season’s serene bamboo story — was the embrace of vibrance through bold color — yes, bright pink, and also rich jewel-toned blue, purple and green. After all, couture shouldn’t be dreary.


Armani opened with two Shocking jackets, one, with a peplum, in Lurex-shot chenille over black velvet pants, the other, a lean, elegant crepe over color-blocked pants in velvet and satin. Then the optic verve really kicked in as solids gave way to jacquards, dégradés, feathers and fringes, often tinged with metallics for a tinselly feel. Some looks shone; two long, full skirts in dappled jacquards had a pointillist feel. Worn with simple black velvet shirts, they radiated artful grace.


Not surprisingly, Armani focused on evening. While offering a range of silhouettes, he particularly favored bustier gowns with easy, manageable skirts. Which is not to say subtle; rather, here was a notice-me lineup of Northern Lights color and sheen. A printed silk dress cut just above the ankles charmed over black velvet pants, so, too, a silk Lurex dégradé gown with waist ruffle.


In fact, when Armani resisted the urge to pile on feathers, fringes and other excess to his already intense fabrics, the looks were often lovely — on their own. In aggregate, all of the surface volatility became a bit dizzying, and the collection would have benefited from some less shocking moments of repose.

This article was originally posted on wwd



A waterproof beach towel? Absolutely!

The Sandusa is the world’s first sand-resistant beach towel, created on the Gold Coast, Australia by Baz Brown, an avid surfer and keen beach-goer. Tired of wet, sandy towels, he set about developing the concept of the Sandusa, which is now sold all over the world.