I was invited by the fantastic team at Behind Bars to celebrate the launch of the new Schweppes mix: Elixir. The invite outlined the time, date, venue and dress code. I have to admit I was more than a little intrigued when it was described as follows:
Attire: Smart casual. Come as you please, but be prepared to be transported to another era in time…
The plot thickens… 🙂
The venue for the launch was the opulent Elizabeth Bay House in, yes you’ve guessed it: Elizabeth Bay. I hadn’t been to an event here before, so being naturally nosey I decided to lend a favour from my old friend Google and ‘do my homework’.
According to www.hht.net.au the property is described as the following:
‘Can’t afford your dream house? Neither could Colonial Secretary, Alexander Macleay. He had the vision to develop the site from 1826 onwards as a fine landscape garden and build Elizabeth Bay House – then dubbed ‘the finest house in colony’– but his children asked ‘where was the money to come from?’ Macleay’s life long obsession with entomology plus the loss of his government post in 1837 required him to seek numerous loans from his eldest son William.
Though this house looks grand, it is unfinished and a mere six years into his stay William foreclosed on him, effectively forcing him to leave. Want to know what happened next? Visit this harbour-side property and find out.’
Again I was left intrigued as to what they had in store for me…
I decided to take along two of my friends, Jenny and Julie, to share in the launch event, I’m all about sharing the blogger love 🙂
So it was the night of the event and we all arranged to meet at Wynyard and get a taxi to the event, low and behold the taxi didn’t know where he was going, shocking hey?! (I plan to do a whole other post on the state of taxis in NSW, they’re a complete joke and something needs to be done!) I digress… So we all had our mobiles out searching for the address on Google Maps (as for some reason Taxis have an innate aversion to using their sat nav!)
Fifteen minutes after driving around we pulled up at the amazing venue, it was like we had been transported to 1860 Victorian Aristocrat Britain, only we had the surreal view of Sydney Harbour by night. In my own words Elizabeth Bay House is simply divine, an historical building with the guts and class of pre war listed building that has stood the test of time, with little, to no war wounds, only character and a strong sense of identity.
It is crisp white and stands tall on the outside, hidden away from the glare and noise of Kings Cross. Once inside the furnishings epitomise the character of which the buildings stands for.
Were greeting by the team from Behind Bars, who were dressed like they were from Victorian Britain, it was then that we all realised that we really were being transported to ‘another era in time’.
We were directed to a room on the left that resembled Aladdin’s Cave, it was filled with Victorian fancy dress items of clothing, wigs, hats, make up stations and so many accessories, including umbrellas and fascinators that there were too many to count.
We all got into the swing of things and wore huge skirts, corsets, statement hats, rouge lips and gloves, after 15 minutes of the most fun ever, we were invited to the basement to experience, ‘The Dark Side’.
The basement looked like an old converted wine cellar that only had candle lighting and two bars, the cocktail bartenders were also dressed to mark the occasion and were creating the most amazing cocktails, using Elixir as the mixer of choice.
Elixir is an interesting drink, as it is infused with many spices and flavours that make it too strong to drink on its own. However when it is mixed with gin, rum or vodka it really comes into its own. I would recommend trying it for yourself as it is quite unlike anything I’ve ever tried before. If I were to describe it, it tastes like carbonated mulled wine, without the wine 🙂 I don’t profess to be a cocktail critique, so that’s the best you’re going to get I’m afraid, ha!
The evening continued with amazing canapés, delicious cocktails and a great atmosphere, we truly were transformed into another era in time over the three-hour event.
All too suddenly it was 9:30pm and it was time to take off our outfits and transport ourselves to 2011. My ordinary clothes felt a little boring now and I decided that I was going to bring my rouge lips along with me for the ride 🙂
All-in-all it was a fantastic event, amazing venue – perfect to host events that go against the norm – the drinks were also unlike anything I tried before. I would recommend you try it for yourselves. 🙂