Oct 31, 2013

The Vogue Living Dinner - styling by Megan Morton, James Gordon & Heidi Moore Gill

the beauty of qualia resort - my luxury pavilion

qualia poolside loving at pebble beach

Photos by Natalie Hayllar {eat read love}

Vogue Living Champagne Dinner Series at qualia in true Gatsby Style. There are some times in life when you have to just pinch yourself. This weekend was one of those. The fact that I was going to be spending a weekend in Hamilton Island to celebrate World Champagne Day (yes that really is an official day) was enough to get me excited. Add in a Great Gatsby theme and Vogue Living and I have a grin from ear to ear. The experience itself - the divine island location, the luxe styling, the Champagne and the fine company, means that this weekend surely goes down in the history of brilliant weekends. 

I was lucky enough to be invited to spend the weekend at the stunning qualia resort in true Gatsby style as part of a series of dinners presented by The Champagne Bureau, Australia, Vogue Living and Riedel Australia to celebrate Australia's ongoing love affair with Champagne.

From the moment we arrived at qualia the Champagne started flowing and didn't stop until we landed in Sydney 48 hours later. The first glimpse of the pool overlooking the islands as you enter the long pavilion at qualia took my breath away. After settling in to my luxurious pavilion and sharing a beautiful lunch meeting new friends, I spent the afternoon exploring qualia and the island in my favourite little white buggy. Then it was down to the pool at Pebble Beach to watch the gorgeous styling team setting up for the Vogue Living dinner as the sun went down. With an appreciation of feverish good times to reflect true Gatsby decadence, one of Australia's most loved stylists Megan Morton in collaboration with THE LOVELIEST, paper artist James Gordon and bespoke balloon designer Heidi Moore Gill, created a truly stunning dinner setting on Pebble Beach. 

Raising a glass to the quintessential wine of celebration with Vogue Living Editor in Chief Victoria Carey and The Champagne Bureau's Elizabeth Drysdale, guests were treated to a four course bespoke dinner by qualia chef Alastair Waddell with matching wines from the best champagne houses in France including Charles Heidsick Brut Millesime 2000 and my absolute favourite Bollinger La Grande Annee 2004. The Yarra Valley cavier, creme fraiche and brioche was amazing with Billecart-Salmon Brut NV to start. I have never tasted anything quite like the Fraser Isle spanner crab, leek sabayon, & foie gras! The Byron Bay Berkshire pork was completed with the winning dessert - Poached plum, raspberry ganache, spiced milk chocolate and mulberry ice cream literally bursting in my mouth! It was truly a sensory overload and I really was in eat read love heaven at this moment!

The best part of the weekend by far was the company. I had the pleasure of spending time getting to know some wonderful and amazingly talented people who I have admired from a far, and sharing some hilariously funny poolside moments (ssshhh no secrets of course). Such a treat!! qualia itself is as beautiful, if not more, than it looks in the pictures and is truly an Australian experience that everyone should enjoy at least once (or twice) in their life. 

You can also read all about our Gatsby Style Badminton Brunch styled by the gorgeous Kara Roselund on the blog also and a few of my favourite moments at qualia in black & white.

I was a guest of qualia, Hamilton Island. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the lovely Sophie, Katie and Denny from Hamilton Island for arranging THE MOST amazing weekend. Thank you also to ROAR for you ongoing support :)

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