Words by Natalie Hayllar. Photography by Michael Wee. Styling by Lisa Madigan.
Eat Read Love collaborates with Country Style Magazine and The Champagne Bureau of Australia to Celebrate all things Champagne at The Byron and Byron Resort and Spa
In celebration of World Champagne Month, Eat Read Love had the pleasure of collaborating with Country Style Magazine and The Champagne Bureau of Australia for a series of prestigious Champagne dinners in Country NSW. The first dinner was held at the luxurious Emirates One&OnlyWolgan Valley on October 23, followed by the most recent at The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa on November 27.
Australians love Champagne, with imports to Australia now in excess of 6.5 million bottles, making Australia the 6th largest export market in the world for Champagne! And what better opportunity for diners to learn about one of the world’s most celebrated wines than over an intimate dinner in blissful Byron Bay.
“Champagne wines exhibit a wide variety of aromas and can be easily paired with most foods, these Champagne dinners are a great way for people to experiment with food and Champagne matching” said Elisabeth Drysdale, Director of The Champagne Bureau of Australia.
Set within a stunning subtropical rainforest, and just moments from Tallow Beach, The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa provides an idyllic escape in a relaxed atmosphere with all the special touches you want from a resort, and the perfect place for a celebration dinner. On a balmy Friday night we gathered on the spacious pool deck for Champagne tastings and canapés before moving into the main dining room for a spectacular dinner amongst the trees. Three long tables were styled by Lisa Madigan with a mix of tropical foliage, Peony Roses and Pandanus, beautifully connecting the surrounding rainforest to the dining room.
Country Style Editor in Chief Victoria Carey thanked loyal guests for returning year after year to The Byron at Byron for this special Champagne experience, while sharing a few famous Champagne quotes. My favourite of course by Napoleon “In victory, you deserve Champagne, in defeat, you need it”
Born in Tasmania, and raised in Naples, acclaimed guest Chef Massimo Mele worked his magic, preparing days in advance to create an amazing four-course menu individually matched to a range of Champagne styles and featuring some of the region's best local produce . The standout dish was the cured cobia with sweet and sour eggplant relish, pomegranate and saffron dressing paired with Champagne Pommery Brut Silver NV. Following in close second was the slow cooked veal tenderloin with smoked tuna cream, fresh tuna, crispy capers and dried olives served with Champagne Larmandier Bernie Latitude a Vertus NV. And of course the finale of ricotta crostata with poached local peaches paired with Champagne ‘R’ de Ruinart Brut NV was spectacular. After dinner, old friends and new friends from afar came together on the pool deck over a bottle of Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee NV to make the most of this special balmy Byron evening.
Special thanks to Victoria Carey and Elisabeth Drysdale for inviting me to collaborate on these very special Champagne events. The staff at The Byron at Byron made us feel incredibly welcome from the moment we arrived – it feels like one big happy family, and many of the staff have been with the hotel from its inception, in particular GM John and Lyn Parche for taking so much time to make us feel welcome, and Christina, Chrissy and Heath for all of their help. To all of the event event partners including Lisa Madigan for styling and blooms, Fishtales for the seafood, Chef Massimo Mele for sharing his wonderful culinary experiences through Tassie and Italy, and my gorgeous cousin Asha Phillips for spending her last days in Australia with me before heading back to expat Singapore. And to our friends from the Netherlands…we hope to see you again next year in Australia!
Signing off with a favourite quote of Victoria Carey by author Dorothy Parker "Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient Champagne”
Eat Read Loves Top Picks for Byron Bay + Surrounds
If you are looking for a fabulous weekend getaway whether it for a couples retreat or family holiday, I can highly recommend The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa Set within a stunning subtropical rainforest, and just moments from Tallow Beach, The Byron at Byron Resort provides an idyllic escape in a relaxed atmosphere with all the special touches you want from a resort. The wide open verandah and pool area is completely surrounded by a lush rainforest canopy where the trees have a way of calling you in in and helping you to relax. The 92 one bedroom suites are set within 45 acres so there is plenty of space to really unwind, whether you are strolling the rainforest boardwalks to nearby Tallow Beach, sipping Champagne on the pool deck or catching up on a book by the pool.
A few of our favourite Byron Bay eat read loves that are only a short drive away from The Byron at Byron include:
- St Elmos Tapas Bar
- The Bay Leaf Cafe for coffee and juice
- Island Luxe - Byron Bay and Bungalow
- Spell Byron Bay
- Top Shop for Burgers
- The Farm by Three Blue Ducks
- Poet Book Store in Bangalow
- Harvest Cafe and Restaurant in Newrybar.
- Clarkes Beach + The Pass for Surfing
- Walk along Tallows Beach at Sunset
- An afternoon drive through Pottsville & Murwillumbah