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Home >  IDEASCocktails, dining and networking
Cocktails, dining and networking
Whether it’s to close a day of meetings, or as a dinner-setting for a VIP group, Ed Peters selects spaces that can capture the night

8 Dec 2017


Watermark, Hong Kong

Location Directly above the Star Ferry pier on Hong Kong Island, so it’s easily accessible from both sides of the harbour.

Why go? How many icons can you pack into a single location? Star Ferry, Victoria Harbour, neon-lit metropolis… 

For groups For some incredible reason, this is the only space on all of Central’s ten piers that takes full advantage of one of the most incredible metropolitan and marine panoramas on the planet. Throw open the windows, arrange the tables and chairs, and dive into some of the best surf and turf in the city. The 60-day dry-aged Los Nortenos Ribeye from Spain is one of the stars on the menu, and the wine storage cabinets at the restaurant’s entrance supply more than a little by way of inspiration.


Cours et Pavillons, Beijing

Location Just to the north of the Forbidden City.

Why go? Much of old Beijing has been redeveloped, but Cours et Pavillons has been gloriously renovated, transforming old hutong buildings into a characterful boutique that shelters under the Small Luxury Hotels banner.

For groups The hotel’s decorated like a stage set, with vivid colours contrasting with stonewalls. The central courtyard is ideal for a cocktail party or similar event, though not in the depths of winter, when the main lobby (which is covered by a glass roof) provides a very attractive alternative. The French Restaurant, so named, is run by Anglo-Moroccan chef Zak el Hamdou, who delights in laying on gourmet delights such as lobster, Wagyu beef, and oysters with scrambled eggs and caviar.



Australian Technology Park, Sydney

Location On Locomotive Street, 15 minutes’ south of the CBD.

Why go? The Park is pure out-of-the-box inspiration. Formerly a railway workshop, it was converted into an ultra-smart business and technology centre in 1995. That this is an historic building adds a touch of atmosphere and class. An onsite executive chef and kitchen brigade pride themselves on being able to cater to Chinese, Asia, Indian and Kosher tastes, while the styling team – floral design, lighting, props and the like – supply the icing on a very rich cake.

For groups Cocktails, conferences, catering – you name it, the Park’s got it covered, with a main event space that spreads over 7,000 square metres, a purpose-built theatre that can seat 500, and lots of breakout meeting spaces.


Rooftop at QT, Melbourne

Location The QT hotel is in the centre of town, handy for the Yarra River, Chinatown, and Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Why go? There’s a lot of talk about the Melbourne lifestyle – this is precisely where it’s happening, whether you take just part of the Rooftop or buy out the whole space.

For groups The hotel’s leitmotif is “design” and everything at the Rooftop is utterly impressive. The open-air terrace is the star
of the show, providing the sort of city view that might be familiar to Batman/Robin. Nibble on international bites like fried chicken with kimchi. The wine list is comprehensive, the cocktail list provocative. Rather bravely, the management makes no
secret of the A$20,000 venue hire cost (50 per cent more in high season).



Marini’s on 57, Kuala Lumpur

Location In the heart of the Malaysian capital, on the 57th floor of Petronas 3.

Why go? It’s not all about the views, although of course floating at altitude above the city does have its merits. Rather, Marini’s is a very slick destination package that more than justifies its claim of “world classification”.

For groups Essentially, this is a three-in-one deal. The restaurant is Italian, and there’s a rooftop bar (which also serves pizza and platters of sausage and cheese) plus a whisky and cigar lounge: look out for some of the rarer spirits, such as Glenmorangie Signet and Glen Garioch 1797 Founder’s Reserve. Marini’s has always paid particular attention to Sunset Hours, serving up matching music and cocktails. It’s a great time to kick off an event.



Sala Rattanakosin, Bangkok

Location Atop the hotel of the same name in the middle of the City of Angels.

Why go? Even before you’ve had a couple of drinks, it feels like you could reach out and touch Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn, on the opposite bank of the Chao Praya. 

For groups Executive Chef Tony Wrigley is a Brit, the menu “puts a girdle round the earth”, and the setting is indubitably Thai. Up on the roof, or down in the restaurant and bar, this is one of the smartest event spaces in the city, and is even open for breakfast: early-bird event planners, take note. It doesn’t require a lot of imagination to combine an event here with some sort of river cruise.

Tags :
event planning   food and beverage  

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