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From premieres to light installations, here's a rundown of last week's events in and around Sydney and Melbourne.


Stokehouse City opening, Alfred Place

The Stokehouse, a Melbourne institution where so many have celebrated life's milestones, its very best moments; a place where traditions are made.  On Wednesday night Frank and Sharon van Haandel flung open the doors to Stokehouse City, in Alfred Place, while the Stokehouse we know continues to rise from the smoulder in St Kilda.

Amid talk of traditions old and new we wondered, does your family have any strange traditions?  “A hot Christmas lunch, come hell or high water,” Susie Robinson said.  “If it is 49 degrees there’ll be a hot turkey; no seafood like normal Australians.  Sweating, sweat pouring off us, sitting inside, shirts done up, and hot pudding with brandy custard, in case we weren’t warm enough.”  Luke Gooley talked Christmas, too, and traditions with a long history, a long-winded history: “There’s always a prolonged, long, speech from my dad, a return from my uncle, and then a return from my dad.  And this goes on and on, just returning speeches trying to outdo each other.  We see each other every week!”

Georgia Sinclair was upfront: “My family is very weird, I’m happy to admit that.  We fight on birthdays; we fight every birthday, every single birthday!  I had a conversation with a friend of mine recently. He said, ‘'How’d your birthday go?’'  I said, '‘I’m fighting with my entire family.'’ He said, ‘'So it’s normal then.''


Edge of Tomorrow premiere, Village Cinemas Crown

Live. Die. Repeat. That’s what it says on the poster for the new movie, Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, which premiered in Australia at Village Cinemas Crown on Wednesday night.  Live, die, repeat, is what Cruise has been doing on screen for more than 30 years, even his Twitter bio reads, “Actor. Producer. Running in movies since 1981.”  Before guests ran inside to experience the movie and the new Dolby Atmos – 60 surround speakers, so filmmakers can place or move sounds anywhere in the theatre – we sounded out guests about who they would choose as their ultimate fighting partner if their life was live, die, repeat.  “Leonardo DiCaprio,” Kiyomi Vella said.  Really; for a fight?  “He’s done action movies hasn’t he, the one where he dies in the end, The Departed!”  We suggested that Vella wasn’t being completely honest about her motives.  “OK, I just want to live forever with Leonardo DiCaprio.”  Brandon Pfeiffer chose Jennifer Lawrence: “Whether she can attack or not, she looks like she can.  And I’ve got height so I could easily lift her up to places, and living would be good because she’s funny.  We’ll live longer with humour.”

Eat Street, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

“I have often walked down this street before, But the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before, All at once am I several storeys high, Knowing I’m on the street where you live.”  In My Fair Lady this is a song about Eliza but what if it was an ode ... to eating.

At Eat Street, the annual Redkite fund-raiser at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, we wanted to know, what restaurant do you wish was on the street where you live?  Saint Crispin’s Scott Pickett chose Bras: “Michel Bras, French, big three star in Laguiole, very natural refined food, his son’s now taken over the restaurant, Sébastien Bras.  I’m going in July for two nights, my trip has just been confirmed this week, it’s a pilgrimage that I’m taking.” 

Saint Crispin’s other half, Joe Grbac, was satisfied with home: “We cook a lot, my kids are quite passionate, they’re only six and they just love getting into it.  They’ve started writing menus; every time we eat together on Sunday night they’ll spend all afternoon writing the menu.  They say, ‘Here you go, Daddy!’ and it’s only got, like, ‘Penne’ written on it.”


S Sun-Herald launch

A bit of snap, crackle and pop for our very own party to launch the S magazine in today’s paper was held at the Ivy on Wednesday night. The new expanded entertainment guide brings you more of the best of Sydney’s celebrity and entertainment news, fashion, gossip and the social scene. It really is the go-to guide for anything and everything in town. Among the celebrities celebrating – who managed to look away from the live screens showing the State of Origin – were Wonderland's Emma Lung and our favourite new mum, Lizzy Lovett. Plus super hot EDM duo Peking Duk kept the penthouse pumping. Happy reading.

In thrall of Vivid Sydney

The Star put on a spectacular show on Tuesday night as guests were treated to its inaugural Vivid Sydney light installation. The Astral Tower was awash with colour.  With sweeping views of the harbour city and weather that could be mistaken for a summer’s night out. and the champagne and canapes were flowing as the Star celebrated its grand entrance into Sydney’s annual festival of innovation, creativity and community on what could have been mistaken for a summer's night out.

Launch of Royal Dragon Vodka to Australia

To celebrate the launch of the premium Royal Dragon Vodka onto the Australian market, the brand hosted an evening of specially curated cocktails and music with Sydney DJ Lady Tre at Casablanca nightspot in Double Bay. As guests were treated to apple and lavender martinis, canapes were prepared by famed British chef Nelly Robinson.

ModelCo Summer Tanning Collection 2014 launch

A gorgeous, sun-drenched morning at North Bondi Fish was made even hotter when ModelCo founder Shelley Barrett made her entrance in trademark hot-pink style with two topless, washboard-stomached surfers in pink boardies in tow. This unstoppable businesswoman has made her mission affordable luxury and she changed the way women tan themselves when she launched her Tan in a Can. The latest extension of the brand is a natural range of products.

The Great Australian Songbook night of classic OzAustralian Rock 

This feel-good concert which raised money for Variety, the Children’s Charity, was held at the Enmore Theatre with a line-up of the who’s who of our rock royalty, including Jon Stevens, Steve Balbi, Shannon Noll, Diesel, Ian Moss, James Morrison and John Paul Young. Lots of unforgettable musical moments and special mention to the MC with the mostest, Monica Trapaga, who wowed in a skin-tight, red dress.

Gourmet Traveller's Awards Australia’s Top Hotels

The inaugural 2014 Australian Hotel Guide Awards were held at Nomad, with more than 100 of the nation’s pre-eminent hoteliers and travel industry experts in attendance. Travel doyenne Catriona Rowntree was host. 

Mother of All Balls

After a three-year hiatus, La Madre Di Tutte Le Balli was back with a masqueraded vengeance. Even Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Scottish actor Gerard Butler showed up in support of their Gods of Egypt co-star Bryan Brown, whose wife, Rachel Ward, is one of the chief organisers of the fund-raiser. But Hollywood and "a Night in Venice" settings aside, the money raised for the YWCA, which supports people at critical time, is a worthy cause and stories moved the room to tears.