Blue Mountains News
Yulefest magic in the mountains
Blue Mountains, Lithgow & Oberon Tourism chairman Randall Walker said: ``Yulefest in this region is a magical time when this unique landscape is transformed into an icy winter wonderland yet our hotels, motor inns and guest houses, our restaurants and cafes become warm havens with roaring fires, hearty meals and hot drinks to retreat from the winter chill.’’
The history of Yulefest in the Blue Mountains goes back about 30 years to a small group of Irish visitors relaxing in front of a fire after enjoying the crisp, clear winter climate.
They commented on how the conditions and atmosphere reminded them of Christmas celebrations back home so a savvy hotelier offered to re-create a similar festive atmosphere and meal for his nostalgic Celtic guests.
That first Yulefest was a hit. Word spread throughout the region and before long, St Nick was doing the rounds twice a year.
Today, many hotels, restaurants, motor inns and guest houses in the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region offer Yulefest celebrations.
Following is a sample on offer this year:
Mountain Heritage Hotel and Spa Retreat, Katoomba (Saturday June 30 and July 7, 14, 21 and 28): Popularly regarded as the ``home of Yulefest’’ in the region there will be pre-dinner drinks from 6pm in the lounge followed by a five-course dinner and entertainment, visit by Santa, a souvenir photo and after dinner treats. Cost: $149 adults, $66 children (5 – 12 years), $15 children (0 – 4 years). Accommodation packages available.
Waldorf Leura Gardens Resort, Leura (Saturday, July 14, 21 and 28; Friday, August 3; and Saturday, August 4 and 11): four-course meal and entertainment. Special accommodation packages. Cost: $95 adults, $55 children aged over 4 years (under-4 free). Pre-payment and bookings essential.
Jenolan Caves House (Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout July): log fires, festive decorations and tree. Yulefest-style menu and small gift at Chisolm’s Restaurant (children will receive a gift too – from Santa inside a cave).
Redleaf Resort, Blackheath (Saturday, July 21): accommodation, traditional Yulefest dinner, entertainment, gift from Santa and full buffet breakfast Sunday. Cost: $300 per couple or $80 dinner only adults (over-12) and $50 children.
Rick Rutherford’s Country (Badgery Cres, Lawson and Leura Mall): 10 showcase rooms filled with festive treasures including twinkling white trees, glass ornaments, gilded collectables, traditional festive wares and more. Yulefest will be launched on June 30 with five private functions and then run every day throughout July.
The Carrington Hotel, Katoomba (throughout winter): Saturday Yulefest dinner from June 30 to August 11. Cost: $140. Group lunches (20 people or more) daily from June 1 to August 31. Cost: $49 pp Monday to Friday and $55 Saturday and Sunday (lunch and dinner available).
Blue Mountains Manor House, Mt Victoria (June 30 to July 29): weekend packages include accommodation, full breakfast, Saturday three-course Yulefest dinner with mulled wine, table wine and late Sunday check-out. Cost: $590 couples (ensuite room), $85 children under-12 sharing with adults.
For more participating Yulefest venues and options visit the Yulefest page on this website.
This article archived 11 Aug 2012
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