Four Seasons Wedding Dinner

My cousin recently got married at the Four Seasons Hotel and I was really happy to be able to partake in the happy occasion, not just because well it’s my cousin’s wedding, but because I myself got married at the Four Seasons Hotel 3 years ago and I have been waiting for an opportunity to relive the experience again from a guest’s point of view minus all the hair-pulling stress!

I think I might have mentioned before that I really love the Four Seasons Grand ballroom for the high ceiling, arched windows and decor. It’s great to have a wedding lunch at Four Seasons because the arched windows let in natural daylight, something that few hotel ballrooms can boast of I’m sure. Plus the minimum tables that you have to guarantee is 22 for lunch and 25 for dinner (approx there I think), which is not too difficult to hit (as compared to other hotels) to get the grand ballroom. And have you seen the sitting lounge area, love the decor there, and it’s similar up in the rooms as well! Gosh how I wish I can have another staycation at Four Seasons Hotel again!

Anyway let me leave you to enjoy the pictures of the wedding and wedding dinner. Smile

Four Seasons Hotel Wedding Dinner (1)

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Dim Sum at SzeChuan Court

Checked out Sze Chuan Court 2 weeks ago with my parents after my luxurious massage session at the Fairmont Singapore Willow Stream Spa. I’d forgotten that I have the FAR card (Feed at Raffles Card) privileges tied to my AMEX card so I was pleasantly surprised to be told that I could enjoy a 33% discount since there were 3 people at the table.

You don’t often hear of Sze Chuan Court being mentioned when it comes to dim sum, so I was quite keen to see what they would dish up. They also have a dim sum buffet going on for about $45 but we decided not to stuff ourselves too much this time round. On the whole, Sze Chuan Court serves up pretty good dim sum if you know which are the good items to order. There were some hits and misses when I went with my parents since it was our first time, but when I went back with the Partner again a second time, I knew to order my favourites. Best part is that if only 2 pax are dining, the discount is 50%! Only thing is, we kinda splurged and the bill ended up $20 more than when I had dined with my parents!

Sze Chuan Court (1)

So, the must orders are the Braised Bean Curd Skin Roll with Enoki Mushrooms, the Fried Beancurd Prawn Dumpling with Celery and Water Chestnut and the Young Bamboo Shoot Prawn Dumpling. The char siew bao is not too bad too, but they put some almond essence (or similar) into the fillings and I don’t particularly like anything with almond essence. Pity they don’t have any rice rolls, those being our usual order at Cantonese restaurants. I suppose that’s a HK/Cantonese dish.

Sze Chuan Court - Braised Bean Curd Skin Roll, Enoki Mushrooms, Superior Broth $7.80

Braised Bean Curd Skin Roll, Enoki Mushrooms, Superior Broth $7.80

Sze Chuan Court - Fried Beancurd Prawn Dumpling, Celery, Water Chestnut $8.80

Fried Beancurd Prawn Dumpling, Celery, Water Chestnut $8.80

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Aravina Estate

Even if you’re not a wine drinker, it’s still a good idea to visit a vineyard restaurant at least once while you are in Margaret River, or any other wine region around the world for that matter. As I can’t drink wine for the moment, it hadn’t really crossed my mind to put a vineyard restaurant visit into our itinerary, but it was great that we eventually did get the chance to visit simply for the views of the sprawling vineyard grounds. It’s one thing to walk through the vineyards (which itself is a lovely thing to do), but there’s a different experience to be had sitting and enjoying the views from a slight distance.

Aravina Estate (2)

Aravina Estate is popular as a wedding location and we bumped into a wedding entourage when we were there on a Friday afternoon. Sorry no blue sky picture for you since it had rained earlier in the day. Can you believe it, for the 5 days that we were in Margaret River, it had to rain on the day that we were going out to sea? So glad to have this beautiful lunch to look forward to.

Aravina Estate - French bread and butter

Warm crusty bread and French butter to perk me up and forget about my soggy shoes.

Aravina Estate - Citrus cured ocean trout, oyster cream, apple, burnt cucumber, celery (1)

Citrus cured ocean trout, oyster cream, apple, burnt cucumber, celery

As you can see, all the dishes are beautifully plated and well curated, with ingredients sourced locally as far as possible. Loved this deep pink ocean trout, the slivers disappeared far too quickly! Didn’t detect any citrus taste but I did notice that the trout was not as salty as when smoked cured. The sliced apples and puffed grains help to add a little crunch.

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Afternoon Tea at Pullman Bunker Bay Resort

When in Margaret River, wine is not the only beverage available. One can partake in the fine activity of sipping a spot of tea and having a few nibbles to go along, if you visit the Pullman Bunker Bay Resort near the Naturaliste Lighthouse. In fact, from now until 20 December 2015, you can enjoy their limited edition High Tea while enjoying a natural spectacle, the migration of the whales. They have a cute name for this too, it’s called Humpbacks and High Tea at the Pullman Bunker Bay Resort. Makes me wish I’d bought a humpback whale soft toy to cuddle while writing this piece.

Pullman Bunker Bay Resort - Swimming Pool facing the ocean

The views!

If you’re wondering, yes I did spot quite a number of water spouts in the distance, which does indicate that the whales are out there. I didn’t even have to use the binoculars thoughtfully provided by the hotel to spot the water spouts. Unfortunately none came up close during the 2 hours that I was enjoying my afternoon tea. Not that I spent 2 hours watching for whales though, I quite forgot about them after the decadent 3 tier afternoon tea set was served.

Pullman Bunker Bay Resort - Three Tier Afternoon Tea (1)

Tadah, the 3 tier afternoon tea set

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Margaret River – Olio Bello Olive Farm + Cafe

When in Margaret River, it’s not just vineyards that you can visit. If you’re a teetotaller or just want to see more of what Margaret River has to offer, check out Olio Bello Olive Farm and Cafe. Apparently the hot summers are great conditions for the olives to grow and you will notice olive platters on many a restaurant’s menu.

I happen to love olives and had been gorging on them (like an entire platter to myself for 2 consecutive days since the Partner doesn’t like olives although he loves olive oil) so it made sense to visit the olive experts and see if I could stock up on olive oils and olives.

Olio Bello employs sustainable, organic food and farming systems, and everything that is grown on the farm is untainted by synthetic chemicals or fertilisers. Commercial olive oil makers use heat and chemicals for faster extraction of the oils from the olives, but not so for Olio Bello. Their extra virgin olive oils are unfiltered and allowed to naturally settle in stainless steel vats over a longer period of time.

Olio Bello Olive Farm (2)

You can visit their 10,000 olive tree grove to roam around on your own. I don’t think they do official tours on a regular basis, but if there’s a truckload of you arriving, they just might show you around the place.

Olio Bello Cafe - Augusta crumbed whiting, salad and beer battered chips $27 (1)

Augusta crumbed whiting, feta salad and beer battered chips $27

I highly recommend that you stop for lunch at the Olio Bello cafe like we did. Their fish & chips use Augusta whiting (a type of fish sourced from Augusta, which is like a 1/2 hr drive from Margaret River town) and it was simply delicious. We tried whiting in a couple of other places, but in my opinion, Olio Bello serves the best version. The fish was tender, piping hot and crispy. Dip that in the olive oil based mayo and you have a match made in heaven!

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