Australia's First Yulefest Destination

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By Ellen Hill

A group of Irish travellers are relaxing by a roaring indoor fire in the Hotel Mountain Heritage lounge one freezing July evening in 1980. The windows are frosted. Snowflakes are dancing on the wind outside. They let nostalgic thoughts of home creep in.

To lift their spirits, hotel owner of the time Gary Crockett puts on a festive feast with all the trimmings.

The Celtic guests dine on roast meats and veggies, plum pudding and sing carols around the fire.

The gathering is so well received, it is held every weekend throughout mid-Winter.

After a while, other venues take up the idea and, 43 years later, the Blue Mountains is famous for being the first Yulefest destination with celebrations found in numerous hotels and restaurants.

There might even be snow.

Here are a few events happening in the region:

 

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(Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media)

Hotel Mountain Heritage, Apex & Lovel streets, Katoomba

T: (02) 4782 2155

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

W: https://mountainheritage.com.au/about-us/yulefest/

Experience European-style Christmas magic in the historic hallways  of the official “Home of Yulefest”, cosying up to real-flame fireplaces with a glass of wine or hot chocolate. Watch the sun set over the Jamison Valley from the terrace before retreating indoors to tuck into a six-course modern twist on traditional festive food (with vegan and kids options) featuring spiced pumpkin soup, bourbon glazed ham, herb crusted rack of Aussie lamb and plum pudding with drunken cherries. The only thing more heartwarming is the singalong to long-time resident pianist Alan Johnson’s cabaret favourites and carols.

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The Metropole, cnr Gang Gang and Lurline Streets, Katoomba

T: (02) 4782 5544

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

W: metropolekatoomba.com.au

Join us for a five-course Yulefest dinner each Tuesday and Saturday evening throughout July.  Cost $110 per adult, $45 children 5-12, under five free. Dinner and accommodation packages are available: two nights with dinner for two, $480; three nights with dinner and breakfast for two, $580. Call to book direct.

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Bygone Beautys Treasured Teapot Museum & Tearooms, cnr Grose & Megalong streets, Leura

T: 4784 3117

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

W: bygonebeautys.com.au/news-events/Yulefest

Served at 12.30pm daily from July 17 to 31

The comfort of homemade soup with crusty bread, a traditional roast, desserts and shortbread surrounded by one of the world’s largest private collections of teapots - there’s no other Yulefest experience like it. Bon bons, linen serviettes and table decorations take luncheon up a notch. You might even meet Mr Teapot himself (aka Maurice Cooper OAM).

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Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, Windsor – July 22 only

T: (02) 4577 4222

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

W: cphawkesburyvalley.com.au/hotel-events/Christmas-in-july/

Get cosy, get festive on the banks of the Hawkesbury River in the foothills of the Mountains with a delicious Christmas in July dinner in this 4.5-star hotel. Expect traditional theming, marinated meats and mouthwatering treats, the freshest seafood and locally sourced produce. Leave the washing up to the hosting team while you enjoy a three-hour beverage package and a visit from Santa.

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Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains by MGallery, 1 Sublime Point Rd, Leura – July 1 to 29

T: (02) 4785 0000

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

W: fairmontresort.com.au/offers/Yulefest-dinner-2023/

Practice your skills on the new hotel ice skating rink while awaiting the possibility of a real snow fall outside. Then celebrate the warmth of togetherness and community in the Grand Ballroom while live music plays and a festive menu specially curated by executive chef Patrick Morris and his team is prepared. Yulefest includes a welcome drink on arrival followed by a sumptuous buffet with a three-hour beverage package for adults featuring De Bortoli Legacy Brut, Jade Semillon, De Bortoli Cabernet Merlot, Sydney Brewery beer selection, soft drinks and juices.

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Victoria & Albert Guesthouse, 19 Station St, Mt Victoria – July 1 to August 6 (Saturday night & Sunday lunch)

T: 0459 844 345

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

W: vaguesthouse.com/collections/Yulefest-dinner

A rousing atmosphere and open fireplaces surrounded by Moulin Rouge colours and memorabilia make Yulefest at the V&A a memorable experience. Relax, unwind, celebrate and indulge in everything Yulefest, with the possibility of snow. Sip a warming beverage while Christmas tunes play in the background, in contrast to the frosty Winter air outside.

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Hydro Majestic Hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath

T: (02) 4782 6885

W: www.hydromajestic.com.au

Celebrate the spirit of Christmas in July with traditional festivities at the Chef Hatted Wintergarden Restaurant each Saturday night throughout the month. Sink into golden chairs to watch golden hour unfold over the Megalong Valley while indulging in a five-course degustation dinner showcasing fresh local seasonal produce, complimented by a glass of sparkling wine on arrival.

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The Carrington Hotel, Katoomba St, Katoomba

T: (02) 4782 1111

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

W: thecarrington.com.au

Enjoy carollers, a pipe band and a visit from Santa in one of the last remaining grand dining rooms in the country, refurbished back to the time of a royal visit in 1927 in Australia’s oldest remaining resort-style hotel. There’ll be roast turkey and stuffing, as well as cinnamon ice cream with the pudding.

 

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