Australia’s first Yulefest destination

It’s been more than 40 years since hotel owner Gary Crockett put on a festive feast to ease the homesick pangs of a group of Irish travellers waxing nostalgic as snowflakes danced on the wind one freezing July evening.

Hotel Mountain Heritage continues the tradition of Australia’s first Yulefest celebration to this day, with tables laden with traditional fare, decorations and atmosphere you expect to see at Christmas.

But, as general manager David James says, “Christmas in December in Australia doesn’t have the cosy comfort of Christmas in July”.

“Yulefest lets us have the best of both worlds – twice a year.”

Gather around a roaring real wood fireplace and sip mulled wine or a belly warming spirit at Hotel Mountain Heritage any Saturday in July.

“We love that lots of other venues in the upper Mountains have joined the tradition over the years and offer their twist on Yulefest too,’’ David says.

And when you book your Yulefest table or bed here, there might even be snow.

Mountain Heritage 13 Piano Credit David Hill Deep Hill Media 900x600px

Hotel Mountain Heritage

Every Saturday in July

Experience European-style Christmas magic in the historic hallways by cosying up to real-flame fireplaces over a glass of wine or hot chocolate in the official ‘Home of Yulefest’.

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 full vegan and kids menu options) featuring spiced pumpkin soup, orange bourbon glazed ham, seafood, herb-crusted lamb rack and plum pudding with drunken cherries and petit fours.

The only thing more heartwarming is the live festive performances and the special visit from Santa Claus himself.

Cost: dinner only adults $180 and children $60, dinner and matched wines adults $260.

Apex & Lovel streets, Katoomba
T: (02) 4782 2155
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Fairmont Ice Skating Family 900x600px

Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains

July 1 to 29

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 buffet including fresh seafood specially curated by executive chef Emilio Llausas 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.

Cost: $225 adults, $170 teens (13–17 years), $99 children (5–12 years) and free little ones (0-4yrs).

1 Sublime Point Rd, Leura
T: (02) 4785 0000
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The Carrington Hotel

June 26 to August 9

Grab a group of friends, family or work colleagues and head into the beautifully restored Victorian Grand Dining Room in the nation’s oldest remaining resort-style hotel for a private Yulefest celebration.

Dinner packages for groups of 20 or more are available for lunch any day except Saturday, and dinner Sunday to Wednesday nights during the festival (Saturday not available).

There’ll be roast turkey and stuffing, and cinnamon ice cream with the pudding in a room refurbished back to the time of a royal visit in 1927. (Tip: ask about the group accommodation packages.)

Katoomba St, Katoomba T: (02) 4782 1111 E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Metropole Yulefest table Credit David Hill Deep Hill Media 600x900px

Metropole Guesthouse

Tuesday and Saturday evenings during July

A traditional five-course Yulefest dinner surrounded by offbeat curiosities and art deco intrigue of an old-world elegant venue.

Indulge in appetisers, soup with crusty bread roll, roast turkey and glazed ham with vegetables, a sorbet and fresh fruit palate cleaners before an assortment of cakes and desserts and tea/coffee.

Cost: $110 adults, $45 children 5-12, children under 5 free (10 per cent discount for locals). Dinner and accommodation packages: two nights with dinner for two $480 or three nights with dinner and breakfast for two $580 (upgrade to a brand new queen suite for $25 per night). Phone to book direct.

Gang Gang & Lurline streets, Katoomba
T: (02) 4782 5544
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Hydro Majestic nighttime Credit David Hill Deep Hill Media 900x600px

Hydro Majestic Hotel

6pm to 9pm every Saturday July 6 to August 3

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, complemented by a glass of sparkling wine on arrival.

Cost: $169 adults includes glass of mulled wine, $139 teens (13-17 years), $55 children: (4-12 years) two-course menu.

Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath
T: (02) 4782 6885

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Bygone Beautys Treasured Teapot Museum & Tearooms

Served at 12.30pm daily from July 22 to 31

Rug up in your Winter woollies and enjoy the magic of a northern hemisphere Christmas-style feast in the picturesque village of Leura.

Tuck into a comforting homemade soup with crusty bread, traditional roast and vegetables, homemade plum pudding drizzled with brandy custard and freshly whipped cream or mini pavlova with fresh fruit, cream and strawberry coulis, followed by coffee or tea (of course!) with homemade shortbread surrounded by one of the world’s largest private collections of teapots.

Bon bons, linen serviettes and table decorations take luncheon up a notch, and you can take gifts for Santa to distribute during the luncheon. You might even meet Mr Teapot himself (aka Maurice Cooper OAM).

Cnr Grose & Megalong streets, Leura
T: (02) 4784 3117
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Hotel Etico

July 13, 20 and 27

Celebrate Yulefest at Australia’s first social enterprise hotel and you will indulge in delicious food, that famous upper Blue Mountains Winter atmosphere – and help break down barriers that prevent people with disabilities from achieving their full potential.

Prepared by Chef Matt, the feast begins with green onion blini with chili prawn salad and crostini with fetta, artichokes and rocket hors d’oeuvres followed by rolled turkey breast with pork and fennel stuffing, ginger marmalade glazed ham, Hasselback potatoes, maple roasted sweet potato, sauteed Brussels sprouts, minted peas and housemade gravy, then traditional Christmas pudding with brandy custard.

Cost: $75 adults (three courses), $35 children (two courses)

11 Montgomery St, Mount Victoria
T: 0438 511 352
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Hillbilly Cider

Throughout July

Winter in the Mountains is far more suited to a traditional Christmas than balmy December. So throughout July, Hillbilly Cider embraces the festive spirit.

This annual event is popular with groups coming up every year dressed in Christmas jumpers and costumes in a bid to win the Best Dressed prize. The cider shed is festooned with decorations and there’s a snow-covered tree and roaring log fire.

You can try the turkey and cranberry pizza special while sipping on a warm mulled cider. The event is daily during July so be sure to visit and tap your toes to the Christmas carols.

2230 Bells Line of Rd, Bilpin
T: (02) 4567 0965
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 10am–4pm Friday to Sunday 10am–6pm
Woodfired pizzas available from 11.30am

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Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley

July 22 only

Get cosy, get festive at the foothills of the Blue and banks of the Hawkesbury River on your way up the Mountains with a delicious Christmas in July dinner in the 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.

61 Hawkesbury Valley Way, Windsor
T: (02) 4577 4222
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