3 top tips for hosting a Brunch event at home – the perfect meal for entertaining a crowd!  


Mid-week public holidays are a great opportunity to host an event!
There’s usually something to celebrate – hence the day off – and guests have fewer prior commitments to work around.
And brunch is the perfect meal!

It can all be done ahead.

It’s flexible enough to fit in any budget.

It’s easy to adapt to special dietary needs

It is just one course that can be set out ready, leaving plenty of time to chat to guests.

It can all be cleared up to allow for a relaxed evening before heading back to work the next day.
But these are the three top tips for success! 

  1. Set beautiful tables
  •  it sets the scene
  •   it leaves plenty of room in the kitchen to set out the brunch buffet for everyone to       help themselves
  •    it leaves the washing up on the tables and not in the kitchen getting mixed up with      the food. It also allows it to be cleared up gradually as the dishwasher capacity           allows.


2. Do everything ahead

Prepare dishes ready to serve and organise drinks



3. If you are accepting offers of help – ask guests to bring anything that needs to be done on the day ( eg fruit platters, fruit salad) as this keeps the day free for last minute organising.

Some menu ideas:


Lemon and mint ( or other flavours) infused iced water ( freeze ice in large containers to add)

Non- alcoholic fruit punch

Peach infused white wine

Sparkling wine and rose

Mango lassi shots



Baked French toast using croissants and other pastries in a bread and butter pudding recipe

Bircher muesli breakfast trifle using alternate layers of Bircher muesli, Greek natural yogurt and poached fruit and berries, topped with toasted muesli crumble, dried fruit and nuts and berries

Pancake stacks (banana pancakes are yummy) layered with Greek natural yogurt, brown sugar and sliced banana and cinnamon, topped with chopped almonds or walnuts ( assemble on the day)

Frittata or Spanish omelette

Corn and Chorizo muffins

Oven baked bacon

Banana bread

Scones with jam and cream

And generously offered by others:
Croque Madame




Fruit platters and fruit salads

The Boathouse by the Lake, Canberra – excelling at private functions!


The Boathouse by the Lake may well be Canberra’s best spot for function dining. This is where they really excel. Food and wine is elegant, delicious and well priced. Staff and service is delightful. The setting is perfect. But most of all, they offer a real sense of generosity.

A well set out Private Dining Function Brochure explains the options well.

Choose from three rooms, East End looking more towards Kingston Foreshore…


…Walters, looking more towards Kings Avenue Bridge and Russell…


…or West End, looking straight across the lake and more towards Kings Avenue Bridge.


All have access to lovely decks, although East End and West End are larger.

The minimum spend, particularly at lunch time, is very reasonable – $1,100 for lunch January and April to October, $2,500 in peak times of Nov-Dec and Feb-Mar.

Menu Options start at $77 per person for 3 courses. The beverages packages are particularly good starting at $31 per person for three hours for lovely Canberra wines, draught beer, juice and soft drinks.

Also good value is the Corporate Two Course Luncheon with 2 hours of beverages for $90 per person.

We were there for a Christmas Party dinner for 23 people and after much consideration we chose:

6 savouries $21 per person (3 is $12) to allow for plenty of time to mix and mingle on the deck…


… before being seated at the round tables.


3 courses with alternate entrée and a choice of three options for main and dessert – $87 per person

3 hour silver drinks package – $31 per person

Dan and Lauren took great care of us with drinks and savouries and this set the scene for a wonderful evening.



Pea and Haloumi Fritters


Persian Fetta Mousse and Tomato Puffs


Avocado and Cherviche Tarts


Roast Pumpkin, Leek and Cheddar Quiche


Popcorn Prawns with Sriracha Mayo


Marlin Rice Cracker (the highlight)


For entrée we chose two alternates:

Spiced pork belly with avocado, white balsamic, togarashi


Seared prawns, butter milk, chlorophyll juice, charred baby gem


Mains were a choice of three:

Chicken breast, pea puree, baby potatoes, roast, chicken jus


Black angus striploin, burnt onion, asparagus, potato mash


Slow cooked pork, cauliflower puree, currant & fried cauliflower salad, coriander

The brioche bread buns and cured butter was excellent too!


For dessert guests could choose from:

Banana parfait, dark chocolate, peanut brittle, Chantilly cream

Malt ice cream, caramel ganache, honeycomb, dehydrated milk


Mango mousse, coconut sorbet, caramelised white chocolate, passionfruit


Everyone was very impressed with their choices and the evening was a great success.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Boathouse by the Lake for all the ingredients of a successful event.

Boathouse By the Lake Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Turkish Tapas – the easy way


It’s always great to find an easy way to entertain at home that’s also budget friendly.

Ordering Turkish Banquets from Lyneham Turkish Pide Kebabs, is one of these opportunities where you can transform a basic take away meal into something special in just one hour.

The Family $20 Banquet includes…

2 x Dips, 1 x Bread, 2 Zucchini puffs, 2 Falafel, 2 Fetta Spring Rolls, 2 Chicken Skewers, 2 Kofte, 1 x Rice and Salad, 1 x Pide, 1 x Chips

Minimum order is two and delivery is free.

Two $20 Family banquets arrives looking like this…

1. Cut the Turkish breads in half horizontally and spread with the dips, top with the salad, assemble the top layer of bread ( or leave open) and cut into bite-sized pieces.

2. Serve any remaining bread with the remaining dips.

3. Cut the zucchini puffs, falafel and feta spring rolls into halves and serves with the tzaziki dip.

4. Take the chicken pieces off the kebab skewers and cut in half. Serve with the tzaziki dip.

5. Cut the sides into bite sized pieces and serve with dip.

6. Slice the kofta and chips into smaller pieces and stir through warmed pasta sauce. Add a tin of drained chickpeas. Serve this over the rice, sprinkled with cheese.

7. Set these dishes out and add some small soups or desserts if you have these on hand.

Turkish Pide and Kebabs Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chong Co, Woden – perfect for creating an easy dinner party with take-away


Buying some good quality takeaway that can be easily shared and replacing it at home is a great way to cater for a group without too much fuss or cost.

Chong Co in Woden has great dishes that are well sized for sharing.

Good choices include…
Thai beef salad $17.90

Prawn lemongrass stir fry $20.90

Beef massaman curry $16.90

Pork panning curry $16.90

Chilli basil mixed vegetables with tofu stir fry $14.90

(but better with chicken)

Add some steamed rice…and it’s done.

Chong Co efficiently wraps the takeaway in glad wrap so it stays warm enough for summer eating for ups to one hour without reheating.
NB The Fried tofu and sweet chilli sauce is not such a great choice as it’s fairly bland.

Chong Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Venues for large meetings around Australia – How do they rate?


If your work involves organising catered meetings or workshops for large groups you may be interested in a quick guide to the best venues around Australia.

From best to least (and ranked on the basis of venue, catering (a light morning/afternoon tea), service and cost) the list is as follows:

  1. Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Cnr Merivale & Glenleg Sts, Brisbane (Arbour Room 2)
  • Venue 1
  • Catering 1
  • Service 1
  • Cost 3


  1. Best Western Hobart, 156 Bathurst Street, Hobart (The Terrace)
  • Venue 4
  • Catering 5
  • Service 2
  • Cost 1


Do stay at The Best Western Hobart


  1. Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf Melbourne (Clarendon Room A)
  • Venue 2
  • Catering 2
  • Service 8
  • Cost  6


(Excellent stand up working lunch )



Stand-up working lunch

$34.50 per person

Sandwich selections

BBQ pulled pork with grilled pineapple, cos lettuce and coriander aioli on a mini baguette

Chicken banh mi (Vietnamese chicken rolls) – roasted chicken, pate, Asian salad, chilli, coriander and nam prik

Salad selections

Vietnamese chicken salad with cabbage and beans GF

Sweet potato, pearl barley, asparagus, free-range egg, chia seeds, beetroot and walnuts V (not as a good a choice)

Speciality items -Warm pide with lamb and feta (Not as good a choice)

  1. Crowne Plaza, 16 Hindmarsh Square Rundle Mall, Adelaide (Hindmarsh Room 2)
  • Venue 3
  • Catering 7
  • Service 3
  • Cost  4


  1. Parkroyal Melbourne Airport (Victoria Ballroom South)
  • Venue 3
  • Catering 4
  • Service 5
  • Cost  5

  1. Hellenic Club Woden, Canberra (Aegean Room)
  • Venue 6
  • Catering 3
  • Service  6
  • Cost 2


Gluten free options

  1. Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, 21 Mounts Bay Road Perth (Meeting Room 6)
  • Venue  4
  • Catering  6
  • Service  4
  • Cost  7


Do stay at the Hilton Pamelia

img_1417 img_1386

  1. Alice Springs Convention Centre, 93 Barrett Drive Alice Springs (Ellery Room)
  • Venue 7
  • Catering  9
  • Service 7
  • Cost 5

Do stay at Doubletree Hilton

img_1353-1 img_1351

  1. Rydges Sydney Central, 28 Albion St, Surry Hills, Sydney (Crowne Room)
  • Venue 8
  • Catering  8
  • Service 9
  • Cost 9

(Excellent stand up working lunch $34 per person)


Don’t stay at Rydges Sydney Central (too noisey).
Melbourne CEC