Champagne, Christmas Treats and Donna Hay

          Tis’ the season to be Jolly. And jolly we were at the first event of the year that thew out a red carpet, ginger bread ornaments and red ribbon in the lead up to Christmas.

Last night Domayne and Harvey Norman in Fortitude Valley put together an exclusive ‘at home’ event for valued customers to showcase their latest furniture, appliances and Christmas trim. The stores welcomed their guests at 6:00pm with a red carpet, velvet ropes and a friendly greeting. As the escalators carried customers to the main entrance waiters were standing with glasses of bottomless champagne, strawberry punch, sparkling water and other very necessary alcoholic drinks. It made every guest feel like a very important celebrity, and what a wonderful way it was to shop.

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The event kicked off to a great start with canapes such as soft crab buns, duck spring rolls, lamb and sweet potato pies, vegetarian frittata and Donna Hay‘s chocolate fudge brownies. I must admit I have used her brownie packet mix before and was happy for another tasting. Pop up bars lined every corner with complimentary drinks throughout the night and when waiters breezed passed with a selection of beverages of course we could not pass them up – oh to be a pampered shopper. Drinks in hand we made our way around the room. Our first spotting was the flower arrangement demonstrations. They smelt divine and looked beautiful in large glass urns and sphere vases. 

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We made note of the bright yellow lounge cushions, Moroccan inspired baskets and zebra chairs for Christmas gift ideas while swaying to the brilliant music coming from the live band. The night was truly buzzing.

Next door we spotted Donna Hay and, being a loyal fan and reproducer of her recipes, we just had to introduce ourselves before she made her speech and taught the large crowd her Christmas tips and tricks with cooking and table settings. In the background, people were still wading around the room entering alluring competitions, receiving professional massages, meeting Dream Interpreter Joan Hanger and experiencing the tantalising flavours of Head Chef Paul Jurd.

Yet it was the Christmas store that had to be my favourite. I felt like a small child in a candy store with everything in reach. The spirit was joyous and everyone was buying their favourite items to decorate their halls and create Christmas cheer. I fell in love with a white rocking horse snow globe. Call me a child but I could not resist shaking it again and again to watch the snow float softly. And I am now proud to say that it is my first Christmas purchase of the year.

I am a keen reviewer of social events and this was definitely one worth reviewing. Overall I would have to praise Domayne and Harvey Norman for their efforts last night. Although they could have included more options for both vegetarians and children, they had gone to much trouble to ensure their guests would have an enjoyable and an ‘out of the box’ shopping experience. The stores successfully broke mundane shopping habits, appeared to make soaring sales and I would hope they will have many new and returning ‘friends.’

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