Private dining back on the menu for event planners

Venues are turning to private dining to get groups back through the doors.

While there is still much uncertainty as to when business events will be back on the agenda, a number of event venues have begun opening their doors for private dining.

Known for hosting premier music acts in Brisbane, The Tivoli has unveiled a new venue takeover experience, allowing 10 people to dine in the restaurant with tailored menus, entertainment and theming.

Co-owner and creative director Dave Sleswick said the offering, dubbed Commune at The Tivoli, allows intimate groups to experience the historic art deco venue in a new way.

“COVID-19 has changed the way people are allowed to gather and experience live music, so instead of focusing on what we can’t do during this time, we’re focusing on what we can,” he said.

“This is a fantastic time to diversify our offering and get creative.”

private dining events
Commune at The Tivoli

Groups will have exclusive access to the venue and will be greeted with a glass of Champagne on arrival, followed by a seated four-course shared meal from Dalton Catering & Events and matched wines by Bacchus Wine Merchants.

City Winery Brisbane have launched a number of new initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Fireside Experience, a chef-led, eight-course dinner with paired wines.

The experience is currently limited to two social-distanced dinner sittings of 10 people each and is already sold out for the next few weeks.

Speaking to Spice News in the first episode of the Spice Spotlight Sessions, City Winery Brisbane co-founder and managing director Adam Penberthy said prior to the pandemic, the venue had intended to refocus its restaurant into a more intimate offering.

“COVID has allowed us to be able to offer that for customers as we come back into the market,” he said.

In Sydney, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is offering an exclusive private dining offering, amid the current COVID-19 restrictions.

The aquarium’s traditional private dining experience allows for several groups to dine in various private areas of the aquarium at once, but for a very limited time the private dining package is completely private, giving groups of up to 10 people exclusive access to the venue.

Groups can indulges in a three-course dinner and a two-hour premium drinks package, all while being surrounded by hundreds of fish, turtles and sharks.

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Sydney fine diner Restaurant Hubert has also been offering exclusive private dining experiences while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.

The venue has been hosting tables of 10 guests for a set menu dining experience in its Theatre Royal.

Further south, Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is gearing up to reopen to the public on 1 June, and with that, will relaunch its private dining offering as well.

From 4 June, the venue will allow private dining experiences for up to 12 people, which includes an after-hours self-guided tour, three-course dinner and drinks in one of several available locations.

On the venue’s reopening, general manager Sarah-Jane Tilbury said Sea Life Melbourne is excited to welcome guests back.

“In order to ensure all of our guests feel completely at ease visiting the aquarium, we have implemented a range of new health and safety measures that seek to reduce the risks associated with the presence of COVID-19,” she said.

With restrictions sets to ease further in many states over the next few weeks, groups can expect to see extended numbers allowed for private dining and venue takeovers.


More reading

How do you feel about planning and attending events?
Canberra businesses adapt during COVID-19
Spice Spotlight Sessions: City Winery Brisbane

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