Is it just us, or is Christmas getting earlier every year? One minute you're enjoying a balmy spring evening and the next, it's early December and you're knee deep in wrapping paper and panic buying chocolate selection boxes.
But while it might be too late to source that one-of-a-kind hand crafted blanket from Napa Valley for your great aunt, there's still plenty of time to organise a Christmas party, and a kickass one at that. Whether you're in charge of your annual office get-together or entertaining friends, there's still time to throw an unforgettable festive soiree.
So in aid of disorganised party planners everywhere, we've put together a list of our favourite venues and their Christmas event packages. From traditional sit down dinners to quirky canapés and inspired cocktails, no one need ever know of your shambolic approach to events management. We won't tell if you don't.
Nothing says Christmas like opulent red and gold decor and Emporium Hotel has it in buckets. The Fortitude Valley hotel offers an array of Christmas event packages for larger groups, including personalised wine tastings, cocktail parties in the bar, gourmet dinners and feasting menus. The cocktail list is similarly extensive; choose from traditional egg nog or chilled mulled wine with fresh orange slices. This is one inner-city spot where you and your gang are guaranteed to have a good time, so be sure to book in ASAP!
Christmas is all about the food, right? Try a twist on the traditional festive dinner with Gerard's Bistro's Middle Eastern inspired share plates menu. Your guests still get their roast lamb, but with the Morroccan-chic addition of picked dates and candied orange. Add in some sharp, wooden decor and you've got a Christmas party that'll be remembered long after the tree is down.
Staging your festive party in Public's private dining room is a sure-fire way to spread Christmas merriment. Catering for groups of six, up to 150, the banquet menu is made up of the CBD restaurant's most popular dishes, including beef brisket and smoked pumpkin with macadamia. Don't be surprised if any of your guests start to come over all Scrooge, this food is almost too good to share.
If there's anyone you can trust with your last minute Christmas party, it's e'cco Bistro. An oldie but a goodie, the Boundary Street eatery accommodates up to 30 seated guests in its private dining room and the restaurant itself can be booked during certain hours for larger Christmas gatherings. Contemporary Australian dishes and fresh ingredients make for an completely relaxing, unfussy evening of festive fun. It's filling up fast though, so book now!
Christmas is basically a month-long exercise in guilt-free overindulgence (hey, we're celebrating the birth of Christ, it's allowed) and it doesn't get much more indulgent than Bacchus' seven course wine matched degustation menu and a glass of Dom Perignon. If you're still able to move after all that, the South Bank restaurant's pool is open for a spot of post-lunch swimming.
With a mezzanine function room overlooking a private courtyard, Moda makes a stylish backdrop for an evening of Christmas cocktails. You can also treat your guests to 'Javier's Table Experience', a selection of signature dishes from head chef Javier Codina. The Edward Street restaurant draws on French, Catalan and Italian influences in its menu and uses hand chosen fresh produce, making this a meal you won't forget.
Gorgeous CBD spot, Spring, is open from Decemeber 1st to 24th (yep, that's Chrismas eve, perfect if you're thinking way-last minute party times) and serving up a totally festive, totally delicious three course feast. Start with seafood (Noosa spanner crabs, Hervey Bay scallops, and Tasmanian smoked salmon), move onto traditional turkey with duck-fat potatoes, bread sauce, and sage and onion stuffing, then finish it all off with Christmas pudding with brandy cream.
Peng You may have only opened this month but is already making waves on the Brisbane dining scene with their traditional take on Chinese, juxtaposed with very hip surrounds. The Gasworks restaurant specialises in tapas-style share plates (naw, sharing, how Christmas-y) and its drinks list includes a rather worrying "wine on-tap", as well as Peng You's own brand of beers and ciders. With relaxed seating arrangement (you can hire the upstairs level, a table downstairs, or even do standing events—they're totally flexible) this is a great option for an alternative Christmas celebration.
Sichuan Bang Bang
Sichuan Bang Bang is here to help you celebrate the silly season Chinese-style. Colour, good food and fun will be the centerpiece for their selection of lunch and dinner banquets, cocktail parties and outside catering. Renowned for their penchant for fiery dishes, Bang Bang is the perfect place to turn the heat up this Christmas (don't worry, they have air-conditioning). But, if you want to keep it tame for your taste buds, the team at Bang Bang is only too happy to alter the menu to suit non-chili folk. Book now!