As we arrived for the Montacute Christmas party, we were a little worried we (along with the other 398 invitees) mightn’t find a car park. We passed a throng of festive revellers converging on St David’s Park for the first of Hobart’s dual instalments of Carols by Candlelight. But as we inched along Hampden Road in Battery Point, a space miraculously appeared just for us, practically outside Bahr’s Chocolate Shop and Milk Bar on the corner of Stowell Avenue. Perfect.
Christmas Party Pizzazz
Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse certainly has a handy location, within walking distance of Hobart’s waterfront. Owners Antony Langdon and Rose Flynn recently renovated the 120-year-old Battery Point property. The doors opened to visitors and success quickly followed, with Tasmania’s first boutique hostel winning silver in the new tourism development category at the 2014 Tasmanian Tourism Awards.
And wow, do Antony and Rose know how to host a Christmas party! We were greeted at the property’s entrance by two exuberant young ladies brandishing raffle tickets. “They’re free!” they exclaimed, excited and eager to assure us. We were then ushered by Antony through the impressive front door and straight to the bar.
While Gavin dutifully collected my cherry-flavoured Pagan Cider, I chatted with other guests in the dining room. As it turned out, those guests had been on-hand throughout the day, helping prepare for the Christmas party… as all devoted parents would. They’d also been involved in Montacute’s renovation. Without taking any credit at all, they were clearly proud of the transformation of the property from “practically derelict” to its current stylish state.
Hobart’s Boutique Bunkhouse
To be honest, there wasn’t that much opportunity to sticky-beak around the bunkhouse. There was a capacity crowd! What we did see, from the dining room to the back-yard via a cosy lounge, was all very nice. This upmarket backpackers style of accommodation has apparently taken the world by storm, and it’s great to know Hobart is again on trend in tourism.
Once we were outside, the Montacute Christmas party hit full stride. Live classical music entertained the audience from the expansive deck. Women in sparkling evening dresses and strappy shoes were thankful, blessed by the weather-Gods with an unseasonably warm Hobart evening. The troops delighted with laden platters courtesy of Bangor Wine and Oyster Shed, a brand new culinary tourism venture at Dunalley. Crusty rolls filled with pork (complete with crackling) and quinoa, pumpkin and feta salad followed… I won’t mention the chocolate-dipped strawberries or the fudge-brownie nibbles.
Premier Will Hodgman was on hand to welcome patrons and congratulated Antony and Rose on their award-winning property and achievements. He spoke with reverence of the outstanding recent accolades and ongoing opportunities for Tasmania’s tourism industry. The Premier also conducted the formal introduction for a new book by Hobart author Alice Hansen (more details about that to come later).
And The Winner Is…
While Tasmania’s Premier patiently watched on, the gathering was further amused with the drawing of the enormous raffle. The prospect of winning one of many coveted prizes had everyone buzzing with excitement. We were clutching our tickets with anticipation, and guess what? The final reward was two nights at the completely decadent Pumphouse Point Boutique Hotel at Lake St Clair and WE… didn’t win. We had ticket Blue C 16, and the winner had ticket Blue C 17. If only we’d parked another minute further away! We may then have had even more stories to tell about the Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse Christmas party.