Making the most of the natural assets of the Harbour – water views, amazing sunsets and nearby parks, Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel could be just the place for your wedding day. Imagine mingling on the alfresco Top Deck, cocktail in hand, watching the sunset, or sitting in the seaside Hamptons styled Sunset Room indulging in Modern Australian cuisine. And did I mention that you can arrive by private yacht? Today we meet Jacqueline who has the enviable job of wedding co-ordinator at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel.
Can you describe the iconic Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel to us, and where we can find you?
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel was formerly a unique fishing village set on the South Head Peninsula. It is located in a quiet, attractive and exclusive enclave of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs encompassing 31 luxury hotel rooms. With gorgeous harbour views during the day and amazing sunsets over the city at dusk. You can find us at 1 Military Road, Watsons Bay directly adjacent to Robertson’s Park and conveniently situated in front of the ferry terminal.
Image by Liz Ham Photography
Where do couples popularly choose to have their ceremony?
Popular options for ceremonies close by include Robertson Park (directly adjacent) and Gibsons Beach (directly in front of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel). Your Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel Wedding Coordinator can facilitate these bookings for you. We also have some chapel options available close by.
Do you have different options as far as decks or rooms within the hotel where couples can hold their reception?
Our Sunset Room is an architecturally designed wedding space. It is the perfect option for intimate weddings of 50 to 250 people. With a Hampton style, including unique furniture and design options, this wedding space is like no other in Sydney. We also have a large alfresco space known as “Top Deck” which can be utilised for pre-dinner drinks whilst overlooking the picturesque city scape. It encompasses a retractable roof and private bar, perfect for welcome cocktails and canapés.
Can you describe the options for reception dining that you offer?
Whilst we offer the traditional sit down packages and canapé style soirees, Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel has really developed a signature style within the new ‘feast’ menu. It encourages more of a sharing environment, just like dining at a family table. It starts with a delicious chilled Seafood Platter, followed by mouth-watering mains of Orange and Vincotto Glazed Suckling Pig, 8 Hour Slow Cooked Flinders Island Lamb, BBQ Split Yamba Prawns, Whole Side of Slow Cooked Ocean Trout and sides before finishing with a smashed pavlova for dessert. Our experience stations are extremely popular ranging from antipasto, cheese, charcuterie, oysters, paella or even dessert! It provides an interactive experience for guests like no other.
You specialise in seafood, but offer other options as well as gluten free and vegetarian options. Can you describe a favourite dish (or two) on the menu?
Whilst the Feast menu provides many of my favourite delicacies, I personally have a few favourite dishes on the sit down menu too including:
- Chilled Watermelon Salad with Janai Goats Curd, Toasted Pine Nuts, Wild Rocket and Banyuls Dressing GF, V
- Salad of Figs with Buffalo Milk Mozzarella, Basil Leaves, Jamom and Apple Balsamic Reduction GF
- Grilled Lemongrass Thirlmere Baby Chicken with Vietnamese Herb Salad
- Grass-Fed Sirloin Tagliata with Salad of Rocket, Spring Onions, Green Peppercorn and Aged Balsamic GF
We also include palate cleansers for sit-down packages too.
Does the menu change with the seasons?
Yes our menu is seasonal to ensure we are using the most fresh local produce always in forward trend of the Wedding Industry. Our amazing Executive chef John Pye ensures the quality and presentation of the food is synonymous with other high class venues.
Can you offer suggestions for cocktails and wine matching to the couple’s chosen menu?
We can certainly match cocktails and wines to food choices. Perhaps a personalised cocktail on arrival or a Bellini station ready for your guests to enjoy. Our beverage packages offers quite a versatile palate for menu items. Alternatively, you can have a bar tab and hand pick wines, beers & spirits from our selection to personalise your wedding beverage menu . (These are best enjoyed on our Top Deck with panoramic harbour views.)
Do you have an in-house Wedding Co-ordinator?
We have not one, but two in-house Wedding Coordinators at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel here to help guide you through a structured and delightful wedding experience.
What sort of services do you offer the bridal couple?
We assist in the planning of your big day from a venues perspective including personalized timeline, food, beverages and reception ideas. We can also assist with ceremonies and recommendations for alternate suppliers. Furthermore we have 31 boutique rooms available which come in very handy when you need to retire for the evening.
What items/services can the bridal couple bring in?
As these items are so personal, the couple is required to bring in their own cake, flowers, styling etc .We have great contacts in the industry for these so we can definitely point you in the right direction.
What sort of reception décor would you suggest for your venue?
The Sunset Room embraces a North American coastal Hamptons aesthetic, the architecturally designed event space has a distinct sense of familiarity and warmth. With its crisp white walls, floor to ceiling windows, grey timber flooring, nautical finishings, marble bar (a mix of found, refurbished and custom made furniture) the space is extremely unique. You can completely transform the space with large floral centrepieces, white table clothes, charger plates (as most venues do), however the great thing about the Sunset Room, is that all of the existing furniture, décor and styling elements can be utilised for your reception. Our recent brides are thankful for the gorgeous, rustic elements and have mostly been utilising 1 or 2 small vases of flowers per table which complement the already natural, eclectic and chic hues of the room. The stunning view also has a huge impact on the room and come dusk- it oozes a relaxed, luxurious atmosphere.
Is there accommodation for wedding guests on site?
This unique boutique hotel has 31 luxurious light-filled suites all appointed with timeless furnishings. All boast king size beds, large elegant marble bathrooms, state of the art televisions and amenities, plus floor to ceiling windows that open onto impressive views ranging from the breathtaking Sydney Harbour to serene views over Watsons Bays’ iconic Robertson’s Park.
Our Bridal Suite has full harbour view adjoining suites, both with large ensuites complete with a bath and shower. The suite also has a large balcony overlooking Sydney Harbour which is perfect to take in the magical sunsets. It is ideal for the bride and her bridesmaids to stay in the night before the wedding and then for the bridal couple to enjoy the luxury of two suites in one on the bridal night.
Image by gm photographics
Do you have a favorite wedding story?
Ah so many stories! Here’s just a few memorable ones:
- An army officer who insisted on using a sword to cut the cake- a 200 piece croquembouche
- Sewing a bride into her gown which ripped between ceremony and reception
- A wedding which had actually occurred 1 year prior in Vegas, (yet no one in the family knew… )
- One wedding encompassed a “Florist shop” theme with thick heavy florals and a gorgeous arbor over the bridal table.
- This bride and groom were in the Navy – they had their ceremony at HMAS Watson followed by reception in the Sunset room in line with the Royal Fleet Review . This was obviously quite symbolic to the couple due to their occupations. The night also encompassed a tremendous firework display.
Thank you Jacqueline for telling us all about Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel. To find out more search the website.
All images unless otherwise stated, courtesy of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel