What Would They Know? Anna Wajzer of Alfred Place by Rockpool Events

by | Venue Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom

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With this grand building’s rich history of being formerly the Naval and Military Club in the early 1900’s and then the famous Mietta’s in the 1980’s, this venue has been reborn as Alfred Place under the skillful stewardship of Neil Perry’s Rockpool Events & Catering. Now a dedicated event space, these beautifully decorated rooms are set to invite you in with the clink of glasses, and the voices and laughter of happy guests. With menus curated by Neil Perry and his team, your day is planned down to the last detail by the team at Rockpool Events & Catering who will help you create a magical bespoke wedding day that you’ll never forget. We talk to Anna about this special venue.

Please describe Alfred Place – it’s history and location.

Alfred Place is an art deco building originally built in the 1800’s, its located on the Paris end of Collins Street and has been lovingly restored to its Edwardian art deco origins.

What is special about Alfred Place as an events space?

The architecture and scale is what strikes you most when you first enter Alfred Place, the Ballroom’s lofted ceilings and the sweeping grand staircase that leads you to it is just breathtaking. Each and every space that you enter has been lovingly restored and is a discovery in itself.

Please describe the style and ambience of Alfred Place. What were the thoughts behind the elegant and bold décor?

We didn’t want it to lose its original charm so the refurbishment was very much about staying true to its art deco origins but adding a touch of elegance and sophistication that would further enhance the culinary experience we deliver. Rich emerald green drapes, crisp white walls and an ornate ceiling along with dark timber, mirror and marble floor and bar add drama and lavish details.

How is the space best decorated for a wedding, so as to enhance and make the most of the bold surrounds?

I’m a traditionalist and for me, florals are the best way to enhance an already beautiful space with touches of metallic hues and sparkling cut crystal.

What is your role at Alfred Place by Rockpool Events?

I’m the Senior Sales Manager for the Rockpool Dining Group so I oversee our national sales & events team.  Alfred Place is our pride and joy and the first time the group has had a dedicated event space to showcase our premium brands within.

What do you particularly love about creating events at Alfred Place?  

The fact that we really take great pride in consulting with our couples to ensure a truly bespoke and individual experience. It’s a luxurious blank canvas that can really become anything and coupled with menus that hero some of Australia’s finest produce, events at Alfred Place are anything but typical.

How do you ensure that couples make the best use of the space?

We’ll guide our couples on the best layout and menu concept to suit their personality and style but really, the space is divine and the perfect backdrop to start a couple’s married life together.

Is every package created on an individual basis depending on the bridal couple’s needs (rather than set packages)?  

Yes absolutely! In fact we don’t offer ‘packages’ as such but rather build one in consultation with our couples. A detailed consultation is the first step and is so important to learn a about them, what their needs and expectations are, but also how we can make their dream day come to life. As part of one of Australia’s most well regarded dining groups, our expertise by way of our talented culinary and beverage teams mean that our event menus are perfectly paired with care and expertise of some of the country’s leading hospitality professionals.

Do you work with a preferred team of suppliers to bring the bridal couple’s vision to life?

Yes we work with some of the best in the business when it comes to suppliers. In fact it’s essential that anyone we work with shares our same service philosophy, taking great care of our couples and producing the highest quality events from concept right through to the final farewell on the big day. We trust our suppliers to ensure the florals, the photography, the entertainment, décor or the cake are of the highest quality and perfectly tell the story each couple envisioned.

You have a wide range of menus for the bridal couple to choose from. Would please explain how the concept of the menus you offer, works?

One of the most unique things about Alfred Place by Rockpool Events is that it’s the first dedicated event space within the Rockpool Dining Group and as such, offers a choice of menu from our awarded restaurants within including Rockpool Bar & Grill or Rosetta Ristorant. Either can be chosen from seated receptions while our cocktail reception menu choice further extends to items from Sake Restaurant & Bar, Spice Temple or Fratelli Fresh for cocktail gatherings allowing our couples a variety of cuisines, styles and flavours across their event.

You’d not expect hatted cuisine delivered in an event space but food and service is the cornerstone to everything we do at Alfred Place. Our menus are curated by Director of Brand & Culinary, Chef Neil Perry AM and his teams and offer an indulgent and diverse 5 star wedding experience that you’d usually only expect or see when dining in one of our restaurants.

For a sit down receptionRockpool Bar & Grill for some of the best Australian beef and produce or Rosetta Ristorante for a contemporary Italian journey that showcases dishes from Neil’s extensive travels through Italy

For a cocktail event – This is where the culinary team really delivers with a selection of canapes and larger plates from our four premium brands here in Melbourne, in addition to Rockpool Bar & Grill and Rosetta, guests can also make selections from the combined canape menu that includes the delicate Japanese flavours of Rockpool Bar & Grill and the regional Chinese flavors of Spice Temple. Of course, if a client has a preference for one specific brand we can absolutely adapt accordingly but the choice and variety sets us apart where guests are guaranteed of an exceptional food experience.

Is the couple able to tailor the menu to their favourite dishes?

Of course. In fact many of our couples are loyal to our restaurants and it’s what has drawn them to us as the reception venue. The ability to share a meal with friends and family and dine on a menu that is personal to them, perhaps reflective of a first date or one they’ve come to love definitely creates a memorable dining experience beyond what you’d usually expect of an event.

Are guests able to move between upstairs and downstairs at Alfred Place – a “journey” where cocktails and canapes might be served downstairs in Fratelli Fresh and move upstairs for the reception meal?

Yes, the entire building at Alfred Place comprises of 4 separates spaces, two upstairs and two downstairs. All can be combined for one extravagant reception for over 500 guests’ cocktail style or yes, as you suggest arrivals downstairs in Fratelli Fresh and then the more formal proceedings upstairs in the Ballroom. Many couples like to continue on downstairs long after the party has ended also, as another way of incorporating both levels.

Have you seen some inspiring food ideas lately?  

I’m inspired by what our team delivers every day and the quality is second to none.

Is the space able to accommodate a dance floor and band?

Yes depending on guest numbers entertainment is easily accommodated while our distinctive black and white marble floor of the Ballroom provides the most elegant of dance floors. The adjoining Library is also popular for dancing and entertainment and provides an opportunity for guests to choose to enter the party zone or stay in the ballroom for a quieter end to their evening.

For guests from out of town – is there accommodation nearby?

The Grand Hyatt is one we highly recommend to our clients while the Westin, QT and Stanford are all close by.

What do you love about living and working in Melbourne?

I don’t live in Melbourne but do feel like it’s my second home I’m there so often. I’ve a Sales & Events team on hand locally to support and deliver the best weddings and events possible.

Thank you Anna for sharing the story of Alfred Place. What a stunning space this is and with the variety of menus to choose from, you can treat your guests to a memorable wedding they’ll talk about for a long time. To find out more about Alfred Place by Rockpool Events visit the website.

All images in this post by Timson.co Photography & Design

Headshot courtesy of Anna Wajzer of Rockpool Dining Group.

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