Rydges’ new function centre has been created to cater to every event, with its glorious views, comfortable amenities and inspired menus. We offer a full range of menus, from breakfast to light breaks, executive lunches and three-course meals from our state of the art kitchen and bar …
The new conference and events space looks amazing, Kate. What prompted the expansion and refurbishment?
The space was created to address the immediate need for a premium venue of a substantial size located in the CBD. Our team has been working on an expansion plan for a number of years and with the support and foresight of our GM and owners, we have been able to create a new space that serves as a meeting and event hub for locals, as well as draw new business to the region.
We have maximised the views to the ocean by opening up the room from all angles, giving it a real feeling of depth and space. We are hoping to offer an attractive option to conference organisers wishing to showcase the best of Port Macquarie.
It must be a relief to have removed the previously L-shaped conference room to allow for larger functions – allowing a significant increase in capacity?
Yes, we have thankfully removed the old L-shape conference space and replaced it with a square conference/events room, to seat 300 for a formal dinner or over 600 for a cocktail event. We are ideally placed to cater for large corporate or community events, including school formals, awards nights, charity events, weddings and of course, attract substantial conference, association and sporting groups – not only from this region, but from metropolitan centres.
What feature of the new space do you feel will be the most appealing to potential clients?
Without doubt, the uninterrupted views to the ocean and the Hastings River revealed through our ceiling to floor windows on three sides of the function room. We have also managed to retain three balcony spaces, which provide relief from a day of conferencing and amazing water vistas. These two features, combined with our convenient CBD location, will really appeal to both corporate event and special event organisers.
Does the space have its own kitchen and bar?
Yes, we have invested a significant amount of time and resources into the creation of a fully functional bar and kitchen. Both areas have been fully redesigned to the highest standard. The new design allows service of food and beverages into the function room swiftly and seamlessly. David Capper, along with Brent Tozer, our Zebu Bar Operations Manager, had significant input into the bar space.
The design of the exterior of the bar is reminiscent of the style found in Zebu itself. Perfect for a cocktail after the conference, or for serving 600 thirsty cocktail guests prior to a movie premiere!
Tell us about the new function menus that have been released to coincide with the opening of the new function centre.
The menus reflect our commitment to fresh produce and contemporary flavours, encompassing all that is good about a coastal venue – including an abundance of fresh seafood, quality meats and seasonal fruit and vegetables.
We have a full range of menus, from breakfast to light breaks, executive luncheons and three- course meals. Our canapé range has been totally revamped, featuring a new deluxe range – with one of my personal favourites being the crisp pork belly on ginger pear puree and cress. Another favourite is the duck and pork sang choy bow served in witlof leaf.
We also offer three levels of Day Delegate Packages, including our standard, premium and executive packages. We are currently tasting our way through the menu!
The Masquerade Charity Ball was the first hotel event in the new space. How did it all go?
We had a fabulous night – over 230 guests were able to enjoy the night, with canapés on arrival, followed by a sample of the new mains and desserts. The room looked quite amazing, with feathers and finery. We were able to raise $15K for the Mid Coast Care Charity, which was really gratifying.
So many locals lent their support to the night and kicked up their heels on the waterside dance floor.
Along with the new space, you have introduced some new faces to your team?
Grant Melville has joined us in a newly created position of Food and Beverage Manager, overseeing the operational aspects of the restaurant, bar and function space.
Amanda Perrin-Sumner is our new Wedding Co-ordinator, with Jackie Lawlor taking on the additional role as Conference Co-ordinator for corporate meetings and conferences.
Walter Niall joined us earlier this year and is our Banquets Manager, who looks after the day to day running of the functions.
We have also taken on at least 20 new floor staff, who are currently completing training in the new functions space. The new management team are really enjoying the opportunity to work on larger events and a brand new facility.