March into Merivale is the showcase event for the hospitality empire. From the second I moved to Sydney, I started hearing about Merivale’s many venues: Mrs. G’s, Establishment, Charlie Parker’s, Coogee Pavilion. The crown jewel in Merivale’s throne: The Ivy. The huge, multi-level complex turns into the biggest party in town for ‘Five unique experiences. One spectacular evening’ at March into Merivale.
2,000 guests snapped up the sought-after tickets, which entitled you to three free drinks (more for purchase) and endless food. Entering the ‘Asian Laneway’, aka Ash Street, it was wall-to-wall people queuing up for bites. While the lines moved fast, my +1 Craig and I instead grabbed our first cocktails of the night. The whiskey-based drink had a splash of yuzu, topped off with blue coconut foam. Phenomenal. It just got better from there.
Heading upstairs to the ‘Heavenly High Tea’ area on Level 3, we were faced with a conundrum: Dessert before dinner? At March on Merivale, anything goes! We devoured cotton candy and ice cream. Waitstaff passed around Gateaux opera (layers of coffee buttercream, daquoise, and chocolate) and OMFG-level passionfruit truffles.
Part of the fun of March onto Merivale is the exploration. While you can pick up a map, it’s more fun to wander. That’s how we ended up in the ‘Australia vs. Mexico’ section. Guests mowed down on lamb and burgers, but we had no time for that. Mexican wrestling was about to start! I can’t describe how hilarious it was to watch two men theatrically flinging themselves around.
But there was more to explore. That’s the beauty of March into Merivale — there’s always something. (I haven’t even told you how good the pork buns were, or how beautiful the Balearic Pool Club looked. It’s just too much.) We’d heard rumours since we got there — from both the super-hel;ful staff and fellow punters — that there was a room with wine and cheese. By that time, the event time was drawing to a close.
I figured we’d go, get a few leftover scraps, and enjoy a glass of vino. Not so: the Garden (in the Ballroom) had scads of cheese. Loads. Tonnes. I’m running out of adjectives to explain the cheesy goodness. With decor made up of sultry purple lighting and thousands of flowers, a huge table of cheese before me, and a glass of wine, I was in heaven.
March into Merivale manages to capture exactly what it must have felt like to be invited to a party at a Roman Emperor’s palace. Myriad rooms, all decorated differently. Entertainment. Friendly serving staff. And endless food and drinks. I felt like I’d gone back in time to the era of Nero. It was utter decadence.
Do yourself a favour: when March into Merivale tickets come on sale, don’t hesitate. Just press ‘buy’, and have yourself a glorious time at the biggest, most decadent party of the year.
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa wouldn’t be prevented from attending next year by anything less than wild horses draggin her away.
Sign up at www.merivale.com.au/marchintomerivale to find out about next year’s event.