To celebrate the first day of Summer, the Plus Ones were invited to an exclusive all-day event to showcase some of the best Bananalab gift experiences, available to be enjoyed in Sydney. Hosted by Bananalab and their partners, the day kicked off with a fun-filled macaron-making masterclass at Mak Mak in Surry Hills, a long lunch and wine tasting at the Urban Winery Sydney, topped off with a blissful afternoon cruise experience on an East Sail sailboat from Rushcutter’s Bay and beyond.
If you haven’t heard, Bananalab is a new-on-the-scene gift concept that’s going to change the way you shop. Basically, it allows buyers to gift an experience: something for the recipient to enjoy. These include everything from adventure experiences, to wellbeing, lifestyle, and escape experiences too. This means gifting a Bananalab box can see the recipient enjoying anything from abseiling, to whale-watching, to learning to make cheese – it’s entirely up to them.
French Founders Amiel and Dufraisse, lovers of all things adventure, travel and outdoors, launched Bananalab in Australia to fill the gap for those looking to gift unique and memorable moments to their loved ones – instead of say, superfluous or unwanted gifts. Fun fact: In French, to “have the banana” means to be happy — hence the name. It’s true, experiences put a big ol’ wide banana-grin on everybody’s face.
Treated to a few of the fun experiences on offer, my guest and I were smiling from start to finish. We felt utterly spoilt by the day’s experiences, and a sense of genuine enjoyment throughout. The guided macaron-making class at Mak Mak inspired us to be creative, to challenge ourselves with the precision of baking (and the patience before eating). We were introduced to the Founder of Sydney’s Urban Winery next, who walked us through an exquisite range of A.Reteif wines made on the premises, but with fruits sourced from all over New South Wales. In the spectacular sunny afternoon, we then boarded a beautiful East Sail sailboat, for a 2 hour cruise around Sydney’s harbourside suburbs – accompanied by fresh prawns, oysters (courtesy of The Grounds), plus champagne, of course!
Guests were treated to a wonderful snapshot of a handful of what the Bananalab gift boxes have to offer. The beauty of the Bananalab concept is this: when you buy a gift card – you load it up with a certain dollar value, leaving the recipient to determine exactly how much you think they’re worth. Bananalab have avoided that, by partnering with countless incredible “experience partners” across Australia, so that they can treat recipients to the best value for their money. You simply can’t put a price on experience.
How it works: You give your friend, aunt, sister or brother a good-looking (tangible) Bananalab box to unwrap. Inside is a colourful booklet showcasing over 250 carefully selected exceptional experiences to choose from. The recipient then uses the enclosed “pass” to redeem their choice of the experience of their dreams.
Bananalab launches in Australia in perfect time for summer, and Christmas gift-giving season. If the year 2020’s lockdowns and isolation has taught us anything, it’s that experiences matter. Getting out of the house, and enjoying ourselves with loved ones is what matters — not another pair of socks.
When you give an experience, you give a memory — and well, memories are priceless.
Bananalab Gift boxes are now available in Coles and Woolworths stores nation-wide. For more information, visit their Website.
Jill is a Sydney-based journalist who drinks by the logic: it’s five o’ clock somewhere. Follow her on Instagram.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Milk Bottle Projects
Photos: Milk Bottle Projects