Tuesday, September 29, 2009

the mysterious case of the Vanishing Fiance !

Pictured right is NSW's Minister for tourism Jodie McKay and her fiance Stephen Fenn.

A Shuttler snapped them last week at the Pyrmont Uncorks The Hunter-a promotion for the Hunter Valley held at Astral Cocktail Bar in the Star City Casino.

About 150 guests attended the soiree on Wednesday evening to launch a 12 day Food & Wine Festival. The event was hosted by Lawrence Gibbons, President of the Pyrmont Chamber of Commerce and Greg West, Chair, Sub Committee the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association. The City of Sydney was also a major sposor. Guests enjoyed tasting delicious cheese and premium wines from 16 Hunter Valley winemakers.
Amongst the revellers- Rowena Hawkins, Business Development Manager Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association, City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone and Business Precinct Coordinator, Robyn Simon, new Deputy Lord Mayor, Phillip Black and Paul Judge from the Department of NSW Industry & Investment. Keen wine tasters included Sir James and Lady Hardy, Lady McMahon, Nick Eddy, restaurateurs Blue Eye Dragon’s Muriel Chen and Pyrama’s Linda Larcan, Supermodel Elle’s mum, Fran MacPherson, and Carmen Duncan, Additional connoisseurs included Robert Whitton, Chairman of The Wine Society, visiting ‘Taste of Tennis’ promoter from New York, Karen Scott-Happer and Mikki Konrads.

The Hunter Valley is one great success story and an important economic region for NSW. Thousands are employed there and tens of millions of dollars are generated each year in wine exports for the world renowned wines produced there. Quite apart from the Hunter being a prime domestic and foreign tourism $$ generator.

Jodie is the local MP for the Hunter- doing her job helping promote her electorate.

Last Friday the Shuttle office was contacted by News Ltd's flagship newspaper the Daily Telegraph. They wanted the snap of Jodie and her fiancee (above). Naturally we are happy to help out fellow hacks.

But a strange tale followed in the Terror about Jodie's fiance and how he had been spotted in a happy mood somewhere else. But there he was right beside her at Astral. They cropped out Stephen Fenn from the pic. You are mystified ? Well so are we.
## The Social Shuttle politely turned down an invite to party tonight with master promoter Sir Richard Branson (surely Lord Branson by now?) as he announced his sponsorship of the forever doomed Metro venue in Sydney's movie entertainment strip in George Street. The Metro just never seems to get off the ground and besides, there are too many stairs for us oldies.

Branson is in town to also announce his new auto insurance company to compete with the many others on offer-a really exciting concept-not ! One can't knock Branson-he really knows how to get a new venture off the ground. The problem is price wise, they always end up being the same as all the others !.

Besides, a Shuttler associate well remembers organizing a party for the late artist Andy Warhol in the then Branson owned nightclub Heaven in London-Europe's largest nightclub. Sir Richard declined the invite on the belief Warhol wouldn't show.

Princess Gloria Thun und Taxis

Not only did Andy do as he promised-he brought a film crew from the respected UK's South Bank TV show to record the night, and 2 of his pals (the late) Prince Johannes & his wife Princess Gloria Thun und Taxis, widely regarded as Germany's grandest aristocratic family.

If you don't know the Thun & Taxis family-think taxi cabs. They started them a few hundred years ago and taxis are named after them. And that's what Sir Richard caught quick smart to get down to his nightclub Heaven to meet Warhol-a taxi.