Showing posts with label Mary Donalson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mary Donalson. Show all posts

Friday, September 9, 2011

Justin Under Attack

While the compact Kings Cross club Beach Haus celebrated the opening of their Moet & Chandon bar (above) Australia's most successful night club entrepreneur Justin Hemmes has come under sustained attacks that bear all the hall marks of the infamous Australian "tall poppy syndrome".

Justin Hemmes
No-one has invested as much money as the young mogul in providing chic and luxurious premises for Sydney-siders to party in. To date an estimated $200M. Hemmes employs around 2000 staff and is regarded by those who work for him as a firm but fair and generous boss. There is a waiting list of hundreds of young hopefuls wishing to be employed by Justin's Merivale Group.

Starting with 2 hotels in the city, Hemmes bucked the trend and turned old style pubs into stylish and modern bars aided by his sister Bettina who is responsible for decorating all his premises.

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman partied at his Slip Inn while the Crown Prince of Denmark, Frederick met his future bride Mary Donaldson there during the 2000 Olympics.

When he opened the elegant Establishment in lower George Street in a beautiful colonial Georgian building he introduced the city to a style not seen before.

Huge marbled floored bars that become packed after office hours, an award winning restaurant Est run by top chef Peter Doyle (picking up '3 Hats' again last week at the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide launch) and a series of function rooms constantly in use with a nightclub Hemmesphere that became the place to relax for visiting international stars from Beyonce to Bono to actor Simon Callow.

In any other world class city Hemmes would probably be given a gold key to the city having almost solely revived central Sydney' dormant nightlife.

A party at the Ivy pool
Instead he has faced a raft of opposition from local police over exaggerated incidents that pale into insignificance when one considers he hosts tens of thousands of patrons every week.

Hemmes also came under the gaze of  Lord Mayor Clover Moore who donned a new hat as the head of the Anti-Fun Police and attempted to enforce strict drinking hours reminiscent of the dreaded 1950s "six o'clock swill" when pubs slammed their doors shut at 6pm each evening. Fortunately the outcry was deafening particularly as Hemmes had invested his family fortune in his city nightclubs

Three months ago Hemmes was held up at gunpoint in his recently purchased Surry Hill's pub . Outside a police car with 2 officers calmly watched as the armed raiders made their get away in a stolen BMW crashing into another car in the process.

A fortnight ago it is alleged his doormen bashed a patron in the cellar at Hemme's Ivy complex and mis-lead police whilst cleaners washed away bloodstains.

A few nights ago Hemmes distinctive black Rolls Royce Phantom was pulled over in Redfern and the driver was charged with drug possession. Yesterday a man claimed he had been assaulted by Hemmes at Ivy. Hemmes denies the charge and says CCTV footage backs him up.

Sydney once had the most corrupt police in the Southern hemisphere, routed out at great personal sacrifice by an imported British police commander who, for his efforts and success was forced from the country by a series of cowardly and false attacks from shock jocks and politicians.

It comes as no surprise Justin Hemmes has been spotted in New York City in recent months checking out premises. His talents would be snapped up in the USA. They would roll out the welcome mat.
It would serve the good burghers of Sydney right if they forced the man who has done more to brighten Sydney life to flee abroad to a city that would appreciate his talents.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Harry Potter Down Under

It's about as far from the madding crowd as one can get. Antarctica is the next stop.

Symmons Plains
JK Rowling
The Apple Isle,Tasmania is one of the most pleasant parts of Australia with a glorious country-side that is reminiscent of the green pastures of rural Britain. And the climate is far better. Glorious summers followed by  snowy winters with piercing blue skies.

Woman's Day, the glossy of repute reports that J.K.Rowling,  the most successful author of the last 100 years with the Harry Potter books and films has purchased Symmons Plains, a mansion that comes with a 865 hectare farm. Apparently she has bought several properties on the island. Other media reports question whether the sale actually happened but Woman's Day insists the tale is true.

'In Like Flynn'

Others who have sought the solace of Tasmania include the late MI5 officer Peter Wright,  former Sydney Morning Herald scribe Leo Schofield and the former UN weapons inspector Richard Butler who once had a contract put on his head by Saddam Hussein.

Tasmanians who have left for the wider world to achieve success and fame : The Mentalist's Simon Baker, Greens leader and possibly one of the most powerful men in Federal Parliament Bob Brown, Mary Donaldson now in line to become the next Queen of Denmark, composer Peter Sculthorpe, cricketer Ricky Ponting and our favourite swashbuckling actor, Errol Flynn.