How was your Australia Day long weekend? I woke up on Australia Day in a tent as we were camping for the long weekend in the High Country near Howqua. Then I ended the day in a tent as well, but a very different sort of tent, the Emirates Suite at the Australian Open.
Emirates is sponsoring the Australian Open for the first time this year and is putting on serious hospitality for its frequent flyers and partners. I was lucky enough to be invited to experience the Emirates suite which is located just outside Centre Court. The temporary structure is decked out in Emirates signature red and white with a tennis twist. There are rows of white racquets lining the entrance and the balcony is decorated with hand painted red tennis balls.
Inside there’s a spa suite and a replica of the bar on the Emirates A380 complete with seat buckles to strap you in! Emirates tennis guests are served a Pimms Cup on arrival before sitting down to a full dinner menu which recreates the Dine on Demand service for First and Business Class passengers in flight.
For Australia Day head chef Markus Werner had put together a suitably patriotic menu starting with an Aussie seafood trio of tender marinated calamari, super fresh oysters and a chilled gazpacho like soup of Queensland blue swimmer crab.
Werner also served up Emirates take on the Aussie BBQ. Rather than throwing a prawn on the BBQ there were dozens along with fat, juicy scallops and squat little Barramundi burgers. Of course there were lamb cutlets – served medium rare and slightly gummy, along tiny gourmet sausages. Slice of beef rib eye were given a summery touch with an accompaniment of paw paw salsa.
To finish what could be more Australian than a mini pavlova and perfectly proportioned lamington (complete with oozing jam filling) along with a tangy yoghurt sorbet.
It was difficult to leave the Emirates suite even with the lure of the excellent tennis (Venus Williams v Radwanska and Muller v Djokovic) happening just outside. The evening was a envy inducing peek into what life is like when you turn left at the cabin door.
Big thanks to Emirates for having me as a guest.
Details: The Emirates Suite, The Australian Open, Melbourne Park, Melbourne
Damage: Priceless: Money cannot buy this experience.