So it’s approaching Christmas and time for the annual Christmas work function (groan). Working in a fairly large office you get invited to some nice Christmas party venues and the venue this year is one I am looking forward to although its probably not necessarily the coolest Christmas party venue. The coolest venue was probably the Big Brother house at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast while I was living in Brisbane but I am getting off topic… oh yeah… Mural Hall, Melbourne !
Let’s be honest, not all Christmas parties are worth going to but I considered this one a must because of the venue. It is a place I have been interested to see and a bit of a Melbourne institution really.
The Mural Hall is on Level 6 of Melbourne’s Myer city store which is also known at this time of year for its amazing animated and automated (ie moving) Christmas window displays which are generally based on children’s Christmas stories.
Leaving work with a work friend we made our way to the Myer city store and stopped to take the opportunity to join the queue for the Myer windows before heading inside the Myer city store.
With the windows admired, we head to the lifts to take us up to Level 6 which is the top floor and we know what “top floor” usually represents… expensive. Yes, Level 6 also serves the electrical department (keeping in line with the expensive theme) and home to Santa and his little photography Elf. Looks like Santa and his snap happy Elf have left their post and gone home for the night (which means no sitting on Santa’s lap tonight). So into the party we go…
The entry brings us into a reception area which has gorgeous couches and seats on one side and a long bar on the other. This reception room is quite contemporary having been remodelled as part of the recent renovation of the Myer city store.
I wander up to the glass doors which form the entry to the Mural Hall to get a sneak peak of the hall and the murals which line the walls and for which the hall gets his name. The hall looks as charming as I had hoped and expected it might.
This is a classy room.
It is not too long until we are invited into the hall to begin our dinner consisting of three courses (of course), but first we have the good old welcome speech, applause, applause, “welcome”, applause, “great place to work, blah blah blah”, applause, applause etc etc.
Entree is delicious scallop, main is a melt in your mouth eye fillet and for dessert – trolley dessert (a selection of dessert items which are trolleyed around the room) which is quite novel and far too tempting.
Being a work function, there are the usual obvious signs of people enjoying an extra Christmas drink and things being said that would normally remain unknown and sometimes not wanting to be known, for example, there is a rumour going around that two female employees (work friends) aren’t wearing any underpants under their extremely tiny dresses (not sure whether that’s considered sexy or gross). Others are doing moves on the dance floor that might require them needing some weekend chiropractic consultation. I never quite make it to the dance floor, which is probably just as well for my own reputation.
I have enjoyed my night and its now approaching midnight (when the party formally finishes). With no afterparty on the agenda for me, I decide to finish the last of my red wine and head off home before things get messy and/or before everyone is looking to head off and find one of those rare Christmas creatures called a “taxi”. I do find a taxi with an Indian taxi driver (which is common in Melbourne). My taxi driver seems a tad impatient, obviously thinking he needs to get me home ASAP so I can get some beauty sleep…hmmm. I have been in the cab about five minutes and Mr Taxi Driver has already honked his horn at two cars… doesn’t Mr Taxi Driver realise Christmas in the city is bound to cause delays. Ten minutes further on and we nearly have an accident when he tries to enter onto Hoddle Street. Twenty minutes into the trip and he is now flashing his high beams behind people in the fast lane of the freeway. (I text Alex to say I am in a taxi on my way home in case I don’t make it). Next Mr Taxi Driver toots a fellow taxi driver who appears to move across his lane… and he’s still not done…. one more flash of his high beams (great!).
Couple of last streets and I am home. I pay with my Cabcharge (compliments of work) but there’s no tip for you tonight Mr Taxi Driver… no wait… here’s a tip…
“Don’t scare the passenger!!”
Thank you Mural Hall, you have been unforgettable, unlike you Mr Taxi Driver.
For further information on the Mural Hall I invite you to go to their website http://www.muralhall.net.au/ or below is an extract from the website telling of the history of the Mural Hall.
“In the heart of Melbourne lies a chic European ballroom with soaring ceilings, sweeping stairs and city views peeking through original leadlight windows. Never before seen by the public, this hidden treasure is now available for weddings and events, and will impress every name on your guest list.
Located on the top floor of the iconic Myer city store, Mural Hall is called so because of the impressive collection of 8 original murals displaying influential figures from the arts, opera, literature, dance and fashion. So significant are these murals, the venue has been honoured with a National Trust Classification.
Filled with lavish stories from the past, the space was originally designed by business extraordinaire, Sidney Myer to host private fashion parades and exclusive events for the Melbourne elite, and now for the first time in history, it’s your turn.”