As previously mentioned we are off to Melbourne for the gift fairs. There are essentially 3 that are on concurrently so well worth the trip to source amazing new stock in the lead up to Christmas.
To go to Melbourne is a big decision for us. Firstly we have to leave the shop for the longest period of time throughout the year. Secondly it is expensive. Like all things it is always about time and money! It is pointless to travel so far to look for a day, even after 2.5 years we are still learning the best approach and need to take some time, hence the 4 days we give it. Mind you we will be flat out for those 4 days. We also get to visit our eldest son Ben, who has been living in Melbourne studying Medicine for the last 4 years. We don’t see him often so it’s a great opportunity to catch up.
After we decide – yes we are going – then we have to decide do we drive or fly? Where do we stay? I know lots of other retailers look at this as purely business, but for us it also is our annual holiday. Apart from running up and down to the Sydney fair in February and maybe a couple of days away at another time this is it for us, so we try to make it special.
This is our 3rd trip to Melbourne, the last 2 times we drove. We usually stop on the way down and back so it is also a road trip, which although long, is a real break from what we do everyday. For the last two years we got incredible deals at the Crown Towers, above the casino at Southbank in Melbourne. The Crown Towers is in the perfect position for us to easily walk to the exhibition centre, or catch a bus to the other 2 venues.
Quite frankly I have spent the last 2 years telling EVERYBODY that Jamie Packer is the god of all things in accommodation and service. Our rooms have been stunning and the service has been amazing. Sadly this year the room rates went up $200 a night…I mean REALLY?? I rang and tried my negotiating skills and epically failed at getting a better price. So time to find somewhere new…
On recommendation from our friend Mel who we buy our scented sachets and candles from, we are off to The Langham (so we aren’t slumming it 😉 ) it is a bit further to walk, but we have got the same deal we used to get at the Crown. Mel & Chris are staying there too, so we plan to catch up for drinks with them at night (all included in the price.) This time we are also going to fly, so it’s going to be a completely new experience all round.
I like to plan everything and be completely prepared before we go. Thankfully we have our youngest son Josh and my Mum at the shop keeping it operating… So the plane is booked, seats selected, car parking booked and paid for, accommodation sorted. I will take lots of photos while we are away and give you a run down on our return… it’s getting exciting now!
(External photos of the Crown Towers and The Langham were copied from Google images.)