Melbourne Cup Extravaganza

What a beautiful day it was for the race that stops the nation. And here at the Astra we gathered in the lounge amongst the racing-themed decorations for a high tea-style lunch while we waited for the main event to begin. There were hats and fascinators, dresses and suits galore in a variety of fresh spring colours. Aaron made a large variety of sandwiches, Anna took care of the cakes and all the food was arranged to give the feel of a sumptuous high tea.

As the race drew closer, we collected money for sweeps and everyone waited keenly to see which horses they had drawn. And what a race it was! There was only a nose between them at the finishing line, and it had been too close to call right until the end. The winners of the $2 and $5 sweeps were Lillian and Eva, and second and third place got a share of the prize money too. Congratulations to everyone who came away a winner, and thanks to everyone else who came along for the fun and food. “One of the best ever” was the verdict of one resident!

Proud Mary Murray River Cruise Presentation

Yesterday afternoon we were pleased to welcome Lisa, a representative of Proud Mary, to the Astra to give a presentation on their luxury Murray River and Barossa Valley experience. Lisa talked us through the itinerary, and then showed us a short video of testimonials from previous participants. The scenery there is stunning and the food and accommodation on the ships looks lovely. I think there were more than a few interested parties at the end of it, and Lisa stayed for a while to answer questions and help people to fill in forms.

Along with the presentation, we were treated to wine and nibbles in the form of cheese and biscuits, dips and fruit. It was a nice way to spend an hour at the end of the day, and thanks to Lisa and to all those that came along to hear. I look forward to seeing photos and hearing stories of any residents from the Astra going to that area. It’s certainly on my bucket list now!

Wine Tasting

Yesterday we had a wine tasting afternoon, in recognition of International Wine and Cheese Day on Monday. It was a great success. We welcomed Goran from Regional Wines of the World to the Astra at 2:30pm. He gave us a tasting notes sheet that we could use to keep a record of which wines we liked best. Some of the group were more experienced with tastings, and so asked lots of questions about region, grape variety and vintage. The rest of us were content to taste and decide what we liked and what we didn’t. Aaron and I organised a couple of cheese platters to go with the wine, so we contentedly munched on cheese and crackers as we worked our way from dry whites to sweet reds, rose and sherry.

Some of the group don’t drink wine, but they were happy to get involved and chat with us over a cup of Coke! Poor Goran had to try hard to get our attention more than a few times, as he moved on to the next wine! The wines he brought were from all over the world, and were a little different to those you would normally buy in the shops. As a result, it was an experience we all enjoyed and were happy to share with our friends and neighbours. A few of us might have even bought a bottle or two at the end, which I’m sure made Goran happy too! Thanks to everyone who came and made it such a fun afternoon.