On the two occasions that I have been to Cherry in the past, my preconceptions of cocktails have changed forever. Swanky interiors, elegantly presented cocktails and plush silver and purple seating reigns opulence with stunning harbour views. Plus a DJ mixing music for your pleasure: from reggae to old school and fresh retro pop are utterly slim. Tunes such as "Fresh" and "I can't wait for the weekend to begin" reign supreme. My preconceptions of aloe vera have changed forever after devouring the Aloe Luv ($17) with aloe vera juice and Finsbury gin. This drink is also elegantly shaken with fresh lemon juice with a dash of agave syrup served long over ice. Alas, now this point brings us to the weird and wonderful experiences of spending some cocktail and bubbly time out at Cherry.
Yes, weird with a capital W. If you were to look up the definition of weird in any dictionary, the word supernatural appears. New Year's Eve brought this supernatural experience of spending the new year (alone) at Cherry at The Star to an all time high. A couple of my close (single) Sydney friends that I was going to spend New Year's Eve with in 2012 ended up in hospital, and their respective doctors held then back from the world until sometime in 2013. Similar situation with my small family. Alas, I was spending New Year's Eve alone. My runny nose and persistent cough (minor cold) held me back from almost booking a return flight to my old home, Melbourne on a whim to celebrate New Year's Eve with my healthy single friends down there. Even though the Melbourne experience of watching the fireworks at Fed Square would have cost triple my total (Cherry) investment (excluding additional drinks); the weirdness of it all came in the way. My hunches (supernatural) urged me to contact Cherry and book in a spot for New Year's Eve. $110 later, I am in. Just like that.
Spending my New Yea'rs Eve for 2012 at Cherry alone, yet I had a fairly good time. My feelings about pistachio have also been changed forever as a result of indulging in the Piscostachio cocktail ($17 extra) with pistachio washed pisco brandy, shaken with fresh lemon juice served over ice with a pistachio sugar crust. A surprisingly refreshing lemony drink with a hint of lime. The drink lasted until the 9pm fireworks, and then it was time to move on. The staff tried to take it away from me a bit too quickly, yet it was obvious that I was still going. Luckily pass outs were allowed. Although not so good for a cold either, I was craving a green tea Frappuccino from Starbucks, and somehow moved heaven and earth to have this experience. Suddenly, my trip out to Darling Harbour made me feel grateful for luxe, despite the premium charge for this enjoyment and being alone.
Oh so James Bond too. Guys upped the ante on the dress code at Cherry too. Only suits will do.
The experience at Cherry on New Year's Eve was like being at an airport anyway. Why? The crowds. Sydney is notorious for its crowds at the best of times, and the fantastic cocktails at this establishment speaks volumes for this fact. Entry to Cherry was exclusive. Heaven forbid, inflation would take a beating if you happened to show up on the night without ringing ahead. Ticket prices trebbled to $140 for the best view of the fireworks at The Star for those less organised than myself. Access to Cherry was no different to being in an airline lounge at the airport, while everyone else in the rest of the Casino was waiting for their plane to depart (fireworks to start) at the terminal instead.
One cool lounge at that. The weird and the wonderful collide at Cherry, especially on NYE.
Cherry is one exclusive place. If you (like the rest of the revellers out there) happened to wear jeans, a t-shirt and sandals, you don't belong to this exclusive club of party goers. A James Bond theme was enjoyed with film installations of James Bond's movies (appropriate as Skyfall was still available to view at the cinemas) with your own Casino Royale with private gaming tables. A $600 Camilla and Marc dress, a gold Swarovski necklace together with a Paspaley pearl necklace and Georgini earrings with hair tied back in a bun was the desired dress code for a real party to blend in with the Cherry decor if you're a lady.
Playing at the secluded gaming tables at Cherry, there were female croupiers who were wearing party dresses with sparkles, and some with their long hair out was beyond surreal. It really felt like all of us were extras in a James Bond movie. The Casino Royale experience was well and truly alive. The guys dealing at the gaming tables wore bow ties and jackets. One of the croupiers at one of the blackjack gaming tables gave all of us players a high-five when we won our rounds; that and the croupiers blowing party poppers when their tables had no players. What happened to the need to show 'clean hands' when dealing a deck of cards and handling Casino chips?
The utterly wonderful...
If you can handle a bit of passive smoking, and party goers beside you (which, on the contrary are well behaved at Cherry) the views of the midnight fireworks in particular were nothing but spectacular. This is where you get your money's worth at Cherry. The package came with some delicious canapés served by some sweet staff. That with some gold Moet balloons (only Gold made the cut) floating around, what more could you want? Thankfully, the New Year's Eve package included a flute of Moet and Chandon French champagne come 2013. It was real royalty being handed one while watching the midnight fireworks despite the smoking going on in the outside terrace area.
Just prior to midnight. Fish and chips canape with party tools in tow.
First off the goats cheese canapé with just stunning. The goats cheese was sitting on a bed of well crumbed pastry with some antipasto flavour that blended into the dish nicely.
Although a bit on the greasy end with the spring roll like coating, the basil prawns were tasty and filling. The prawns were juicy, and that special white basil sauce was just stunning. You would expect sensory overload for the latter, yet it did not happen. The fig with haloumi cheese was a real treat. The cheese overpowered the fig, yet if you love your haloumi it doesn't matter.
Gold Moet and Chandon decorations set the scene for fab times at Cherry.
Next came the arancini balls with some special sauce, and to ensure our stomachs were full by midnight, Cherry provided us with a few small boxes of fish and chips with lemon wedges and tartare sauce. Completely unexpected, yet better than expected. Every area of Cherry is exclusive and spells luxe. Some more tunes from the Ministry of Sound series also came out of hiding, and as the clock struck midnight, another Cherry attendee was celebrating his birthday.
Even though my trip to Melbourne did not materialise, I am glad I paid Cherry two visits before 2013. Otherwise Cherry is home to the $5 happy hour from 5pm to 7pm, Tuesday to Friday. A luxury after works drinks destination simultaneously. Now that's also wonderful.
Thank you Cherry for two great memorable nights thus far