Lunch on a Sunday is always a treat at the Royal Hotel in Ferntree Gully. Situated at 1208 Burwood Highway, the Royal was first built back in 1888, and even though modernised many times over the years, still retains it's original personality. A favourite with locals it has a growing popularity with nearby Yarra Ranges and the Dandenong people. There is ample parking at the rear with additional parking available across the road at the Ferntree Plaza Shopping Centre.
The Royal also has a reputation of presenting and providing great entertainment.
My original thought was to call in and have a quiet meal on Sunday, but I hadn't been aware that the day I chose was a Jazz afternoon. This soon became apparent when the New Melbourne Jazz Band burst into great music that had the place humming and jumping. A number of couples were soon up on the floor dancing, and the atmosphere was more like a family gathering than complete strangers all in the same room. The feeling was great. No wonder the dining room was packed to the rafters, and the food was great too!
The New Melbourne Jazz Band appear at the Royal every six weeks or so at the Royal (they appear elsewhere the other Sundays of each month around the Dandenong and Maroondah areas). Their gig is from 1.00 to 4.00 p.m. These musicians know their stuff, and they know what the crowds like. And it shows. Even if you have never thought about jazz, it won't take you long before your feet are tapping and your body swaying with the swing of many of the old favourites. Seated patrons were loud in their appreciation of the music and musicians; it became a "sing-along" at times. For those who enjoy jazz or simply to just be entertained at the highest level, these afternoons and this venue just has to be added to your "must do" list for Sunday afternoons.
The leader of the New Melbourne Jazz Band is Ross Anderson, and their website is: newmelbournejazzband.com Telephone: (03) 9801 2237. The next few stints at the Royal for the New Melbourne Jazz Band will be: Sunday 14th October, Sunday 11th November and Sunday 9th December. Put the dates in your diary now, so that you won't miss out on a great afternoon's entertainment.