A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published March 2nd 2019
Have hors d’oeuvres with Harry at the refurbished Princess
The iconic Princess Theatre has recently undergone a substantial refurbishment - just in time for the opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. As well as new wizardly flourishes, the Princess has unveiled newly designed Premium Lounge and Private Suites.
Melbourne's iconic Princess Theatre
I recently had the opportunity to check it out.
The Princess Theatre always looks grand, and the recent renovations have simply enhanced it. On entering the Premium Lounge, the first thing I noticed was the carpet - it's boldly patterned with the flowers of Australian native plants. It's a statement piece, interesting yet somehow, not out of place. Designer Geraldine Maher took account of the theatre's early 19th century Victorian architecture, aiming to achieve "a luxurious modern spirit with a nod to the past".
Entrance to the Premium Lounge and Private Suites
Walking into the Lounge, there are clusters of tables and chairs, providing a range of places to sit and relax. The stunning leadlight windows give views over Spring Street, and also let in lots of natural light.
At the opening, wait staff were efficient and friendly, the hors d'oeuvres were plentiful and delicious, and glasses were kept topped up. And that is a taste of what you'd expect if you booked a premium package.
One of the delicious hors d'oeuvres on offer - this is actually watermelon (not sushi!) served on a lemon flavoured meringue
The private lounge opens 90 minutes prior to a show, between shows and during intervals. Guests have the opportunity to order from a specially designed in-house menu and can enjoy a welcome drink and hors d'oeuvres created by Executive Chef of all the Marriner Group venues, David Ricardo. Guests can also choose from an extensive wine list, complimentary soft drinks, a souvenir program, private restrooms and cloak check.
The Lounge comprises three main areas: Marriner Room, Melba Room and Wintergarden Bar. They are available for personal bookings, but also for private hire for a degustation dinner or a cocktail function for up to 50 guests.
One of the private suites, which are available to be booked for a private dinner or cocktail party. (Image supplied.)
While the Lounge will appeal to corporate clients and VIP guests, it is equally accessible for individuals looking for an elegant night out. The format of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - a production in two parts with an intermission of around three hours between the two parts if you choose to see both on the same day - means it may be worth thinking about a premium package, ensuring you have a classy, comfortable and convenient place to chill out between performances.
A glimpse of the Premium Lounge and Private Suites
To give an idea of prices, a standard ticket for Harry Potter costs between $65 and $175 per part, while a premium lounge ticket costs $270 per part.
Jason Marriner, CEO of the Marriner Group, speaking at the official unveiling of the Premium Lounge and Private Suites. (Note the beautiful windows.)
Speaking at the opening, Jason Marriner (CEO of the Marriner Group) was clearly delighted both with the success of Harry Potter (the ticket sales for which, he announced, are sufficient to keep it running at the Princess Theatre for at least another 12 months), and with the latest hospitality offerings at the Princess. In the competitive world of live theatre in Melbourne, the Princess has a unique combination, he said: "a world-class show, our iconic landmark venue and award-winning hospitality".
Click here for more information about the ticketing options available at the Princess, or call (03) 9299 9860.
Except where indicated, the images in this article were taken by the writer.