It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Our Christmas in July returned and was bigger and more festive than ever.
Festive sweaters, bon bons, Mariah Carey’s Christmas classics – our annual Christmas in July event returned in 2018, bringing more festive cheer, delicious food and great company than ever before. A Christmas feast of big proportions required a fitting venue, and sure enough Porteno’s Cleveland street restaurant fit the bill. The site, which first opened its doors in 2010, was converted into an events space in 2016, with the arrival of Porteno’s second restaurant on Surry Hill’s Holt Street.
It’s almost impossible not to fall in love with the space’s lofty ceilings, those distinctive checkered tiles and the open fire pit resting in the site’s nucleus. For our Christmas feast, Porteno was transformed into a festive wonderland, with red roses, candles, bon bons and the distinctive Secret Foodies red and green masks decorating the tables.
A mere two hours prior to the commencement of the event, guests received the secret text message revealing the precise location. Donning their most festive attire, our Christmas in July event started off most fittingly, with a hot gin punch. Made with 78 Degrees Gin, bitter orange, Rosso Vermouth plus a delicious array of spices such as cloves, star anise, orange and cinnamon – the aromas quickly filled the room.
As guests finished the first beverage of the night, it was time to be seated. Christmas carols played merrily in the background, as guests found their seats and exchanged names with fellow diners. It was soon time for entree, with the first dish of the night being hot smoked salmon, jamon, braised peas and tarragon. Comforting and flavour heavy, the salmon was perfectly offset by the sweet earthiness of the braised peas and tarragon. To accompany it, guests were offered either Mud House Sauvignon Blanc or NZ By Nature Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
With glasses soon re-topped with the option of Mudhouse Pinot Noir or NZ By Nature Marlborough Pinot Noir, it was time for mains. Guests were treated to Christmas roast stuffed chicken with lashings of Porteno’s signature gravy. This was teamed with Porteno’s brussel sprouts and roast pumpkin, marking ideal companions to the roast on a cold winter’s day.
With stomaches full, it was time for the all-important part of the event, Kris Kingle! Guests clutched their presents, and were soon instructed by Ms Darlinghurst, aka Alex Adams, to pass their gifts onto someone they didn’t know.
With new gifts in everyone’s hands, it was time to open! The criteria for the event was that the gift had to be $5 or less, new or re-gifted. Laughter quickly filled the room as presents were revealed. We saw everything from homemade Rocky Road to cheeky playing cards, pop-up beer pong kits and cooking aprons.
Dessert time was soon upon us, and it marked the perfect end to a long and leisurely Christmas meal. Plates of bread and butter pudding with brandy custard arrived to tables. To round off the wine offerings for each sitting, guessed were offered either Mud House South Island Pinot Gris or Mud House Sub Region Series Pinot Gris.
Porteno’s event space on Cleavland Street is not only iconic, but a stunning venue that should be on every foodies list. You can check it out for yourself here: http://portenoevents.com.au/
Check out the photos from the event here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/secretfoodies/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2494867187213751
Looking to host a birthday, hens, corporate Christmas party or something bespoke? Secret Foodies also offer private events for groups of 20+ people. Check out our packages here: https://secretfoodies.com.au/private-events/
358 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills
02 8399 1440