The inaugural WLG in Sydney last year saw almost 1,500 tickets snapped up within five hours of the restaurant’s announcement, served an estimated 3000 Sydneysiders and broke timeoutsydney.com.au booking records. Visitor arrivals into Wellington from New South Wales increased ten percent in the six months following the initiative, when compared to the same period the year before.
Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT) chief executive David Perks says Australians called for seconds after last year’s event, so WLG will open in Melbourne’s popular Fitzroy area on Tuesday 15 November.
“As Wellington is believed to have more bars and restaurants per capita than New York, we felt we could spare one for Melbourne – although admittedly, they have a couple of their own.”
Named after Wellington’s airport code, WLG promotes the Wellington region by transporting Australians to the city through taste, personality and experience. The Melbourne course follows the extension of the There’s No Place Like Wellington campaign to Australia’s culinary capital earlier this year.
The Rue de Fleurus Salon & Bar in Fitzroy – the heart of Melbourne’s cultural hub – will be transformed into a pop up that reflects and showcases the capital of cool by Wellington interior designer Kerryn Dunshea. Some 25 restaurant staff will be flown across the Tasman, where they’ll serve regionally-focused shared plates designed especially for WLG by Shaun Clouston (Logan Brown), Jacob Brown (The Larder), Rex Morgan (Boulcott Street Bistro), Tom Hutchison (Capitol) and Terry Lowe (Black Barn Restaurant & Vineyard). Meals will be washed down by beer from Tuatara and Moa, and wines from some 20 vineyards from throughout Marlborough, Wairarapa and new regional partner Hawke’s Bay.
“Our joint venture marketing in Australia now incorporates the full menu of Classic New Zealand Wine Trail destinations, giving us more stories to tell and more reasons for our neighbours to visit.”
Of course, the key drawcard to WLG is a three course meal from one of the ‘chefs in residence’ for just $35AUD per person, and wine $30AUD a bottle or $7AUD a glass, but diners will also leave with a few tactical airline offers and other promotions (check out the cool, woolly 'There's No Place like Wellington' TVC)
WLG runs from 15-27 November at 153 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne (Formerly Rue de Fleurus Salon & Bar) and will be open for dinner from 6pm till late, but closed on Mondays. Tickets go on sale next week via au.timeout.com/Melbourne.
- Wither Hills Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Hunter's 2011 Sauvignon Blanc
- Forrest Wines Pinot Noir 2008 Lawson’s Dry Hills 2011 Sauvignon Blanc
- Allan Scott Pinot Gris Stoneleigh Pinot Gris
- Twin Islands Brut NV sparkling Clearview Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2009
- Hunter's 2009 Pinot Noir Wither Hills Wairau Valley Pinot Noir 2009
- Declaration Cabernet Merlot Malbec 2005 Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Vineyards Merlot 2009
- Villa Maria Private Bin Merlot 2010 Crossroads Merlot 2008
- Mission Estate Syrah 2010 Villa Maria Private Bin Syrah 2009
- Giesen The Brothers Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Giesen Estate Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009
- Spy Valley Pinot Gris Spy Valley Envoy Pinot Gris
- Gladstone Vineyard 12,000 Miles Pinot Gris 2011 Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Wellington Tourism statistics
- Visitors spend over $2200 in the Wellington region per minute - $1.2 billion every year.
- Over four million visits are made to Wellington every year: 750,000 international and over 3.4 million domestic.
- Australia is Wellington’s largest international visitor market, with over 220,000 Australians visiting each year. Australians spend approximately $327 million in Wellington each year.
- Direct arrivals by Australians into Wellington has increased 10.21 percent in the year to the end of September 2011, when compared to the year prior.