Image for Another night, in paradise

It was around the middle of the medium rare eye fillet, its salmon pink interior-wonder melting and melding with the subtle sauce and digesting with that Stoney Rise Cab (which always has this damp potato bag bouquet as a poncy wanker like moi would say) ... that I realised my body was in paradise.

Here I am, sitting at a table with interesting new people,  meandering into Gerard Manley Hopkins and Shakespeare, boring my travel industry guests with narcissistic tales of ultra-marathon conquest ... but I have to say ...my mind and soul are elsewhere.

In the Bahai Centre to be precise. Listening to all this: HERE and HERE

But I got this kind invitation from Andrew Burnes’ aotgroup ( http://www.aot.com.au ) to dine in the Henry Jones to launch Tourism Tasmania and AOT Group Travelpoint Holidays Tasmania Brochure launch before the forum was organised. And if you say you are coming, you bloody well turn up

And, apart from the rather hazy end (musta had a slight fever …), it was a fascinating evening.

And I learnt something new. I discovered what happened after the State Government decided to summarily execute Tasmania’s Temptations, once “the largest, most knowledgeable and most experienced wholesaler of holidays to Tasmania.”* (Announcement of the closure: HERE)

Vacuums exist (?) to be filled. And when TT disappeared in came the aotgroup, an organisation begun on the sniff of an oily rag by Andrew Burnes a couple of decades ago. It’s since grown into an international organisation with offices in Melbourne (head), Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Auckland, Mumbia,Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Shanghai and London.

I learnt from the speakers - including Tourism Tas head Felicia Mariana and Andrew Burnes that marketing Tasmania can be a challenging, and a rewarding experience: “Tasmania is different … different to any other place on earth.”

Tuesday at the Henry Jones was a sublime experience.

As a journo of more than four decades lunching, I have not inconsiderable experience at the set menu for lotsa-people-din-dins.

This was the best I have ever had. From the salmon entree to the pastry desert - interspersed with that wonderful, perfectly cooked steak - it was gorge. As the late-afternoon sun shafted into the Henry Jones and the pinot grigio and Stoney Rise worked their peculiar magic, I forgot all about the Bahai Centre and healthy democracy for Tasmania …

*Established in 1988, Tasmania ’s Temptations Holidays contributes to the continued growth of the Tasmanian tourism industry through the development, distribution and sale of high quality, packaged holidays to retail agents.

Our Vision is to have Tasmania valued for its natural and cultural assets and creativity and to jointly deliver marketing and development programs that drive benefits for Tasmania from domestic and international tourism.
Awards

  * National Travel Industry Awards – voted best wholesaler 2006
  * Travel & Leisure Magazine, 2006 World’s Best Awards - Tasmania was voted No. 1 Island Australia , New Zealand and South Pacific

Representing over 650 Tasmanian suppliers, we offer an extensive range of accommodation styles and prices, cars, campervans, activities ranging from day passes cruises and flights, through to 5 day walks in world class wilderness.

Here I am, sitting at a table with interesting new people,  meandering into Gerard Manley Hopkins and Shakespeare, boring my travel industry guests with narcissistic tales of ultra-marathon conquest ... but I have to say ...my mind and soul are elsewhere.