Step 1: Entertainment

garden party people

Upstage all the parties going on at the end of the year by adding in some drama (okay, I’ll stop with the wordplay haha) by setting up your very own mini-theater. It’s really not hard to do – I go to the Singapore Arts Festival every year (my mom and sister lives there) and they have al fresco performances in the middle of the park. You just need some scaffolding and plywood for seats, that adds to the artsy feel too.

mini theatre

I’ll do a smaller scale one in the middle of a large enough private garden that I’ll rent for the day and fly in some entertainment that people would love to see. I’m thinking of the Ishinha group with their signature Jan Jan Opera, they’re really good and offer something MORE.

Step 2: Decorations

You can’t have a garden party without decorations. It’ll be like having a wedding without the bride.

flowers

I’ll pick up some nice flowers from Cameron Highlands and arrange it around the garden so there’s not just lush green grass but a lot of color.

wanaka party
(Image source: Wanaka The Bungalow)

I’ll be nice to have some fairy lights to get things going too!

elephant

…and maybe even an elephant! :D

Step 3: Snacks

You’ll also need some festive themed candy for people to snack on while they’re standing around and chatting.

christmas candy

I’ll go for chocolates instead of hors d’oeuvre coz I want everyone into a festive mood. Otherwise, it’ll just be another generic garden gala. This is my little twist – I love candy and I bought a lot of the Xmas themed ones.

snickers nutcrackers

The manufacturers actually come out with a lot of interesting limited editions during the end of the year! I spent over 4 years in Melbourne where there was a lot of limited edition runs of flavors e.g. White Chocolate Twix for Christmas.

twix tin box

Interesting side fact: There are places like Melbourne where snack manufacturers do their test marketing before deciding to launch a new product. I don’t know how they decide the criteria for a city/town – several places in the US are test beds too but it’s not the ones you think e.g. Los Angeles. It’s the slightly smaller cities with a more cosmopolitan make-up. Neither Singapore nor New York is a test bed. Apparently, you can’t be too big, or too small.

I’ll also have some Christmas crackers for people to pull just coz it’s fun!

Step 4: Dinner

It’ll be nice to cook for all your guests but the logistics behind it would make it too much of a hassle.

christmas turkey

There are plenty of caterers who can do the job just as well at the end of the year. I’m thinking of having a party for 30 so that would be too many to cook for. It’s not like an 8 person dinner party, so I’ll just order some Christmas dinner staples!

Turkey with stuffing is a must, as well as a plethora of side-dishes to make everyone happy and full.

Step 5: Drinks

You need to add something more to get people sociable and in the mood for celebrating the festive season at your garden gala.

made for more

I’ll want people to stay and talk, laugh and bond, after all the entertainment, snacks and dinner. I’ll want something more so here’s to bottles and bottles of Guinness to finish the end of the year with more!

wanaka

The reason behind this guide is because I’m interested in the above contest – Guinness is actually giving away the prize of a Garden Gala for end of the year! It’s a Celebration of More and it’s bound to be the best way to end the year!

garden gala

Yup, you get to win a private party for yourself and 29 of your friends too! This is something you really don’t want to miss. I hate to bandy around the term “once in a lifetime” but this comes really close. I’m going to join but in the spirit of giving, I’m going to invite all my readers if I win! :)

Garden Gala
Start: 12th December (Thursday) 10 am
End: 14th December (Saturday) 10 am

Go join the contest too but remember to invite me and my plus one if *you* win. Haha. The contest ends 14th December so head on over to the Guinness Malaysia Facebook page for more details now!

party 21

21. It’s the oft-quoted number where you magically experience a whole new life as an adult. It’s a coming of age celebration of freedom and independence.

keys

I was at the exclusive Party 21 event at Genting International Convention Center – it’s an invite-only party open to WorldCard members, and it comes complete with accommodations and drinks coupons.

You only need to bring yourself up. :)

cablecar

I used the Genting bus and cable car combo. It’s actually a very convenient way to head up, just park your car at Dataran Car Park and you don’t even need to drive up. Pity that they’ve abolished the RM 1 per entry system in lieu of a RM 2 per day parking fee, but it’s still one of the best ways to go to Genting.

queue

I was actually up there just a couple of weeks ago with Fiona, using the same transportation method. I’m a Silver WorldCard holder so I can skip the formidable queue for the cable car using a priority lane. Heh.

21 party

This time, everything was sorted out so I just headed up slightly earlier and got my room key from Evon. I had enough time to freshen up before heading to dinner.

roast

Coffee Terrace has a great buffet going on at night. There’s various different cuisines to cater to every palate, from fresh sashimi to roast lamb.

You can even get your food custom cooked right before your eyes after choosing what you want.

cook

It’s perfect to line your stomach before a great night out. Heh.

dj nabila

Party 21 is hosted by DJ Nabila who was spinning the deck the entire night.

ivy genting

There were a lot of fun and games outside too – from arcade games to lucky draws.

genting party21

OMG this has gotta be the only photo where I look my age. HAHA! This was taken at the photo wall right before the entrance.

lucky draw

You can also get a chance at the lucky draw by liking the WorldCard Malaysia Facebook page.

ivy

I met Ivy there, who recognized me from my blog. She asked her friend to take a photo of us with her iPhone and I asked her friend if she could take another one with mine. Thanks for saying hello Ivy! :)

performance

Anyway, it was a lucky day for me coz I rummaged around the lucky draw box and got…

win room

…the best prize!

It’s a free night’s stay at First World Hotel. w00t! Thanks Genting!

free hotel stay

I wanted to get one of the t-shirts instead, which you could redeem for 2 GP (Genting Points) but unfortunately they were all sold out. Genting Points are credits that is stored in your WorldCard. There’s also an awesome deal where you can get 10 drink vouchers for 3 GP too.

21

The party was in full swing when I got in. There are performances by pole dancers and stage appearances, including a memorable one which got everyone doing it Gangnam Style. ;)

group

This is the bunch of us who went up that night. Jane is partially obscured in that photo…

jane

…so here’s another one with her.

peter

This is Steve, one of the friendly Genting staff I met that night in addition to Chee Wai, Evon and the rest. Thanks for all the assistance in checking in and drink vouchers!

I’ll let the videos speak for themselves, I had a blast that night!

genting party 21

You know what the best thing is? Party 21 comes with a complimentary room at First World Hotel so you don’t need to drive down after partying.

beer

That’s the awesomeness of being a WorldCard member. There’s a lot of benefits in being one, and not just for skipping queues either. ;)

I’ve been one since 2007 and I get occasional text messages with free room offers and invites to exclusive events like this. Membership and application is free and you can see the latest promotions and contests at the WorldCard Malaysia Facebook page or the Genting website.

genting toll rebate

You can also get priority parking and best of all, a toll and petrol rebate from RM 50 to RM 300 by accumulating points. 1 GP = RM 1 if you do this and it’s a little known secret that you can get cold, hard cash by exchanging points for driving up. I love mine for the perks it gives me – you can also sign up for your very own WorldCard here! :D

sleep

I had a lot of fun and after a night of partying, you don’t know how tempting a bed looks instead of the prospect of having to drive down. I slept till the next day before going back to KL, a lot better than drinking and driving.

dancing

Party on! :)

system f kl live

DJ Ferry Corsten a.k.a. System F came down to spin at the new Heineken bottle launch at KL Live. The entire place has been transformed into something that looks like Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz.

invite

Even the invites look awesome!

emerald city

It was all Heineken green – the entrance was emblazoned with an asymmetrical neon light feature that gave off a new and different, exclusive even, ambiance once you stepped into the threshold and embraced the pumping music inside.

dirty nelly

I arrived early and had dinner at Dirty Nelly’s – it’s right beside KL Live. I opted for the Sausage with Mustard Mash and Sweet Sour Red Pepper. It’s described as a “jumbo pork banger” but I was taken aback at the sheer size of it when it arrived.

It almost made me feel inadequate. ;)

ee lin

Thanks for dinner Heineken! Cheers to Ee Lin from the brand team for picking up the tab.

heineken k2 launch

Anyway, I was surprised by the sheer amount of people inside. KL Live was packed. I met a lot of new people and got reacquainted with plenty of old friends that night.

june desmond

It was awesome!

friends

I happened to be wearing a white shirt that day, and after a lot of festive merry-making to the beats of Lap Sap (the opening act), DJ Ferry Corsten came on stage and got the entire crowd cheering.

dj ferry corsten malaysia

There were bouncers in front getting everyone to stand back while the crowd pushed forward to take photos. I had wisely *cough* positioned myself in the front before DJ Ferry Corsten’s set was on so I was right in front. I didn’t know why the bouncers were keeping people away until he came onstage, the music started, and fireworks and flames went off in a dazzlingly well choreographed moment.

cindy

I was caught by surprise by the wonderful pyrotechnics display that I didn’t manage to take a shot of it – some of the debris landed on my (white) shirt. So that was why the bouncers were keeping people away from the stage – there was going to be pyrotechnics . Heh. *hindsight 20/20

DJ Ferry Corsten kept the energy going high and with the free flow of Heineken beer going, the crowd was moving right along to his beats. He played a great set.

heineken k2 malaysia

It was the launch of the new Heineken bottle with nifty new practical and aesthetic features detailed in my Heineken contest post and Heineken threw a huge party with an international DJ just for it.

dj ferry corsten

It’s just how Heineken rolls, being a premium beer.

uv

You’ll be seeing these new Heineken bottles replace the old ones right about now. I nicked the photo below from Heineken’s Facebook photo album to better illustrate it. ;)

heineken girls

Oh and before I forget, there’s a contest going on with truly awesome prizes! The 3 grand prizes includes a trip to Sensation in Taiwan! You need 50 points to stand a chance to win and there are 3 ways to gain points:

1. Toasting Friends

You basically send your Facebook friend a new Heineken bottle and if they send it back to you, you’ll get 1 point. I’ve detailed this in my previous post and you can refer to the app for more details.

2. Check-in via Facebook

check in to win

This is where you check-in via Facebook when you go out for a drink at participating outlets.

check in

Here’s an example. You can earn a maximum of 1 point per day and you’ll need to verify the check-in via the app after you’ve done it. Don’t worry if it doesn’t appear immediately, each check-in can only be verified after 12 am on the next day.

outlets sibu

There’s a list of participating outlets – I see a lot of familiar places in my hometown of Sibu. Heh. You can filter via state to see which are the ones that will earn you points.

3. Scan Heineken ads with iSnap

the star mobile

This is an interesting one – if you have an iPhone or Android smartphone, download iSnap (it’s part of The Star Mobile app) from iTunes Store/Google Play respectively. I have it on my Sony Xperia S. Search for a Heineken ad in The Star newspaper and scan it. It’ll earn you a staggering 5 points! :)

The prizes that I mentioned? The grand prize is a trip to Sensation in Taiwan! It’s held in Kaohsiung and there will be 3 winners for this dance music festival! There’s also 200 personalized editions of the new Heineken bottle to be won. Imagine how cool it would be to own that! I won’t even drink it, it’s the kind of stuff you display.

prizes

Go to the Heineken to.a.star app and start collecting points now and you might be on your way to Taiwan! :)

pamela

I had an great Saturday night at KL Live. I had a few beers from the new Heineken bottle (which is the real star of the night), enjoyed mingling about and Heineken was thoughtful enough to provide water (Evian, no less) to rehydrate yourself after dancing. :)

oktoberfest

Yes, it’s that time of the year again! It’s like Christmas for adults. It’s…Oktoberfest!

Okay, maybe that sounded a bit anti-climactic considering it’s the title, but still, it’s great beer, good food, awesome fun – what else do you need to have a blast? It’s a celebration of the amber fluid that unites! :)

oktoberfest girls

Malaysia throws a damned good Oktoberfest bash every year! I make it a point to join in the celebrations each time, soaking up the food, fellowship, and of course, the suds.

oktoberfest group

There are events going on all over Malaysia. Check out the listings here. Here’s just a couple of them.

Camberwell Club (Bukit Damansara)
17 October

Jarrod & Rawlins (Bukit Damansara)
D’ Fortune Club (Dataran Menteri)
18 October

Laundry (Curve)
Lava Restaurant & Bar (Kota Kinabalu)
19 October

QE II (Penang)
Oktoberfest Special (Changkat Bukit Bintang)
20 October

Golden Sands Resort (Penang)
The King’s Arms (Kuching)
21 October

Cold Storage (Gurney Plaza)
Terminal One (Kuching)
Havana Café (Kuching)
22 October

Ming Cafe (Miri)
23 October

Deutches Gasthaus 5 (Bandar Manjalara, Kepong)
Mewah Club (Klang)
24 October

Switch (Kota Damansara)
Neptune Club (Petaling Jaya)
25 October

Odeon Club (Kepong Baru)
27 October

Regalia Ritz (Sibu)
KGK Annex Club (Kota Kinabalu)
28 October

KK Waterfront (Kota Kinabalu)
29 October

There also will be a Bavarian style Oompah band playing. The video above shows the celebrations during Oktoberfest last year, this time Die Dorf Fest Kapelle will be performing for the night!

oktoberfest 1 liter mug

The HUGE 1 Liter Oktoberfest Mug that everyone wants will be making a return as well – this time with special Oktoberfest 2011 embossing. I remember collecting all the limited bar editions and the generic ones last year – I still have it! :)

paulaner oktoberfest bier

I am also truly excited about sampling the exclusive Oktoberfest beers like Hopf Ice (and others like Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier and 111 Zwickl). Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier is a special brew for Oktoberfest that weighs in at a slightly higher 6% alcohol and I’ve been hearing lots of good things about it.

Enjoy happy hour all night long for any of these draught beers:

  • Tiger Beer
  • Guinness
  • Heineken
  • Kilkenny
  • Strongbow
  • Paulaner

kilkenny

It’s all on draft, at happy hour prices, all night long! :D

penang

However, one thing that I’m doing a wee bit out of the norm this year is to head up to Penang to party! w00t!

Why Penang, you ask?

guinness

Why not? I love the place, it’s the food capital of Malaysia! I can head out for a nice plate of char kueh tiaw (with extra blood cockles, and oh, a duck egg on top) to soak up the nights’ drinking before going for another round the next day!

qeii

I’ll be drinking by the beach in our very own Pearl of the Orient in a next week! I’m celebrating Oktoberfest at QEII (20th Oct) and Golden Sands Resort at Batu Feringgi Beach (21st Oct). Come and join the Oktoberfest celebrations at various places around the country! Check the Oktoberfest FB page for the full listing.

paulaner

I can’t wait to try the exclusive Oktoberfest beers! Oktoberfest in Malaysia has come a long, long way and you’ll feel like you’re in Munich with all the beer, German expatriates and the oompah band playing in the background.

oompah

Where will you be celebrating Oktoberfest this year? :)

witch

I’ve always identified more with villains than heroes. Growing up, Professor Moriarty was more my cup of tea than Sherlock Holmes. Lex Luther appealed to me more than Superman. I can relate better to Darth Vader than Luke Skywalker. Magneto and his band of evil mutants seemed way cooler than boring old Professor X and his cadre of do-gooders.

7atenine

It was thus the natural choice for me to prefer the Super Villains event to the Super Heroes party. I just came back from Encore’s Super Villains party in 7atenine at the Ascott on the 1st of June and it was awesome! There was a photo wall where you can write a quote on this speech bubble and mine goes “Being GOOD is for LOSERS. Evil FTW!”.

super villain

I also came dressed in black, as did Lainey – every villain worth his salt instinctively knows that having a wardrobe full of black articles of clothing is essential. It’s the color of choice when it comes to villain attire. ;)

bar

7atenine was decked out in decorations straight from a comic book – there were “POW!”, “BAM!” and even “SMACK!” signs all around the place. There was a Super Heroes party held about a week before the Super Villains bash. The four cocktails are specially concocted for these two events and features two villains and two heroes respectively.

signature cocktails

I tried all four of the cocktails. It’s the best part about Encore’s parties – I’ve always appreciated a nicely done cocktail and with acclaimed mixologists coming in, you can always expect a new and different signature cocktail every time.

captain jack

Captain Jack
This is a cocktail inspired by Jack Sparrow (of Pirates of the Caribbean fame). It’s made primarily with Jack Daniel’s (thus the name) and Poire William eau de vie, which is French for “water of life” but is actually a fruit brandy. The pear Poire William goes very well with JD and this is one the strongest cocktails amongst the four.

lady luck

Lady Luck
It’s made with Finlandia vodka with watermelon and citrus. It’s pretty good but I liked the others better.

Juggernaut

Juggernaut
This was my first drink when I went in. It’s served in a tall glass and at the first glance, it didn’t seem like anything special. However, when I tasted this Jack Daniel’s and lemonade cocktail I was really impressed. What sold me was the grated toasted walnut that lined the rim of the glass. It’s like a martini but with toasted walnut instead of sea salt on the rim. It’s the most interesting cocktail among all the four available. Licking the finely grated toasted walnut before chasing it with a sip of the drink is a treat for your palate. Two thumbs up for innovation!

cocktail making

Red Sonja
This cocktail is a concoction of various berries (Bavarian black berries, blueberries and raspberries) with Finlandia vodka. It is thirst quenching but it doesn’t pack much of a punch, alcohol wise.

devil

The cocktails go for RM 17 nett but you’ll get a better deal when you buy 2 at once for RM 30 nett. I spent over RM 100 for drinks that night, although I didn’t drink all of it. Fresh was quite enthusiastic – she practically shouted “I CAN HELP YOU FINISH THAT!” happily towards the end of the event, and hey, who was I to stand in the way of ethanol induced gaiety? ;)

lainey

Anyway, there’s an upcoming event called Heroes Vs Villains on the 8th of June which is the culmination of the two parties. Super Heroes and Super Villains will come head-to-head in this ultimate party!

heroes villains

Check out the poster above for more details!

hui wen

I managed to meet Hui Wen from Singapore who came to Super Villains. Now that’s someone I haven’t seen in ages. It was good to see her there. :)

There’s also entertainment in the form of dancers – click play on the video clip I took for an idea of what Encore’s parties are like. It’s all about fellowship, entertainment and deliciously made cocktails.

mixologists

Come and join us at Heroes vs Villains for more fun than you can shake a stick (or a light saber) at.

dj

…and don’t forget the hot DJ who will be spinning music the entire night. You won’t be able to sit still, the music is so good you’ll be grooving to the beats in no time. Especially after you’ve downed a cocktail or six. ;)

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