Ace an Australian Open Viewing Party with Natalie Mayhew

 

 

Before moving to Portland my family and I had the opportunity to live in Australia for several years. We loved having the chance to enjoy the laid-back lifestyle and sports loving culture.

One of my favorite annual events was watching the Australian Open. Since moving back to the States, I was happy to learn that I can watch the Australian Open on the Tennis Channel on January 14th through 27th or on www.tennis.com. It’s such an exciting event with all the top players in attendance and crowds of close to a million!

To celebrate this year, I’m hosting an Australian Open Viewing party for friends and family and thanks to Cost Plus World Market it’s complete with all of my favorite Australian snacks. World Market is my go-to for entertaining; I can one-stop shop decor and delicious snacks from around the world.

To get my guests into the spirit of an Australian Open viewing party I used tennis gear as decor. I wanted to capture the look and feel of being courtside at the Australian open—bringing the tennis court into the living room with bright yellow and white stripes against a grassy field.

 

I started by using artificial grass as a table runner on my buffet and added court markings with a white paint pen. Everyone loved the grass “court”.

The backdrop to the buffet was created using tennis balls and a white painted tennis racket. A tip when using old tennis balls as decor: have a sharp box cutter on hand. It will easily slice through a tennis ball.

I chose a food buffet for my viewing party as it reflects the casual Aussie style of constant “grazing”. Who doesn’t love grazing all day?

I had a lot of fun with the serveware, choosing things that have the look and feel of tennis.

I served up all my favorite chocolate cookies (AKA biscuits in Australia!) in a pedestal bowl that looks like a trophy.  Tim Tams in Dark Chocolate, Chewy Caramel as well as Regular, Caramel Crowns and my kids’ favorite, Mint Slices.  The kids really enjoyed sharing their favorites with their friends, there was a lot of post cookie discussion on which one was the best.

Bhuja Snacks Nut Mix and Bhuja Snacks Cracker Mix are the best more-ish snack, I can never stop. These were served up in an empty tennis ball container and a Condiment Tray that looks like a ball holder.

This Condiment Tray can be carried around to guests, so I added Kookaburra Black Liquorice and Kookaburra Red Liquorice for a savory and sweet option.

It wouldn’t be an Aussie Open Viewing Party without a tasty cheeseboard. I used a Wood Cheeseboard with marble stripes that looks like a giant tennis ball to “serve” up some tasty Australian cheeseboard favorites.  Arnott’s Cheeseboard Crackers served with classic Vegemite combinations of cheese and avocado.

Mixed in with the savory options I added Honeycomb Chocolate Candy (tip – this is so good with ice cream) and a selection of Darrell Lea fruit licorice; Mango, Strawberry and Apple.

Don’t forget the self-serve drinks on ice, a fan favorite! I hung tennis rackets up with letters for “BAR” attached to the strings.

We served plenty of Australian wine—light courtside favorites like Yalumba Viognier, Yalumba Rose and a Foodies Sauvignon Blanc.

As well as my favorite flavors of Bundaberg Ginger Beer: Original, Blood Orange and Lemon, Lime and Bitters in a Party Tub filled with Round Reusable Ice Cubes. I love all the flavor options that are available; the blood orange is so good!

 

I also served a light signature spritzer cocktail, The Bundy Courtside Spritzer. This spritzer is refreshingly perfect for watching the Australian Open. A tasty Bundeberg Lemon, Lime and Bitters fizz with a Ginger Gummy stirrer.  The gummies look just like little koala bears!

I served these in Highball Glasses with Polka Dot Straws that have a fun tennis look and feel. I carried around cocktails to our guests using a Green Lacquer Serving Tray with a White Chevron Washcloth as a bar towel, just like the players use.

The best thing about hosting in true Aussie style is that you get to be a little cheeky and partake in some friendly competition! Australian parties often end in a game of backyard cricket or living room tennis. We hosted a balloon tennis championship, “The Living Room Grand Slam”.  It was fun for all ages and filled with laughter… and cheating!   The prizes for our Grand Slam were trophies filled with delicious Australian snacks.

The winner took home the largest trophy filled with Chocolate Honeycomb. I gave this some height over the other trophies by placing it on a White Wire Gift Basket filled with tennis balls.

The runners up took home smaller Brandy Glass trophies filled with Koala’s March Cookies  and topped with vintage tennis trophy tops. I designed a fun prize tag with a kangaroo on it for our Australian Open themed get-together.

Tip – Your local scrap, second hand store or Salvation Army is a great place for snapping up old trophies or tennis racquets.

We had a guest competitor this year, my daughter Parker’s toy kangaroo! Parker was born in Australia and loves this big guy (he’s 4 feet tall!).

The buffet table doubled as our court, we cleared it and used the Desktop Ping Pong set as our rackets.

After feasting on Vegemite and Bundeberg Ginger Beer, the Kangaroo took out second place!

My son Harrison took out first place.

We had so much fun sharing our love of the Australian Open and bringing the taste of Australia to our friends. I hope you do too!

Australian Open Drink Recipe: The Bundy Courtside Spritzer

The Bundy Courtside Spritzer (Bundy is short for Bundaberg in Australia) is a light spritzer cocktail that is refreshingly perfect for watching the Australian Open. A tasty Bundaberg Lemon, Lime and Bitters fizz with a Ginger Gummy stirrer. The gummies look just like little koala bears!

Ingredients:

BUNDABERG Lemon Lime and Bitters

1.5 oz Angostura

.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice

.5 oz Simple Syrup

.5 oz Bitters

Buderim Ginger Gummy Bears

Ice

Materials:

Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker

High Ball Glasses

Polka Dot Straws

Round Reusable Ice Cubes

Bamboo Skewers

Yellow Ribbon

Scissors

Steps:

1. Combine Angostura, simple syrup, bitters & lime juice in the cocktail shaker.

2. Shake with ice.

3. Split between 2 glasses.

4. Top the high ball glasses with Bundaberg lemon lime and bitters

5. Add a Round Reusable Ice Cube and a Green Polka Dot Straw.

6. Put 3 Ginger Gummy Bears onto a bamboo skewer. Next, cut the pointed end off the skewer and the remaining length of the skewer to fit across the top of the glass.  Finally, cut a small piece of ribbon and tie it to one end of the skewer.

7. Place the skewer of gummy bears on top of the glass and enjoy this tasty spritzer while watching the Australian Open.

Enjoy!

Shop the Post: Desktop Ping Pong Set | Large Brandy Glass Set | Metal Party Tub | Small Round White Marble and Wood Paddle Cutting Board | Olivewood Cheese Knife Set | Wire Gift Basket Set | Hudson Condiment Tray | Edin Wood Pedestal Bowl | White Chevron Cotton Towels | Small Round Green Serving Tray | Hammered Cocktail Shaker | Buderim Ginger Bears | Bundaberg Lemon Lime Bitters | Polka Dot Straws | Clear Pressed Highball Glasses | Round Reusable Ice Cubes | Arnotts Cheeseboard Cracker Assortment | Arnotts Chocolate Mint Slice Biscuits | Arnotts Chocolate Caramel Crowns | Tim Tam Original Chocolate Cookies | Tim Tam Dark Chocolate Cookies | Tim Tam Chewy Caramel Cookies | Koalas March Chocolate Cookies | Lotte Koalas March Chocolate Banana Creme Cookies | Bhuja Snacks Nut Mix | Bhuja Snacks Cracker Mix | Darrell Lea Black Licorice | Darrell Lea Green Apple Licorice | Darrell Lea Mango Licorice | Darrell Lea Strawberry Licorice | Kookaburra Black Licorice | Menz Honeycomb Chocolate Candy | Vegemite | Bundaberg Blood Orange Sparkling Beverage | Bundaberg Ginger Beer | Yalumba Y Viognier | Foodies Sauvignon Blanc | Yalumba Y Sangiovese Rose

 

Party styled and designed by Natalie from Fern & Maple. Head over to Instagram @fernandmapleevents or her blog for more party styling ideas and inspiration.

2 Comments

  • CJ Smith

    If I have nothing in my condo and I want to host this as you did. What will this cost me (I have cutting boards, basic plates, napkins… just need to calculate the Aussie gear, and YES of course include the kangaroo, tennis balls, trophies, tennis racquets…) Oh also how much time did this take to set up? I will gladly accept answers from anyone, noting that I am setting aside cash for next year as, this year’s open is already underway.

    I have screen shot this entire article and I commend you on your dedication.

    PS: I love Bundeberg products!

  • Annaliese

    This is such an adorable party and fresh take on the theme! I love the way the pretty pink just pops with all the green and yellow!

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