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Raising the bar

Raising the bar

Click to enlarge

Mover and Shaker Jamie McComas.

Media release from Novotel Gardens Queenstown
28 January 2008

Raising the bar

Shaken or stirred - that’s the question people will be asked in the new cocktail bar and café at Novotel Gardens Queenstown.

Sumptuous cocktails, mouth-watering coffee, beautiful al fresco dining, tapas, local cuisine platters and café-style breakfasts will be served up at the new Gallery Café & Bar along with stunning lake and rose garden views, a relaxed vibe and friendly service.

The new venue is part of the hotel’s recent $13 million redevelopment and, from 30 January, will feature inspirational photography by internationally acclaimed award winners Mike Langford and Jackie Ranken. The Queenstown- based couple co-direct the Queenstown Centre for Creative Photography NZ.

General Manager Carl Braddock, a firm believer in supporting the local community, believes that it will be a great place for locals to meet.

“We’ve got a fantastic setting and a range of food and beverage options. It’ll be a great new spot for locals to catch up, have a breakfast or coffee meeting, outdoor lunch or after work drinks. They’ll be able to sit outside in the rose gardens or inside surrounded by Mike and Jackie’s amazing photos.”

The bar, staffed by an experienced and friendly team, is led by new bar manager and master mixologist Jamie McComas who creates perfect potions with confidence, style, and panache.

Direct from Sussex, twenty-three year old Jamie was handpicked by Accor’s Graeme Ham, the regional HR Manager for New Zealand and the South Pacific, who immediately recognised his talents and was so impressed he appointed him immediately after his interview.

“Jamie has a winning combination of enthusiasm, a customer-centric approach, excellent people skills, confidence and pure creativity,” says Mr Braddock.

“He’s a recent graduate from the University of Surrey, one of Britain’s most highly regarded universities for hospitality and holds a Bachelor of International Hospitality and Tourism Management.

“He’s also amassed a range of industry experience, including a year at the 4-star Vail Cascade Resort and Spa in Colorado, and has traveled widely. Jamie’s young, bright and will bring creative flair to the role. He’s the right person for the job.”

Since packing his bags and heading to Queenstown three months ago, Jamie has worked with the Novotel’s sous chef Scott Wysockyj to develop a mouthwatering dining menu with a focus on platters and tapas. Jamie has also created a New Zealand-influenced wine list and an extensive cocktail menu that features classic recipes with a modern twist.

“It’s the new era of cocktail-making,” says Jamie. “Gone are flashy, over-created recipes – instead our menu uses the foundations of the classics and introduces current tastes and mixes. Cocktails are my passion and I’m looking forward to setting up an official weekly Cocktail Night at the bar.”

Order the Skyediver, and Jamie will pour you a perfect blend of Scottish Highland Liqueur and Triple Sec with a dash of Butterscotch, shaken and double strained into a chilled martini glass and finished with a lemon twist.

Now officially Queenstown’s largest accommodation provider, the Novotel Gardens Queenstown offers 273 new or freshly renovated rooms and can cater for up to 546 guests – a 34% increase in potential guest numbers.

Locals are invited to an open day on Friday 8 February, 12 midday to 3pm, to check out the new Novotel complex. There are also some great special offers and prizes up for grabs.


Note to editors: Backgrounder on Mike Langford and Jackie Ranken attached.


Mike Langford and Jackie Ranken are internationally acclaimed award-winning photographers.

The couple are based in Queenstown, where they are co-directors of the Queenstown Centre for Creative Photography NZ.

Mike and Jackie also freelance for a range of clients, provide collections for exhibitions, run workshops and lectures, and judge photography awards.

Mike Langford
Born in Christchurch, 56 year-old Mike has 25 years experience as an international professional photographer. He has also lectured and given workshops to photographers internationally for twenty years and has been an International Professional Photography Awards Judge for 17 years.

He is a Master and Fellow of both the New Zealand and Australian Institutes of Professional Photography.

Mike’s awards include the New Zealand Professional Photographer of the Year, New Zealand Landscape Photographer of the Year & New Zealand Architectural Photographer of the Year, Australian Geographic Photographer of the Year, he is the twice winner of the NSW AIPP Landscape Photographer of The Year award and is the current Australian Landscape Photographer of the Year.

Mike freelances for a range of clients and has over 20 years experience photographing leading hotels and resorts through out Asia and the Pacific. Clients include the Accor, InterContinental and Radisson chains. Local clients include The Hermitage Aoraki Mount Cook, Heritage Hotels, Peppers Hotels and Wanaka’s Edgewater Resort.

Jackie Ranken
Forty-six year old Jackie, born in Goulburn, Australia, has a raft of experience as a professional photographer, lecturer and key note speaker, and photo journalist.

Her awards include the Canon Australian Institute of Professional Photography Photographer of the Year, L&P Landscape Photographer of the Year, CANON / AIPP Photography BOOK Award- Aerial Abstracts, and, most recently, the 2007 award for the Landscape and Professional categories of the NSW AIPP Photographer of the Year.

Jackie’s collections have been exhibited in art galleries and libraries in both Australia and New Zealand.

She has also lectured and given workshops to photographers internationally and has been an International Professional Photography Awards Judge for five years.

© Scoop Media

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