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The magic of shared moments: why some days are hard to replace

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

We've been running Italian cooking classes and special events at Fifth Ave Katoomba Retreat since 2017, much to participants' delight, including ourselves!

Over the years, our groups have ranged from an all-female work function; dad and his kids; a few dads and their kids; grandmother and granddaughter; nuclear families; and individuals joining a group, making a connection almost instantaneously.

Our classes have also been very popular this year with milestone events. We've helped families and friends celebrate 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th and 80th birthdays. One beautiful family chose our accommodation and class package, decorating the house with bunting and had aprons printed with their mother's special occasion on it!

Then there have been private groups celebrating 50 years of friendship. They've booked themselves a getaway in the Blue Mountains, and thought an Italian cooking class would be just the ticket to spend a fun day together. Based on the usual chatter, smiles and feedback, I'm saying these are very special memories in the making indeed.

Having grown up surrounded by family, celebrating every birthday, name day, graduation and so on, always with home-cooked food, it was easy for me to take the significance of these gatherings for granted. Our classes and events at Fifth Ave have shown me the magic of shared moments when like-minded people prepare and eat food together. You may just get a glimpse of this in the photos attached.

If I had a dime for every time someone said they felt like family at our events and classes, I'd be doing ok. For me, it comes down to service, and seeing the joy in people as they share stories, laugh and let their worries drift away for a few hours. Learning a new skill is somehow a happy bonus. Yes, we've had some say "loving the class, but can I just come here and eat?!".

Perhaps this is why we won the Winners of Australian Rural Hospitality Excellence Award 2023, which was an honour to receive. Accolades aside, we love what we do and it really is true that doing what you love means you don't have to work a day in your life. Something like that, anyway :) We look forward to welcoming you at Fifth Ave Katoomba in 2024.

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