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Des Harris at Clooney

The Ultimate Dinner Party at Clooney

Turning 40 is something that needs to be celebrated. Lavishly. For me that meant having the ultimate dinner party at Clooney.

I first went to Clooney 10 years ago and from the moment I walked into the moodily lit industrial space I fell in love. I remember sitting there at 30 and watching a large group of people celebrating a birthday and thinking one day I’m going to do that. Of course back then it was nothing more than a dream but this year for my 40th I decided to make it a reality and have the ultimate dinner party at Clooney.

I wanted to go to Clooney so much that I booked the private room back in February for my September birthday and sent out invites to my 18 friends who would be attending to hold the date. Not only did they hold the day but they flew from Wellington, Christchurch and Australia to come too. All my best friends – from high school to early days working in Wellington to work friends to friends I met in antenatal classes to friends I’ve only known a few years.

It was a very eclectic mix of the people I love the most in my life and with any gathering like that you always wonder if everyone will get along. I shouldn’t have worried. I’ve never seen a louder, happier bunch of people in all my life.

Now I’m a dreamer. The downside to this is that dreams are seldom reality so I always get a little let down when it’s not quite like I imagined but let me tell you that this night at Clooney exceeded all my wildest dreams. It was perfect.

I’m a fan of the saying “If you are going to do something you may as well do it well” so before we went to Clooney we went out to get our hair and makeup done at Dry and Tea. If you haven’t tried it it’s the perfect start to any special night out.

Dry and Tea

Quick selfie to make sure they did a great job (brilliant work team!) and we are off!


We all met in the bar at Clooney for a drink before we were lead through the restaurant, through a dark passage and then down some concrete stairs.

Once down in the Belle Époque private dining room we were met by Award Winning Executive Chef Des Harris who cooked all 7 of our degustation courses in front of us. It’s something I have never done before and it adds an entirely new dimension to the evening. He talked to us about all the dishes, was happy to talk about what he was doing and why and it was so amazing to watch.

There was a beautiful long table which seated the 19 of us perfectly and soft lighting that made everyone glow. We even had our own private balcony and bathroom. It was heaven.

The food was divine. The wait staff were beyond brilliant. The wine flowed and the laughter seemed to never end.


When we got to our last course at almost midnight it felt like we had been there no more than an hour – not 5 hours.

For those regular readers of Getting Lost you will know that our posts are usually filled with photos but I have to admit I was just too busy having the most amazing night to take too many but you can see for yourself what it looks like here.

Really, I just can’t recommend it more highly for a special celebration. It’s not cheap at $140 a head but look at it as an investment into a party you will never forget. For me it meant working weekends taking photos as well as my day job to save up the $3,000 to pay for everyone’s meals plus our drinks and it was worth every single cent. Every person who went has raved about it and it’s a night we will never forget. It really exceeded my expectations in every single way possible.

Thanks Clooney for giving me the ultimate dinner party for my 40th.

You can find out more about Clooney here.

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