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Sixteen years of Cabaret @ Harvey’s Point

Deirdre’s Diary

Sixteen years of Cabaret @ Harvey’s Point

Ihad a most happy feeling sitting at the Opening Night of our 16th Cabaret season, looking around at the packed room full of smiling faces. The ballroom looked magnificent, with the summer sunshine streaming through the windows and the glint of the sparkling chandeliers. Noel was in his element doing his welcome speech and our banqueting team was at the ready to begin service.

The scene conjured up memories of the very first Cabaret at Harvey’s Point in 2000. The initial concept was created by Eamonn Gillespie and to start off, we hosted the event in The Dome, our smaller function room.

Build it and they will come

That first night was fraught with nerves and tensions were high. Just as the show was about to commence, I noticed that our stage backdrop had a spelling error. It said ‘Welcome to the CABERAT’. Well, the show had to go on, but the good thing was that we had a nice number of guests and everyone had a great night. So the next week, we moved to the Ballroom and this was the beginning of an exciting new journey.

I should mention that Jody built the Ballroom on the basis that “build it and they will come”. But in fact, they didn’t ! Nobody came for quite some time. We had a big, empty and costly ‘white elephant’ on our hands and it was only until a few years later that we found ways to attract guests down the long and winding road to the hotel. The Cabaret has indeed been a great success story for Harvey’s Point and it is a credit to all concerned who have made it happen over the years.

Classical to Country to Comedy

Sixteen years on, the Cabaret brings the Ballroom to life every Wednesday night from mid June until the end of October. There is something truly special about seeing groups of people gather together, enjoying a delicious dinner followed by an amazing line-up of entertainment and of course lots of dancing. Whether it’s a romantic table for two, a coach party of tourists, a group of girls on a night out or a family celebration, there is something for everyone at the Cabaret. All genres of entertainment are covered from classical to country to comedy and in general it is not unlike a great Irish wedding. As is often the case at Harvey’s Point, people arrive as guests and leave as friends.

Guests travel from near and far to make Donegal and the Wild Atlantic Way as their destination as part of their Summer Staycation. To this end, we have created our new ‘Home-made Holidays at Harvey’s Point’ packages where there is a suite of suggested attractions and activities in the area to enjoy over a few days, with the Cabaret as the highlight. Our newly opened Lodge is perfect for groups or for those who are just looking for an overnight stay to include the Cabaret, Bed & Breakfast.

Greeting the guests on arrival, it was great to see so many familiar faces and indeed so many people coming to the Cabaret for the first time. Thanks to Noel and our dedicated banqueting team at Harvey’s Point, all I had to do was sit back, relax and enjoy a wonderful evening. Seeing through a guests’ eyes, I can honestly say that dinner was a delightful experience. The soup was piping hot and tasty, the buffets, the buffets! A veritable feast! The main course was served and I had the sea-bass and Marc had the chicken. Superb.I must ask Head Chef, Chris for his secret recipe for the creamy mushroom sauce. It is absolutely divine! The icing on the cake (forgive the pun) was to see our young son Carl join us at the table after his work in the kitchen.

These are the days

During dinner, we were serenaded by Dean Martin (aka Adrian Cullen) who glided around the tables and entertained while conversation flowed. Then the Bluestack Ensemble played a few tunes as warm up to the start of the show. Fiddler Adam went galloping around the room with his ‘poteen’ filled fiddle. Gary Gamble had us in stitches as he did his Daniel O’ Donnell impersonation. Before he came on stage, you could hear him but not see him and it was fun to watch the guests nudge each other in anticipation of seeing the man himself. Brother and sister, Gerard and Aine gave a magical and uplifting performance of world class Irish dancing. Roly Daniels touched our hearts with all time favourites, including his moving rendition of the ballad ‘Noreen Bawn’. Not only is Roly is such a legend, he is a true gentleman. Mary B and The Bluestack Ensemble as always had everyone on the floor for dancing and the evening concluded with Noel and all the artists singing “Those were the days” I couldn’t help but smile and think to myself ‘These ARE the days’. Happy Days indeed!

Deirdre
Deirdre

July 2016

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