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We’ve selected our debonair darling, the first QT Connoisseur. Part reviewer, part party maven. Ready to meet her?
Welcome to the QT Life! Introduce yourself!
Vibe check specialist, reporting for duty! My name is Jess Farchione, originally from Melbourne but a proud Newy resident since Jan 2018 when I relocated for my current position as one third of the brekkie radio show, ‘Nick, Jess & Ducko’ on HIT106.9. I am 31, married to the greatest human on the planet, one Angus James Harper and obsessed with many things but for the sake of time, I’ll limit to telling you just five.
- Our dog – an undeniably perfect seven month old Rhodesian Ridgeback named Gianni
- Pasta that is served in a giant wheel of Parmigiano cheese
- Any sort of home décor or clothing with lemons on it
- Wine from the Hunter Valley
- Pairing that wine with delicious cured meats and cheeses and then putting honeycomb atop it all
What are you most excited about as your role as our QT Connoisseur?
I have been a passionate fan of the QT brand for so long so the opportunity to collaborate on a number of exciting projects and activations is so damn cool! My husband and I have always enjoyed the quirk, individuality and hospitality of QT Melbourne and QT Sydney and whilst she is only new to the family, QT Newcastle has already delighted us with its incredible flair, impeccable design and first-class service. Whilst the rooftop party I get to host and the room floor takeover are no doubt going to be awesome, the night in the Clocktower Suite and whiskey tasting an incredible treat for my husband and I, I am most excited for the seasonal menu tastings with Executive Chef Massimo Speroni and his team at the Jana restaurant. Within only a few minutes of us meeting in his kitchen, we worked out that he is from the same region in Italy as my dad, a place called Abruzzo. Funnily enough, his Executive Sous Chef Manuele is also from Abruzzo, so I already feel a connection to them! The wine list that QT Newcastle have curated, showcasing some of my favourite wine makers from the Hunter Valley (namely Usher Tinkler) fills me with the greatest confidence that Jana will be the place for the best food and wine in Newy soon enough!
You have penchant for the finer things in life and an unrivalled flair for theatrics, tell us about this? How did you live this day-to-day?
My husband said it best in his wedding speech “anything in life worth doing, is worth overdoing”. He may have stolen that line from me and I may have stolen it from my brother who heard it said during this epic monologue in the movie ‘Lone Survivor’ but we truly live and breathe this sentiment. We are not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time so we make sure that every day has moments of playfulness and laughter, fanciness and adventure. We use the good plates on a Tuesday instead of just getting them out when our parents to visit and we put the hummus in a nice little dish when serving it on a cheese board instead of just leaving it in the plastic tub. We make pasta from scratch and we’re not afraid to make a mess because even though it takes longer, it’s fun. Life is too short to not to do those things! And if that’s the everyday, then for special occasions, birthdays and holidays we go hunting for these incredible gastronomic experiences because we get our kicks from sharing great food and wine. And I don’t mean fine dining because neither one us has that refined a palette! I just mean delicious, comforting, make-you-weak-at-the-knees dishes and bottles of wine that we remember for years and years.
What do you look for in a hotel?
I once worked in the 5-star hotel space when I was still living in Melbourne and have been a guest at every sort of accommodation, from 16-bed backpacker hostels in Slovenia, to luxurious resorts in South-East Asia, to high-rise inner-city weekend playgrounds in Melbourne, to bespoke, one-of-a-kind sanctuaries with bathtubs in the middle of the living room in Sydney. I always remember my time at hotels best when the service, décor and staff are truly individual; when their character and charm are allowed to play freely as opposed to being diluted under brand standards and uniformity. QT does this better than any other hotel. Every interaction at a QT has been more than friendly, it’s been fun. Every room has felt like more than just a place to rest for a night but rather something to experience and explore. Every stay has had us wishing it was longer. What I look for in a hotel is something memorable, something quirky and different and reflective of the city I am in. I want cleanliness and security of course, but more than that, I don’t just want a home away from home – I want an experience!
I cannot wait to start this journey with QT Newcastle because at the crux of it all, I just love sharing my favourite local experiences with friends and family who come to visit and new friends and family who haven’t explored their own backyard in much too long. Having QT Newcastle take over the iconic David Jones site and restore some much needed vigour into that part of town is simply magnificent.
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