On Saturday the 7th of December 2019,  our Austen Morris Associates office celebrated in style at their annual Christmas Party. This year the Shanghai team and their partners attended a formal black-tie event at the Hotel Indigo Shanghai.

Managing Senior Partner, James Colclough, hosted the event and joined everybody for a sparkling reception at the Private Lounge on the 31st floor where all could enjoy the glorious view of the Shanghai skyline and exchange gifts courtesy of secret Santa.

Following the drinks, and gift exchange our team and their guests were guided to the Char Bar & Grill private dining room on the 29th floor to indulge in a specially crafted four-course meal by the Head Chef Wilmer Colmenares.

Dinner started with a choice of either the Smoked Waygu Beef or the Tuna Tartare the soup course was a heartwarming Butternut Squash Veloute, followed by either the Grass Fed Tenderloin or the Roasted Halibut Steak all served with sides of Char sea salted chips, rocket, artichokes, aged balsamic toasted pinenuts roasted baby onions with mushrooms bacon & a parsley crumble. The final highlight of the meal was Lemon Pie Textures Bread and a surprise flambé Bread Pudding personally served by the chef and director of F&B John Zhang.

Char Bar & Grill is recommended by The Michelin Guide Shanghai for the 4th year in a row.  A contemporary steakhouse and bar which pays dutiful attention to little details like a selection of cutlery and sea salts. The upstairs bar is also an attraction with its panoramic, unobstructed riverside views.  

In China, it is traditional at celebrations for all guests to partake in a custom called “Ganbei” which simply means to empty your glass in one. As each member of the team were celebrated for their amazing achievements in 2019 the tradition of Ganbei held strong. With many of the Shanghai team having worked together for over a decade, the event was filled with genuine warmth and camaraderie.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening and celebrations continued well on into the night. We look forward to many more great team events in 2020.

On Saturday the 7th of December Austen Morris Associates and Senior Partner John Holand were proud sponsors at the Shanghai Racquet Club for the year-end Football Playoff.

The day started in the dark, crisp, cold early morning of Shanghai, the city murmuring awake as the sun starts to rise. About 45 mins from downtown, Xintiandi is the beautiful and exclusive Shanghai Racquet Club, an oasis in the middle of the Minhang district. Upon entering the gates we were immediately struck with the neatness and precision of the compound gardens, not a blade of grass out of place. Walking around the vastness of the compound, amongst a plethora of tennis courts you come out and past their version of centre court through a tree line all measured to equal standing one gets a glimpse of the days’ battleground.

The set up is completely next to a green Astro mini football field. The spoils on display, trophies for the first 3 places and wooden spoons for the team fairing the least in the days’ football. The players slowly arrive, from all areas of the world. David the local F&B manager keeping his staff busy as orders from lattes to espressos come flooding in as a reprieve from the bitter cold. There are handshakes and hugs plenty as familiar faces exchange pleasantries and catch up’s before the game faces are put on. The sun begins to shine with the difference of sun to shadow like that out of an apocalyptic movie. With warm-ups complete and the traditional
photo of all participants taken, in the sun, of course, it was showtime!

The games were competitive! Whatever friendships that existed were certainly left on the side of the pitch to be picked up only after the shriek of the final whistle. Participants not playing during a given match mingling on the side chatting to each other and socializing in hearty spirit but with one eye eagerly on the game at hand. Watching the results with much scrutiny. Music in the background blaring upbeat songs ranging from 90’s disco to modern housekeeping the atmosphere jovial and the players pumped. Refreshments on hand and bottomless, beer only allowed from 1 pm. 4 teams of 7 (6 on the field, one substitute) battled out a round-robin of
two games against each other with the top 2 teams left to combat the final for the winner’s trophy and bragging rights. All the games were close as it came down to the final game of the league round to decide who would match up in the final. The Belgians sitting on the sideline watching as they needed a result to go their way to make it through – powerless to do anything except chant support and heckle banter. They got the result. Belgians Vs Green Team in the final.

The final was less climatic. The Green Team running away 3 – 0 winners over the enthused yet tired Belgians. The players walk off the pitch together shaking hands and exchanging congratulations or sympathies. With all friendships picked up off the side of the pitch all
players continued with banter and heroic stories of the day. The missed chances and the special plays, the what if’s and what could’ve been’s. The values of hindsight. There was ridicule in a laughable way only sport can produce and there was affection for each other as respect,
football and friendship won on the day. Beer is now served. The trophies were handed out with the medals to the teams deserved of each prize. With a word from the chairman about the day and his thanks to AMA and all involved formalities were complete. And as the generations of old would conclude battle in feast and drink, the “Leave no Stijin Unturned” football battle was no different. David (remember David the F&B Manager?) proceeded to put on a spread worthy of its diners and in line with the class and elegance of the spectacular surrounds of the Shanghai Racquet Club. The day was a huge success. All participants humble in their thankfulness of the Austen Morris involvement and relaxed manner in which we made the day about them. Thanks and cheers and clanking of beer glasses (plastic, so theoretical clanking) were seen across the side of the pitch with the Austen Morris few who were there to represent the company and give back to the community that has given so much to us. With all the heart to hearts, formalities and pleasantries, the introductions and getting to know you completed through the day, everyone entered the BBQ area as friends. The atmosphere was loud and fun assisted by the free flow beer and smell of steak on the coals.

The main purpose of sport and sponsorship was on display as people sparked friendships new and old, the 19th hole (to borrow a golf term) was in full momentum and conversation flowed as the battles of the day faded to the fun at hand. This slowly dissipated into the afternoon as one by one the weary footballers made their way back to families to tell stories of a successful day. what’s were exchanged (The Shanghai Handshake) and promises of reconnection on the horizon made. The sponsor’s Senior Partner Jon Hollan, Consultant Willem le Roux and Consultant Justin le Roux left as last men standing in quiet the satisfaction of having contributed to the memories of this great day!

 

Today we recognise Richard Hornsey for his 2-year work anniversary with Austen Morris Associates.

We applaud the dedication, hard work and efforts you have demonstrated during your time with us. Cheers to many more. From Greg, James, Ian and the entire team at AMA congratulations! 

Today we recognise Cherry Vi for her 6-year work anniversary with Austen Morris Associates.

Thank you for all the hard work you have demonstrated throughout the years. We look forward to many more celebrations with you. From Greg, James and the entire team at AMA congratulations! 

 

On Wednesday the 6th of November 2019, Austen Morris Associates’ Senior Partner Jon Holand along with Managing Senior Partner, James Colclough had the pleasure of hosting another world-class Private Client Dinner at KEE, a renowned private members club, located in the most prestigious commercial area of Shanghai’s Huai Hai Road.
The Twin Villas building and it’s unique design elements, provide an enthralling sensory experience, it’s an instant conversation starter. The entire space has been meticulously designed, founders Christian and Maria Rhomberg, wanted to create the feel of a chic upscale Paris apartment and the end result certainly doesn’t disappoint!
The Twin Villas building is an exquisitely restored neo-classical 1920s heritage home, a perfect example of the popular architectural style of the 1920s with beautiful staircases, wood floors, high ceilings and gorgeous French stained-glass windows overlooking a secret garden. The interiors are filled with an impressive range of fine art collections, notably it includes a collection created specifically for KEE, by acclaimed Russian artist, Konstantin Bessmertny. Owner, Christian Rhomberg, also handpicked a variety of unique objects from all across Europe, to incorporate into space – giving guests a unique opportunity to see the evolution of European art over the last 300 years.
KEE is located on the 3rd floor and connects the two Twin Villas, it features an elegant, brasserie-style restaurant, an exquisite main lounge and bar area with beautiful eclectic furniture, rich red upholstery perfectly complementing the unique copper bar and open fireplaces. The outdoor stone tiled balconies overlooking the garden, are perfect for sundowners. The 4th floor has 2 larger exclusive salons, the Alfred Dunhill Salon and the Vacheron Constantin Salon, these were specifically designed for larger private functions.
The evening off with a Champagne reception in the main lounge and bar, moving to the outdoor balcony area – allowing our guests the time to relax and engage with one another whilst fully enjoying the perfectly mild  November evening.
Following welcome drinks our guests were lead to a private dining area, to enjoy a unique 4-course culinary experience in KEE’s restaurant. Rated as one of the best restaurants in Shanghai, KEE restaurant is known for serving up a refreshing and contemporary dining experience encompassing International and Cantonese cuisine. Our menu was specifically crafted and perfectly executed by KEE’s team of world-class European and Chinese chefs headed up by Shanghai native, Executive Chef, Ken Lu.
Our specially crafted meal started with a delectable  Homemade cheese course, perfectly paired with Roma Tomato, Basil, Raspberry, Bread Chips, Lemon. This was followed by a light fish course - Atlantic Salmon Confit  – Salmon Roe, Quinoa, Pomelo, Dill and Sour Cream finished off with a light Cucumber Jus. The main course, was a mouth-watering Australian Beef dish, perfectly cooked, served Potato Mousseline, Green Asparagus and a Beef Jus. Our dining experience ended on a high note with each guest receiving a perfectly executed, decadent Chocolate Lava Cake, simply oozing with goodness.
The evening was a huge success, everything came together perfectly, from the phenomenal venue and it’s stunning décor, to the fantastic food and impeccable service from the staff at the KEE  – our clients and guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves, making this Private Client Dinner a truly memorable experience.
We look forward to hosting our next Private Client Dinner in 2020.