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Christmas is a hectic time for a whole host of reasons ... food, presents, drinks .... Julie-anne Sprague wants to make sure there are no hiccups in her preparations this year.

ONE of the most oft-used items during the busy festive season is the bottle opener. Misplacing this invaluable tool, while not an unmitigated disaster, is probably more frustrating than not being able to find the TV remote.

With this in mind, the boys at Galvin Engineering have designed a great metal bottle opener that you drill to your wall, so no one but Superman will be able to walk off with it.

Not only is it a great idea to show off the GE logo, the subject of a recent legal dispute with US giant General Electric, we at Gusto thought it was a great way to keep the bottle opener put.

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The Oriel Cafe has cleaned out the kitchen. Marc and Mimma have been on a recruiting mission, flying interstate to get their new head chef. Mark Turno from Queensland has taken the reigns.

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Cafe Il Porto, owned and managed by Gordon Mathers and Kim Meers, has officially opened. The owners, who bought the Sicilian site, have given the place a good scrub down. As the name suggests, this restaurant will be serving Italian Mediterranean cuisine. Cooking up the reasonably priced dishes is head chef Shannon Bisschops, who has spent time in the kitchens of Ivan Rutherford’s Bacco and the Red Herring and has also worked at Cocco’s.

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Monza, named after Italy’s motor racing circuit, will serve fast, no-fuss quality pastas and risottos in Oxford St, Leederville. As one of Geoff Hayward and Marie Hewson’s new projects (they’ve also revamped the Totem Bar, which opens as Lux on New Year’s Eve), the risotto and pasta bar replaces what used to be 14&7. Justin Bell, from 44 King St, will be the head chef and Nicki Nugent is heading up the front of house. If her name sounds familiar it’s because she’s been at places like 44 King St, Kuppa, and Dome.

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Burswood Fine Wines, the resort’s dedicated wine store, is now open. Managed by Michelle Pateman the store features a wide selection of WA wines as well as a small selection from producers in the eastern states.

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We all tend to eat healthier food over the summer period, be it the wide range of fresh healthy produce available or the fact you can’t hide that cuddly tummy with a baggy jumper. If you want to be ultra healthy this season check out The Sandcastle in Fremantle. Opening in the coming weeks this cafe will offer a menu filled with largely organic-based foods. The owners, Chris Carter and Lachlan McKenzie, say they will have the first organic bar in the State (also serving organic wines and beers), however I’m not sure if your hangover will be any healthier. One organic store wanting to help you get through the Christmas festive period is Subiaco’s Earth Market. Opening the State’s first certified organic juice bar, Xtractions, they’ve come up with a wonderful concoction called Xtractions Xcess. It’s a hangover relief juice that uses five special ingredients.

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Those keen to have lunch at Perth’s much welcomed wine bar, Must Wine Bar, can now book. Until recently the bar did not take bookings, but to take the anxiety out of the lunchtime meal the team will now take your bookings for lunch.

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Still searching for the ideal Christmas present? Belaroma has a great range of tea and coffee themed gift boxes containing freshly roasted coffee, different varieties of tea, a plunger, tea infuser, nougat, and event a homemade Chrissie cake. Prices range from $39.95 to $55.00.

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Stuck on what to cook for dessert this Xmas dinner? Get some fine Italian ice-cream wrapped the Christmas way from Azzura Gelati. A box of four Bon Bons (single Christmas ice-cream pudding parcels) retail for less than $10 and can be found at your local supermarket.

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Thanks to the Barbecue Chefs at Kleenheat Gas. They’ve sent us some tips to ensure the safe use of LP Gas cylinders to make sure your summer snags can be cooked over the entire holiday season.

Check for gas leaks by placing soapy water over the cylinder valve. If there is a leak, bubbles will be created.

Always store and transport you cylinders upright. Do not store cylinders in a vehicle.

Never store a spare cylinder beneath a barbecue.

If storing your barbecue indoors, disconnect the cylinder and ensure that the cylinder valve is tightly closed –always store the cylinder outdoors.

When using the barbecue, ensure the cylinder hose connections are properly tightened.

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