This week has been a lot of schmoozing, which is a lot of fun. Launches of Nespresso’s latest (and possibly greatest) boutique in Sydney and the Sheraton Hyde Park’s promotion to Sheraton Grand status all called for big parties.
Plus I met up with some mates to celebrate a Wednesday (seemed a good enough reason) where I ate a 300g schnitzel and revisited Grain Bar for another of their excellent new cocktails.
All in all, it’s been a pretty fabulous week. Here’s what we got up to in more detail!
Cheers – Jim & Christina xx
We decide to start our week off with a bit of exercise. There’s a tennis court near us that’s free to use, so we thought we’d get out our (very old) rackets and have a hit.
It’s a lot of fun, but I’d forgotten how tiring it is. Or how unfit we are! It’s a good way to get the week going though.
Tonight is a much more glamorous and interesting story. We’ve been invited to the launch party of the new flagship story for Nespresso here in Sydney. This is their latest Concept Boutique and is a beautiful space.
With the old store in Pitt Street Mall closing early next year, this one at 345 George Street will be the place to come for your coffee needs. I’m looking forward to coming back here – though I doubt my next visit will be quite like this!
The room’s full of famous people for a start. No sign of George, but people like Darren Palmer, Carla Zampatti and Donna Hay are here, which is pretty cool.
Nespresso are really pushing hard to educate people about their sustainability, and how their machines and processes are surprisingly environmentally friendly.
Elements like the counter tops in the new boutique show this off. Designers have used the grains from old Nespresso coffee capsules to texture the surfaces. I suppose you could call this a ‘coffee table’. Sorry.
Designers have also used wood made from 100% Forest Stewardship Certified trees in their design. Water and power conservation tech, recycled aluminium and a used coffee capsule collection point in store all work towards Nespresso’s own AAA Sustainable Quality Program.
It’s all very impressive, and the leafy, verdant touches from the real coffee plants around the store add to the feeling that these guys do have the environment’s best interests in their sights.
Upstairs from the party is a special surprise for the guests. Owner-chef Martin Benn of Sepia Restaurant has crafted a wonderland of desserts. This table of cakes and delights also focuses on the natural elements and sustainability Nespresso have been working hard to highlight.
Harnessing the colours and shapes of nature, Benn and his team have created an amazing array of cakes – from chocolate brownie cakes to red velvet truffle cakes. I’m so impressed.
But as we look closer at the table, we realise this display is much more than cakes and plants. It’s actually an edible garden. You can eat the pebbles, there are little jelly sweets and sugar candies in the shape of leaves, and the toadstools are exquisite jelly-covered desserts that melt in your mouth.
Also around the room are trays of Nespresso coffee capsules.
Or are they?
Biting into one, I discover it’s actually very fine tempered chocolate filled with a coffee chocolate centre. The different colours show that each one has been made with a different Nespresso coffee, so each colour tastes different too. It’s a work of art. Props to Martin Benn and his team. This is so clever.
And to kick things up another notch, Martin Benn himself comes out to explain the different things you can find on the table and to cut the cakes. That’s quite a tower he’s got there!
Back downstairs at the back of the boutique, which is usually a coffee lab for customers to explore the different coffee ranges, the bar is pouring drinks.
Cocktail genius Grant Collins from The Collins in Melbourne has put together bespoke cocktails integrating Nespresso’s unique coffee flavours into three remarkable drinks – one of which is using the non-alcoholic gin Seedlip with delicious results.
We’re left wondering what’s happened to November. It’s supposed to be getting warmer now here in Sydney, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen tonight!
It’s a shame because tonight we’ve got some pretty special plans. But rain or shine, we’re about to hop on the next ferry into town. Watch out Sydney!
This is the beautiful lobby of the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park – formerly (as of tonight) the Sheraton on the Park.
It’s great to hear that the Sheraton – a Sydney institution – has been upgraded to ‘Grand’ status thanks to a huge renovations programme that have revamped the hotel’s guestrooms and suites, club lounge and functions space. And it’s even better to hear the Sheraton is throwing a big party to celebrate!
There are some absolutely stunning views out over the upper balconies of the Sheraton Grand’s interior. Views of the park from the ground level bar make this a pretty special hotel.
This gives you some more scale as to how big tonight’s party is. You don’t see enough champagne pyramids at parties if you ask me! The elegance of this soiree shows not only how what a special hotel the Sheraton Grand is but also how proud the management is of the next stage of this iconic hotel’s life.
The Sheraton Grand has quite literally put on a show tonight. In one of the many break-out rooms, as part of the celebrations, they’ve set up a mock jazz club replete with meat and cheese platters, mood lighting and an amazing cabaret act that changes throughout the night.
And of course, there’s a seafood buffet! piles of prawns, rich Sydney rock oysters and plump scallops all set out on ice sculpture stands. We’re definitely getting the ‘grand’ part of the Sheraton’s newly established title.
Lastly, we discover the martini lounge, which is full of these stunning flowers. As the jazz band strikes up, we fetch ourselves beautifully dry gin martinis and enjoy the show. Well done, Sheraton Grand Sydney. We’re impressed. Click here to check out the Sheraton Grand’s renovations and improvements to its rooms, club level and function spaces.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this Weekly Edition. Speak to you again soon.
Cheers – Jim & Christina xx