What a delicious combination chocolates and cocktails. To start this indulgent day, we visited the brand new Lindt Café the first and only one in the world, at the top of Martin Place in Sydney. There you can linger over a mouth-watering chocolate drink and pastry or sandwich, something savoury to remove the guilt of chocolate. Before leaving, it's wonderful to check out the cabinets of magnificent hand made chocolates. It is not easy deciding which ones to choose to take home from the range of more than 40, but it is a pleasurable task and they are available nowhere else.
It took the owner many years to convince the Lindt people in Switzerland to allow him to realise the dream of opening such an establishment and they are delighted with the result. They supply the coverture from which all the products are created and are happy to give latitude to tastes distinctive to Australia we have our favourites and love the combination of chocolate and caramel, something that just would not sell in Europe. The best seller is the Wimbledon … chocolate flavoured with strawberries and cream. Of course, their famous Lindor balls which melt in the mouth are all-time favourites.
The store is a feast for the eyes and has had a glamorous facelift giving the former restaurant site a true European appearance. Right in the centre of Sydney's business and luxury retail district, the delightful café adds an extra dollop of elegance to the area.
Master Classes covering the history of chocolate will begin in late June, running once a month by Lindt’s Swiss Maitre Chocolatier. How it became a drink, how it is made, all about beans and bars, differences between white, milk and dark chocolate and the amazing contribution Rudolphe Lindt made to chocolate as we know it today.
There will be hot and cold chocolate drinks, chocolate desserts and cakes, chocolate ice cream, blocks and bars, shavings on drinks and the Connoisseurs’ selection of fine chocolates and plenty of tastings. Ideal for individuals or groups, the courses promise to be tasty, fun and will improve your knowledge of the delights of chocolate.
With the diet on hold for another day, next stop was the Shangri-La Hotel, and straight to the Blu Horizon on the 36th Floor. The hotel sits between the Harbour Bridge and Opera House and five metre floor to ceiling windows make the most of the views.
This is where you can be taught by experts to mix the perfect cocktail. Classes run for two hours. The first half introduces you to the basics of cocktail making and showing some tricks of the trade.
The second half of the lesson is when the real fun begins and you do the shaking, stirring, muddling, mixing and blending. You will learn how to make around twenty cocktails and have tastes along the way. You will be taught some of the show-off techniques such as bottle flipping.